In St. Petersburg, FL, four young adults, who were driving home from Fort Pierce after attending a religious convention, were killed by a pickup that was hydroplaning across State Road 70 and into their lane. The driver of the pickup, Jennifer Zuniga, 30, also died in the crash in De Soto County. This unfortunate event killed three daughters of the survivors Pastor Ricardo D. Welch and his wife Darlene Butler- Welch who were in a separate car, along with one of their daughter’s children. They left before the three sisters and their friend departed. Their daughter’s names are LaMour Welch, 29, India, 24 and Tehira, 18 as well as their friend Antwayne Robinson, 25 . The way their lives were taken from them is unimaginable and leaves many friends and family looking for answers as to why it happened. Their deep faith has helped them cope with the loss of their children and friend, however, how does the law respond to a negligent car accident? Is there a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful Death explained
Wrongful Death in Florida is a demand a family member or court designee makes on the party whose actions caused a person’s death results in compensation for the loss of the decedent. The pure comparative negligence of the situation is assessed based on the percentage of whose fault it was for the death to occur. Therefore, if a party is injured and the defense can raise a claim stating that the decedent was partially responsible for the car accident consequentially ending up with their own death. Whatever the court decides is the comparative negligence percentage is the amount of compensation given to each party after the total sum is awarded. If a person or people are killed in a car crash and the other party is completely responsible due to their negligence, then the wrongful death lawsuit will be in full effect .
Limitations of the law
However, there are still limitations and nuisances within this law that can be confusing without the proper lawyer. For example, there are two possible categories of potential claimants:
- If someone leaves their estate or will behind which basically includes the summation of everything during their lifetimes, the beneficiaries as determines by the will or by statue in the court are entitles to a lawsuit.
- If the deceased has survivors, they may be a part of the state but treated differently because they are entitled to receive higher damages than the former. These individuals include the spouse, children, parents or person that was dependent upon the deceased for support or services.
- Children over 25 have less financial recovery due to a surviving spouse or parent
- At any age children can receive recovery for lose parental companionship, instruction and guidance as well as mental pain and suffering
- Parents may not recover for pain and suffering if deceased child was over 25, unless there were no other survivors.
Unfortunate Statistics in Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents kill more than 35,000 people in the U.S. each year. On average that is 1 car accident death reported every 12 minutes. Unfortunately, for a religiously intimate and close family, four young lives were taken too soon from the community. With prayer and healing, time will give them comfort in knowing their loved ones are in a better place. This still leaves room for compensation of the survivors of the victims to receive lasting support for the heartache. This award may not bring back their loved ones, but it eases any money troubles that follow. You need an experienced attorney to gather the proper evidence and mitigate the grey areas surrounding wrongful death lawsuits.
Dolman Law Group
For more information on wrongful death related topics, visit our website at dolmanlaw.com. If you’re seeking legal help associated with personal injury caused by another party’s negligence which led to a major car accident of you or a loved one, Dolman Law Group offers a free consultation and case evaluation by an experienced wrongful death attorney. Any type of support that the victim provided to the claimant, the claimant is entitled to seek monetary compensation to cover through a wrongful death claim. This even includes damages that might not be immediately obvious, like coverage for emotional distress. Give us a call today at 727-451-6900 for more information.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765