Semi-Truck Wrongful Death Claims

When a semi-truck is involved in an accident, the results can be catastrophic. Due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles, collisions with smaller cars or pedestrians can cause serious injury or even death. In the event of a fatal accident, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the trucking company and/or the driver. Here’s what you need to know about wrongful death claims arising out of semi-truck accidents.

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought by the surviving family members of a person who has died as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional harm. In the case of a semi-truck accident, a wrongful death claim may be brought against the trucking company and/or the driver if their negligence or recklessness caused the accident.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

The laws governing who can file a wrongful death claim vary from state to state, but in general, the following family members may be eligible to file:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Other close relatives, such as grandparents or cousins
  • If the deceased did not have any living family members, a wrongful death claim may be filed by the personal representative of the estate.

What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death claim?

The damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim also vary by state, but they generally include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses incurred before the person’s death
  • Lost income and benefits that the deceased would have earned if they had lived
  • Loss of companionship, love, and support
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their death
  • Punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant for their wrongful actions, may also be awarded in some cases.

Proving liability in a semi-truck accident

In order to file a successful wrongful death claim arising out of a semi-truck accident, the surviving family members must prove that the trucking company and/or driver was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident. This may involve:

  • Gathering evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs, witness statements, and police reports
  • Examining the driver’s logs to determine whether they were driving for too many hours or violating other safety regulations
  • Reviewing the trucking company’s records to determine whether they were properly maintaining their vehicles and training their drivers
  • Consulting with experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals, to determine the cause and extent of the injuries

It’s important to note that trucking companies and their insurance companies will often vigorously defend against wrongful death claims, so it’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney who understands the complexities of these cases.

If you’ve lost a loved one in a semi-truck accident, it’s understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. However, it’s important to remember that you have legal rights and options. By working with an experienced attorney, you may be able to recover the compensation you deserve and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.