Truck accidents pose a far greater threat than car accident cases because the damage is expectedly larger, the injuries are extreme, and the fatality rates are high. Therefore, if you have lost a loved one to this type of terrible accident, it is important that you know how to proceed. On that note, here are 6 things you must know about wrongful death in truck accident cases.
1. What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is caused by a wrongful act, whether it is an intentional act or a result of negligence or recklessness. There’s a difference between wrongful death action and wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims may mean that the at-fault party was actually executing a survival action during a dangerous encounter. However, in the case of a truck accident, it would take a lot to prove that the party was taking survival action.
2. Who is Liable for the Crime?
The party responsible for the crime is determined after law enforcement and law firms assess the damage at the crime scene as well as both parties’ condition after the fact. Responsible entities can primarily be the drivers themselves, especially if they drove recklessly or neglected to follow road and safety rules, and the truck company if they don’t offer fair working hours for their tired staff. The manufacturer of the truck or the mechanic can also be held responsible if the vehicle has faulty parts.
3. Who is Eligible to File a Lawsuit?
Family members can take on the case to seek justice. It is their responsibility to hire a lawyer so that they can sue the liable entities and receive compensation for the crime. The family members eligible to file the lawsuit are the domestic partner or surviving spouse, the parent or guardian of the deceased, or the child of the deceased. If there is a personal representative of the estate, they are also eligible to file on behalf of the victim. Furthermore, if a family member has suffered emotional injuries due to the loss of their loved one, they can also sue the at-fault party for emotional distress.
4. Documents Are Destroyed After Retention Period
Every trucking company has to document each of their drivers’ hours of service, retaining details of their shift for up to 6 months. If the departed’s family does not contact a lawyer to file a claim before the retention period, some of the proof that will help your case may be destroyed. These documents can prove that the truck driver in question may have been working overtime and therefore, may have been tired while on the road, which led to the crash.
5. A Specialized Lawyer Must be Contacted
Since a truck accident case has 6 months before documents can be destroyed, you must contact a lawyer immediately. A truck accident that happened in Michigan means you will need a specialized lawyer who handles truck accident cases in the area because there are many aspects of the case they will know to consider. One of the things that a specialized lawyer must be knowledgeable about is the Ann Arbor common truck injuries, as these are what local lawyers frequently deal with. This is crucial to your case. An experienced attorney will know how to ensure the entity or entities responsible will be held liable. Family members of the victim will be able to take the case to court and receive compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.
6. Prepare for Defendant’s Lawyers to Be Vigilant
The insurance company’s lawyers hired to represent the defendant will have surveillance and reconstruction experts to review the situation from top to bottom. This is due to the high stakes nature of a truck accident. The defendant’s legal team will strive to undermine your lawsuit claims and prove that the trucking company is not liable. Their defense tactics may be aggressive, which is why you need the best possible lawyer to not let them get away with it. This is not a job for an inexperienced lawyer.
Losing a loved one is already a devastating experience, and having to go through these legal proceedings is the last thing any person is emotionally or physically ready for. That is why you must hire the best legal representatives on behalf of your family member so that they can ensure you seek justice and sue the at-fault party. With the above information, you will be prepared to sue the liable entities and, with the help of your lawyer, will receive the appropriate compensation.