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Filing Florida wrongful death claims after losing a teen
It is every parent’s worst nightmare to find themselves waiting up for a young adult who doesn’t make it home by curfew only to have the police come knocking. Unfortunately, based on current injury and death statistics, that is one of the most common scenarios in which families in Florida and across the United States lose young loved ones.
Car crashes are a leading cause of death among teenagers, and this risk surges during the summer months. Families are often left scrambling when trying to adjust to a fatal crash. Although there is often insurance available to compensate families, coverage is often far too low to fully reimburse people for the financial impacts of losing a loved one.
When is it possible for surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim after a crash in Florida?
When the collision was the result of negligence or intentional conduct
A surprising number of people admit to violating traffic laws with some degree of regularity in Florida. People ignore the speed limit, drive after drinking and engage in many other unsafe and illegal behaviors while in control of a motor vehicle.
However, in scenarios where someone’s blatantly unsafe behavior leads to a fatal collision, the motorist may find themselves facing a wrongful death lawsuit. Technically, Florida law requires that the personal representative of someone’s estate bring a wrongful death claim. When the person who dies is a minor, that will typically be one of their parents.
A lawsuit can compensate the estate and thereby immediate family members for direct financial losses, including funeral and medical expenses, as well as lost future earning potential and other long-term financial consequences of the tragedy.
Wrongful death claims can provide families with measures of justice and closure
Losing a promising young family member in a completely unnecessary car crash can devastate a family. Especially when the state does not pursue criminal charges against the person responsible or fails to impose any significant penalties, the surviving family members may feel as though there has not yet been justice for their lost loved one.
Wrongful death claims, when successful, provide not only financial compensation for grieving family members but also generate significant consequences for those responsible for a recent, preventable loss of life. Seeking legal guidance when a situation may be actionable under Florida’s wrongful death statute can give surviving family members a chance to pursue justice in civil court for their loved one and for themselves.