Tractor trailers are important to the American economy, but it’s crucial to recognize the inherently dangerous nature of these large vehicles. Tractor trailers are several times larger than typical passenger vehicles, and a fully-loaded truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When truck accidents happen, the likelihood of fatal injury is much higher than with smaller passenger cars.
When a person suffers injury or other damages due to the negligent actions of another, the injured party can seek compensation for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit. However, if a person dies due to another person’s negligence, the deceased individual’s surviving family must file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the loss.
In any fatal accident involving a semi-truck, 18-wheeler or other large truck, it is important to fully investigate the cause of the crash. Common causes of serious truck crashes include:
At Butler Prather LLP, we have the resources to dispatch an investigation team to a fatal truck accident anywhere in the United States on very short notice. Our team of experts includes an accident reconstructionist who will help us understand how your loved one was killed in a serious truck crash and allow us to hold the right person or business responsible for a wrongful death. The trucking companies will dispatch teams to the wreck site as soon as possible—so should you.
If a member of your family was killed in a serious truck accident, it is likely that you will be approached by the trucking company’s own investigators and insurance agents. It is always in your best interest to seek legal advice and representation from a truck accident lawyer who is not affiliated with the trucking company before you settle your claims for less than you deserve. Contact our firm to learn about your rights before signing any paperwork from a truck company.
Wrongful death claims function very much like personal injury lawsuits with some notable exceptions. First, only a select few individuals may file a wrongful death claim. Georgia state law stipulates that a surviving spouse, adult child, or parent may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one. If no such kin exist, a representative of the deceased individual’s estate may file a claim. If the estate does not specifically name a representative, the court will appoint one.
Damages in wrongful death claims can include all the expenses resulting from the decedent’s final injury or illness as well as the family’s emotional loss of their loved one. Most wrongful death claims include damages for loss of consortium, affection, guidance, and companionship. The family can also secure compensation for the lost financial security that would have been afforded by the deceased individual.
The person filing the wrongful death claim can also sue for the pain and suffering the deceased individual endured due to his or her final injury or illness as well as the medical expenses incurred due to treating his or her final injury or illness. Additionally, the family can sue for funeral and burial expenses.
Winning a wrongful death claim requires proving that the defendant (the person or party you are suing) was negligent, and his or her negligence directly caused the death in question. Proving negligence involves showing the court several facts to be true:
In some cases, the plaintiffs may need to file a wrongful death claim against a part manufacturer due to a defective product. In these cases, the plaintiff does not necessarily have to prove the defendant was negligent, only that the product in question was in fact defective and the defect caused the death.
The death of a loved one is always difficult, and dealing with legal issues while mourning can be extremely stressful. The team at Butler Prather LLP understands the stress surviving family members experience after a wrongful death. Anyone who has had such an unfortunate event happen in Atlanta or anywhere else in the state of Georgia can contact our firm to schedule a consultation. Our team will meet with you to assess your wrongful death claim and help you take the appropriate steps to secure compensation after a tragic loss.
Our Georgia-based law firm has helped families obtain substantial recoveries after a fatal commercial vehicle accident. If you have questions about pursuing a wrongful death case against a truck driver, trucking company or truck owner/operator, contact our Georgia truck accident attorneys or call us at (800) 242-2962 today!