Riding a bike is a great form of exercise and a way for family and friends to get outside in the beautiful Florida weather. However, when an individual gets into a Florida bike accident, the injuries may be fatal – especially if they were hit by a car. When an accident has resulted in death, it is very devastating and traumatic for the deceased’s loved ones. However, loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit to financially recover and hold the responsible party accountable.
An 11-year old boy was recently killed after being hit by a car while riding his bike with a friend. According to a local news report, the accident occurred at the intersection of two roads in Pensacola. The boy was rushed to the hospital, and after fighting for his life for a few days, he tragically passed away. In these tragic, preventable situations, nothing can bring the deceased loved one back; however, the family can often file a wrongful death lawsuit. Below are some of the commonly asked questions about filing a wrongful death lawsuit and what this process entails.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit, and Who Can Bring One?
According to Florida Statutes § 768.18 – which governs wrongful death lawsuits in Florida – a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another individual. Florida created the ability for loved ones to sue the responsible party so the losses can be shifted from the loved ones to the wrongdoer – or as much as possible.
Since the individual is no longer alive to bring the lawsuit, the action can be brought on their behalf by their “personal representative.” The personal representative – who is the plaintiff in the case – is often a spouse, the individual’s parents, or another closed loved one.
What Damages Can be Recovered?
During a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff will ask the jury to award them damages to help them recover the loss of the deceased’s support. The jury is able to evaluate the deceased’s net income and the future losses the family will occur because of the loss. Beyond loss of income, damages can also be awarded for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and the loss of companionship to the victim’s family.
Additionally, if the deceased was married, their spouse can receive damages for the loss of companionship and the mental pain and suffering they have endured since the loss. If the deceased is a minor child – like in the recent Pensacola accident – each parent may ask for damages for their mental pain and suffering from losing their child.
Because wrongful death lawsuits are extremely complicated – and often result in a very emotional and traumatic time – families should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney if they are thinking of bringing a lawsuit.
Do You Have a Potential Wrongful Death Claim?
If you or someone you love has been involved in a bicycle accident that could result in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, contact the experienced attorneys at Friedman, Rodman, Frank & Estrada. With years of experience handling wrongful death and other personal injury cases, we will evaluate your legal issues with ease and ensure the responsible parties are held accountable. To speak to an attorney today, call us at 877-448-8585 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.