Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents
Large and heavy commercial trucks, such as 18-wheelers and dump trucks, leave little room for error. A driver’s momentary inattention or a minor mechanical fault can have tragic consequences. Some of the leading causes of truck accidents with fatalities include:
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as many as 87% of truck accidents occur due to driver-related reasons. Driving behaviors that can contribute to truck accidents leading to wrongful death include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to observe traffic signs and signals
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Trucks require regular maintenance to ensure they are roadworthy and safe to operate. When trucking companies cut corners and fail to properly maintain their vehicles, mechanical failures or material fatigue could cause devastating crashes. Examples of maintenance issues causing accidents include worn tires, defective steering, faulty brakes, and broken lights.
Improperly Loaded Trucks
Truck cargo must be loaded correctly while observing a truck’s weight restrictions. If the vehicle carries too much weight or the cargo is loaded inadequately, the driver may experience problems with vehicle handling and could even lose control of the truck in sharp bends or turns. Overloaded trucks can also cause equipment failure, such as tire blowouts.
Road and Weather Conditions
Poor road conditions, such as potholes or debris on the road, can be especially hazardous for trucks due to their size and weight. Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, ice, and fog, affect visibility and handling, making it more difficult for truck drivers to control their vehicles.
Sometimes, a combination of the above factors causes wrongful deaths in a truck accident. For example, when a fatigued driver is operating a poorly maintained truck, they may be too tired to react quickly to any problems with the vehicle.
You could be entitled to compensation if your loved one died in a truck accident. Our experienced truck accident attorneys can analyze your claim and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Who Is Liable for Your Loved One’s Death?
Determining who is responsible for a truck accident can be challenging, as there could be several liable parties, including but not limited to:
- The trucking company
- The driver
- The manufacturer of the truck
- The cargo loader
- A truck repair shop
- Government entities (if a poorly maintained road caused the crash)
However, to recover full and fair compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one, you must identify all liable parties and prove how they caused or contributed to the crash.
Don’t let a negligent trucking company, driver, or repair shop get away scot-free. The Ammons Law Firm’s tenacious truck accident attorneys can help you to identify those responsibly and pursue truck accident wrongful death damages from all at-fault parties.
Truck Accident Wrongful Death Compensation
No amount of money can ever replace your loved one. However, recovering adequate compensation can help to ease the financial burden arising from the death of your relative and provide some sense of justice. Here are some damages that families of victims killed in truck accidents could receive with a wrongful death lawsuit:
End of Life Expenses
Wrongful death compensation can include various expenses associated with the death, such as funeral and burial costs and medical bills before death.
Loss of income
Making ends meet can be impossible for a family if the primary breadwinner dies in a truck accident. However, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for the loss of income and future income the individual would have been expected to earn had they survived. This can include:
- Wage replacement payments
- Compensation for lost benefits such as health insurance
- Payments for lost services from the deceased, such as childcare and yard work
Lost wages and benefits are generally calculated based on the deceased’s age, how long they were expected to live had the accident not occurred, their earnings at the time of death, and their potential future income.
Families of victims killed in truck accidents may qualify for a range of non-economic damages, including but not limited to:
- Pain and anguish
- Loss of companionship, love, and support
- Loss of parental guidance (minor children)
Establishing a monetary amount and proving a family’s emotional anguish can be problematic. However, an experienced truck accident attorney at The Ammons Law Firm can demonstrate the distress and suffering the family experienced in the aftermath of their loved one’s wrongful death.
In some wrongful death claims, families may recover punitive damages. These damages are only awarded in particularly egregious cases and are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
It is essential to note that the amount of compensation you could receive in a wrongful death truck accident case can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident and state laws.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Wrongful Death Attorney
When you lose a loved one in a truck accident caused by the carelessness or wrongdoing of others, you may qualify for considerable damages. However, pursuing a wrongful death claim can be challenging and complex, particularly when dealing with multiple defendants and their insurance companies. Going it alone could lead to leaving money on the table.
As you try to come to terms with your loss and find a way forward, having a compassionate and experienced wrongful death lawyer on your side can be crucial. The Ammons Law Firm can guide you through the legal process, navigate the playing field, and seek justice for your loved one. With our determined truck accident attorneys on your side, you can focus on grieving and healing while we handle all legal aspects of your case.
How a Wrongful Death Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Our wrongful death truck accident lawyer can help you in many ways, including:
- Investigating the fatal truck accident with industry experts
- Determining the cause of the crash
- Gathering critical evidence proving your claim
- Identifying all liable entities in the accident
- Building a strong case against the responsible party or parties
- Assessing the full financial and emotional impact of losing your loved one
- Determining the worth of your wrongful death claim
- Negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement
- Taking your case to court and representing your interests powerfully in front of a judge and jury
The Time to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Is Limited
According to Texas Statutes section 71.001, family members of an individual killed in a truck accident generally have two years to file a wrongful death claim. However, certain factors could shorten the time available to sue. For example, if you have a claim against a government entity, you may have additional paperwork to complete in a shorter timeframe to be eligible for a lawsuit.
Consult a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your loved one’s death to ensure you don’t miss any critical filing deadlines that could jeopardize your case. Filing a wrongful death claim too late could leave you unable to pursue compensation. Moreover, the sooner you contact our truck accident attorneys, the sooner you can recover the compensation you need to put your life back together after losing your loved one.
We Fight Hard for the Families of Killed Truck Accident Victims
You deserve answers when a loved one is killed in a truck accident caused by another’s negligence. The Ammons Law Firm understands that facing life and dealing with the many end-of-life formalities after a loved one’s death can be taxing. However, don’t risk missing out on what you deserve and need to secure your family’s future.
Our dedicated and compassionate 18-wheeler crash attorneys have helped families receive justice and compensation for over two decades. We can be here for you during this most challenging time, fighting tirelessly for what you deserve. Get started today and schedule a free case review to discover your next best steps for getting justice.
When you or a loved one dies in a truck accident and need help recovering compensation to cover end of life expenses and your pain and suffering, we can help you.