Losing a loved one is a tragedy. Driving a car is the single most dangerous activity most people do on a daily basis, and unfortunately, it leads to the deaths of thousands every year. Truck accidents are especially dangerous for the drivers and passengers of other cars. In approximately 97% of truck accidents, the occupants of other cars lose their lives, and the truck driver walks away from the crash.
If you have lost a loved one to an accident with a large truck, talk to our attorneys today. Reiff and Bily’s The Trucking Team represents injured trucking victims and the surviving family of those who died in truck accidents. Our lawyers fight to get the family of victims financial compensation that can pay for funeral costs and keep a family going without the deceased family member’s income.
Who can Sue for Truck Accident Deaths?
When someone dies in an accident with a big rig truck, the surviving family members may be able to sue the truck driver and the trucking company for their loved one’s death. This system can be difficult to understand sometimes, and there may be rules as to when you can sue. The specific rules for how this works is determined by each specific state, so talk to an attorney to see whether you can sue for your loved one’s death in your state.
First, there must be a “wrongful death” in order to sue. This means that the deceased was not responsible for his or her own death, and that the truck driver was responsible. In many states, if the accident was caused by the truck driver, that will be sufficient to hold the death against the driver and the trucking company. In some states however, if your deceased loved one was partially at fault for the accident you may be unable to recover compensation for their death. In most states, you will still be able to recover if your lost loved one was partially at fault, but the compensation will be reduced by their proportion of the fault.
Second, you must be related to the deceased person in a way that your state’s law allows for wrongful death suits. In most states, the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased is able to sue for their death. In other states, the “personal representative” or another person appointed in the deceased’s will is able to sue. Some states may extend the ability to sue to others. Understanding your state’s laws is especially important for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, and nephews who relied upon the deceased for income, care, or housing, since they may be unable to sue. Talk to an attorney to understand your state’s laws.
Lastly, you must bring the lawsuit within the proper time limit. Each state has a “statute of limitations” that puts a time restriction on your wrongful death suit. In most states, the law states that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident. Others may extend this to three years, while others state that it must be filed within two years of the death, rather than the truck accident that lead to death.
Compensation for the Death of a Loved One in a Truck Accident
If a loved one is taken too soon by a truck accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The goal of this compensation is to return the surviving family members to the same financial situation as though the loved one had survived. Obviously, money cannot replace the lost loved one, but it can replace their wages and other financial items.
Compensation for a wrongful death suit can cover the costs of funeral and burial expenses. These are surprisingly expensive, and when they come unexpectedly, they can drain your finances. A lawsuit may help you recover these costs.
If the deceased loved one was responsible for the family’s income (or part of it), you may be able to recover compensation for those lost wages. This often includes the wages your family has already lost due to the loved one’s death as well as the wages your family will not see in the future. You may also receive compensation for things like investments or inheritances that you will not receive because of the death.
Finally, you can be compensated for the losses you personally face. The grief of losing a loved one, the lost counsel from a parent, the lost companionship from a spouse, and other losses may all be compensable in court. Your state’s laws may limit what specific awards are allowed, and what amounts, so talk to an attorney about your case.
National Truck Accident Attorneys
The lawyers at Reiff and Bily’s The Truck Accident Team fight to help the family of those who died in large truck accidents. Compensation may be available that can keep your family in good financial status, even through the death of the primary income provider. Call (800) 896-6173 today for a free consultation with our attorneys.