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Wrongful Death Truck Accident

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Wrongful Death Truck Accident

Wrongful Death Truck Accident

When a loved one dies in a wrongful death truck accident, it can be challenging for families to cope with the loss. Not only do they have to deal with the emotional pain of losing a family member, but they may also have to deal with financial difficulties due to the accident, including funeral expenses, medical bills, and more.

To get help covering these costs, families may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and trucking company. Families may also want to consider hiring an attorney specializing in truck accident cases to increase their chances of success.

Have you lost a loved one in a truck accident? Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, who can help you understand your legal options.

Contact a truck accident lawyer today. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Truck Accident Wrongful Death US Statistics 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were over 4,000 wrongful death truck accidents in the US in 2020. This tragic statistic reveals that the number of fatalities is only increasing.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that large trucks or big rigs were involved in 11 percent of all fatal crashes and 3 percent of all injury crashes in 2020.

A big rig is a truck with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. Semi-trucks, also known as 18-wheelers, fall into this category.

  • Tractor trailers were involved in 71% of truck accidents,  with 16% of the accidents involved big rigs and 3% involved passenger vehicles.
  • In instances where large trucks were the only vehicle type involved in the crash, 88% of the fatalities were occupants of the other vehicles.

Many truck accident wrongful death victims suffered serious injuries requiring long-term hospitalization or rehabilitation. In some cases, these injuries are fatal, with the percentage of fatal trucking accidents far outweighing those of car accidents.

Causes Of Fatal Truck Accidents

Driver error is the leading cause of fatal truck crashes, often because truck drivers do not have the proper training to operate these vehicles safely. They may also be tired or distracted, leading to severe accidents.

Additionally, truck companies may pressure their drivers to meet deadlines, which can lead to dangerous situations.

Other Driver Error

Truck drivers making mistakes behind the wheel often results in a truck crash, accounting for more than 50% of all crashes. Data reveals that most of these accidents are due to human error on the truck driver’s part rather than a mechanical issue with the vehicle.

There are many different types of mistakes that can lead to a truck crash, but some of the most common include:

  • Speeding: About one-third of all truck crashes are caused by speeding. Driving too fast for conditions is especially dangerous when operating a large truck because it takes longer to stop and is more challenging to maneuver than a passenger vehicle.
  • Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and may not get enough rest, leading to drowsy driving. A hazardous act because it impairs reaction time and decision-making ability.
  • Distracted driving: A significant problem for all drivers. Still, it can be dangerous for truckers because they often operate vehicles weighing 20 times more than a passenger car.
  • Improper lane changes: Changing lanes improperly is one of the most common mistakes truck drivers make and can be caused by inattention or impatience, leading to severe accidents.
  • Intoxication: Driving impaired on drugs or alcohol is also a leading cause of truck accidents when a truck driver loses the ability to control the vehicle. Data reveals that about 4% of all truck crashes involve an intoxicated driver.
  • Inexperience: Semi-truck drivers who are new to the job may be more likely to cause accidents because they are unfamiliar with the roads and lack the competency to control large vehicles. As a result, truck companies must ensure their drivers are adequately trained before putting them on the road.

Mechanical Failure: Malfunctioning Brakes and Tire Blowouts

  • Brake problems: Brake issues are one of the leading causes of truck accidents, accounting for about 15% of all crashes. Improper maintenance, overloading, and driver mistakes can all contribute to brake problems.
  • Tire blowoutsTire blowouts are another leading cause of most truck accidents and often occur because of improper maintenance or overloading.
  • Improper maintenance: Truck companies must ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained. If a company fails to do this, it could be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result.
  • Overloading: An overloaded truck can also lead to accidents, making the vehicle more difficult to control. Truck companies are responsible for ensuring that their cars are not overloaded and can be held liable when the additional weight leads to a crash.

Adverse Weather and Hazardous Road Conditions

  • Poor weather conditions: Truck accidents are more likely to occur in bad weather, such as high winds, rain, or snow, as it can be more challenging to see and manoeuvre a large truck in these conditions.
  • Hazardous roads and highways: Truck accidents are also more likely to occur on roads that are in poor condition or have other hazards, such as construction zones. These conditions can make it more difficult for truck drivers to see and avoid obstacles.
  • Improper maintenance: Trucking companies must ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained. If a company fails to do this, it could be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result.

