Sometimes, tragic, fatal accidents result in liability for the people who caused the incident. According to Florida state law, a wrongful death is a fatality that occurs as the result of defaults, negligence, breach of contract or a wrongful act on the part of an individual or business. Wrongful death can occur in a variety of environments, from amusement parks to the interior of a grocery store.
However, many wrongful death claims stem from motor vehicle collisions in the liability that they create for drivers. Understanding three common, dangerous decisions that drivers make that constitute wrongful acts in Florida may help you better understand if a wrongful death action is a viable option in your circumstances.
Drunk driving is a dangerous, criminal act
Anyone with a license to drive will have learned during their driver’s education about the illegality of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Still, hundreds of people get behind the wheel while drunk in Florida every day, causing crashes that injure or even kill other people.
Regardless of whether the State of Florida brought impaired driving charges against the other individual, if there are chemical tests or records indicating impairment at the time of the crash, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against them in court.
Even if the state prosecuted them but was unable to secure a conviction, thanks to the lower standard for evidence in civil proceedings, you may still potentially be able to win a wrongful death case in the event that the state could not convict the drunk driver.
Texting while driving is a common and dangerous habit
Florida is one of many states with a statute that makes any sort of manual data entry into a device while driving illegal. Unlike other states, Florida considers texting while driving a primary offense, meaning it can be the reason that a law enforcement officer initiates a traffic stop.
If there are digital records or footage from security, traffic or enforcement cameras that show a driver using a mobile device immediately prior to a fatal crash, that information could give rise to a very strong wrongful death claim.
Reckless driving and excessive speeding can also lead to tragic outcomes
For those going substantially over the speed limit or otherwise engaging in reckless behavior, such as racing or driving the wrong way on a one-way street, those actions not only violate traffic laws, but also common sense.
When a crash results from someone recklessly driving or going far too fast, the decision to drive so dangerously may increase the likelihood of a successful wrongful death claim against that driver.