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Understanding Liability In Auto-Related Wrongful Death Cases In Florida


When someone dies suddenly in an auto-related accident whether it’s in our area like Sarasota or anywhere in Florida, it can be a devastating experience for the family and friends of the deceased. While the emotional and financial toll can be immense, it’s important to understand that there are legal remedies available. One of these is determining liability for wrongful death cases. This article will provide an overview of how this process works and what to expect.

Understanding Liability

The first step in any claim for wrongful death is to determine who was at fault, or liable. In most cases, liability will fall on one person or entity. However, it is not always clear who that might be. It may require a thorough investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding the accident and then assigning responsibility accordingly. In some cases, multiple parties may be found liable depending on their role in causing or contributing to the death.

When investigating a case of wrongful death due to vehicular negligence, three primary areas must be considered: duty of care, breach of duty, and causation/damages.

• Duty of care – refers to an obligation on behalf of a driver or other responsible party to ensure that they do not cause harm or injury by driving recklessly or otherwise acting carelessly behind the wheel.

• Breach of duty – means that this obligation was broken. If it can be proven that a driver was operating their vehicle outside accepted standards then they can be found liable for any injuries caused as a result.

• Causation/damages – refer to the actual physical injuries suffered by those involved in an accident. If these injuries were severe enough to lead directly (or indirectly) to the death of someone then they can also be held liable under a wrongful death claim – even if another person was primarily responsible for causing the accident itself.

Assigning Liability

In order to assign liability in an auto-related wrongful death case, you will need evidence demonstrating that somebody was negligent in their actions leading up to the incident. This could include eyewitness accounts from people present at the scene, photos taken immediately after the crash, police reports, medical records documenting any pre-existing conditions which made someone more likely to suffer fatal injuries, etc.

Depending on your specific case, you may need additional types of evidence as well so make sure you get professional help from experienced attorneys if possible, especially if you plan on taking legal action against somebody else’s insurance company or filing suit against them personally (in some cases).

The best way to prove negligence is through evidence showing that somebody failed to act with reasonable care while operating their vehicle – either by doing something improper (e.g. speeding) or omitting something necessary (e.g. failing to properly secure cargo). If it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that somebody’s negligence led directly or indirectly to someone else’s death, then they can be held liable under civil law and potentially face criminal charges depending on what happened and where it occurred (i.e. different states have different laws when it comes down this type of thing).

Final Thoughts

Determining liability in auto-related wrongful death cases is no easy task but understanding how it works is essential for anyone looking for justice after such a tragedy has occurred within their family or community circle. With the proper investigation into all aspects surrounding such incidents and gathering appropriate evidence as needed, one can seek out legal remedies available, such as civil suits against insurance companies and/or individuals responsible for negligent behavior. An experienced local car accident lawyer can help you deal with this process.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Understanding Liability In Auto-Related Wrongful Death Cases In Florida

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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