Under Florida law, when a person's negligence or wrongful conduct causes another person's death, the decedent's personal representative may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit for the benefit of the decedent's estate and certain surviving relatives. Each of the decedent's survivors can recover damages for loss of the decedent's support and services from the date of the injury to the date of death, and future support -- reduced to present value -- from the date of death forward.
Bicycling as a means of getting around has been increasing in popularity in recent years. But as more bicyclists share busy roads with automobiles, fatal accidents become more likely. One such tragedy took place recently in the Miami area.
Florida patients have some important legal rights when they seek medical treatment. One of the most important of these is the right to informed consent. This means that before submitting to a course of treatment or a medical procedure, the doctor must advise the patient of the benefits, risks and alternatives and then get the patient's consent before proceeding.
For years insurance companies and their allies in the state legislature have been spreading a fiction that Florida is in a medical malpractice lawsuit crisis. According to the insurance companies, doctors have been fleeing the state and those who remain have been forced to practice "defensive medicine" and avoid performing many procedures, all because of skyrocketing malpractice lawsuits. The insurers' PR strategy has been very successful, and the fable of a medical profession beset by frivolous litigation has become widely accepted. But, as data from the National Practitioner Data Bank shows, it's a myth.
Drunk driving is a serious problem in Florida. Police and prosecutors are doing all they can to keep drunk drivers off the road. The penalties for drunk driving are more severe today than they have ever been, and years of public awareness campaigns have educated the public about the dangers of intoxicated driving. And yet there are still some people who don't get the message, and they continue to cause accidents - many of them fatal.
When heading out onto the road as a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian in Miami, there is always a danger of being in a crash. When there is a fatal car crash, the family left behind will want answers as to how and why it happened. This information can be imperative when the family considers seeking compensation through a wrongful death legal filing.
Too many Florida drivers don't see motorcycles until it's too late. There are fewer motorcycles on the road relative to the number of other vehicles, so many drivers don't anticipate seeing one. Motorcycles are smaller than cars or trucks, so they are sometimes harder to see. Blind spots - areas not covered by the mirrors - and obstructions such as pillars in cars can contribute to the problem. When glare or precipitation are present the risk of not seeing motorcycles is increased.
Wrongful death suits are innately difficult procedures for everyone involved. The very idea that a monetary award of any size can make up for the untimely loss of a human life may seem offensive to those walking through the process. Despite the emotionally volatile nature of a wrongful death suit, it is wise to be prepared for some of the ways the outcome may not play out exactly as it initially seems. In some situations, the damages a jury awards in a wrongful death suit may be adjusted after the fact.
The State of Florida requires certain minimum insurance coverages be in place before a vehicle can be registered and license plates issued. Most Florida drivers are aware of this, but may be unclear as to the exact coverages required, and their purpose.
Florida drivers who are obeying the rules of the road and are simply going about their business can still be affected by a car crash and its aftermath. Unfortunately, in some of these accidents, the impact can be so severe that it leads to a fatality. The family of the person who died will not only have to face the loss of a loved one on a personal basis, but there are ancillary issues that accompany any wrongful death that must be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to pursue a legal filing seeking damages.