Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer
The Francis Law Group
Fatal Car Accidents May Require the Help of an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer
You are never prepared for the loss of a loved one. The sudden, traumatic loss of a loved one in a fatal car accident throws your life into a tailspin and leaves you scrambling to make sense of what’s happening and to figure out how you’re going to make it.
First of all, know that you are not alone. There are numerous valuable resources in Florida that can be useful in the wake of your loved one’s death. You may want to look for community outreach programs, public assistance, counselors and grief support groups in your area. Also, if your loved one died in a fatal car accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, you likely will be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against them to recover your financial and emotional losses. To discuss your legal options after a fatal traffic accident in Orlando, you are welcome to contact Francis Law Group for a free consultation.
Statistical Snapshot of Fatal Traffic Accidents in Florida
Florida fares slightly worse than the national average for fatal traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the national average for traffic fatalities each year is 10.35 per 100,000 people; in Florida, it’s 12.31 per 100,000. Below are a few additional statistics from the NHTSA’s 2013 report for Florida traffic fatalities.
- More than 2,400 people were killed in traffic accidents.
- Of these, 1,437 occurred in urban areas.
- There were 676 fatalities that were attributed to alcohol-related accidents.
- There were 485 motorcycle accident fatalities. Half of the riders killed were wearing helmets.
- More than 250 teenage drivers were killed in traffic accidents.
- More than 500 pedestrians were killed.
- An estimated 133 bicyclists were killed.
Determining Fault for the Accident
After a fatal accident, fault comes into play. If the other party caused the accident, you have more options for recovering damages. Examples of when the other party can be considered at fault for your loved one’s accident include the following.
- Driving while under the influence
- Texting while driving
- Speeding or otherwise not obeying the rules of the road
- The car had a defect
So how do you prove who was at fault for the accident? The police department will provide you with a report and its take on the accident. However, in many cases, you’ll need to be much more thorough to file a claim. You’ll want to take your case to a car accident attorney to review the investigation and make a determination about fault and negligence.
Your lawyer can collect valuable evidence that can help identify fault correctly. The applicable types of evidence depend upon the nature of the accident. For instance, your lawyer may obtain any available traffic cam or surveillance videos of the accident, subpoena cell phone records, talk to eyewitnesses, hire an accident reconstructionist, obtain the other driver’s toxicology reports, or request the truck company records for truck-related accidents.
Legal Options for Recovery in Florida
Florida is a no-fault state, which means you generally can file a claim with your insurer after an accident. However, most drivers carry only the minimum coverage on auto policies, which currently only includes $5,000 in death benefits.
Fortunately, Florida provides that you can sue the at-fault party for damages if your loved one was killed. This is called a wrongful death lawsuit. If you successfully substantiate your suit, you can recover damages such as the following.
- Medical bills your loved one accrued after the accident and prior to death
- Loss of benefits and loss of wages
- Loss of support, love and consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
For help with a wrongful death case, call a fatal traffic accident attorney in Orlando at Francis Law Group for a free consultation: 407-363-9939 or contact us online.