Fatal Car Accident Lawyers
In neighboring states, Florida and Georgia, around 4,600 people are killed each year in vehicular accident. We know just how difficult it is to not only lose someone that you loved and cherished but now to suddenly have to be planning a funeral, dealing with the estate, taking care of your day-to-day, wondering how you’ll provide, all on top of trying to surmount your own grief and the feeling of profound loss that has you crippled – wondering if the ground beneath your feet is solid.
Over the years we have provided expert legal counsel to many families of fatal car crash victims after an accident has prematurely taken a loved one’s life. By letting a fatal car accident attorney come alongside you during this difficult time, you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family. Once engaged, we take charge in seeking the maximum fatal accident compensation available to you under the law. Contact our fatal accident attorneys now.
Making a Claim After a Fatal Car Accident in Florida
Almost all states provide provisions for financial compensation in wrongful death cases but states vary significantly when it comes to which damages can be sought. In Florida, the victim’s family in a fatal accident has the right to recover specific damages from the negligent party as outlined in Florida Statute 768.21. When filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, survivors are allowed to seek compensation for both expenses and future losses such as:
- Lost income that had been provided by the deceased is called “loss of support and services” and can be awarded from the date of injury to the victim’s death. Also included in this calculation is all of the income the deceased would have earned in the future.
- The spouse of the deceased can recover damages for loss of companionship (called consortium) and protection but also mental pain and suffering that occurred as a result.
- Minor children can seek financial compensation for loss of all the things a parent does for their child – nurturer, guide, teacher, cohort – and also for pain and suffering from the event.
- Parents of a deceased minor child or of an adult child when there are no other survivors can seek compensation for mental pain and suffering.
- Medical or funeral expenses due to the injuries received during the crash and what would lead to the fatal car accident claim.
- Important note: 768.21.7 allows for creditors of the deceased to make claims under certain conditions
Lawyers for fatal car accidents have to be specialized, abreast of the law, experienced in the claims process, expert negotiators, and a rock for our clients to lean on as they are reeling from the shock of a sudden loss of their loved one. Fatal accident compensation is maximized by an experienced team of brilliant attorneys, researchers, investigators, and an army of support staff, all working together to get our clients the justice they deserve.
Differences between Wrongful Death Claim and Survival Action
A fatal car accident claim for wrongful death is able to be brought when it can be shown (usually by a physician) that the decedent died as a result of injuries they sustained in the accident. However, these claims are not always clear cut.
- Consider this wrongful death example: a person is in a car accident where they are severely injured and placed in the ICU. Doctors do their best to treat the patient, but over the coming days, the car accident victim passed away due to the result of their injuries. Since the original injury received in the car accident caused the chain of events that would ultimately lead to death, the victim’s family/estate can seek fatal accident compensation under a wrongful death claim.
Florida’s “Survival Statute” §46.021 states “no cause of action dies with the person.” A cause of action are the facts of a case that would enable the injured party to bring an action against an at-fault party. This means a personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the ability to carry on a personal injury claim for the deceased from the time of injury until their death. Unlike wrongful death, this does not apply to a claim where the accident caused the injuries that led to their death. A survival action can still be filed for other claims for injuries/damages that were able to be filed by the deceased before their death.
- For example, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle may have been rendered a paraplegic but then months later died from a completely unrelated brain aneurysm. The estate of the decedent can seek a claim for damages for the time since the original injury occurred, up to the point of the unrelated death. The survival action provides a means for additional compensation to cope with the loss.
Making a Claim After a Fatal Car Accident in Georgia
Florida and Georgia may share a border, but there are several key differences between the states on their interpretation of wrongful death claims and the survival of actions. Under Georgia Code Title 51 Chapter 4 (O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2), wrongful death claims are governed by the following:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse, or if they are also deceased, the children of the decedent, either minor or of-age (called sui juris), can seek the “full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence”.
- When a wrongful death action has been brought by the decedent’s spouse and then she dies, the action survives to the children. If a child files a wrongful death claim for their parent and then dies, the claim survives to the remaining children or, if there are none, a representative of the estate for the benefit of the next of kin.
- When the wrongful death is criminal or caused by some other negligence, the personal representative can recover funeral, medical, and other expenses relating to the injury/death.
- The surviving spouse has the right to release the at-fault party without the permission of the children.
- Amounts recovered are divided equally between the spouse and the children (although the spouse is entitled to no less than one-third).
- Unlike Florida, no recovery will be subject to the debts/liabilities of the decedent.
A Fatal Car Accident Law Firm You Can Trust
We know for families that have just been blindsided by the death of a loved one, the world as you know it will never quite be the same. Your life now exists in the before and after. Before the accident and life after. The act may seem so abysmally mundane – the other driver was distracted as they looked down to check sports scores or the tired driver of a tractor-trailer changed lanes without checking their mirrors. However it happens, we know it can be devastating for families emotionally and financially to deal with the sudden loss.
Our fatal accident lawyers are on your side and will be there as you go through what may be the most challenging thing you have ever experienced. We’re here to take the burden from you as we seek answers, justice, and the maximum compensation you deserve.
When you have been touched by a fatal accident, it’s time to have a free conversation with our experienced fatal car accident attorneys. Without any obligation, our team will outline all the options available to you to recover from your loss. Call, chat, email, or visit us in your nearest Farah and Farah branch office across Florida and Georgia.