What if I lost a loved one in a trucking accident?
By GNGF on January 20th, 2023 in
If you’ve lost a loved one to a trucking accident, wrongful death laws allow the family members of the deceased to sue the negligent truck driver and trucking company for causing your loved one’s death. Generally, wrongful death statutes allow surviving spouses, children, and parents of the deceased to make wrongful death claims. The law also allows the estate of the deceased to make claims for medical bills, funeral expenses, and any conscious pain and suffering if you’ve lost a loved one.
Each state has different statutes which determine who can file a wrongful death claim. In the state of Texas, the spouse, parents, or adult children of the decedent are allowed to file a wrongful death claim. If none of these people file a claim, the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s heirs.
In the state of New Mexico, only the personal representative or executor can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family members. In most cases, an executor or personal representative is named by the decedent in his or her estate plan. If the decedent left no will or other type of estate plan, then the court will name a personal representative.
In some instances, a personal injury claim can turn into a wrongful death claim. If a loved one suffered severe injuries from a truck accident and was in the process of filing a personal injury claim, then died, that claim turns into a wrongful death claim. This means that any medical expenses incurred prior to the death can be reimbursed, along with funeral and burial expenses, and certain damages that are not typically seen in a personal injury claim, including:
- Loss of guidance and care for children of the decedent
- Loss of companionship for the spouse of the decedent
- Loss of financial contribution to the household
- Loss of inheritance
Your wrongful death attorney will help determine what the claim is worth, then work to negotiate a settlement that properly covers all damages.
I was injured in a crash where a truck driver was at fault. What kind of damages can I recover?
If you are the victim of a negligent truck driving accident, you are entitled to recover all of your past and future medical bills, lost wages, and a significant sum for pain, suffering, and other harms and losses. If the company and its insurance company are not willing to fairly pay you in a settlement, a dedicated lawyer is ready, willing, and able to take your case to trial. Our firm regularly files lawsuits against companies whose drivers negligently injure our clients to help ensure that our clients are paid fairly for their injuries.
Ultimately, the trucking company is responsible for the actions of its truck drivers. They have a duty to ensure that a thorough background check has been done on the driver and that the driver is properly trained. If a truck driver has an accident from being overly fatigued, the trucking company may have known the driver was exceeding allowable hours yet did nothing about it. There are significant reasons—both on the driver’s side and the trucking company—to exceed allowable hours. Drivers only get paid for the time they are behind the wheel and are under intense pressure to deliver loads quickly. The profits of a trucking company are tied directly to how quickly loads get delivered, so they have little interest in ensuring truck drivers are well-rested—until an accident occurs. While your specific damages will depend on the situation, the facts, and whether liability is clear, you should be able to recoup all your actual expenses, along with pain and suffering damages.
How the Harmonson Law Firm Can Help
At Harmonson Law Firm, our goal is to make the personal injury or wrongful death claim process as simple and stress-free as possible. If you’ve lost a loved one, we want you to have time to grieve without worrying about the legalities of the situation. If you were injured in a truck accident, we want to make sure you not only get the medical treatments you need but that you also receive a full settlement that completely covers your damages.
We have the skills and experience necessary for your claim, but we have something equally important as well—the level of commitment and personalization we provide each and every client. Truck accidents are much more complex than an accident involving two passenger vehicles. The injuries are likely to be much more severe or catastrophic, and there can be more than one liable party. The attorneys at Harmonson Law Firm are well-versed in every aspect of truck accidents—a significant benefit for you. At the Harmonson Law Firm, we’re passionate about helping good people injured in bad accidents. If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident, contact Harmonson Law Firm today. Please note that nothing herein is meant as legal advice specifically related to your case.