Don’t Let a Fatal Truck Accident Devastate You Financially

by Paula A. Wyatt | April 1, 2024 | Blog, Truck Accidents | 0 comments

Don’t Let a Fatal Truck Accident Devastate You Financially

Trucks are an essential aspect of America's economy. Thousands of trucks use our roads daily, transporting and delivering goods and resources from state to state. While they perform a valuable function and keep businesses thriving, trucks can also be extremely dangerous, especially to smaller vehicles that share the road with them.

The big size and weight of a tall truck barreling down the highway can do damage to smaller vehicles on the road and may be responsible for the tragic loss of life.

If you have lost a loved one due to a truck accident, your life has likely been turned upside down emotionally and financially, but you have options. Hiring a compassionate truck accident attorney will provide you with professional experience to help you recover compensation for your and your family's loss, and the pain and suffering endured by your deceased loved one.

For more information about fatal truck accidents as well as how a truck accident lawyer can help you, continue reading below.

How is a Wrongful Death Claim Defined?

If your loved one died in a truck accident due to someone else's lack of care or negligence, it might be possible for you to pursue a wrongful death claim. Certain conditions must be present to qualify as wrongful death. According to state law, wrongful death involves:

  • An injury that caused a person's death
  • The injury must have been due to another person's wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default
  • The injured person would have filed a personal injury suit if they had not died.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Not anyone can file a wrongful death claim; only the surviving spouse, children, parents, or one or more of those parties, may file a wrongful death lawsuit after their loved one dies in a truck accident.

Fatal Truck Accident Statistics

Unfortunately, it's common for truck accidents to have fatal consequences. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published its latest statistics on commercial truck accidents and related fatalities in the United States. According to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a total of 4,014 individuals lost their lives in accidents involving large trucks.

The report also revealed that 15% of these fatalities, or 608 deaths, were truck occupants. When compared to the historic low figures for large truck accidents, the data shows a significant increase of 28% in truck accident deaths and a 35% rise in the number of truck occupants' deaths.

One alarming discovery was that in collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles, an astounding 97% of the fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicles. This finding highlights the substantially higher risk faced by occupants of smaller vehicles when involved in accidents with large trucks.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

​Don’t Let a Fatal Truck Accident Devastate You Financially

There are many causes of truck accidents. Of course, a passenger car driver can cause an accident with a truck, but many truck accidents happen due to truck defects, tired or distracted truck drivers, long shifts, severe weather, and foolish driving decisions. Quite often, blind spots are the reason for accidents. The size and structure of trucks make it difficult for drivers to see everything and everyone around them, increasing the risk of disastrous accidents.

Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Brake Problems
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Improper training
  • Speeding
  • Unrealistic schedules
  • Improper cargo loading
  • Aggressive or illegal driving
  • Distracted driving due to texting or using cell phones

When another party is responsible for losing your loved one, you should not have to pay for that loss. The person, people, or companies responsible for the accident should financially compensate you for damages and losses incurred, including your pain and suffering and the suffering and pain endured by your deceased loved one. Determining who is responsible for a truck accident fatality is a daunting task. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help determine liability and assist you with a wrongful death claim.

Damages Awarded for Wrongful Death Claims

Depending on the circumstances of the truck accident, your wrongful death claim may seek and be awarded damages for:

  • Pain and suffering of the deceased. Damages for the pain and suffering of the deceased may be available depending on the extent of pain experienced by your loved one, the duration of the pain endured after the accident, and the victim’s awareness of what was happening to them during and after the crash.
  • Medical Costs. You may recover financially for all medical costs, including hospital, ambulance, emergency room, surgery, intensive care unit, life support costs, and any medicines or medical procedures performed.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses. You can seek compensation for all the expenses incurred from a funeral following a wrongful death claim. When death results from someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you should not have to pay for your loved one’s funeral and burial. The responsible party should cover the many costs. Funeral costs may include transportation of the deceased to a funeral home, hearse transportation to services, burial preparation of the deceased, casket, memorials, church services, cemetery plot, cremation, tombstone, or marker.
  • Loss of Consortium. This refers to the end of a spousal or familial relationship due to the preventable death of your family member. Because of the tragic accident, your loved one is gone and can no longer provide you with love, affection, guidance, support, or companionship. Nothing can bring your loved one back, but you might receive compensation for this loss of consortium to help you move on with your life after this tragic loss.
  • Loss of Income. In a wrongful death lawsuit, families can recover current and future income losses. When a loved one dies in a truck accident, their income or benefits will no longer be available to you. Loss of income damages may include wages, self-employed income, health care benefits, and government benefits such as social security and disability.
  • Families can benefit by recovering the above damages, but they must prove liability for the wrongful death before they can receive a settlement.

