Orlando Motor Vehicle Accident and Wrongful Death Attorneys
Given the number of cars and trucks on the road, and the amount of time we spend in them, it is not too surprising that experts estimate we all have about a one in three chance of being involved in a motor vehicle crash during our lifetime. Many of these crashes are relatively minor, leaving only damaged vehicles. However, for many people in Florida, motor vehicle crashes are very serious, causing life-threatening and fatal injuries.
If you were seriously injured, or a family member was killed in a motor vehicle crash and another driver was at fault, you may be able to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages. While no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one or truly compensate you for your loss if you have been seriously injured, obtaining compensatory damages can help if you are facing financial hardship as a result of injury or the death of a family member. At Bailey Fisher, we strongly believe that the responsible party should be held accountable for their negligence and are committed to making sure you and your family get the justice you deserve.
Causes of Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes
In 2017, the most recent year for which national data are available, there were 34,247 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States. In the State of Florida, there were 2,922 fatal crashes that same year, causing 3,112 deaths. In 2018, the number of fatal crashes in Florida increased to 2,958, and the number of fatalities increased to 3,174.
There are a wide range of factors that can cause or contribute to these fatal motor vehicle accidents; however, some of the more common contributing factors include:
- Impaired driving — In recent decades, efforts to warn motorists about the dangers of drinking and driving have noticeably reduced the number of injuries and deaths attributable to impaired driving; however, it remains a leading cause of vehicle crashes and deaths. In Florida, 814 people lost their lives in an alcohol-related crash in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Distracted driving — In recent years, the use of handheld electronic devices has dramatically increased the number of accidents in which distracted driving is a factor. According to NHTSA, over 3,000 people lost their lives in a distracted driving crash in 2017.
- Drowsy driving — People are often surprised to learn that a drowsy driver can be just as dangerous on the roadway as an impaired driver. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that one in five fatal crashes involves a drowsy driver.
- Speed — Speed has long been a leading factor in motor vehicle crashes, contributing to approximately one out of three motor vehicle accidents every year. In fact, in 2017, 307 people were fatally injured in a speed-related collision in Florida.
Compensation in Motor Vehicle Wrongful Death Cases
Compensation (damages) that may be awarded in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit falls into two categories. The first applies to compensation that certain surviving family members may receive and includes:
- The value of support and services the deceased person provided to the surviving family member.
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person.
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a loved one.
- Medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person.
The second category applies to compensation that may be awarded to the estate of the decedent. That compensation will ultimately be distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate according to the will, or by intestate succession, which will typically include family members, and includes:
- Lost earnings from the date of injury to the date of death, subject to certain offsets.
- Lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, or the present value of earnings the decedent could reasonably have been expected to accumulate as savings if he or she had lived.
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid directly by the estate.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act can be complicated and does not apply equally to all family members who are impacted by the death of a loved one. The attorneys at Bailey Fisher know the wrongful death law well and are ready to advise you regarding your rights.
Get Help from Experienced Orlando Motor Vehicle Accident and Wrongful Death Attorneys
The Orlando motor vehicle accident attorneys at Bailey Fisher have extensive experience in wrongful death and other personal injury cases and bring a strong sense of commitment to helping people who have suffered because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
If you have sustained serious injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident or if a family member has died because of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else, we want to help you hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation, call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form. One of our experienced Orlando motor vehicle accident and wrongful death attorneys will listen to what happened and advise you on your best course of action. If that action calls for the filing of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, we will follow up with all of the steps necessary to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and recover the financial compensation you deserve for your losses.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. (2018, Feb.). Prevalence of drowsy driving crashes: Estimates from large scale naturalistic driving study.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Florida crash dashboard. (2019).
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (2018, Dec.). Fatality facts 2017.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2018). Traffic safety measures performance for Florida.