Visitor Question

Father hit and killed at crosswalk by 71 year old woman…

Submitted By: Steve (Miami, Florida)

My father was just killed at a crosswalk in the middle of the day in sunny Florida. He was a healthy and active 83 year old. The driver was an insured 71 year old woman. Would our family be seeking significant compensation from the insurance company?

It just seems that Florida doesn’t have the one or two million liability insurance that we have here in Canada. What type of amounts can you sue for in Florida? Or are we to also sue the driver that killed my father personally?

With pain and suffering, as well loss of income and many other claim factors, I’m guessing that any settlement should be over a million. Any information is greatly appreciated. I am not even able to attend my father’s funeral because of my own finances.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Steve,

It would be in your best interest to seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney in the State of Florida. Only an experienced attorney will be capable of pursuing your father’s wrongful death compensation claim.

A Wrongful Death claim occurs when a person dies as a result of another’s negligence. Wrongful death claims seek to help the victim’s surviving loved ones with compensation to cover funeral expenses, out-of-pocket costs, the deceased’s lost wages, and the deceased’s pain and suffering.

A wrongful death claim must be filed by a representative of the surviving family. In most cases, a deceased person’s estate, however small, must be probated. This means an executor must be designated to represent the interests of the surviving family.

In the event your father passed away with a legitimate will (testate),  the will must be filed in probate court. However, once filed, the will does not have to be heard in probate court. Instead, the executor named in the will must take the actions necessary to fulfill your father’s wishes. In the event your father died without a will (intestate), his estate will have to be heard by a judge in one of Florida’s probate courts.

What amount the wrongful death claim may be worth is directly related to the amount of assets the driver has. The executor may choose to seek those assets in excess of the amount of the driver’s car insurance.

The Florida minimum statutory amounts of car insurance are as follows:

  • $10,000.00 for injuries to one (1) person in one (1) car accident
  • $20,000.00 for injuries to two (2) or more persons in one (1) accident
  • $10,000.00 for property damage in one (1) car accident

Your attorney will be able to determine what amounts of insurance coverage the driver was carrying. Whether or not you pursue the driver personally for compensation in excess of her insurance coverage will depend on many factors, which you will have to discuss with your attorney.

Learn more here: Car Accident Fatalities

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck with your claim.

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