If your loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash that resulted in his or her death, you may find yourself on the verge of collapse. The shock, grief and other emotions may cause you to shut down mentally, but it’s crucial to begin working with an attorney immediately. At Powell, Powell & Powell, we offer our condolences for your loss and invite you to contact a Destin motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to assist you in receiving compensation for the loss of your loved one. While no dollar amount can replace a person you loved, there are economic considerations with which we can help.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
When a motorcyclist is killed while riding, Florida has rules with respect to who can file a claim and who can receive compensation. Usually, the representative of the deceased is the person who files the claim. This is a person who is named as the representative of the estate in the motorcyclist’s will or other estate plan.
If the motorcyclist dies intestate (without a will), the court will likely appoint the motorcyclist’s spouse. If there is no spouse, the remaining heirs will vote for a representative or the court will appoint one.
The people who are eligible for compensation from a wrongful death claim depend on the nature of the relationship to the motorcyclist. Some people who may be eligible for compensation include the motorcyclist’s spouse, children, parents and blood relatives or adoptive brothers or sisters who were dependent on the motorcyclist for economic support.
What Kind of Compensation is Available?
The kinds of compensation available to victims of a wrongful death after a motorcycle accident are outlined in the Florida Wrongful Death Act.
Generally, victims may receive compensation for medical expenses related to the accident and all costs related to the physical death, including ambulance and emergency services, hospital bills, pharmaceutical costs, and any surgeries and/or rehabilitative efforts.
Costs associated with the interment of your loved one may also be compensated. This includes burial or cremation and other funeral-related expenses, such as a grave plot, headstone or transportation. It is worth noting that the court must find the expenses reasonable. An overly expensive funeral — even in the event of some cultural customs — may not be covered.
Lost wages and earnings due to dependents are also typically covered. In order to calculate such amounts, we may bring in expert witnesses, economists or accountants to help us with your case. These professionals are able to speak credibly to the court about the value of your loved one’s economic contributions to your household or lifestyle.
Family members should also note that amounts can vary considerably with respect to any non-economic damages to which they may be entitled. These are for things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium or companionship, loss of parental guidance for minor children and losses that are not so easily quantifiable. In cases of egregious negligence by another person, the court may also assign punitive damages.
Please feel free to reach out to our attorneys for help with your wrongful death claim. By working closely together as soon as possible, we can help you receive all compensation to which you may be entitled.