According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are implicated in almost a third of all deaths. Even if a TBI is not immediately fatal, it can certainly be life-altering. Yet, in many cases, such injuries may not present themselves right away and go undetected for a matter of days or in some cases, weeks. Until a brain injury heals, a secondary trauma to the head can be fatal.
A 40-year-old Fort Myers man has died after being ejected from a boat that hit a sand bar. After his ejection, the boat then hit and killed the man. The boat was a 19-foot vessel with three other people aboard. None of the other passengers were injured, and the accident is still under investigation. It has not yet been determined whether alcohol was involved.
On December 8, 2017, a passenger in a van in Plant City fell out of the moving vehicle into a roadway where he or he was struck by oncoming traffic and died. At the time of publication of this news, there were very few details available regarding how, or why, this happened. Regardless, it brings to light the emotional topic of wrongful death.
When a husband or wife becomes deceased in an event that results in a wrongful death claim, the surviving spouse may be entitled to compensation in what is referred to as loss of companionship.
Individuals who lose loved ones through accidents and intentional acts of violence often have survivor rights to pursue civil wrongful death claims. In Florida, wrongful death claims must be initiated by the personal representatives of the decedents and on behalf of close relatives of the decedents who relied upon them for love and support.
A devastating scene recently unfolded on Selmon Expressway in South Tampa. Drivers witnessed a multi-vehicle collision that left one of the involved cars engulfed in flames. Despite efforts by good Samaritans who stopped their own vehicles to help the victims, three individuals perished in the fiery wreck.
Like other damages claimed in a personal injury or wrongful death case, loss of companionship damages are paid to the party or parties that successfully prove them at trial. In Florida the immediate family members of a wrongful death accident victim may allege that the loss of their loved one deprived them of love, closeness and other positive factors and that the responsible party should be held liable for those intangible losses. The remainder of this post will discuss some of the ways a plaintiff may show that they should be awarded loss of companionship damages.
Public transportation provides a useful and necessary service for countless people throughout the state of Florida. While some use buses, trains and other transportation services to get to work and school, others use public transit as an alternative to driving when taking a night out for fun. While public transportation can be convenient and efficient, it does require riders to exercise some patience as they wait for coming rides.
After a fatal accident or incident, it can be a challenge for a Florida family to say goodbye to their deceased loved one and begin to move forward with their lives. They may not wish to linger on the facts and issues surrounding the death, so that they may find the time to heal from their suffering. However, as individuals work toward finding peace after the death of a loved one at the hands of a negligent party, the time during which they may pursue a wrongful death claim begins to toll.
In a word, yes. The Florida legislature has enacted a wrongful death statute that is codified in the state's laws. The intent of the statute is to take the financial burden of managing a fatal accident victim's final needs off their family, and place it on the party or parties that caused the victim to die. This post is a general overview of this important personal injury law but it is not legal advice.