Our wrongful death lawyers certainly wouldn’t tell you that you have to do things a certain way after a fatal truck accident takes the life of your loved one. There is no right way or wrong way to handle things after the unexpected death of a parent, spouse, child, or sibling.
You have to do what is best for you and your family.
However, your time to take action is limited and you may be feeling overwhelmed. Accordingly, we have some suggestions for you to consider. You should think about:
- Planning the service that is right for your family and that honors your loved one.
- Taking time to grieve. Make sure that you take care of yourself. You may need time off from work, school, or other regular activities following your loss.
- Getting the emotional support that you need. This may come from friends, relatives, religious leaders, or professional counselors.
- Planning for your family’s financial future. Your loved one may have a will, life insurance, or other matters that need to be taken care of after death.
- Considering honoring your loved one through a special scholarship, fund, or other charitable endeavor.
- Making sure your legal rights are protected. You may be able to file a wrongful death case.
Different families will proceed through these steps at different paces. It is not necessary to plan everything the day that you receive the phone call that changes your whole world.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
If your loved one was killed because of someone else’s negligence, then you may have a wrongful death claim. In order to recover damages in a wrongful death case, you will need to prove that:
- 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, was distracted, or otherwise failed to act like a reasonable truck driver, then the trucker may have breached the duty of care.
- 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.
An Investigation Will Determine If You Have a Case
An investigation will look into all possible causes of your loved one’s death, including:
- Driver error.
- Truck company policies.
- A truck manufacturing error.
- A truck maintenance error.
The cause of the accident and the person, persons, or company that is legally responsible for your loved one’s death can be identified based on the results of the investigation. It is, therefore, important to find out why the accident occurred and who may be responsible for helping you recover damages.
An experienced fatal accident lawyer can investigate the accident, advise you of who may be legally liable, and help you understand your legal rights and potential recovery. If someone else’s negligent or deliberate actions caused your loved one’s death, then you may be able to recover damages for funeral expenses, medical costs incurred prior to death, out-of-pocket costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. More importantly, you will have the peace of mind of knowing what happened.
If you've been involved in a truck accident contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your free consultation.