According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are nearly 4,000 fatal truck accidents each year. Most of these deaths involve the driver or passengers of the smaller motor vehicle involved in the accident. Many of those killed will leave behind grieving spouses, children, and other family members. Losing your loved one in a truck accident is devastating and life changing. You may find yourself emotionally and financially vulnerable following your tremendous loss. There are steps that surviving spouses can take following the loss of their husband or wife to obtain compensation from the at-fault truck driver or trucking company.
Florida Wrongful Death Claims
The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows the survivors of a deceased individual killed due to negligence, recklessness, or deliberate actions to seek compensation for their lost support and services from the at-fault party. Survivors able to bring the action include spouses, children, and parents. In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit will identify all potential beneficiaries to the action, including the estate. Each qualifying party can recover the value of their lost support and services from the date of the accident and including future loss of support.
Damages for the Surviving Spouse in Florida
A surviving spouse can seek compensation for their lost support and services as well as loss of companionship, protection, and mental pain and suffering. Loss of support and services will be calculated by looking to the date of the accident, the date of death, and the future value of such losses. The court will evaluate the decedent’s probable net income and replacement value of services, which could include child care, home making, and the like. In calculating the duration of the loss, the court will consider the likely life expectancy of the decedent if not for the accident, as well as the life expectancy of the spouse.
Surviving spouses can recover for loss of companionship and protection. These intangible figures can be hard to calculate and can be substantiated with the testimony of the surviving spouse and other witness accounts. Mental pain and suffering is also recoverable starting from the date the injuries were inflicted. Mental pain and suffering is another intangible, and the testimony of doctors or psychologists, counselors, and the like can prove helpful in reaching this figure.
In calculating these figures, the remarriage of the spouse is admissible. Accordingly, if the surviving spouse remarried shortly after the accident, their recovery as to future support and services may be diminished. Children will also be eligible to receive compensation for lost parental companionship, guidance, instruction, and mental pain and suffering. The surviving spouse’s recovery will not be reduced by the child’s claim. The sooner a surviving spouse acts after the truck accident to secure the representation of an attorney, the stronger their case is likely to be.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Over 130 Years of Collective Experience
The loss of a spouse in a truck accident is tragic and deserves justice. If your spouse or other relative has been killed in a truck accident, contact the Miami Truck Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano We have of 130 collective years of experience representing truck accident victims in South Florida. Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.