Truck accidents claim the lives of about 4,000 people each year, and Florida is home to many of these truck accident fatalities. Commercial trucks often weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. When these vehicles collide with a car, the results can be catastrophic. When the driver or passenger in an automobile is killed due to the negligent actions of the truck driver or his or her employer, the death will generally be considered a “wrongful death.” Though the loss of a loved one is difficult no matter the circumstances, wrongful deaths make the loss all the more hard.
The family members of those killed due to truck driver or trucking company negligence can seek compensation for their loss through a wrongful death action. Our Miami truck accident lawyers take a look at wrongful death actions stemming from fatal truck crashes in Florida:
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, only the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate can bring a lawsuit. The personal representative will seek to recover compensation to go to the survivors of the victim and the estate. Eligible survivors may include spouses, minor or adult children, parents, and siblings of the victim.
Your Recovery in a Florida Wrongful Death Suit
Damages recoverable under the Florida Wrongful Death Act can be divided into two categories: 1) damages recoverable by the estate, and 2) those recoverable by the survivors of the victim.
The estate is permitted to obtain recovery for:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical expenses of the victim prior to death
- Loss of the victim’s income
- Loss of net accumulations
Survivors of the victim may be able to recover for:
- Loss of parental guidance, instruction, and companionship (for the surviving spouse and minor children or sometimes adult children)
- Loss of the victim’s household and financial support and services
- Emotional and mental pain and suffering
- Any medical or funeral expenses paid by the survivor
- Loss of the victim’s protection and companionship
Florida law defines net accumulations as the victim’s expected salary or other income, including any pension benefits, that he or she would likely have saved or left as part of the estate had he or she lived to a normal life expectancy.
In the most serious and egregious of fatal truck crashes, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and deter others from behaving in a like manner. They are awarded only in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
The family members of those killed in a truck accident should act fast following the accident as they have a limited window within which to bring their action and secure their legal rights.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Seeking Justice for those Killed Due to Negligent Truck Drivers or Trucking Companies
Losing a loved one due to the wrongful conduct of a truck driver or trucking company is unjust and heartbreaking. The family members left behind will often find themselves distraught and financially vulnerable. If your loved one has been killed in a truck accident, the Miami Truck Accident Attorneys at the law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano will fight for justice for your lost family member. Our attorneys have over 130 years of collective experience and will put our skill and resources to work for you. Our dedication to legal excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and acknowledgement as one of South Florida’s top-rated firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can begin fighting for your recovery.