As a Miami truck accident legal team, we regularly receive calls regarding fatal truck and car crashes and we can never say enough how every single call is terrible. Our first thought is always to offer our most sincere condolences to those who lost a loved one. We can advise what legal options might at least bring financial relief, which might eventually help with emotional healing because having to get through life and pay bills can be near to impossible after losing someone you love.
If you have any questions related to the value of a fatal truck accident case, you can contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary immediately.
When you have tragically lost someone you love as a result of a fatal truck crash, there are some important things to consider. We'd like to answer whatever questions you might have about how best to maximize cash value:
- We would talk to you immediately after the crash so that we can preserve any necessary evidence.
- We may also want or need to talk to any witnesses, or the police officers investigating the case.
- We would start gathering evidence.
- We might investigate the vehicle, to maybe prove airbags didn't properly deploy or other structural parts malfunctioned.
- We would advise you not to say anything to witnesses or insurance companies that could hurt your case.
The sooner we start, the better we can do the job that we are very good at.
Who Can Recover the Full Case Value Following a Wrongful Death?
The first thing to consider is who can make a wrongful death claim after a truck accident in Florida. The rules get somewhat complicated. Generally, a spouse or child can recover, although the amount of recovery varies depending on their age and next-of-kin relationship to the person who died. A girlfriend or boyfriend cannot recover.
- A spouse and children under 25 will recover the highest wrongful death case value.
- For children over 25, if there is no surviving spouse, they can still recover a high value. However, if there is a surviving spouse, they would need to be financially dependent, and unable to work, to recover any money.
- Very rarely, other financially dependent blood relatives can also recover (must be 100% financially dependent and in true need of support, for example, a disabled person).
The Amount of Coverage Is a Factor in Case Value
Recently, we settled four fatal truck accident cases:
- a case for 25K
- another case for 80K
- one case for 100K
- a case for 2M.
What was the difference? Well, believe it or not, the only important case value difference was the amount of insurance coverage. Those were the policy limits of the defendant drivers, combined with uninsured motorist coverage, all available combined insurance policies were those amounts.
The 2M dollar case involved a semi-trailer truck, so the policy limits were much higher than an average non-commercial vehicle. Many cars have insurance coverage ranging from 100K to 300K. Occasionally a non-commercial vehicle will have 1M in available coverage. Commercial vehicles are usually, but not always, 1M plus.
But some motor vehicles have no coverage at all. Unfortunately, in these types of cases, we can not help you, because the defendant driver doesn't have a penny of insurance or, also, assets. Other motor vehicles have lower amounts of coverage, like 50K to 100K.
Also, depending on the type of motor vehicle or type of accident, there are some Florida laws that require various amounts of insurance:
- For example, a Florida statute protects leaseholders from liability, so the vast majority of leased vehicles have at least 100/300K (the maximum any one person can recover is 100K, and the maximum per accident is 300K) in bodily injury insurance coverage.
- Other Florida and federal statutes require higher amounts of insurance coverage for semi-trucks. Regular automobile drivers and motorcycle riders aren't required to have any bodily injury coverage, but many do.
- Sometimes there can be coverage above the bodily injury liability insurance, or there might be a commercial policy for someone driving their vehicle for work but no one investigates to find that coverage.
Although adjusters will be helpful, their questions are designed to get information that lowers your case value. So, before giving any statements, you need an attorney by your side. We have had great success getting the full policy limits in many of our wrongful death cases.
At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we carefully check all relevant information and may also pursue a product defect case against the auto manufacturer, for example, because the airbags failed to deploy.
Contact a Miami Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one after a fatal truck crash, please contact our office in Miami for an appointment. We handle fatal truck accident cases throughout Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach Counties.
We always carefully investigate the facts and review the law to verify any possibility of additional coverage. However, even with lower policy amounts, we have to work hard to get the full amount.
Nevertheless, we still can get a high value for the case, even if a long time has passed, as long as there is some way of proving who caused the accident.