Unfortunately, fatal car accidents occur too often in the state of Florida. In 2016, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reported that 3,176 people perished in 2,935 fatal traffic accidents in Florida. Therefore, based on these harrowing car crash statistics, it appears that approximately 8.7 people died every day in Florida accidents in 2016. As years have progressed, these car crash statistics have only increased.
It is undeniable that traffic accidents, in any form, are some of the most stressful experiences a person can find themselves in. Even with good intentions and a duty of care, there are many external reasons out of your control that can lead to an accident. On the other hand, there are many instances where a car accident could have been avoided, meaning traffic fatalities could have been prevented.
If a loved one or someone you know has been involved in a car accident that resulted in the death of another person, or been involved in a traffic accident in general, let us advocate on your behalf. Here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of experience in handling cases that involve car accidents with great success.
If you have any questions or concerns surrounding the legal process of the accident, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our lawyers today. They will be able to offer you a free consultation where they will guide and advise you on the next steps moving forward. Our telephone lines are open 24/7, meaning that there is never a bad time to get in touch. Remember, we are here to help you during this incredibly difficult time.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation.
What Are the Causes of Motor Vehicle Deaths?
The information below aims to help you have a full understanding of why road traffic deaths occur and what are some of the most leading causes of this fatal accident.
Taking attention away from the road is the leading cause behind most traffic accidents in the U.S. This refers to when a driver diverts focus from the road, taking their hands from the wheel and their eyes off the road. Distractions can contribute in many different forms, such as being on your cell phone, changing radio stations, looking at something in the backseat, or simply daydreaming. However innocent some of them might seem, all of these distractions reduce a driver’s reaction times, contributing further to why fatal accidents happen.
Driving over the speed limit is one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents. Speed limit signs are designed to keep motor vehicles moving at a safe speed, which will be indicated on the sign. Unfortunately, how many car accidents happen is when drivers don’t adhere to speed limit signs because they are ignoring them. This means a vehicle crash is so much more likely, as they are putting themselves and others around them in danger.
It is a known fact that when you drink, you are instantly reducing your ability to drive with care and attention. This is a form of reckless driving that can make road fatalities occur that much more often. Driving under the influence of alcohol causes car accidents and car deaths every day. This is a frustrating fact as it is one of the top causes that can be easily avoided. Alcohol-impaired driving means that road crashes will continue to happen due to this fatal human error. You should never drink and drive. If you are going out drinking, plan your journey home ahead of time.
Weather conditions contribute massively to car accident deaths from the blaring sun, storms, or black ice. It is important that you are prepared for any of these. If you live in an area where weather conditions are hazardous, you should only go out when it is urgent. Listed below are some of the weather conditions that can contribute to a car accident:
- Rain – Most car accidents happen when it is raining. This is because the water from the rainfall causes the roads to be slippery. When roads are wet, it means that stopping distances double. It is important to be cautious when driving in a heavy downpour of rain, as it makes visibility of the road more difficult. To avoid this, it is important to only drive in these conditions when it is urgent. If not, it would be worth it to pull over somewhere safe and wait for the rain to stop or slow down.
- Ice – Road accident fatalities can also occur when ice is on the ground, particularly black ice. If there is ice on the road, a motor vehicle can spin out of control. Icy weather also means that stopping distances become ten times greater in order to avoid collisions.
- Fog – Visibility on the road when driving is crucial for safety. Fog makes it difficult to see what’s in front of you, which can lead to auto accidents. However, the good news is that fog isn’t that common of a weather condition.
- Bright glaring sunshine – Florida is known for its sunshine. Sometimes this sunshine will be bright enough that it will be blaring. Bright glaring sunlight means that when behind the wheel, your visibility of the road will be reduced and often blind the driver. If you have to drive in this weather, wear protective sunglasses in order to prevent the risk of a car accident.
According to research carried out by the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The main reason for this is that teenage drivers are inexperienced. They aren’t as confident on the roads as experienced drivers, and this lack of experience means fatal crashes are more likely to happen. The CDC also reported that in a lot of cases, teenagers die in car accidents as they do not wear seat belts. It is a sad reality that the State of Florida has a reputation for having the highest rates of teenage car accidents and traffic fatalities.
Night Time Driving
Although a large amount of car accidents occur during the day, driving at night doubles the risk of a car accident. This is because your vision is compromised in the dark, which in turn affects your ability to see what is in front of you. When it is night, it is crucial to stay vigilant on the road. Equally, driver fatigue can contribute to a fatal car accident, as the driver cannot focus on the road properly due to drowsiness.
Unsafe Lane Changes and Improper Turns
Changes in your driving, such as switching lanes, need to be done safely in order to avoid a fatal accident. Simply ignoring the clear traffic regulations or switching lanes without signaling can cause an accident. Drifting from lane to lane can also cause dangerous situations. In order to prevent this, you must always look over to the left or right to make sure your blind spot is always covered. On a large highway, it is important that you only change one lane at a time and make sure to maintain the same speed when doing so. Stoplights, lanes, and turn signals are all in place to ensure safety. When drivers ignore these rules, accidents can happen.
This refers to when a flat tire is badly damaged, loses air pressure, and can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. For this reason, it is one of the most common causes of car accident deaths in the U.S. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to try and maintain control of the vehicle and pull over safely. To avoid a tire blowout from happening, make sure to regularly check your tires before making a large journey. Make sure to renew the pressure of your tires as often as possible.
What Is Wrongful Death in a Car Accident?
As found in Florida Statute .768.21, the definition of wrongful death is “the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract.” Wrongful death is when someone dies because of another party. Examples include:
- Negligence (includes car accidents).
- A defective product.
- Medical malpractice.
- An intentional act (including crimes).
As stated above, car accidents and fatalities occur because of another driver’s negligence. As a driver, you have a duty of care to those around you to keep them safe. If someone acts in a negligent way, it means you are breaking the rules of the road and have failed to act in a way a reasonable person would have. Therefore, these actions have led to the death of another person. If this is the case, the other party can be held liable for the wrongful death of the injured party.
To put it into an example: if another driver broke the speed limit and went through a red light, which later led to an accident that killed your loved one, you have grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim against them.
Equally, wrongful death in a car accident can occur because of defective products within the car. If the car your loved one was driving was in any way unsafe, a wrongful death claim could be made against the car manufacturer or the car mechanic.
Likewise, if road conditions were the reason a fatal car accident happened, a wrongful death claim can be made against those responsible for road maintenance.
At The Law Place, we offer a free case evaluation to those who contact us in order to determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Florida?
In accordance with Florida Statute 768. 20, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative can claim damages on behalf of surviving family members, including a spouse, children, parents, or other dependents of the deceased.
A personal representative is the executor of the estate, and this will be outlined in the victim’s will. If it is the case where the victim did not have a will or didn’t select an executor of their estate, the court will appoint someone to do so.
What Are the Possible Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
In a successful wrongful death claim, the party in question will have to pay damages to compensate the family for both emotional suffering and financial losses as a result of the accident.
As found in Florida Statute 768.21, damages tend to be one of two categories: those awarded to the deceased person’s estate and those awarded to the family.
Damages That Are Awarded to the Estate
These damages are in place to cover the economic losses of the deceased, for example:
- The wages lost from the date of the deceased person’s injury up until their tragic death.
- The value of wages that the deceased could have been expected to earn and leave as part of their estate if they had lived.
- Any costs that were paid directly by the estate, such as medical bills or funeral costs.
Damages That Are Awarded to the Family
The family can be awarded both economic and non-economic damages. For example;
- Medical and funeral expenses paid by a surviving family member.
- The economic loss of surviving family members who relied on financial support from the person who has died.
- Pain and suffering These are designed to provide compensation for the emotional suffering felt by the family. Examples of this include loss of companionship or parental guidance, which are designed to compensate for emotional suffering.
Contact The Law Place Today
If someone you love has died as a result of a car accident, contact The Law Place for a free consultation today. Our law firm operates on a contingency basis, meaning that you will not have to pay us a cent if we are unsuccessful in winning your case. We understand how difficult of a time this is, and we do not want to trick you with any hidden costs. This means that you can have confidence in the fact that, as a reputable law firm, we strive only to achieve the best outcome for you in your case.
Once you contact us, one of our experienced attorneys will begin the legal process with you. They will guide you and discuss with you in greater detail the legal structures. We place great importance on our attorney-client relationship from the beginning, as we understand how sensitive of a time this is. We will work tirelessly to achieve the most positive outcome for you.
Our telephone lines are open 24/7, meaning that there is never a bad time to get in touch with us. Call us today using our toll-free number on (941) 444-4444 and to begin this legal process.