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Florida Fatal Car Accidents

Car accidents are terrifying and traumatic. When a car accident results in a fatality, the survivors suffer emotional anguish that’s often intensified by the knowledge that the death was preventable if only another driver had taken reasonable care. In many cases, the distress continues long after the death as grieving family members move forward without the financial and emotional support of their lost loved one.

Many surviving family members ask, “How do I recover compensation after a car accident fatality under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws?” Reach out to the Sarasota car accident lawyers and Bradenton car accident lawyers at Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann to schedule your free case consultation. We will work to get you the justice you deserve.

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Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Florida

There were 3,451 fatal car accidents in Florida in 2021 alone, equalling 17 deaths per every 100,000 of the state’s population. Side-impact collisions (T-bone accidents) and head-on collisions are the most common car accidents resulting in traffic fatalites in Florida. The most common causes of fatal car crashes in Florida include the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Speeding
  • Running red lights
  • Failure to adhere to traffic laws
  • Aggressive driving
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Drunk driving

Inclement weather, defective auto parts, and faulty traffic signals also sometimes cause fatal car accidents in Florida, but driver error and recklessness are by far the most common causes of car accidents, leaving an at-fault driver liable for damages in a Florida wrongful death claim.

How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work in No-Fault Insurance States Like Florida?

Florida is one of a handful of no-fault insurance states, requiring car accident victims to file claims against their own insurance policies regardless of who caused the accident. Fortunately, it also allows claims and lawsuits against at-fault drivers for catastrophic injury or death. Family members of fatal car accident victims aren’t limited by the amount available through the deceased loved one’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

In Florida, close family members of a deceased car accident victim may recover compensation from the at-fault party in a car accident. Typically, the court chooses one family member as a representative of the family to file the lawsuit. Often, this is the executor of the decedent’s estate.

A successful claim after a fatal car accident in Florida brings the close surviving family members such as a spouse, children, or parents compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses from before the death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost income for the number of working years the decedent had left to them if they hadn’t died
  • Lost benefits like health insurance and retirement contributions
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of parental support and guidance
  • Emotional grief and anguish

After a fatal car accident in Florida, family members sometimes face significant financial hardship as well as grief and anguish. A wrongful death claim helps family members move forward with fewer financial worries so they can focus on saying goodbye to the loved one they lost.

What Do I Do After a Loved One Dies in a Fatal Car Accident in Florida?

It’s difficult to keep a cool head during grief and shock after a fatal car accident results in a loved one’s death, but gathering evidence such as the accident report, photos from the scene, and the medical examiner’s report helps establish fault. Proof of the lost loved one’s income and other contributions to the family help a Florida car accident attorney calculate the damages and seek compensation for surviving family members.