Proving Liability for a Fatal Truck Crash

Bills will pile up if a loved one has died from a truck accident. Medical bills, funeral expenses, burial costs, lost income, and benefits can add to substantial expenses. This can be overwhelming, confusing, and emotionally exhausting after dealing with the death of a spouse, parent, or child.

An experienced attorney can assist you in seeking compensation for your losses and alleviate some of the stress you may be dealing with. If you decide to pursue financial compensation on your own, you will have to prove liability against a large trucking corporation. It will be immensely easier with a licensed professional on your side.

It is a complex task to determine who is at fault in a truck accident because numerous parties can be involved. For example, there is the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo company, the maintenance company, and the individual insurers for each of those parties. A truck accident lawyer can help to keep it all straight and protect you from being taken advantage of by a big company’s attorneys and/or insurers.

Claimants have a limited time to file truck accident suits, and finalizing liability is time consuming. Delaying the process of recovery is not advisable since there is a time limit or statute of limitations in which lawsuits must be filed.

For example, the statute of limitations for personal injury in Texas is two years. Across the country, time limits range from one to six years. You must establish liability and file a lawsuit before that time runs out. A truck accident lawyer can quickly determine who is at fault and initiate compensation settlements for the injured parties before the statute of limitation expires.

Liable Parties for Wrongful Death

As discussed above, numerous parties can be held responsible for the devastation of a truck accident.

Those parties include, but are not limited to:

  • Negligent driver
  • Trucking company
  • Cargo company
  • Cargo loaders
  • Truck maintenance companies
  • Truck manufacturers

Drivers and companies should be liable when they are negligent and cause injuries. Drivers who are texting, distracted, or speeding are at fault if their carelessness causes an accident. Suppose a truck is improperly maintained and does not meet federal safety standards. In that case, the truck company can be responsible for the crash. If cargo issues cause an accident, the cargo company or cargo loaders can be held accountable.

For example, if cargo is loaded improperly, the uneven weight may cause a truck to jackknife, leading to a dangerous situation. Truck maintenance companies and companies involved in employee recruiting and training can also be liable if a lack of maintenance, inadequate recruiting, or poor driver training causes an accident. Truck manufacturers might be liable if a mechanical defect caused the tragedy. Brake problems are a common cause of truck accidents and are usually due to manufacturing defects.

Determining liability can be a confusing and prolonged process. Hiring a truck accident attorney to manage your wrongful death claim is in your best interest.


Obtaining Legal Representation to Help With a Truck Accident

The Importance of Hiring an Attorney

If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, it is your right to pursue compensation for your losses. It is wise to retain legal representation to help file and litigate your claim. An experienced attorney will review the facts of your wrongful death case and initiate legal action on your behalf. An attorney will also protect you from insurance and trucking companies who may try to deny your claims, offer insufficient settlements, and take advantage of your lack of knowledge.

Trucking Companies' Tactics

Trucking companies often send representatives to collect information and interview witnesses at the accident scene. They do this to prove they were not responsible for the accident or any injuries or deaths. Lawyers and insurance adjusters may try to contact you personally and offer inadequate compensation or try to get you to sign documents that will waive your right to pursue further legal action.

Benefits of Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney

Hiring a truck accident and/or wrongful death attorney will protect you from this type of manipulation. An attorney will defend and protect your interests while helping you recover compensation for medical costs, ambulance fees, emergency room visits, extended hospital and treatment center stays, pain, suffering, trauma, loss of loved one, current and future lost wages and benefits, as well as funeral and burial costs.

Seeking Compensation for Your Loss

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is not easy; losing someone to a horrific truck accident is especially difficult. Don't let your loved one's fatal truck accident bury you financially. Seek the reimbursement and compensation you deserve from those responsible for the accident and loss of your loved one. Hire an experienced truck accident attorney who will compassionately listen to your story, advise you on pertinent legal matters, initiate meetings and agreements, deal with all involved parties, and ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Compensation You Can Recover in a Truck Accident Claim

You can recover compensation for the following if your loved one died in a truck accident:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses leading up to your loved one’s death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Renovation costs if you needed to make your home wheelchair accessible
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Loss of consortium
  • Much more

There is no dollar amount that can comfort you after losing a parent, spouse, or child. However, recovering for these losses can help your family have financial support and feel a sense of justice after your tragedy.

Call an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Today

Lawyers of Distinction AwardNegotiating financial and legal issues should not be something you have to worry about during this challenging time. Hiring a professional truck accident attorney to handle the nitty-gritty details will allow you time to recover from your loss, grieve for your loved one, and move on with your life.

Losing a loved one is hard enough; don’t let the tragic truck accident that took their life take your livelihood. Call a compassionate personal injury attorney today.


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