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Losing a loved one unexpectedly is never easy. In addition to the emotional pain, you may struggle to pay for any medical bills, funeral expenses, and burial costs. Plus, if they were the main provider for your family, you may be in a vulnerable financial position. Those challenges can make dealing with a loss much more difficult.

Knowing that their death was the result of someone else’s negligence can magnify the pain. Not only did this negligent person cause you to lose a loved one, but they also created challenges in almost every area of your life. It is natural to want the person responsible to pay for what they did. Suppose the person responsible was a truck driver. Their insurance companies may fight to keep you from getting the compensation you deserve. A lawyer who handles fatal truck accidents in Miramar Beach could help. Contact Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon to discuss your case with a compassionate tractor-trailer collision attorney.

Wrongful Death Claims

When the victim of a personal injury accident dies, their rights to recover from the accident do not die with them. Their survivors can bring a wrongful death lawsuit, which is a particular type of personal injury lawsuit that alleges the personal injury caused the victim’s death.

In Florida, many surviving family members have the right to bring a personal injury claim. The group includes spouses, children, parents, and other blood relatives—if they depended upon the deceased for financial support. Some people, like spouses and children, always have the right to file a claim. Others, such as parents, can only file a claim if the deceased left no surviving spouse or child. The personal representative or administrator of the deceased’s estate can also bring the claim.

Damages for wrongful death claims differ from damages in other personal injury lawsuits. Instead of putting a monetary value on someone’s injuries, the factfinder attempts to place an economic value on someone’s life. Therefore, their earning capability, earning history, and projected future wages are important.

However, a person does not have to be the primary financial contributor to make meaningful contributions to a family. When someone passes, the family must also be able to replace their non-financial contributions. So, survivors can also sue for loss of services.

Finally, the legal system attempts to compensate families for emotional pain and loss of companionship. It is an oversimplification to suggest that the better a person was, the greater the loss to friends and family. On the contrary, even people with complicated emotions about a loved one can experience profound grief, sorrow, and loneliness after they pass.

A Miramar Beach attorney who handles fatal truck accidents could help evaluate potential damage awards. They will consider practical factors such as age, life expectancy, and earning capability. However, they will also look at less tangible factors, including personal relationships, to give survivors a potential range of settlements or award amounts.

Establishing Negligence

Establishing negligence for an 18-wheeler wreck is frequently challenging. Many times, the truckers are the ones who escape unharmed and are able to give their version of the accident—often omitting any reference to their negligence.

Fortunately for survivors, truck accidents usually leave plenty of evidence. A lawyer with experience litigating fatal truck wrecks in Miramar Beach could look for witnesses, examine police reports, review photographs and video, and even consult accident reconstruction experts to understand what happened. They could then use this evidence to establish fault on the trucker’s part.

Discuss Your Case With a Miramar Beach Fatal Truck Wreck Lawyer

The aftermath of an unexpected death is a very emotionally challenging time. You may feel pressured to make decisions, including accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer. However, hasty decisions can have adverse long-term outcomes.

You have up to two years after the date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Consult with a qualified attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon to learn more about your legal options following a fatal truck accident in Miramar Beach. They could explain negligence to you and inspect the factual scenario to determine if someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s death. In addition, they could help you understand a fair settlement value so you are better situated to enter into settlement negotiations.