Wrongful Death Lawyers for Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents
Call (800) 863-5312 for a Free Consultation with a Wrongful Death Attorney
Accidents involving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, or other types of large commercial vehicles are far more likely to result in fatalities than accidents involving two or more passenger vehicles. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that large commercial trucks have a higher fatality rate per mile than any other type of motor vehicle.
No wrongful death claim is simple, but those claims stemming from 18-wheeler accidents are especially complicated. The complexity comes mainly from the layers of people and corporations who are involved in the suit. Between the driver, the owner of the truck, the employer, the company whose goods were being hauled, and multiple insurance companies, the layers of people and complexity make these types of lawsuits very difficult.
If you lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler wreck, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a skilled truck accident lawyer.
Who’s to Blame for a Fatal Truck Accident?
Truck drivers have a legal duty to operate their trucks in a safe manner. Additionally, truck drivers and the companies they work for, as well as manufacturers of commercial trucks and their parts, must all comply with a wide variety of state and federal regulations.
If the trucking company, driver, or manufacturer fails to abide by these regulations and death results, these parties can be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
All insurance companies are businesses focused on making as much money as possible. The insurance company will have a team of experienced individuals assigned to your case. It will be their job to settle the case for as little as possible. They may attempt to delay the investigation and might take a long time to respond to your questions and statements. They may also attempt to get you on the record saying things that hurt your chances of a larger settlement.
Negotiating can be a long and arduous process. Often, the length of the negotiation process is determined by the evidence gathered and how strongly it points to an at-fault party. The medical treatment and other bills resulting from the accident and the amount of available insurance also play a large role. Don’t get discouraged by the insurance company’s tactics. Be confident in your analysis of the facts and the expenses.
It is often helpful to know beforehand the lowest amount you are willing to settle for. This will provide you with a personal basis for the negotiations, and will save you the stress of having to evaluate every single low-ball offer.
Because of the complexity involved in these cases, it may be difficult to figure out what information is important for your case, and those things that are unnecessary. However, don’t make the mistake of letting go of important evidence because you don’t yet recognize the value something has.
Request all the information the insurance and other involved companies and people have, as well as police reports and other witness statements. Make sure to hang on to copies of any correspondence you have about the accident as you never know what might be important down the road.
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If negotiations are unsuccessful and you choose not to settle, you may decide to file a civil lawsuit. Lawsuits bring with them their own complexities in the form of court rules, rules on what evidence is allowed, and deadlines for when claims and responses must be filed. The experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group can help guide you through this process and ensure that you receive everything you are owed.
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil claims brought by the family members of the deceased victim who was killed due to negligence. Depending on the laws in a particular state, the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased victim are all eligible to bring a wrongful death action from the death of their family member.
It is vital to act quickly following a truck accident to safeguard your legal rights. Wrongful death claims must be filed within a specific time frame determined by state law, known as the statute of limitations.
Wrongful death actions will involve complex issues of liability and damages. Wrongful death plaintiffs must prove that the defendant or defendants are liable to the survivors as a result of negligence or other wrongdoing. Negligence is commonly based on drug or alcohol use, fatigue, exceeding hours of service requirements, speeding, driving distracted, or failing to obey traffic safety rules.
What Types of Damages Are Available?
Once liability has been assessed, the complex issue of damages arises. Wrongful death cases are notoriously difficult to calculate damages, as so much is speculative and based on non-economic issues. Wrongful death damages may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses incurred by the victim prior to death
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Of the victim prior to death
- By the survivors
Pain and suffering will focus on the mental and emotional suffering of survivors. Courts may also award damages for loss of support, including household support, loss of love, companionship, guidance, and much more.
In select cases, punitive damages may additionally be awarded. These damages are not intended to compensate the victim; rather, they are awarded in order to punish the truck driver or trucking company and prevent future misconduct. Attorney’s fees and interest may also be awarded dependent upon the facts of the case and the extent of negligence or recklessness asserted on the part of the truck driver or trucking company.
Your truck accident attorney will prove vital in gathering evidence in support of your claim and vigorously fighting for your full recovery.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Will Fight for You and Your Family
The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks makes any accident between a car and a truck potentially fatal. The wrongful death attorneys at Zinda Law Group have assisted countless family members of those killed in truck accidents across the state.
Our award-winning wrongful death attorney team aggressively represents the interests of the survivors of deceased truck accident victims. Our 18-wheeler accident attorneys will zealously fight for your full wrongful death award, including lost income and savings, emotional pain and suffering, psychological counseling, and loss of companionship.
If you have lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.