The loss of a loved one is always painful. But when your loved one unexpectedly experiences wrongful death following a car accident, the feelings are indescribable. Family members may be unsure of how to manage a sudden death. They may be so shocked, or so wrapped up in the administrative process of handling death arrangements, that they don’t even know they have experienced a wrongful death or have an accident claim at all.
If you’ve lost a loved one from a motor vehicle operated by an impaired or negligent driver, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the many financial costs associated with the sudden death of a loved one.
Personal injury attorneys at Florin|Roebig understand personal injury and wrongful death claims. That’s why we are bringing you this article on what happens when someone dies in a car accident. In this content, we’ll look specifically at steps you must take if you lose a loved one unexpectedly in a fatal car accident and how to compose an injury claim in Florida. We’ll also give you information on Florida manslaughter laws. In the end, if you think you may have a case, contact the law firm of Florin|Roebig, personal injury and car accident attorneys, for a free consultation.
I’ve Lost A Loved One In A Car Accident: What Now?
For surviving family members making necessary preparations for the unexpected death of a loved one, like funeral costs, can be a daunting task. Some FAQs during this stressful time include:
- How do I make plans for a burial?
- How do I shut down the deceased’s financial, personal and social accounts?
- Who’s going to handle the deceased loved ones estate?
- How am I going to pay for all the expenses that come with medical bills and wrongful death?
For the surviving spouse of a person who died in a car accident, the loss of companionship can be unbearable. Handling incidents like the logistics of a funeral, the power of attorney on possessions, and filing a wrongful death insurance claim or lawsuit, can slip through the cracks. That’s why injury lawyers can help take the wrongful death suit off of your plate.
Florida Vehicular Manslaughter Laws
When criminal charges of manslaughter are brought against a defendant after a car accident, it may be indicative that you have a wrongful death case. In Florida, when someone dies because someone intentionally used their car as a weapon, or due to gross negligence during the operation of a vehicle, for instance, DUI manslaughter, they can be charged with vehicular homicide.
Vehicular homicide is defined under the Florida statute 782.071. The statue reads, “Vehicular homicide.—’Vehicular homicide’ is the killing of a human being, or the killing of an unborn child by any injury to the mother, caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another.”
Under this definition, DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony charge of vehicular homicide, whereas an intentional murder would be a first-degree felony.
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Filing A Claim In Florida After Wrongful Death
If you’re looking for the nuts and bolts of what is a wrongful death claim, you should also read the article we published about wrongful death car accident claims. In the following content, we’ll talk about making your wrongful death claim in Florida.
Florida drivers are required to have PIP insurance. PIP stands for personal injury protection insurance policy, and it’s commonly referred to as “no fault” in the United States.
Florida is what we refer to as a “no fault” state. That means all legal drivers are required to have PIP insurance, and therefore, no fault is assigned at the accident scene because each person’s insurance covers their own injuries. In no fault states, it’s customary for both insurance companies to work together to pay claims and both drivers rates increase in the event of an accident, no matter the conditions. That’s true whether passengers live or if there is a deceased person involved in the claim.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t seek restitution in a car accident claim for things like medical bills and funeral costs in a wrongful death case. If you’re an accident victim who lost a loved one, there’s no amount of money that can bring them back. But in Florida, you can still expect for medical costs to be paid through insurance. If they are not, or if you are left responsible for other costs, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. In some cases, the driver who is responsible for the accident may also be named in a wrongful death suit, even in a no fault state, especially in instances like drunk driving or reckless driving vehicle accidents where a fault driver is clear.
Do I Have A Car Accident Claim?
If you have medical expenses, burial expenses or pain and suffering because of an auto accident you may have a wrongful death lawsuit. You could be entitled to compensation from your insurance company or the fault party. Get real-time assistance when you call the wrongful death attorneys at Florin|Roebig. You’ll speak to a real person who will take your claim information and incident report so that wrongful death lawyers can review it for free and provide a comprehensive case evaluation.
Car insurance companies will work to protect their clients no matter what, but if you lost a loved one due to a vehicular manslaughter that’s being prosecuted you have a fault driver that could be responsible for paying medical bills and funeral costs. Call Florin|Roebig for a free consultation today.