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Do I have a wrongful death case if a trucker loses control on snow or ice and kills my loved one?

You could have a wrongful death claim if a trucker causes a fatal accident by losing control on slippery roads. The fact that snow or ice were present at the time of the crash does not mean that the trucker was not responsible for the accident.

Instead, as with any wrongful death motor vehicle case, it depends on whether the other driver was negligent and whether that negligence caused the crash and your loved one’s death. More specifically, you will need to prove the following in a wrongful death case:

  • The trucker owed your loved one a duty of care. Each driver on the road owes every other driver a duty of care.
  • The trucker breached the duty of care by failing to act like a reasonable trucker would in similar circumstances. For example, if the trucker was driving too fast for the road conditions or did not know how to operate the vehicle on snowy roads, then the trucker may have breached the duty of care. Similarly, if the trucking company did not have the vehicle prepared for winter weather, then the duty of care may have been breached.
  • The breach of the duty of care caused your loved one’s death. In other words, your loved one died because of the injuries he sustained in the accident.
  • You have standing to sue. State law determines whether you are allowed to bring a wrongful death case.

If these elements of a wrongful death case are met, then you may be able to recover damages for your loved one’s death, regardless of the weather conditions at the time of the crash.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham