On July 18, Louis Cancio, 68, accepted his last ride request of the day. He picked up a woman and multiple children. He was to drop them at their destination and then continue on to his chemo treatment. However, during the Uber trip, Cancio’s Ford SUV was struck by a Dodge Ram. The crash occurred at Northwest 14th Avenue and Northwest 5th Street in Miami around 1:45 p.m. The Ram was reported as stolen and driven by Danny Tejera, who has been charged with grand theft auto. Melissa Castro was a passenger in the stolen Ram and has been charged with trespassing. Cancio was pronounced dead at the hospital. His four passengers were also taken to the hospital for their injuries to be treated.
Cancio’s family faces a difficult decision. While Tejera may be charged and convicted of one or more crimes related to the accident, that may not benefit the surviving family. Cancio’s family or estate may have the right to pursue compensation from Tejera in a civil lawsuit. If you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by another driver, do not hesitate to obtain legal advice. Our Miami car accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. are here to listen to your story, investigate the crash, and advise you of your legal options. Contact our Miami-Dade County office at (305) 371-6000.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Law
Each state has its own wrongful death statute, which determines who may file a wrongful death claim for damages and when. Florida’s Wrongful Death Act is Florida Statute Sections 768.16 – 26. The Act states that when a person’s death is caused by negligence, default, a breach of contract or warranty, or a wrongful act, and the accident would have entitled the victim to purse damages had they not passed away, then there is a cause of action.
That action must be brought by the personal representative of the victim’s estate. A personal representative is often a family member of the deceased, though it may be anyone the court appoints to manage the estate. The personal representative, through the wrongful death suit, pursues compensation for the victim’s surviving family members and estate.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Compensation
Surviving family members may seek to recover:
- The value of lost support and services
- The future loss of support and services
- The victim’s probable net income available for distribution to each particular survivor
- The replacement value of the victim’s services to the survivor
- Medial and funeral expenses
A surviving spouse may pursue compensation for the loss of the victim’s companionship and protection. They may ask for compensation for their pain and suffering. Minor children of the victim, and all children of the victim if there is no surviving spouse, may pursue damages for the loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance. They can also ask for compensation for mental pain and suffering. The victim’s estate also has the right to pursue certain damages, including:
- Loss of victim’s earnings between the date of injury and the date of death
- Loss of prospective net accumulations of an estate
- Medical or funeral expenses paid for by the estate
Compensation obtained by the estate may eventually be distributed to the victim’s legal heirs or the beneficiaries stated in their will. However, under Florida law, compensation obtained by the estate is subject to the claims of creditors, which means it may go toward paying the victim’s debts.
Call a Miami Car Accident Lawyer for Help After a Fatal Wreck
If you lost your spouse, parent, or child in a car accident that was caused by another person, you should speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney. When another person’s carelessness, recklessness, or willful misconduct caused your loved one’s death, then your family may have the right to pursue damages.
To pursue compensation, an attorney can guide you through a wrongful death lawsuit and an insurance claim. If the at-fault driver had auto insurance, or there was a policy covering the vehicle, then you may be able to obtain the compensation you deserve through an insurance settlement. The best way to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible is to work with an attorney who is experienced in negotiating with insurers, like our car accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. To talk with an attorney about your rights after a fatal car accident, call us toll free at (877) 475-2905.