Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Car Accident in FL

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Losing a loved one to a car accident brings a lot of grief. A family has to make funeral arrangements and settle medical bills. With everything they have to do, filing a lawsuit is the last thing on their mind.

While a wrongful death claim in Florida won’t reverse the tragedy, it will ease the family’s financial burden helping you move on with life.

Wrongful death car accident attorneys at Eltringham Law Group understand the anger, confusion, and grief that follows such unexpected losses. We can help you pursue the compensation your family deserves. Insurance companies know we aggressively represent our clients and don’t back down from courtroom battles.

How Many Fatal Car Accidents Have Occurred in Florida In Recent Years?

Statistics from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Dashboard show traffic accidents dipped in 2020 due to the pandemic. The total number of crashes in 2019 was 401,867; in 2020, they were 341,399. In 2021, crashes increased to 401,540, dropping to 389,453 in 2022.

According to the NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts, the drop in 2022 is also recorded in fatalities. According to the same data, Florida ranks fifth in the US in the first half of 2022 for having the highest fatalities. The total fatalities in 2020 were 3,222, increasing to 3,741 and dropping to 3,411 in 2021 and 2022, respectively. 2022 Data from Smart Growth America shows that 22% were pedestrian fatalities, 17% were motorcycle fatalities, and 6% were bicycle fatalities.

What are the Common Contributing Factors to Fatal Accidents?

Wrongful death car accidents are often caused by driver negligence, a reality that makes it even more frustrating for loved ones left behind. In some situations, the drivers behave in ways that show their disregard for the safety of other road users; in others, careless mistakes cost lives. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death car accidents in Florida include:

  • Aggressive driving, including running red lights and tailgating
  • Speeding negligently. This could be driving too fast for weather, road, or traffic conditions
  • Distracted driving
  • Drug-impaired or drunk driving
  • Violating traffic laws

Florida law considers drivers engaging in the behaviors above and causing car accidents as negligent.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means that after a car accident, the victim can only file for personal injury protection benefits with their insurance company. But when death occurs, the victim’s surviving family can file a claim against the party at fault.

According to Florida law, only the deceased’s personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is one named as executor in the will. But if the victim had no will, another person can request the probate court to make them the personal representative.

This personal representative will file a wrongful death claim for the victim’s estate and surviving family, including children, spouse, parents, and dependent relatives. If the party at fault passes on before compensation, the personal representative must file a motion to substitute within 90 days following their death. Failure to do so leads to claim dismissal.

Statute of Limitation for Wrongful Death Claims

Florida Statute 95.11 defines how long someone has to file a wrongful death claim. In wrongful death claims, personal representatives have two years from when their loved one died to file a claim.

Why Start Early and Get an Attorney’s Help?

Filing and building a successful wrongful death claim takes time, and collecting evidence to prove the at-fault party’s liability is best done immediately after the accident. The evidence can include the following:

  • CCTV footage
  • Medical records
  • Police reports
  • Photos of the accident
  • Witness statements
  • Accident reconstruction specialist

With everything you have going on, seeking professional help early is critical. We understand you want more grieving time before you embark on a legal battle, but with Eltringham Law Group in your corner, we’ll do everything we can to reduce the stress of the legal process.

Get help from Eltringham Law Group wrongful death attorneys

You can get compensation if you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal car accident in Florida. Our wrongful death lawyers will help you determine the at-fault party and calculate fair compensation. We’ll also build an aggressive strategy to get you what you deserve.

To learn more about how we can help, contact us at 561-944-6742.

FAQs About Wrongful Death

What is the difference between wrongful death and survival action in Florida?

A survival action is a claim made on behalf of the deceased estate to recover damages before death. However, wrongful death claims are to compensate the surviving family for the loss.

What is considered wrongful death?

In Florida, wrongful death is when a person or entity causes the death of another person through negligence, a wrongful act, or a breach of warranty or contract.

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