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3 FAQs About Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Claims

October 15, 2019

by Donaldson & Weston

personal injury lawyer

If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, it’s only natural to want justice. At the very least, your family shouldn’t have to face an uncertain financial future due to another person’s negligence. Fortunately, you may be able to recover compensation for funeral costs, lost financial contributions, and other damages by bringing a wrongful death claim.

While no amount of money will undo the trauma your family has experienced, it may protect your financial security. Winning a fair settlement, however, often involves an uphill legal battle—especially in wrongful death cases that involve substantial damages.

Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about motorcycle accident wrongful death claims:

1. Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

In some states, the relatives of a deceased person have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but in Florida, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring the action. The personal representative may have been appointed by the deceased before passing, or it may be necessary for the court to appoint someone.

Any compensation that results from these proceedings would be distributed among eligible beneficiaries, which might include:

  • The surviving spouse;
  • Children;
  • Parents; and
  • Relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased.

2. What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

If your family wants to bring a wrongful death claim, it’s wise to act fast. If a settlement cannot be reached, the personal representative has a limited amount of time to bring the case to court.

Florida’s wrongful death statute of limitations is usually two years; however, there are a few exceptions to this deadline. For example, if you want to name a government entity in the lawsuit, you must submit written notice, allow for a 180-day investigation, and then file the lawsuit—all within two years from the date of death.

3. When Might Punitive Damages Be Recoverable?

Punitive damages might be awarded if the liable party’s actions constituted gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Although punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury and wrongful death cases, there are some scenarios in which they are warranted. For example, if the motorist who struck your loved one was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the wreck and had been driving without a valid license because of a prior DUI conviction, the surviving family members may be able to recover a punitive award.

Call 772-266-5555 to Speak with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Florida

If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident and you want to hold the liable party financially accountable, contact Donaldson & Weston. We’ve helped hundreds of clients recover the funds they needed to get their lives back. Call 772-266-5555 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Florida.