Without commercial vehicles transporting goods, the modern American economy would look significantly different. It is possible that some retail would be more regional, while prices would likely overall be higher. Trucking provides a good standard of living for truck drivers and their families and helps keep the cost of goods and materials reasonable within the United States and across North America.
Unfortunately, there is a shadow side to the commercial trucking industry. Specifically, it has a massive, negative impact on the safety of Americans on public roadways. Every year, thousands of people die or wind up severely injured in collisions with commercial trucks. Many times, those collisions are the results of mistakes made by commercial truckers or negligence on the part of their employers in maintaining the vehicles.
If there is any silver lining to the risk that trucks create on the road, it is the fact that those who lose a loved one to a commercial truck likely have the legal right to hold the driver or their employer accountable for that tragedy.
Wrongful death lawsuits help people after fatal accidents
When someone else causes the death of another person through either a wrongful act or their own negligence, that person becomes liable for the injuries and losses they cause. In other words, the surviving family members and dependents of someone killed by a truck driver may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Such a lawsuit can help a family connect with compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses and loss of the contributions to the household made by the deceased.
Losing a member of your family unexpectedly can drastically change your circumstances and life. Not only do you have to deal with the grief of your loss and trying to figure out how to move forward, but you also have to deal with a financial reality of the expenses related to an accident and living without the support of the person in your family.
Who is actually responsible for your loss?
Depending on the circumstances of the collision, either the driver or their employer may have some legal responsibility for what happened. Determining who is responsible can sometimes be a complicated process.
For example, if the collision was the result of a trucker’s personal negligence, such as their decision to drink and drive or text at the wheel, a lawsuit brought against the driver is likely the best option.
However, if the company culture contributed to the collision, potentially by encouraging the driver to continue operating a vehicle while exhausted, that may mean you could seek compensation from the company as well. Talking with an attorney can help you determine your legal options after a trucking accident claims the life of someone you love.