There is rarely a great outcome to any accident, but those that result in death can be the most devastating. While the deceased suffer most, it is often those around them that are left to pick up the pieces. Other accident victims, family members, and others close to the individual that suffered a wrongful death in Fort Myers are the ones that need to pull things together after the fact.
Unfortunately, deaths in car accidents are not as rare as anyone might hope. A Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report noted that 2014 saw 344,170 traffic accidents in Florida. Of those, 2,494 resulted in the loss of life.
There are not many people in Fort Myers, FL., that get into their car with the intention of causing an accident, much less an accidental death. However, wrongful death cases do happen, and someone is often clearly at fault. While it is a difficult time for the family and other accident victims, seeking legal representation from lawyers in Fort Myers becomes a massive priority.
At The Law Place, we specialize in numerous practice areas, from personal injury law to wrongful death cases. If you have been involved in a car accident, we will do all we can to help you through the pain and suffering that follows and defend you in cases where you’re accused of causing the accident. Our Fort Myers, Florida phone lines are open around the clock, so call us at (941) 444-4444 to speak to an accident lawyer and get your wrongful death claim in the State of Florida underway.
Wrongful Death and Negligence in Fort Myers, FL.
While accidents do happen – hundreds of them every day, according to the above statistic – something usually has to go particularly wrong for accidents involving a motor vehicle to result in wrongful death. Unfortunately, in most such cases across Florida, it involves negligence on the part of one or more drivers.
This is defined as not paying the appropriate duty of care to other road users. It could involve direct actions, such as speeding or ignoring a stop sign. However, it can also be completely accidental on the part of the negligent driver. Not doing something they should be can result in the same issues as actively driving a motor vehicle maliciously.
Under Florida law, when either kind of action results in wrongful death, it is possible to pursue the individual that caused the accident. If you have been accused of this, it is highly recommended to enlist the services of a Fort Myers personal injury law firm. Following an initial free consultation, they will then proceed to work on the finer details of the case, working with insurance companies, property owners, and other accident attorneys to establish the facts and understand who was at fault.
Once you create an attorney-client relationship, you have a specialist on hand to work on who and what caused the death of someone’s family member, along with any personal injury resulting from the same incident.
Demonstrating a duty of care to other road users is a legal requirement in Fort Myers, Florida. However, proving negligence is not always straightforward, even for the most experienced injury lawyers. Numerous factors play into each case, including:
- Damages and personal injury caused in the accident – In cases of wrongful death and personal injury, the level of damages must meet certain criteria.
- The circumstances surrounding the accident – Your law firm personal injury lawyer will seek to establish how the actions of the accused caused the accident and outcome.
- Whether the duty of care was met – As noted, not acting with a duty of care is already against the law in Fort Myers, and this should be established as early as possible.
For a successful prosecution, it is up to the law firm and their personal injury lawyers to prove these factors beyond a reasonable doubt following a car accident that results in wrongful death. Conversely, for the defendant, the law firm acts to support the idea that the wrongful death was due to complete unforeseeable circumstances.
Penalties for Accidents Involving Wrongful Death in Fort Myers, FL.
All incidents of this nature in the State of Florida are handled on a case-by-case basis. This is why experienced personal injury attorneys are so important, as a law firm representative will be able to understand the nuances behind each case.
If and when a legal case reaches a judge, they will take into account all the circumstances noted above when making any decisions.
If someone is found to be liable in wrongful death cases, they could potentially be found guilty of first, second, or third-degree felonies. Each can be accompanied by prison sentences of varying lengths, together with fines of between $5,000 and $10,000.
In the case of a third-degree felony, the prison sentence can extend to up to five years. Anyone found guilty of a second-degree wrongful death felony in Fort Myers faces up to 15 years in prison. Finally, in the most serious cases, a first-degree felony involving pain and suffering, personal injury, and the death of another driver or passenger can see defendants imprisoned for up to thirty years.
For the party that caused the death, it is important to remember the importance of Florida Statute 775.084. This dictates that the system in the state utilizes a recidivist sentencing scheme. Put simply, anyone that has previous convictions, even if wholly unrelated to the current case, may face stiffer penalties.
Regardless of whether this is a first offense or not, it is imperative to appoint a law firm immediately following anything that involves an accusation of wrongful death. Florida wrongful death cases can result in life-changing consequences, so it makes sense to do as much as possible to fight any case that may arise.
How a Fort Myers, FL., Law Firm Can Help
A successful defense depends on numerous factors, but that is what makes a strong attorney-client relationship so important. By being open and honest with the personal injury attorneys and criminal defense lawyers from the free consultation onwards, they can investigate the entire case and determine the best course of action for their client.
Your lawyer will discuss the case at length with you at every stage. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death, the goal may be to reduce the punishments rather than drop them completely. It all depends on how robust a defense the lawyer can put together based on the circumstances surrounding the events.
There are several areas in which personal injury attorneys and defense lawyers in Fort Myers, Florida, can focus to build a case for their clients:
- Wrongful accusations – In some cases, it eventually becomes clear that whoever has been accused of causing wrongful death in car and truck accidents could not have done so. If there is reasonable doubt surrounding their culpability, this becomes one of the best ways to have a case thrown out.
- Mental capacity – Florida law requires court cases to take into account the accused’s state of mind at the time of the crime. While an altered mental state through illicit substances will not aid a defense, any behavioral issues caused through no fault of the defendant should go on record.
- Lack of proof surrounding the cause – Even when it’s possible to prove that you were involved in an accident, there may be no way to prove that it was due to your actions. The personal injury and wrongful death lawyers working on behalf of the deceased’s family member need to demonstrate that your actions and the results directly led to the death.
- Comparative negligence – Not all criminal cases are as clear-cut as being solely the fault of a single individual. Even if you were involved in the incident that led to their death, they might have also contributed to the outcome. For example, if they were speeding, driving under the influence, or otherwise ignoring their own legal duty of care, they might be found to be partially or entirely at fault for their death.
Florida wrongful death cases are often complex. The other party will likely have contacted personal injury attorneys from a reputable law firm as soon as possible following the accident. They will undoubtedly seek justice for their lost loved one, plus they may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that often accompany personal injury and wrongful death.
It is, therefore, important to seek out your own Fort Myers, FL., law firm as soon as possible, with the initial free consultation serving as the perfect opportunity to share your side of the story. The sooner you reach out to legal representation, the more likely you are to be able to provide an accurate representation of the events that took place. Honest testimonies are undoubtedly the most effective, and real facts about the case will lead to the best results.
Speaking With a Fort Myers, FL., Defense Lawyer
As a driver in Florida, wrongful death is one of the worst accusations you could expect. As noted already, nobody goes out of their way to cause an accident resulting in personal injury, let alone wrongful death.
It is a stressful and traumatic time for the family of the deceased. Still, it is also difficult for any Fort Myers resident to reconcile what they have done, especially if it was entirely accidental. Therefore, wherever possible, it is best to have the situation clear in your head so that anything, even the smallest detail, can be shared with the Fort Myers attorney working on your case. While a muddled head can affect memories of the event and what happened at the time, it is always best to try to provide anything and everything surrounding the incident, even if it seems irrelevant.
When you consult a law firm, you’ll find that in addition to providing legal representation in your defense, they can draw on numerous practice areas as they understand how personal injury law applies in Fort Myers, Florida.
That means that they can work on your defense with a strong operating knowledge of what to expect from the other side. Whether this means seeking to reduce charges or having them dropped altogether, it can bring a degree of clarity to an otherwise challenging time. Other parties will be concerned with various different outcomes from the case and will do all they can to achieve a favorable outcome. The broad knowledge of your Fort Myers lawyer will ensure that you have a thorough overview of what to expect both in your own defense and in terms of the other party’s demands.
Call The Law Place in Fort Myers for a Free Consultation
We completely understand that it can be difficult to arrange your thoughts and go about your day following a serious car accident. We operate throughout Florida and take on cases in Fort Myers and beyond regularly. Representatives of The Law Place can completely empathize with the difficulties you face. That’s why we are here to help.
Our Fort Myers offices are open around the clock, so whether you need to speak to us from the scene or prefer to collect your thoughts, we’re ready with your free consultation on an upcoming wrongful death case when you are.
If you have been involved in an accident resulting in wrongful death on Fort Myers roads and want to put an attorney to work on your behalf immediately, call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444.