Trucking companies often pressure their tractor-trailer drivers to work on strict schedules to deliver the load on time, which can lead to dangerous situations. This pressure can cause drivers to take risks, such as speeding or driving for long hours without rest.

As a result, trucking companies must ensure their drivers are adequately rested and trained to operate these vehicles safely.

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Vicarious Liability

In some cases, trucking companies may be the liable party in trucking accidents caused by their drivers. Known as vicarious liability, it occurs if the company knew or should have known that the driver was not fit to operate the vehicle safely.

For example, suppose a trucking company knows that a driver has a history of speeding tickets but does not take measures to ensure that the driver is driving safely. In that case, the company could be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result.

Filing A Wrongful Death Claim Following a Fatal Truck Accident

When someone is killed in a truck accident, their family may be able to file a wrongful death action against the drivers and trucking companies involved. Wrongful death lawsuits provide legal opportunities for families to seek damages for the victim’s lost earnings, pain, suffering, and punitive damages.

The wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the victim’s spouse, children, or parents. If the deceased person was unmarried at the time of their death, the case could be filed by anyone financially dependent on the victim.

The decedent’s estate can file a personal injury claim through a personal representative if the decedent was severely injured and died later, and can be done at the same time the surviving spouse and others file a wrongful death claim.

Financial Compensation

Typically, a wrongful death claim includes the following financial recovery:

  • Hospital bills and medical treatment expenses
  • Emergency room costs
  • Lost wages and financial support
  • Future lost earnings
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The decedent’s pain and suffering before passing
  • The family’s pain, suffering, grieving, mental anguish, and emotional trauma of losing their loved one
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

Worker’s Compensation Benefits

If the truck driver died in a fatal truck accident, the estate or surviving family members could seek benefits from the worker’s compensation program. These benefits can help families where the decedent was a financial provider to the household.

Worker’s Compensation benefits are not available to any trucker working as an independent contractor whose not  an employee of the truck company.

If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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How Cases Are Investigated and Resolved

Families must provide evidence supporting their case to file a successful wrongful death lawsuit. This evidence can come from many different sources, such as eyewitnesses, police reports, and medical records. Working with an experienced attorney who can help you gather this evidence and build a strong case is essential.

To win a wrongful death case against a truck driver or trucking company, the family must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused their loved one’s death.

Proving a case can be challenging, as many factors are involved in a truck accident. However, the family can strengthen their case by gathering evidence such as eyewitness testimony, police reports, and medical records.


Some standard pieces of evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Cell phone records
  • Dashcam footage
  • Trucking company maintenance records
  • Documents of criminal proceedings revealing the responsible party display gross negligence or intentional harm

Average Settlement Amount in Fatal Truck Accidents

When someone is killed in a truck accident, their family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation for their loss. To win a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiffs (the deceased’s family members) must prove that the defendant’s negligence led to the person’s death.

Financial Difficulties

When a loved one dies in a truck accident, the family suffers the emotional pain of their loss and significant financial difficulties. A wrongful death settlement can help alleviate some of these financial burdens, but the amount awarded varies greatly depending on the circumstances of the accident.

The average settlement for a fatal truck accident is between $1 and $5 million. This money can help cover medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages for the victim’s family.

It can also provide compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the survivors. However, because these cases are often complex and involve multiple parties (the truck driver, trucking company, etc.), reaching a settlement agreement can take many years.

Hiring A Wrongful Death Lawyer to Resolve A Truck Accident Lawsuit

The Injury Lawyer Team personal injury law firm helped survivors of trucking accident victims receive the financial compensation they deserve after losing a loved one through someone else’s negligence.

We work tirelessly to resolve a wrongful death claim and handle every legal aspect and wrongful death claims on behalf of our clients. Contact a personal injury lawyer to schedule a free consultation if you are ready to discuss how the accident led to your family member’s death.

Contingency “No Fee, No Win” Guarantee

A truck accident lawyer from our law offices will ensure all those responsible, including the trucking business, are held accountable for wrongful death damages from the fatal accident.

We accept wrongful death claims on a contingency fee agreement, meaning no upfront fees are paid until our personal injury attorneys resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.

All confidential or sensitive information you share about the accident and the deceased person’s estate remains private through an attorney-client relationship. Do not send any sensitive information in the contact form, as the contact form sends information by non-encrypted email.