According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 4,761 people were killed in traffic crashes involving large trucks in 2017. With death toll numbers that high, it’s no surprise that truck accidents are often severe and result in significant injury or death. Unfortunately, losing a loved one can be an emotional and heartbreaking experience. If you believe that the actions of a negligent truck driver were responsible for the death of someone you love, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your loss.
At Tonya Stewart Law, I’m dedicated to offering outstanding legal services and compassionate representation to clients involved in wrongful death and auto accident casework involving semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. As an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney, I can help you file a wrongful death claim and attempt to pursue fair financial compensation to cover outstanding medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, burial expenses, and loss of consortium. I will offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and support that you need during this difficult period.
My law firm, Tonya Stewart Law, is proud to serve clients throughout Lakeland, Davenport, Lake Wales, Haines City, Winter Haven, and Florida.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The death of a family member is among the most heartbreaking things to deal with in life, especially when the accident was avoidable. A death that has occurred due to another person’s negligent or reckless actions can be classified as wrongful death. The purpose of the wrongful death claim is to hold the responsible party liable for what should have been a preventable accident that caused another person’s death.
Although no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one or fill the void left behind in their absence, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can provide you and your family with the adequate financial assistance you need to cover certain expenses, such as funeral costs, medical bills, burial expenses, lost wages, and loss of consortium.
Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s family can hold the responsible party liable and seek financial compensation. Also, it may help prevent future negligence and ensure that adequate safety measures are put in place to prevent other families from experiencing a similar loss.
What Constitutes a
Wrongful Death in Florida?
Pursuant to Florida Statutes Chapter 768 Section 19, a wrongful death claim may be filed when the person’s death was caused by, “the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters.“
To establish a wrongful death claim in Florida, the plaintiff must prove these three elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person.
- The defendant breached that duty of care, thus, causing the accident.
- The defendant’s breach of duty of care directly caused the wrongful death.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances that led to the accident, there are a number of different people who can be held liable for an accident. With that in mind, the following people may be held liable in a truck accident:
Often the most likely to be accused of liability, the truck driver may be responsible for an accident for a number of different reasons including breaking the law, driving while fatigued, speeding, or a lack of proper training.
The trucking company that hired the driver may also be held responsible for a truck accident that occurred as a result of a number of different oversights, including inadequate safety inspection, setting unrealistic expectations, or hiring unqualified drivers.
While the truck driver and truck company are often accused of negligence, the truck manufacturer or parts manufacturer can also be held liable if the truck accident was caused by a defective part, such as mechanical failure or faulty brakes.
Many accidents are the result of loose or unsecured cargo that shifts during transportation. In these instances, the person who loaded the cargo may be held liable for failure to properly inspect, balance, and secure the cargo, especially when equipment or boxes fall off the truck and cause an accident.
Additionally, if the accident was caused by a failure to perform routine maintenance or a failure to perform expected safety checks of the engine, brakes, fluids, or electronic systems — the maintenance personnel can be held liable for the accident.
Who Can File a Wrongful
Death Claim in Florida?
Under Florida law, the following people can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent:
- The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
- Family members, including the surviving spouse, children, or parents
- Any blood relative or adoptive sibling
What Are The Time Limits for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
According to Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d), a Florida wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date the death occurred.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Florida Wrongful Death Cases?
The following damages may be recovered in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit:
- Medical costs incurred before the victim’s death
- Loss of support, companionship, guidance, or consortium
- Lost income, benefits, and other earnings
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
The death of a loved one can have devastating, long-lasting consequences on your mental, financial, and emotional health. If you believe that a truck driver’s negligent actions led to the death of someone you love, it is critical that you consult with a knowledgeable Florida wrongful death attorney for proper guidance and help in pursuing fair compensation.
Tonya Stewart Law is committed to offering experienced legal guidance and protecting the rights of wrongful death victims and their surviving family members. As your legal counsel, I will review your case, carry out a thorough investigation, and gather all of the necessary evidence to pursue justice on your behalf. I will work hard to establish that the death of your loved one was caused by the defendant’s negligent and reckless conduct and help you seek rightful compensation for your loss. With me on your side, I’ll do everything I possibly can to improve your chances of getting a favorable outcome in your wrongful death lawsuit.
Hire an Experienced Truck Accidents & Wrongful Death Attorney in Lake Wales, FL
If you have lost a loved one, spouse, parent, or child in an auto or truck accident, you have a right to hold the responsible party liable. Contact Tonya Stewart Law to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. I will offer you the comprehensive legal guidance, support, advocacy, and compassionate representation you need in your wrongful death lawsuit. I proudly serve clients throughout Lakeland, Davenport, Lake Wales, Haines City, and Winter Haven, FL.