Two Teens Killed in Deadly Car Crash in Miami Springs

According to the Miami-Dade Police Department, two Miami-Dade County Public School students were killed on Monday in a car accident in Miami Springs. MDPD says the crash occurred around noon on Monday at the intersection of NW 36th Street and NW 57th Avenue when one car slammed into a second car making a left turn onto Northwest 57th Avenue. The second car crashed into a pole, shaking the traffic lights, before it caught fire. Police officials identified the victims as 18-year-old Gian Carlos Moncada and 18- year-old Kevin Davila. A third person, Omar Izquierdo, 46, was injured in the fiery crash and is currently receiving medical attention at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Izquierdo is listed in serious condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital, but is expected to recover, police said. MDPD shut down the area for several hours on Monday while they investigated the crash.

Florida Wrongful Death Claims

\Wrongful death actions arise as a result of the death of the plaintiff from injuries sustained in an accident. The Florida Wrongful Death Act creates a right of action for wrongful death in favor of certain designated beneficiaries not recognized at common law. The Act provides that when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, then the person that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued will be liable for damages. In Florida, an action for wrongful death is solely a creation of the legislature. Therefore, the right to bring an action for damages for wrongful death exists solely by virtue of statute.

Who May Bring a Florida Wrongful Death Claim?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act provides that an action for wrongful death must be brought by the decedent’s personal representative, who is to recover for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors and estate all the damages, as specified in the Act, caused by the injury resulting in death. Thus, the personal representative has the exclusive authority to conduct litigation, and to hire counsel to carry out his or her duties with regard to a wrongful death claim. The personal representative is the only party with standing to bring a wrongful death suit on behalf of the estate and the survivors, and the personal representative must bring a single action for all beneficiaries. Thus, for the purpose of a wrongful death claim, the survivors are required to participate in a single legal action to be filed by the estate on behalf of all the survivors. As a result, the personal representative is a nominal party to the action, while the estate and the survivors are the real parties in interest.

What About Pending Personal Injury Claims?

Upon the death of the plaintiff in a personal injury action, the Wrongful Death Act permits the substitution of the personal representative for the deceased plaintiff and the amendment of the personal injury complaint to state a claim for wrongful death. Moreover, if a case was originally filed as a personal injury action and the plaintiff dies, the suit is not dismissed, but rather it is suspended until a personal representative of the decedent’s estate is added as a party to the pending action and receives a reasonable opportunity to amend the complaint to state damages sought under a wrongful death claim. In a wrongful death case where there are joint personal representatives, the joint personal representatives are the party plaintiffs, and only the joint personal representatives, acting in that capacity, are entitled to make a valid demand for judgment.

Application of Statute of Limitations

Generally, a two-year limitations period governs actions for wrongful death except in cases where medical malpractice is alleged as the cause of the wrongful death. This two-year limitation period ordinarily begins to run on the date of the wrongful death. In computing the length of the two-year limitation period governing actions for wrongful death, the day upon which death occurs is excluded. Moreover, if the last day of the two-year limitation period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the period runs until the end of the next day that is neither a Saturday, Sunday, nor a holiday. The four-year statute of limitations set forth in the Tort Claims Act, rather than the two-year limitations period generally governing claims for wrongful death, applies to wrongful death actions brought against the state or any of its agencies or subdivisions pursuant to that Act.

What Are the Damages Available in A Wrongful Death Case?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act grants each survivor the right to recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to the date of his or her death, with interest. Each survivor may also recover for future loss of such support and services from the date of death. For purposes of an award of damages for loss of support and services due to a wrongful death, the term “support” includes contributions in kind as well as money. The term “services” means tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the decedent’s survivors. Services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and the survivor and must be determined under the particular facts of each case.

Our hearts go out to the families of the two young teens that were killed in this accident. This disastrous occurrence is devastating for all involved. Losing a loved one due to the actions of another is a shocking experience. Add to that the expenses and impact of the loss of that loved one and it cannot only be emotionally upsetting but financially disastrous. In these types of situations, the last thing you want to think about is filing a lawsuit. However, you deserve compensation for your loss and justice for what happened to your loved one. If you are thinking about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the lawyers at Suarez & Montero can help. Let us review your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation!

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

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