My brother died in car cash .the man was under the influience .can my sister-in-law- sue for wrongful death.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Lake Worth, FL

man had several charges
had dui
manslaughter charge
bond for 1 million
tried to run

Attorney answers (14)

  1. John Elliott Leighton

    Contributor Level 10

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes your sister can. In the event the driver of the car which was responsible was under the influence, your sister-in-law may also be entitled to seek punitive damages under Florida law. Punitive damages are in addition to compensatory (pain and suffering and economic damages) damages, and are to deter and punish certain behavior. DUI is one such behavior that allows for punitive damages in Florida. Th ecase would also be governed by Florida's Wrongful Death Act, who specifies what kind sof claims can be brought and who would recover under the law. But she definitely has what sounds like a case. She should consult a competent trial lawyer.

    The information provided herein is not intended to be legal advice and no attorney-cloient relationship exists as... more
  2. Jason D. Holbrook

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, I'm very sorry for your loss and your sister in law's loss. It is very very likely that your sister in law will have a wrongful death case. The case would actually be brought by whomever is appointed the personal representative of your brother's estate. That is often the surviving spouse but not always. There are many, many issues involved in wrongful death cases and there is no good way to address the multitude of issues on a discussion board such as this. Each case, including the liability issues presented in each case, and especially cases involving drunk drivers, is very different from the next. As such, the most important thing is to speak with a qualified and experienced wrongful death attorney who has handled wrongful death cases previously. Ask questions of any attorney you speak with, as there are many attorneys who claim to be wrongful death attorneys but are not.

    For more information on Wrongful Death cases under Florida's Wrongful Death Act, please visit my Firm's website at: http://www.holbrooklawpa.com/plaintiff/wrongful...

    Until you retain this firm and we have an attorney client relationship, nothing stated above should ever be... more
  3. Kim Michael Cullen

    Contributor Level 12

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your brother's wife can definitely make a claim against the drunk driver under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. If they had children, or provide support for other family members, those individuals may have claims under the Act, too. As one of the other lawyers mentioned, the drunk-driving element may expose the at-fault driver to punitive damages. Your sister-in-law should definitely consult with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer, as there are certain procedures that must be followed in a Wrongful Death case.

    I am licensed to practice in law in Florida, only. Any information or insight that I provide for scenarios... more
  4. Jeffrey Scott Altman

    Contributor Level 9

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In Florida a spouse can sue for the Wrongful Death of a deceased spouse as long as all other aspects of the law are followed. This is something that should be discussed in person with an attorney.

    Jeffrey S. Altman
    The Altman Law Firm
    altmanlawfirm.com

    DISCLAIMER - Any information provided is not legal advice. There is no attorney client relationship created in... more
  5. David Maxwell Milton

    Contributor Level 6

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Let me add my condolences to those already expressed. What a tragedy.

    I just want to add one point: in Florida, you have two years from the date of death to bring a claim. Your post doesn't mention a date, so time is of the essence. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

    Any information contained in my response is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed... more
  6. Daniel Marc Berman

    Contributor Level 14

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. Hire a local attorney immediately to start working on the case.
    www.southfloridaaccidents.com

    Daniel M. Berman www.southfloridaaccidents.com This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-... more
  7. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, she can sue. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

  8. David John Glatthorn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am sorry to hear about the loss of your brother in such a sensless way.
    Your sister-in -law would have an action for both compensatory damages and punitive (designed to punish) damages.
    Clicking on my name below will take you to my website. I have been Board certified as a specialist for over 20 years. and have obtained many verdicts and judgments in excess of $1Milllion dollars

  9. S. David Rosenthal Esquire

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Very sorry to hear about your brother. Florida will have a statute that outlines who has the right to sue for wrongful death damages. Typically the spouse would have the right to sue for economic losses, e.g., funeral expenses and financial support, and non-economic losses, e.g., loss of love, affection and companionship.

    You should consult a good Florida personal injury lawyer with experience in wrongful death cases. Again, very sorry and good luck.

  10. John Michael Phillips

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. She certainly can. We are sorry about your tragic loss. Over 10000 people die from DUI drivers like this every year and hiring an attorney is a good first step to make sure your family receives justice- both in the form of making sure the driver is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and monetary recovery. There are also other potential defendants such as the place where he consumed alcohol and the owner of the vehicle. Punitive damages are also available.

    I spent 8 years working for insurance companies and two years working for the largest personal injury firm in the country before setting out to give clients personal service and help them fight these fights. Essentially, insurance carriers try to negotiate every dollar they can, because every $100 means millions in the end to the Board of Directors. Attorneys matter. They change their gameplan when a lawyer is involved.

    For that reason - and the misinformation by TV lawyers and referral services- is why people should consult lawyers who take the time like on sites like this. Because of the economy, more lawyers are jumping into personal injury and wrongful death cases and should stick to what they know. The other side has doctors and millions on their side to say nothing is wrong or fight the claim. If you have any further questions, feel free to email me- jmp@knowthelawyer.com. Check out our website- www.knowthelawwyer.com. We'd love to help you. Our number is 800-6-know-law. We will travel to your family this weekend to discuss how to proceed.

    Please CLICK the button if I HELPED or was BEST ANSWER. We also answer your questions on facebook- www.facebook.... more
  11. James Otto Heiting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Assuming they were together as husband and wife (legally), yes.

  12. Michael L Detzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . From the facts you provided the answer would be yes. Hopefully the tort feasor has adeuate insurance. If he was uninsured then your sister in law would have to make a claim on her own auto insurance policy for un-insured motorist coverage.

  13. Dennis Patrick Wilson

    Contributor Level 8

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your sister in law can sue the man who killed her husband. She may also be able to apply for victim compensation from the State of County. This is a tragedy and it sounds like this killer does not have much car insurance. I am sorry for your loss. Good luck.

    Answering this question is not an agreement to represent the recipient or others. This answer is an opinion based... more
  14. David Irving Shiner

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Best advice: take your time and interview several lawyers and weigh your options. There are several very good lawyers out there however, when you hire an attorney for a case like this you will be intimately involved with them for some time. Thus, trust and comparability is crucial. You have two years to file suit (although you should not wait nearly that long) and make an educated and thought out decision. If you have more questions please visit my site www.InCourt.com for answers and additional info. In addition, if you have any further questions please feel free to call anytime. Best of luck.

    Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Shiner is licensed to... more

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