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Looking for answers: Family sues teenager for wrongful death

In the wake of a devastating and fatal accident, family members who have suffered the loss of a loved one may not know what to do. Under the terms of the Florida Wrongful Death Act, survivors of a victim who is killed may pursue monetary damages from the party who is responsible for the death, but only for a limited period of time. Determining who that may be can be difficult in some cases.

Recently, the family of a 12-year-old boy who was killed in a car accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the car. What is significant in this case is that the family does not have a clear understanding of what happened on the night of the accident. They have filed the lawsuit in order to get answers.

Because the case is still under review by the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office, the family does not have access to the police investigation into the accident. What they do know, however, is that an unlicensed 14-year-old boy was driving the car the victim was in when it crashed. They do not know whose car it was or how the driver got the keys to it.

In order for the family to move forward, they filed a wrongful death suit against the young boy so that they would be able to subpoena witnesses and use the power of the court to proceed with a judgment. The family hopes that through their lawsuit, they will be able to figure out what exactly happened the night they lost their son.

This lawsuit is requesting compensation for the funeral and burial expenses, loss of their son's love and companionship, counseling expenses and attorney fees. Though there is no amount of money that will undo the tragic event, the family has a right to recover damages from the person responsible for their son's death. In addition to the financial aspect, however, the family may finally be able to get answers as to what happened that night.

Source: SouthBendTribune, "Teenager sued for wrongful death," Mary Kate Malone, April 23, 2012

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