I am writing on behalf of my best friend;
Last Thursday my best friend’s brother was in auto accident, he was the passenger in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was drunk and survived, her brother passed away. My best friend wants to sue the driver so that he cannot get out on parole in 15 years. We have zero idea of how all this legal stuff works, please tell us what can be done.
Without a doubt, your best friend and/or the family member who will be responsible for handling the affairs for your best friend's deceased brother (i.e., your best friend or perhaps the parents of the deceased) should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. This "legal stuff" can get extremely complicated very quickly, and can certainly be overwhelming for a family who has lost a loved one. Wrongful death cases are already difficult and complicated enough as it is with very specific laws and limitations that can come into play, but when you combine that with a potential DUI situation, they may be getting way in over their head and should hire a lawyer who can protect the interests of the estate and his survivors. AVVO has tools to help people identify qualified legal counsel who may be able to assist them. Your best "advice" to them may be to get help right away. Good luck and sorry for (your best friend and her family's) loss.
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While the issue tragic and your "friends" anger understandable, it simply doesn't work that way...at all. She simply has no standing to sue civilly under the "wrongful death act" Fla. Stat. 768 and regular folks have ZERO ability to sue for private criminal prosecution, that is SOLELY in the hands of the State Attorney. She with the rest of the family can contact the State prosecutor on the case and make their position known and that might help the prosecutor in making prosecute or plea decisions in the case.
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You need to speak with a personal injury attorney ASAP. They will address all of the issues involved with such a complicated matter. It isn't about the PIP, but the Wrongful death and survival actions that you will have no idea about how to address.
Personal Rep for Estate needs to be appointed to pursue claims on behalf of Estate for benefit of beneficiaries. One task will be to hire a personal Injury attorney who can investigate this matter fully and maximize recovery. Often, a Personal Injury attorney can assist with the process from the beginning.
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