In car accident cases, the jury relies on the evidence presented at trial to determine whether the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages, and if so, what compensation the plaintiff is owed. While economic losses incurred for medical treatment or repairing a vehicle are easily calculable, determining appropriate damages for non-economic harm such as pain and suffering is less straightforward. Rather, in assessing the appropriate compensation for pain and suffering a jury will usually rely on the injured party’s testimony and an account of how the accident occurred.
Until recently, it was unclear whether a plaintiff could produce evidence of how an accident occurred to establish pain and suffering in a wrongful death case. A district court applying Florida law just ruled, however, that plaintiffs in a wrongful death case could submit evidence regarding the way a fatal car accident occurred to show their pain and suffering. If you suffered the loss of a loved one due to a South Florida fatal car accident you should speak with a capable South Florida wrongful death attorney regarding the facts of your case and what damages you may be able to recover.
Facts Regarding the Accident
Reportedly, the defendant driver was a 99-year-old man who was known to be a dangerous driver. At the time of the accident, he was driving a large recreational vehicle without working headlights on the wrong side of the road at night, when he struck the plaintiffs’ decedent’s car. The decedent ultimately died due to her injuries, after which the personal representatives of her estate filed a wrongful death claim against the defendant driver’s estate. The defendants conceded liability but argued that the plaintiffs should not be permitted to introduce evidence regarding how the accident occurred. The plaintiffs and the defendants both submitted motions regarding what evidence should be admitted.