Trucking accidents are a major cause of traffic fatalities across America. In 2021, nearly 6,000 people were killed in truck crashes in the United States. Statistics tell us that the majority of those who were killed or injured in these accidents were occupants of other vehicles. Passenger cars were the most often impacted by other vehicles in truck accidents. Unfortunately, many people who were affected by truck accidents were simply innocent motorists who were simply minding their own business when they were involved in a crash. Truck driver negligence plays a major role in many fatal accidents.
If you have tragically lost a loved one in a truck crash, you may be wondering about your legal rights. In every state in the country, family members are entitled to bring an action on behalf of the deceased person, known as a survival or a wrongful death action. These actions are filed when someone else’s negligence leads to a fatal accident. Once these claims are brought, the next question for most people is, “What am I entitled to recover?” The law provides for a variety of damages in fatal crash cases.
Due to the complicated and complex nature of wrongful death and survivor suits, it is highly recommended that victims obtain legal counsel at the earliest possible stages in order to protect and secure their legal rights. Here at Burg Simpson, we can help you recover all of the appropriate damages in a fatal truck crash case.
There are two types of actions that are brought on behalf of a decedent following a fatal truck crash. The first is called a survival action. Survival actions are filed from the perspective of the decedent. They seek to recover damages for losses caused to the victims themselves, including pain and suffering.
A wrongful death action, on the other hand, is brought for losses incurred by the survivors. While the survival action focuses on the decedent, the wrongful death action is focused on compensating family members for their losses associated with the crash.
Generally speaking, medical bills are recoverable as part of a survivor action. This includes any and all medical bills incurred by the deceased victim prior to death, including ambulance bills, hospital bills, and the like. In addition to recovery of medical bills, both survivor and wrongful death cases may also seek a variety of other types of damages. These are explained below in more detail.
A pain and suffering claim is typically part of a survivor lawsuit. This claim allows compensation for any pain and suffering that the decedent faced prior to his or her death. This includes both physical pain from their injuries, as well as emotional and mental trauma due to the stress of the crash itself. These claims are highly subjective, and their value depends upon the facts of the particular case.
In fatal truck accident cases, loved ones are entitled to bring claims for lost wages and loss of earning capacity. In plain terms, this means the amount of money that the victim earned and could have earned to support themselves and their family. Some key factors in this claim include the age of the victim at the time of their death, whether they had dependents such as children, and their job and wage history when the accident occurred. All of these factors are analyzed in order to determine the total economic loss sustained by the victim’s passing.
A loss of affection and consortium claim, sometimes referred to as a loss of services claim, is brought by family members to recover for the loss of the decedent’s love and affection. Similar to pain and suffering, these claims are subjective in nature. Often, emotional evidence, such as the testimony of a spouse or child, is presented in support of this claim. While the loss is truly impossible to quantify, the law allows for financial recovery.
As with medical expenses, the costs and expenses of a funeral and burial are typically allowed. These claims are filed in wrongful death actions and are recovered on behalf of the decedent’s survivors. The unplanned and often large amount of these expenses can be shocking to loved ones. It is important to recover this expense in order to help put the family back into the same financial place that they enjoyed prior to the incident.
The loss of a loved one in a truck accident is the most devastating thing for families to experience. Unfortunately, there is no way to be prepared for the grief and heartache that come with such a sudden tragedy. Likewise, no amount of money will ever replace what you have lost. Fatal truck accidents are painful and traumatic events for all affected.
The goal of hiring an attorney after a fatal truck accident is to achieve justice and ensure that your rights are protected. The law states that negligent drivers can and should be held accountable for their actions. This includes truck drivers and trucking companies who knowingly or recklessly create dangerous conditions on the road. Victims should not have to be financially responsible for the loss of their loved ones. Taking legal action as soon as possible is important in order to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.
Our nationwide truck accident attorneys at Burg Simpson are here to help you at any time. Our firm has successfully recovered more than $2 billion on behalf of injured victims and their loved ones. We would be honored to provide assistance to you during this difficult time period in your life.
Our firm offers free consultations and case evaluations for all potential and prospective clients. When you need a tough and aggressive law firm, you can count on us to provide results. To speak with one of our United States truck accident lawyers, please give us a call at (866) 637-1207.