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By: Morey Law Firm

February 5, 2024

After a Pedestrian Wrongful Death in Florida: A Guide for Families

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Navigating After a Pedestrian Wrongful Death in Florida: A Guide for Families

The loss of a loved one in a pedestrian accident is a devastating event that can leave families in a state of confusion and grief. In Florida, where the balmy weather and scenic views invite pedestrians year-round, the risks are particularly pronounced. This guide aims to provide families with crucial information on how to navigate the aftermath of a wrongful death, ensuring that their rights are protected while they grieve.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Florida

Wrongful death in Florida is defined as a death caused by the negligence, wrongful act, or breach of contract or warranty of another. In the context of pedestrian accidents, this could mean a driver who was not paying attention, a municipality that failed to maintain safe walkways, or any other party whose negligence led to the fatal incident.

Key Components of a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida

To establish a wrongful death claim in Florida, certain elements must be proven:

  • Duty of Care: It must be demonstrated that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. For example, drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and be attentive to pedestrians.
  • Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached this duty through negligence or wrongful actions. A breach could be anything from a driver texting while driving to a municipality neglecting to fix known hazards on a public walkway.
  • Causation: There must be a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the individual. This means showing that the death would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s negligence.
  • Damages: Lastly, the claim must detail the losses resulting from the death. This includes not just economic damages like medical bills and funeral costs, but also non-economic damages such as loss of companionship and emotional suffering.

Immediate Steps to Take

  1. Seek Legal Assistance: Contacting a Florida wrongful death attorney should be a priority. An attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.
  2. Obtain the Accident Report: The police report will be crucial in any legal proceedings, providing an official account of the accident.
  3. Document Everything: Keep records of medical reports, funeral expenses, and any communications related to the incident.

Types of Compensation in Florida Wrongful Death Claims

The compensation awarded in wrongful death cases is intended to cover both economic and non-economic losses. Here’s a closer look at each category:

  • Medical and Funeral Expenses: These are considered economic damages and cover the costs directly associated with the death. Medical expenses can include hospital bills, emergency services, and any treatment the deceased received before passing. Funeral expenses encompass the cost of burial or cremation, memorial services, and any other end-of-life expenses.
  • Loss of Support and Services: This form of compensation recognizes the financial contribution the deceased would have made to their family over the course of their lifetime. It includes lost wages, benefits, and other earnings. Additionally, the value of the services the deceased provided, such as childcare, household maintenance, and other forms of support, are also considered.
  • Loss of Companionship and Protection: Non-economic damages account for the emotional impact of the loss. For spouses, this compensation recognizes the loss of marital companionship, affection, and sexual relationship. For children, it compensates for the loss of a parent and support from that parent.

A knowledgeable Florida wrongful death attorney can help you assess what compensation you may be entitled to, based on the specifics of your case.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida

The process of filing a wrongful death claim involves several steps:

  • Determining Eligibility: Under Florida law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file the claim.
  • Investigating the Accident: This includes gathering evidence such as eyewitness statements, surveillance footage, and expert testimony.
  • Calculating Damages: An attorney can help identify all possible sources of compensation.

The Importance of Emotional Support

While legal recourse is important, the emotional well-being of the family cannot be overlooked. Seeking support from counseling services, support groups, or community organizations can be invaluable during this time.

Morey Law Firm, P.A.: Pedestrian Wrongful Death Attorneys

The loss of a loved one in a pedestrian accident is an unimaginable tragedy. While no amount of compensation can replace the loss, ensuring that your legal rights are protected is a crucial step in the healing process. With the right guidance and support, families can navigate this difficult time with dignity and hope for the future.

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