The executor of the dead person’s estate is the one who needs to actually bring the case, but they can collect damages on the family’s behalf that will be distributed after the lawsuit.
Drunk driving is responsible for many fatalities on the roads in Florida and other states each year. It is possible that the person who caused the accident will be charged with various crimes for their actions, and they may also be sued to compensate the family. Regardless of what happens with criminal charges, the family of the victim can bring a civil case through Florida’s wrongful death law.
Criminal charges and civil cases
The suspect will face some kind of charges from the state related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, along with the possibility of a DUI manslaughter charge. In Florida, DUI manslaughter is a serious felony that can result in several years in prison.
Even if the suspect is never convicted, they may still be sued in civil court. It is possible that the defendant may be liable for paying the family through the civil courts, but found not guilty in criminal court because the burden of proof in criminal court is higher. Families of victims should keep in mind that the criminal case is mostly handled by the government and many aspects of this process are out of their control.
Florida’s wrongful death law
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case that can be brought against a person who was negligent or committed an intentional act that resulted in the death of another. This allows the family to sue the drunk driver and receive compensation for things like funeral and burial expenses, the person’s future lost wages and income, emotional pain and suffering, and other losses associated with the family’s financial problems caused by the defendant’s actions. The executor of the dead person’s estate is the one who needs to actually bring the case, but they can collect damages on the family’s behalf that will be distributed after the lawsuit.
The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death case in Florida is two years. This means that legal advice should be obtained shortly after the incident. There are also special rules that apply to wrongful death cases which make them slightly different from standard negligence cases. Any attorney who is assisting a family with this process should have extensive experience in fatal accident lawsuits.
Accident lawyers in Florida
The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg helps local clients in Pompano Beach with their accident cases through advice and representation. Anyone who wants more information about a possible lawsuit can schedule a consultation with an attorney at the firm.