What are the Legal Issues Involved with a Florida Wrongful Death Case Involving a DUI Automobile Accident?


In Florida, it is quite tragic when a child dies as a result of an automobile accident. This is especially true when the at fault driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. When there is a wrongful death as a result of a DUI automobile accident, there are a number of legal issues and challenges for a family to deal with. Often times, it is helpful for the family of the deceased child to have a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for guidance, consultation, and legal representation on these matters. Legal issues involved with a Florida Wrongful Death Case involving the death of a child include but are not limited to the following:

Criminal Case. The parents of a deceased child are often called upon to testify at a criminal trial or sentencing hearing regarding the tragic loss of the child. While the prosecutors ultimately decide whether to try the case or offer a plea bargain, the parents are often times consulted as to their thoughts as to the criminal prosecution and sentencing of the criminal defendant. A Florida Child Injury Lawyer can help answer any questions about the criminal prosecution and also appear with the parents at any hearings or court proceedings regarding the DUI prosecution. Restitution may be awarded for economic damages or bills associated with the death of the child.

Victim of Crimes Compensation Act. The parents may qualify for compensation under the Victims of Crimes Compensation Act. The parents should check with the prosecutor’s office about this benefit or speak to a Florida Child Injury Lawyer or the victim’s advocate connected with the prosecutor’s / state attorney’s office.

Death Benefits Under Automobile Insurance Policy. Under most Florida automobile accident insurance policies, there is $5,000 or more in death benefits. A review of the policy by a Florida Child Injury Lawyer should determine the parents entitled to a death benefit and amount of benefits under an automobile accident insurance policy.

PIP and Med Pay Benefits. If the child received medical care associated with the accident, the parents may be entitled to PIP benefits and / or Med Pay benefits to pay for the medical bills associated with the automobile accident related personal injuries. These benefits are typically available under the parents’s automobile insurance policy whether or not the parents’ vehicle was involved in the Florida automobile accident.

Bodily Injury Insurance. There may be bodily injury automobile accident insurance coverage under the at fault driver’s or owner’s insurance policy. Florida does not require that a driver have bodily injury insurance coverage. If there is BI (Bodily Injury) insurance coverage in place, the amount of coverage can range from $10,000 to $1,000,000 or more.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage. In addition to bodily injury insurance coverage, parents of a deceased child may qualify for benefits or compensation for the wrongful death of a child. Like bodily injury insurance, UM insurance is not mandatory. When UM benefits are obtained, the coverage can also range from $10,000 to $1,000,000 or more.

Probate Administration. In order to formally pursue a claim or lawsuit, settle the case, and / or litigate the case, the parents must set up a probate case or estate administration in order to have a personal representative appointed to act on behalf of the estate.

Because of the complexity of a wrongful death case, it is often times helpful to have a Florida Child Injury Lawyer for consultation, advice, and legal representation.

The book titled – <strong>The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Medical Bills and Treatment, and other topics. You can receive this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. Another helpful resource for parents looking for information regarding cases involving personal injuries to a child is the book – When a Parent’s World Goes from Full to Empty – The Wrongful Death of a Child – What You Need to Know About The Florida Wrongful Death Act. You can receive this book for free at From Full to Empty.