Tragic Multi-Vehicle Wreck in Seminole County Results in Loss of Life
One mistake, one misstep and lives can be altered forever. That is the unfortunate lesson from a tragic car accident that occurred at the intersection of State Road 436 and State Road 434 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Reports indicate that a vehicle operated by an elderly woman wound up rear-ending another vehicle causing a chain reaction multi-vehicle wreck. The result? The heartbreaking death of an infant and the child’s father, according to wftv.com. Five vehicles, including a tractor trailer, were involved in this awful incident.
Reports indicate that the elderly woman thought she was pressing the brake, but wound up pressing the gas pedal plowing into a car sending it over 100 feet into other cars at the intersection.
The infant’s mother and someone from another vehicle had to be transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.
The Legal Rights Available to the Victim’s Family
Our hearts go out to the family of the infant and the father who lost their life in this collision. In these circumstances, where the evidence indicates that lives were lost due to the negligence of another party, a wrongful death claim may be filed.
In Florida, a wrongful death claim may be pursued under the Florida Wrongful Death Act (code section 768.041). In the collision described above, there are likely two wrongful death claims that could be filed – one on behalf of the father and one on behalf of the infant. The surviving mother likely has the authority to pursue those claims.
The parent of a deceased minor child may recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Funeral expenses;
- Pain and suffering (e.g., mental trauma and anguish); and
- The value of lost support and services.
Understanding Support and Services
According to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, “support” is defined as including “contributions in kind as well as money” whereas “services” are defined as “tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. These services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and survivor and shall be determined under the facts of each case.” In the case of a child’s death, the valuation on this aspect of damages is typically low. That is because the child, especially an infant, is not physically or mentally able to provide support and services. Typically, for a wrongful death claim involving a young child, the primary basis for awarding damages is the pain and suffering associated with losing a child at such an early stage of their life.
The support and services valuation would be more prominent in the wrongful death claim of a spouse, like a husband. In this scenario, the loss of the spouse’s income, household support, emotional support, etc. should be taken into consideration.
Speak to an Experienced Florida Wrongful Death Law Firm
If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by the carelessness or recklessness of another party, contact an experienced, aggressive Florida wrongful death law firm. The professionals at the Pendas Law Firm are here to help. We want to take some of the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on rebuilding your life. Contact us today to set up a confidential, totally free consultation with one of our lawyers.