Fatal Car Accidents
A car accident can leave victims with catastrophic injuries that turn fatal. Their families are then left to cope with the aftermath of a sudden, tragic loss. At Frankl & Kominsky, we understand how devastating it is to lose a loved one in a lethal crash. Our auto accident lawyers represent mourning families throughout West Palm Beach with pride and dedication. We can investigate your specific situation, discuss your legal options with you, and craft a strategy to help you pursue compensation.Fatal Car Accidents
Major collisions occur all too often on Florida highways. According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were over 2,250 fatal crashes in the state during 2012. Alcohol was a suspected or related factor in at least 805 of these accidents. Traumatic blows to the head and spinal cord, severe burns, or other serious injuries can cause immediate death in a car crash. In other situations, a victim may linger in a hospital before succumbing to the aftermath of the collision.File a Negligence Lawsuit to Seek Damages
If you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by someone else’s careless actions, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against whoever was responsible. Florida’s Wrongful Death Act gives certain surviving family members the right to seek damages related to the death of a close relative if it was the result of negligence or misconduct. The victim would have had the right to pursue a personal injury claim if he or she had survived the accident. By filing a wrongful death claim, surviving family members can shift the burden of the loss of their loved one to the person or entity that caused the fatal injuries.
To succeed in this lawsuit, you usually will need to prove the elements of negligence. This requires showing that the defendant had a duty of care and breached that duty. The defendant also must have directly caused your relative’s fatal injury as a result of the breach, and you must have incurred damages from the death of your loved one. For instance, a driver may have breached the duty to use reasonable care if he or she was texting behind the wheel at the time of the crash. If you can link the breach to the accident that took your relative’s life, you likely will be able to hold the driver liable.
Alcohol or drugs are a factor in many fatal car accidents. In Florida, it is a criminal offense to drive drunk or drugged, so a driver who violates this law may be negligent per se in a civil action for damages. This rule applies when a person violates a law meant to protect a certain type of person against a particular kind of harm. A claim based on negligence per se requires the plaintiff to show only causation and damages, rather than duty and breach, once it is proven that the defendant broke the law.
The defendant may claim that the victim’s own actions contributed to his or her injuries. You can still file a claim, but the court will decide how much your relative was at fault for the accident. You may be able to recover a lesser amount of damages, even if your relative was largely responsible for the crash.
By proving the defendant’s liability, you can seek compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and more. For example, a spouse and child may each seek compensation for the loss of the deceased person’s companionship. Florida gives you two years from the day your relative died to file a lawsuit.Enlist a West Palm Beach Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
The injury attorneys at Frankl & Kominsky can provide the legal advocacy you need if you lost a loved one in a fatal car crash in or near the West Palm Beach area. Our lawyers are seasoned litigators who are passionate about helping families rebuild after the sudden loss of a relative. While no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, we can help ease the financial burden related to their loss. We serve clients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens, among other Palm Beach County areas. Call us at (855) 800-8000 or complete our online form for a free consultation. We speak Spanish and Creole.