Who Can Recover After A Florida Fatal Car Accident

by Tina Willis Law - Orlando on May. 23, 2016

Accident & Injury Car Accident 

Summary: Explanation of what survivors can recover after a Florida fatal car accident

Florida's wrongful death statute has complicated rules regarding which people can recover what money after a fatal car accident.

There are basically two types of claims that can be brought after a fatal car accident: individual claims and estate claims.

Florida's wrongful death statute says who can file an individual claim.  Unfortunately, this can be very limiting for certain family members.  

Spouses and children are given preferential treatment, and can expect to recover the most money if they were close to the person who passed away.  Other family members may or may not be able to recover, depending on whether they received financial support from their lost loved one.

(You might want to read more about why you should hire an Orlando wrongful death lawyer.)

Florida's wrongful death statute also allows those filing an individual wrongful death claim to recover money for pain and suffering.  

Pain and suffering often can be the most valuable part of any wrongful death claim.  

Therefore, if you are entitled to pursue an individual claim, then a central issue in the case becomes your relationship with your lost loved ones.  A very close relationship is more valuable than an estranged relationship.  However, many hurdles can be overcome with a wrongful death lawyer delving into the intricacies of the relationship.

If the loved one is unable to pursue an individual claim, in some cases we can still help them recover through the estate.  The estate may not recover pain and suffering.  But there are other categories of damage that might still be valuable enough to be worth pursuing.  Then, the loved one can often recover through the estate, by participating in a probate action, to determine how the estate damages should be distributed among family members.

If you have a valid wrongful death claim, we hire a probate attorney to help handle that aspect of the case.

One critical thing to remember is that you should never talk to insurance adjusters for any at-fault drivers (or your loved one's uninsured motorist insurance adjuster).  They will be looking to find information about your relationship, as well as how the accident happened, to try to find evidence to help them pay your less money.  You would be very surprised at the innocent statements that they will use against you.  So your best bet is to talk to a lawyer.  You can contact me for a free consultation to explain all of your options, and the best way to get the most money possible, in any fatal car accident case.

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