Florida Wrongful Death Cases

Losing a loved one is always exceptionally difficult. However, the pain and frustration associated with a loved one's passing are magnified when their death was due to a preventable accident. In Florida, those who have lost a loved one in any kind of accident can pursue a claim for compensation against the responsible parties through a Florida wrongful death lawsuit. Florida’s wrongful death statute is contained in Florida Statute section 768.16, and is known as the “Wrongful Death Act.” The concept behind the Wrongful Death Act is to “shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.” The statute allows for a personal representative of the deceased to bring a lawsuit against any respo...

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Wrongful Death Claims Following Florida Auto Accidents

In the tragic event that someone is killed in a Florida car accident, the victim’s family members may be able to recover financial compensation from the at-fault parties through a Florida wrongful death lawsuit. The Florida Wrongful Death Act is contained in Florida Statutes § 768.16, which provides for various forms of recovery, depending on the relationship between the deceased and the person filing the case. Florida wrongful death claims can be filed by qualifying survivors. A “survivor” is defined under the Florida Wrongful Death Act as the deceased's "spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the [deceased] for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters.” Any qualifying survivo...

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Florida Court Discusses When a Surviving Spouse’s Status Is Established in Recent Wrongful Death Opinion

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida wrongful death case requiring the court to determine, among other things, if the plaintiff qualified as a “surviving spouse.” Ultimately, the court concluded that, although the plaintiff was not married to the accident victim at the time of his injury, the relevant inquiry was whether they were married at the time of death. The Facts of the Case The plaintiff was driving with her fiancé when a car pulled out in front of them. The plaintiff’s fiancé swerved to avoid a collision, but in so doing lost control of the vehicle. The car rolled once or twice before coming to a rest in a roadside ditch. The plaintiff was not injured in the accident. However, her fiancé wa...

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Pedestrian Bridge at Florida International University Collapses, Resulting in Six Fatalities

Earlier this month, a pedestrian bridge on the campus of Florida International University collapsed, killing six and injuring several others. According to a recent news report, students and teachers on campus identified several cracks in the bridge before its collapse. However, no action seems to have been taken amid reports of the cracks. As students prepared to go back to school four days after the tragic accident, the first lawsuits started to be filed. One man who was riding a bike near the bridge at the time of the collapse recently filed a Florida personal injury claim against the firm that designed the bridge as well as the company in charge of its construction. The bridge was constructed using a new method...

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Attorneys at Cecere Santana Share Driving Tips for Teens to Prevent Fatal Accidents

According to an October 12, 2016 CBS News article, the number of teenagers involved in deadly car crashes is rising for the first time in nearly a decade. In 2015, there was a 10-percent increase in teen driving deaths. “In fact, teenage drivers are more than one-and-a-half times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash,” said personal injury attorney Erick Santana, a founding partner at Cecere Santana. To help prevent fatal accidents involving teens, Santana and Cecere Santana co-founder Michael Cecere share the following three tips: No. 1: Always wear your seat belt. “Of the teens who died in passenger vehicle crashes, approximately 55% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash,” said Cecere. “Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.” No. 2: Practice driving with yo...

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Tragic Miami Auto-Bicycle Accident Claims Two Lives

Earlier this month in Miami, two men lost their lives when they were involved in a fatal accident near the intersection of Northwest 12th Avenue and Northwest 54th Street. According to one local news source, the accident occurred at around 7:30 in the evening on a Monday, and it involved a bicyclist and a black Infiniti. Evidently, the driver of the black Infiniti was traveling at a high rate of speed when he entered the intersection. As he did, he collided with a bicyclist. The bicyclist ended up underneath the Infiniti and was dragged for a full block until Northwest 54th Street, where the Infiniti then collided with a tree. Upon the impact with the tree, the Infiniti exploded into a burst of flames. Witnesses to the accident told reporters that several people attempted to hel...

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Homicide Charges Filed Against Tamarac Man After High-Speed Crash

Earlier this month, a Tamarac man was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide for his role in a fatal accident that claimed the life of his passenger. According to one local news source, the district attorney's recent decision to file charges was after an eight-month investigation. Evidently, the man was driving a black 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with one passenger, a 21-year-old woman, when he lost control of the vehicle. Upon losing control, the car slid off the roadway and wrapped around a nearby utility pole. Both the driver and the passenger were trapped inside, where they remained until emergency responders were able to free them. After they were taken out of the vehicle, both were taken to the hospital. Sadly, the passenger was...

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Miami Radio Personality DJ Laz Avoids Criminal Charges After Fatal Key Biscayne Boating Accident

Prosecutors decided not to charge Lazaro “DJ Laz” Mendez, the host of a popular morning show on Miami’s Hits 97.3 radio station, with any crimes for his involvement in the May 2014 death of a 23-year-old man in the waters off Key Biscayne. According to an article from the Miami Herald, the victim was part of a group of partygoers who were trying to help free the boat that Mr. Mendez was controlling from a sandbar during a promotional beach party event. While the victim was pushing from behind the boat, Mr. Mendez allegedly engaged the engine, causing the man to get sucked into the propellers and killed. Charges were initially being considered based on an allegation that Mr. Mendez had been drinking before the accident and may have bee...

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One Bicyclist Dead and Another Critically Injured after Hit-and-Run near Key Biscayne

Earlier this month near Key Biscayne, an accident between a car and two bicyclists claimed the life of one of the bicyclists and sent the other to the hospital with critical injuries. According to a local news report, the accident occurred in the early-morning hours, around 5:30, when the driver was returning from a nightclub. Evidently, the driver was in the eastbound lanes of Crandon Boulevard when he looked down briefly to change the song on his iPhone. As he did so, he collided with the two bicyclists. Rather than immediately stopping and seeing if the victims needed assistance, the man continued driving back to his parents’ home in Key Biscayne. Once there, he staged a robbery, smashing the rear windows of his Volksw...

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Three Florida Sisters Killed in Chain-Reaction Accident

Earlier this week in a tragic accident that occurred in Melbourne, three women—all sisters—were killed when they were involved in a chain-reaction accident on northbound Interstate 95. According to one local news report, the three sisters were on their way home after a short gambling trip. The women were in a 2007 Hyundai Elantra driving behind a 2008 Infiniti when the Infiniti left the roadway and slammed into the median guardrail. After the car crashed into the guardrail, the women in the Hyundai collided with the Infiniti. After that, several other vehicles crashed into the wreckage. Altogether, four vehicles were involved in the chain-reaction accident. All three sisters were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. It is ...

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