Fatal Car Accidents
Losing a loved one in a car accident is not only a deeply emotional experience, but it can have a long-lasting financial impact as well. Compassionate car accident attorney Jarrett Blakeley is committed to helping families in Fort Lauderdale and other South Florida cities who are coping with the death of a loved one. We try to make sure that those responsible are held liable for their actions. Attorney Jarrett Blakeley takes the time with his clients to explain their rights and help them understand the legal process.Fatal Car Crashes in Florida
People involved in serious car accidents can sustain devastating injuries that may lead to death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 2,500 traffic fatalities in Florida in 2012. Over half of the victims were drivers or their passengers, but a significant number were pedestrians. Almost 700 of these traffic-related deaths were associated with alcohol use. If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation on his or her behalf.Responsibility for a Deadly Accident
Florida's Wrongful Death Act allows certain family members to recover damages when they have lost a close relative due to someone else's negligence. A wrongful death claim exists when, if the deceased victim had survived, he or she would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit. The legal right to take action transfers to the victim's family after he or she has died. In order for a relative to establish liability for a loved one's death, he or she must show that the defendant, usually another driver, was negligent. To establish negligence, a plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under similar circumstances;
- The duty of care was breached by the defendant's actions;
- The breach was the cause of the victim's death; and
- Actual damages were incurred.
For instance, a driver who runs a red light or fails to slow down during a thunderstorm would likely be seen as unreasonable in most circumstances. If the driver causes a fatal accident while engaging in such reckless behavior, he or she could potentially be held liable for the damages that result. Compensation available in a wrongful death claim may include compensation for the victim's medical expenses as well as funeral and burial costs. If the plaintiff is the deceased person's spouse, minor child, or parent, additional damages that may be awarded include loss of support and loss of companionship, as well as pain and suffering.
Compared to ordinary personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death actions have a relatively short period of time in which they can be pursued. Family members must file a claim within two years from the date of their loved one's death. Although legal action may not be the first thing on your mind at such a difficult time, consulting an experienced attorney may be an important step in protecting your right to compensation.Discuss a Wrongful Death Claim With an Attorney in Sunrise
If you have lost a loved one after a fatal car accident in the Sunrise area, you can seek guidance from wrongful death lawyer Jarrett Blakeley at the Blakeley Law Firm. We offer compassionate and knowledgeable legal services to families trying to cope with their loss. Our firm asserts the rights of our clients while trying to make the process flow as smoothly for them as possible. Contact us online to set up a free consultation and find out how we can help.