On November 3, 2013, a 30-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle in Winter Haven around Lucerne Park Road, according to the Tampa Tribune. The man was found unconscious on the side of the road and pronounced dead at the hospital with injuries consistent with being struck by a motor vehicle.
It is accidents like this that stresses the importance of understanding what rights a family may have when a loved one dies due to an accident involving a motor vehicle, whether the victim is a pedestrian as in this accident, or the driver or passenger in a motor vehicle involved in an accident where someone else is at fault.
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Statute, the immediate family of a victim who dies due to someone else’s negligence, such as a spouse of a married victim, children of any victim, or parents or siblings of a child can bring suit for damages due to their death. A family can claim pain and suffering damages for the victim (not the pain and suffering of the family), punitive damages in cases where the other driver was acting recklessly such as cases of speeding or drunk driving, funeral expenses, loss of consortium in cases of a spouse, loss of companionship for children or siblings and lost lifetime wages of the victim.
However, being able to sue for such damages and being able to collect a judgment are two different things. The actual damages in a wrongful death case can easily add up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in some cases. However, what must be kept in mind is that the amount that can actually be collected is, in reality, limited to the amount of insurance that is carried by the other driver. While there are ways to go after the other driver’s assets, it is very likely that there would be no assets to go after for a driver that has minimal or no insurance, especially if the other driver declares bankruptcy.
There are ways to insure yourself in cases where a driver has only the minimum insurance or no insurance at all, or in a case like the one in Winter Haven, where there was a possible hit and run, which would be by purchasing uninsured / underinsured coverage with your own no-fault insurance. For what adds up to only a few dollars a month, your family would be protected in a case where the other driver only has a minimum amount of coverage or no coverage at all.
Wrongful death cases can be complicated and require a lawyer to make sure that all the responsible parties and witnesses can be found and all deadlines are met. If a family member has died as a result of the negligence of another, it is essential that you call the Brooks Law Group at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT today. Call today for a free consultation so that you get all the money you deserve.