Visitor Question

Homeless pedestrian killed…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Florida)

My brother was hit by a car while crossing the street at 11:00 at night in Florida. My brother was homeless and I was not aware of his whereabouts until we were contacted about his death. He was struck by a car and killed instantly. I live in New York and this just happened. I cannot go to Florida as I do not have the means.

They would not even let my Aunt and Uncle who live in Florida view the remains.

The Medical Examiners office ID’d him through a police photo.

I feel because he was homeless they may try to just write this off, by saying he was intoxicated while crossing the street.

I’m not sure what to do. Should I contact a lawyer? Can homeless people be mowed down in the street without repercussions? What can I do about this? Thank you.

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 Anonymous,

Presuming your aunt and uncle were next of kin, it is difficult to understand why they were denied access to your brother after his death. In most circumstances the next of kin are asked to identify the body.

Start by obtaining a copy of the police report. The report should contain the driver’s name, whether the driver was issued a citation, a diagram of the scene, and other relevant information.

Contact the medical examiner’s office in the county in which your brother died. Request a copy of the death certificate. In it should be the cause of death and whether or not your brother was intoxicated by narcotics or alcohol.

Contact several personal injury attorneys within the county in Florida where your brother was killed. You can go online and review the attorneys’ websites. If you are unable to visit with the attorneys, then have your Aunt and Uncle do so.

Most personal injury attorneys will not charge any legal fees for an initial office consultation. Bring along a copy of the death certificate and the police report. Once the attorneys review the circumstances of the incident, they will be able to give you a better idea of the viability of the claim.

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,

Published: September 10, 2017

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