Americans enjoy a rather long life expectancy at around 79 years old, but accidents are a common reason that this duration may be cut short. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 214,000 people are killed every year because of unintentional injuries, many of which are preventable. There is a common assumption that car accidents are a top cause of fatalities, and motor vehicle collisions do rank high. However, with the opioid crisis and widespread availability of fentanyl, unintentional poisonings take the #1 spot.
Losing a loved one is tragic, but the resulting financial implications affect your life in ways you did not expect. Florida wrongful death laws do provide you with legal remedies, so you may qualify to recover compensation after a horrific accident. A Miami wrongful death lawyer will handle all important legal tasks, and some information on monetary damages is also helpful.
Compensation in Fatal Accident Claims
Monetary damages in a personal injury case are intended to reimburse the victim and make them whole, at least to the greatest extent possible. For accidents where a person was injured but survived, compensation goes to the victim. However, under Florida wrongful death laws, the true victims are the surviving family members of the person who died. There are two categories of damages in these cases:
- Economic Damages: Some losses are easy to assess and value, such as the medical costs to treat the victim’s injuries prior to death. Surviving loved ones may also receive amounts for funeral costs and burial expenses.
- Noneconomic Damages: Losses that impact the quality of life are also recoverable, including loss of consortium, education, guidance, love, support, and other contributions.
In limited cases, it may also be possible to recover punitive damages. These are amounts intended to punish the wrongdoer for outrageous, extremely risky conduct.
Legal Options for Qualifying Survivors
You may be eligible to recover compensation if you are the surviving spouse, child, or parent of someone who died in an accident. In most cases, you will be dealing with an insurance company. Motorists, property owners, businesses, and homeowners carry liability insurance to protect their interests, so you will need to file a claim. It may be possible to settle, but insurers often deny rightful claims to protect their own interests.
When the insurance company does not settle for a reasonable amount, it is necessary to file a wrongful death case in court. Only the personal representative has standing to pursue litigation on behalf of eligible surviving relatives.
Trust a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney to Recover Fair Damages for Your Losses
It is disturbing to know that negligence is behind most fatal accidents, but this information should encourage you to take action if you lose a loved one. To learn how our team can assist with your claim, please call (305) 371-6000 or go online to reach Gerson & Schwartz, PA. We can schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach.