What should I know about a wrongful death action after a truck accident in Tampa Florida?

Truck Accident Lawyers Tampa Florida
If someone you love has died as a result of a truck accident, you should call an attorney as soon as possible to see what necessary actions are required to compensate the family for losses.

 

If a person dies due to a wrongful act by a truck driver in the State of Florida caused by negligence, breach of contract or default, the deceased person’s estate through a personal representative or surviving family members may file a civil suit for legal remedy for the death and losses related to it.

Time to file.

A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death in most cases, according to Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d). The deadline may be postponed in certain circumstances Wrongful death civil claims can only yield monetary damages for the deceased’s estate. If criminal activity caused the wrongful death, punitive damages may be considered with no monetary value assigned for survivors or estate.

Damages.

Florida Statutes section 768.21 sets out the state’s rules for awarding damages in a wrongful death lawsuit based on: the value of support and services the deceased person provided to the surviving family; loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person; mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a family member, and medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person.

The deceased person’s estate may also recover: lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make in their lifetime; lost earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the deceased person had lived; and medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly.

Reasons for truck accidents.

Legal claims may be made against the trucking company employing the driver, and/or the driver, depending on the circumstances of the accident and whether or not it was driver error or mechanical error. The ten most common reasons for truck accidents include:

  • Issues with brakes
  • Heavy or congested traffic
  • Roadway construction interrupting traffic flow
  • Reckless driving through speeding
  • Prescription drug use
  • Unfamiliar roadways
  • Traffic lights and crosswalks
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Fatigue

Insurance.

Florida Statute 627.7415 requires that motor vehicles have current auto insurance coverage with a minimum requirement of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL).  Certain trucks and commercial vehicles in the State of Florida must carry bodily injury liability protection against claims for personal injuries for victims of a truck accident. The extra insurance is necessary when a truck is of a certain gross weight; has three or more axels, owned or driven by a governmental entity, is used for interstate versus intrastate travel and carries a load that may be considered hazardous.

Fault.

When a truck driver is found to be at fault for the accident, a separate legal claim can be lodged for more serious personal injuries and losses.  Critical reasons truck drivers have been proven at fault include: driver incapacitated due to heart attack, seizure, falling asleep or another physical impairment; driver distraction; reckless driver; and poor driver performance.

Contact an attorney.

Contact an experienced Florida attorney at Larson Johnson Trial Attorneys to help you determine the exact statute of limitations expiration date, the value of a wrongful death and the assignment of fault after a truck accident.

Larson Johnson, P.L.

Tampa Office
2011 West Cleveland Street
Tampa, Florida 33606
Phone: 813-228-6688
Fax: 813-228-6699

Sources:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/627.7415

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.21.html

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