If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone. Tragically, hundreds of riders die in accidents on Florida’s roads every year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the state and more than 10 percent of all motorcycle accident deaths nationwide.
Under Florida’s wrongful death law, if another driver caused your loved one’s fatal crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation. While no amount of money can truly replace what you have lost, enforcing your rights will ease your financial burden, and it will ensure that the negligent driver is held accountable for his or her tragic mistake. If you believe that someone else may be responsible for your loved one’s death (or if you aren’t sure and would like to find out), here are three steps that you should take right away:
Three Steps for Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida
1. Learn More Your Claim
Although commonly lumped together, in Florida there are actually two different types of claims that family members can assert in the wake of a loved one’s death: A “wrongful death” claim and a “survival action.” In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members seek compensation for their own direct losses resulting from their loved one’s untimely passing. These typically include loss of financial support, loss of household services, loss of companionship, funeral expenses, and family members’ pain and suffering.
In a survival action, the rider’s loved ones seek to recover compensation on the rider’s behalf. This includes any compensation the rider could have recovered had he or she survived the collision – typically medical bills, loss of income, and the rider’s pain and suffering prior to death. Whether you should file a wrongful death claim, a survival action, or both will depend on the unique circumstances of your particular case.
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2. Collect Records and Receipts
Regardless of the type of claim you ultimately pursue, you will need evidence demonstrating the extent of your or your loved one’s losses. You will also need to be able to calculate the potential value of each type of claim in order to make an informed decision your course of legal action. As a result, you should try to collect as much evidence as possible. This includes medical records, invoices and receipts for funeral expenses, your loved one’s recent paystubs and tax returns, and any other records or receipts relating to your loved one’s motorcycle accident.
3. Speak with an Experienced Attorney
In addition to collecting evidence of your losses, you will also need evidence of the cause of the accident. This means hiring an experienced attorney to conduct a thorough investigation. If the investigation reveals that someone else was at fault for your loved one’s death, your attorney will then be able to represent you in fighting to recover the compensation that you deserve.
Call Me, Brian D. Guralnick, Personally to Discuss Your Case
At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, we provide compassionate representation and VIP treatment for family members who have lost loved ones in motorcycle accidents in Palm Beach County. We understand what you are going through, and we are here to help. If you would like to get answers to your questions in a 100 percent free and confidential consultation, call us at 561.202.MORE(6673).
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney.