Whether they are airplane crashes, accidents on the ground, mid-air turbulence or other events, aviation accidents often cause fatalities. If your loved one died in an aviation accident, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit for your losses. Below, we discuss what you need to know about filing a wrongful death lawsuit after an aviation accident in Florida.
When Florida Allows Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Your situation must satisfy both prongs of Florida’s test before you can file a wrongful death case, per Florida Statute § 768.19. First, the person who died must have had the right to sue for damages if he had survived his injuries. Second, the cause of death must be from a “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.”
Parties That Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After an Aviation Accident in Florida
The Florida Wrongful Death Act specifies who can bring a lawsuit in these situations. The personal representative of the decedent can file the lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate and survivors.
What Happens If an Insurance Company Will Not Settle the Wrongful Death Claim
Sometimes the liability insurance carrier for the responsible party will make a fair settlement offer so that the decedent’s estate and survivors do not have to go through litigation to get the compensation they deserve. Unfortunately, that outcome does not always happen in wrongful death claims. If we cannot settle with the insurer, we can file a lawsuit in the courts.
Be Wary of the Deadline for Filing a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Florida has a short deadline for filing wrongful death lawsuits. If you do not bring the case to court within two years, the estate and the decedent survivors can be barred forever from getting compensation for their losses.
Why Aviation Accident Wrongful Death Cases Are Challenging
These cases are more sophisticated litigation than, for example, a simple rear-end collision case that involved only minor injuries. Wrongful death cases usually involve significant damages, so the insurance carriers are likely to defend these claims aggressively.
Also, many airlines and airplane manufacturers are huge corporations with massive assets and teams of lawyers to protect them. Finally, federal law can come into play in these cases, including federal aviation regulations.
Florida law does not require that you hire a lawyer to handle your wrongful death lawsuit after an aviation accident. Because of the above factors, however, it can be a good idea to get an attorney on board.
Damages for Wrongful Death in Florida
The damages that you can collect in a wrongful death case in Florida will depend on your relationship to the deceased. For example:
- All of the decedent’s survivors can get compensation for the lost support and services of their deceased loved one.
- If you are a surviving spouse, you can also seek compensation for mental pain and suffering and the loss of the companionship and protection of the decedent.
- Surviving minor children can also go after compensation for mental pain and suffering and the loss of instruction, parental companionship, and guidance.
- If the decedent left no surviving spouse, the adult surviving children can seek the same kinds of damages that they could if they were surviving minor children.
- If the person who died was a minor child, the surviving parents can recover damages for mental pain and suffering.
- If the decedent was an adult who left no surviving spouse or children, the decedent’s parents can go after damages for mental pain and suffering.
- The person who paid the final medical bills and funeral expenses can seek reimbursement of those costs.
- The decedent’s estate can seek to recover the loss of the earnings that the decedent likely would have accumulated during the rest of his working life. Florida law will reduce this amount to present value.
How to Get Help with Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit from an Aviation Accident in Florida
If your loved one died in an aviation accident, an airplane accident lawyer at the Montero Law Center can help with filing a wrongful death lawsuit after an aviation accident. Call us at 954-767-6500 to get a free consultation.