Motor Vehicle Collision Attorneys Advising Families in West Palm Beach
In West Palm Beach in 2013, there were 24 people involved in fatal accidents. Six of the fatal accidents involved drunk drivers. Three pedestrians were involved. The picture is grimmer when looking at the state as a whole. In 2010, over 2,400 people died in fatal car accidents. Drivers were frequently killed, but so were passengers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. While no amount of money can fully compensate for the loss of a loved one, if your family member was killed in a fatal car accident in the West Palm Beach area, the lawyers at Anidjar & Levine may be able to bring a wrongful death suit on your behalf. We may be able to help you seek compensation for your loss.
Holding a Careless Driver Accountable for a Tragic Death
A wrongful death claim is a civil suit brought by the survivors of an individual who passed away due to somebody else’s negligence or misconduct. Specifically, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act allows a lawsuit to be filed when a death is caused by a wrongful act, negligence, breach of contract or warranty, or default. The family members of the decedent are entitled to file the suit and seek money damages from the person whose wrongful conduct, negligence, or breach caused the accident.
Most fatal car accidents are the result of negligence. Often, the defendant was distracted by some other activity, such as texting or adjusting the stereo or dealing with a pet. The court will consider many factors when determining damages, and damages are likely to vary based on the survivor’s relationship to the deceased person. Factors to be considered include the decedent’s life expectancy, the quality of the relationship, the amount of the decedent’s net income, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services.
It is expected that certain family members, based on their relationship to the decedent, will have specific, significant losses. For example, a spouse may be able to collect not only pain and suffering, but also compensation for the loss of the decedent’s companionship. Minor children can potentially recover compensation for lost parental companionship and guidance, as well as pain and suffering. The parent of a minor child can often recover compensation for mental pain and suffering from the date of the accident, as well as compensation for pain and suffering if there are not any other survivors. Whichever surviving family member paid the medical bills and funeral expenses may be able to recover those as well.
In some cases, it is appropriate to ask for punitive damages after a fatal car accident. These damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from acting similarly in the future. They may be appropriate in cases of gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.
Seek Legal Guidance after a Fatal Car Accident in West Palm Beach
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s careless driving, your first consideration is likely your grief, rather than suing for compensation. However, there are strict time limits for bringing a wrongful death claim, and in many cases, families are affected not only emotionally but also financially after their bereavement. The injury attorneys at Anidjar & Levine may be able to help families in West Palm Beach protect their rights. Call us at 800-747-3733 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation. We represent clients in many Palm Beach County communities, such as Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens.