In a tragic accident earlier this week, a Florida woman hit seven people after attending a wedding at church, killing three. According to a story by the Tampa Bay Times, the elderly woman was attending a wedding that ended shortly after 11 a.m. After the wedding, she attempted to back her SUV out of a handicapped parking space and somehow lost control of the vehicle. As the vehicle continued traveling backwards, the SUV hit a total of seven people before jumping a curb, running over several small trees, and then ending up in a canal.
In the end, seven people were hit by the SUV and three died as a result of the injuries they sustained in the accident, one at the scene and two later in the day at the hospital. Four others were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, but are expected to recover.
The cause of the accident is unknown, but the driver told reporters afterwards that it was an “accident.” Police do not believe that alcohol was involved in the fatal accident.
Serious Accidents May Be the Result of Negligence
In the case above, it seems pretty clear that the woman was not intending to harm anyone. However, her negligent operation of her vehicle ended in the deaths of three people. The fact that she did not mean to harm anyone does not make the losses that the families of the victims’ experienced any less real or painful.
In cases where a driver causes the death of another, the accident victim’s family may be able to recover monetary compensation for their loss. Such a suit is called a wrongful death action in Florida.
Florida Wrongful Death Actions
In Florida, only certain people have legal standing to bring a wrongful death action. More specifically, spouses, children, and parents all qualify as eligible plaintiffs in wrongful death actions. In addition, blood relatives and adoptive siblings may be able to bring a wrongful death suit if they relied on the deceased for support or services.
Once a party is determined to have standing to bring the wrongful death action, that party must then establish that the defendant’s wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract caused the victim’s death.
Wrongful death suits are treated as though the deceased victim is suing the defendant. Therefore, the defendant can raise any defense that they could raise against the deceased (such as comparative fault, etc.).
What To Do If You Think You May Have a Wrongful Death Action
If you recently lost a loved one and are considering bringing a wrongful death action, you should consult with an experienced Ocala injury attorney as soon as possible. The Dean Law Firm has the experience that matters and knows what it takes to bring a successful wrongful death action on behalf of their clients. Contact the firm online, or call 352-387-8700 today.
More Blog Posts:
The Role Social Media Can Play in a Florida Personal Injury Case, Ocala Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published January 27, 2014.
Truck Swerves Off the Road, Killing Two Pedestrians in Central Florida, Ocala Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published January 30, 2014.