Losing a loved one in a truck accident can be a horrible tragedy, especially if it was the fault of a negligent driver. The untimely death of a loved one can be extremely painful for surviving family members, both emotionally and financially.
If you have recently lost a loved one in a semi-truck accident, you do have the ability to fight back against the negligent party or parties. By filing a wrongful death claim, you can take a stand for justice against those who did your family wrong.
The Houston attorneys at Lapeze & Johns have won or successfully resolved 98% of their cases and they can make all the difference for you. If you have recently lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident, please consider the following information.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks and tractor trailers, when loaded to capacity, can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while traditional passenger vehicles typically weight between 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. This difference in size creates a significant risk of injury or death when everyday individuals are involved in a truck accident.
There are a number of common causes that can contribute to a semi-truck accident including but not limited to:
- Limited Maneuverability – Because of a commercial truck’s gigantic size, precise driving can become extremely difficult – especially at high speeds. Bigger trucks take wider turns, need more time to stop, and generally take up more room on the road.
- Sudden Stops – One of the most dangerous positions for a passenger vehicle to be in is right in front of a semi-truck. If there is an emergency and you have to make a sudden stop, an 18-wheeler may barrel into your rear end, as they require an additional 200 feet to completely stop in comparison to a passenger vehicle.
- Improper Cargo Weight Distribution – If the cargo of the 18-wheeler has been improperly loaded and secured, this can make the trailer off balance, which increases the risk of a rollover if the vehicles make too sharp of a turn or suddenly brakes.
- Poor Truck Maintenance – Like any other vehicle, maintenance is absolutely essential to keep the driver of the vehicle and other drivers safe. Bad brakes, broken tail lights/headlights/blinking lights, broken trailer latch and more, can all lead to a serious or even deadly accident.
Surviving Family Members and Claim Eligibility
When a family suffers a loss, they will naturally want justice for the deceased. Should you decide to make a claim, there are a couple of factors that need to be considered:
- Statute of Limitations – Surviving family members, including spouse, children, or parents of the decedent, are able to file a wrongful death claim up to two years after the accident, as per The Texas Wrongful Death Act and the Texas Survival Statute.
- Proper Evidence – To make a valid wrongful death claim, sufficient evidence that the death was caused by the negligence of someone other than the deceased is essential. Collecting evidence and proving negligence is an extremely important part of the claim process, that’s why acquiring the assistance of a lawyer that has experience with wrongful death claims is a must.
What Compensation Can My Family Receive From a Wrongful Death Claim
Below are some of the damages that you may be able to receive from a successful claim:
- Lost Compensation – If the deceased was the primary earner for your family, you may be able to receive lost wages from the victim’s earnings. A spouse may also be compensated for the loss of companionship.
- Mental Pain – Any mental or emotional pain suffered by the victim’s family could be compensated.
- Financial Damages – This compensation would include the cost of maintenance, services, support, care, or advice, that the loved ones of the deceased would be receiving had the life not been cut short.
- Economic Damages – This includes damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of inheritance, and more.