What Factors Affect Florida Wrongful Death Case Value?
Whenever someone is killed in an accident, or due to negligence, in Florida, the case value can vary a lot. Below are the most important factors that can impact case value. But if you have a specific question about the value of a wrongful death case, you really should call us to discuss the unique facts of your case. Facts that seem insignificant can have a major positive or negative effect on the value of any wrongful death case. (We greatly apologize in advance for breaking down something so horribly tragic into nuts and bolts of sterile legal questions — but we want you to understand how the law applies.)
Please call NOW if you would like to speak with an experienced & award-winning lawyer ASAP about the value of your wrongful death case: 407-383-7290.
Close Relationships (Or Not)
If there is good evidence that you were very close to the person who died, you will have a higher value case, as long as there was also good evidence of the bad guy’s negligence, and he or she has enough money or insurance to pay.
This type of evidence might include things like photos, videos, and witness testimony, showing how close your relationship was. This type of evidence can very powerfully convince a jury that you were absolutely heartbroken by the loss of your loved one. So we help you understand the types of evidence that will be most helpful for you to collect, so that we can share with the insurance company in settlement discussions, or the jury if your case goes to trial. Sometimes we create a video “montage” that tells a very powerful story, including post-accident memories and discussions of loss and pain, from you, and others who were closest to your loved one.
However, even if you were not close to the person who died, we may be able to help. We would just employ a slightly different strategy in the case, to get you the most money possible. The difference in strategy would depend entirely on the type of relationship, what problems there might have been in the relationship, and how often you spent time with the person who died. We have helped even those with very estranged relationships get a very high recovery. Please call us for more information.
Amount & Strength of Evidence Re How The Accident Happened
One of the most frustrating aspects of some wrongful death cases is that the person who really knows what happened can’t tell us. However, if there were other witnesses, then those people can help us tell the story of how the accident happened.
If there are few witnesses to the accident, we can use the physical evidence, such as black box data, skid marks, or other details about the accident scene itself, to help prove fault. If there is a homicide report (from the police), then how they describe the accident can be very important.
Degree of Negligence of the At-Fault Party
If the at-fault party was extremely negligent, then the damages are generally higher. For example, in an auto accident that caused someone’s death, if the other driver had been drinking, or texting while driving, he or she was extremely negligent. However, if the other driver had a heart attack, and caused the accident, there might be no negligence. Every case is different, so we often need to investigate to better evaluate any Florida or Orlando wrongful death case.
Possible Negligence of the Victim
If the person who died might have contributed to the accident, then there can be a mixed recovery. That means that a jury could decide that the victim shared some percentage at fault with the other driver. For example, if an auto accident involved an intersection collision, there might be some dispute regarding whether the victim stopped for a red light. If the evidence were mixed, then a jury (or insurance company during settlement discussions) could decide that the victim was 50% at fault, and the other driver was 50% at fault. The jury could also decide to split fault 90 / 10, 80 /20, or any other breakdown.
If you believe that there might have been mixed fault, but still another person or business shares some responsibility for your loved one’s death, please give us a call.
Amount of Insurance Coverage or Available Assets of the At-Fault Party
Even if the at-fault party was 100% responsible, and extremely negligent, wrongful death damages are often limited by the amount of available insurance coverage. There could even be zero recovery in the worst cases. However, we are extremely diligent in making sure we have thoroughly investigated all available insurance proceeds. In most fatal auto accident cases, there is available insurance coverage. The question is always how much. In Florida, drivers are not required to carry any insurance for those they harm in accidents. But many individual drivers have policies that range from 10K to 100K, sometimes much more.
There is often a much higher recovery in cases involving semi-trucks, Uber or Lyft vehicles, commercial or business trucks or vehicles, commercial businesses (like a hotel where there was a rape & murder), construction accidents, or any accidents where a business caused the death. The reason is that those businesses often either have more assets, or higher insurance policy limits, or both. So there is more money available to pay wrongful death survivors. Often commercial policies will provide at least 1M in coverage, sometimes much more.
There are many other variables that might increase the value of a wrongful death case. The most important thing is that you speak with a lawyer experienced in handling wrongful death cases immediately. Please call us for your free consultation, 24/7. We either answer immediately, or return calls very quickly. 407-383-7290