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Fatal Truck Accidents

Syracuse Lawyers Helping Injury Victims and Their Families

Truck accidents can result in catastrophic and even fatal injuries due to the weight and size of commercial trucks. In a truck collision, many people may be seriously injured or killed. When multiple people file claims against the truck driver’s liability insurance policy, the coverage limits can easily be exhausted. Families who have lost loved ones in fatal truck accidents should meet with the seasoned Syracuse truck accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano about their case.

Fatal Truck Accidents

Many different types of trucks can be involved in serious, fatal accidents. These include big rigs, school buses, cargo trucks, sweeper trucks, box trucks, concrete trucks, and fuel trucks. When truck drivers make even small errors in judgment, the consequences can be devastating. While some accidents result in the immediate death of another driver or passenger, others can cause prolonged suffering with an extended period between the accident and the person succumbing to his or her injuries.

Under New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Code Part 4, you’ll need to establish certain elements to recover damages in a Syracuse wrongful death lawsuit: (1) death, (2) caused by the defendant’s wrongful conduct, (3) that gives rise to a cause of action the decedent could have pursued in court had death not occurred, (4) survival by one or more people who’ve sustained a loss due to the death, and (5) damages the estate can recover.

Liability for Wrongful Death

To recover damages after a truck accident, you will need to establish the at-fault party’s liability. The facts of the situation will determine which theory of liability to pursue. When seeking wrongful death damages from a truck driver, you will likely need to establish negligence. This means you will need prove that it is more likely than not: (1) the defendant truck driver owed a duty to use reasonable care, (2) he departed from the duty to use reasonable care, (3) his breach of the duty to use reasonable care caused the decedent’s death, and (4) actual damages. Truck drivers may breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding, weaving, tailgating, failing to follow traffic signs and signals, drunk driving, and failing to follow federal, state and local regulations in connection with hours of service, logbooks, and other matters.

It’s critical to look closely at events leading up to the accident and the scene of the accident in order to identify all parties at fault for the crash. In a complex truck accident, the lawyer for the injured may need to retain an accident reconstruction expert to understand the cause of the accident and which parties were at fault. The expert may consider the conduct of the truck driver, trucking company, mechanic, and truck manufacturer. The trucking company may be held directly accountable under theories of negligent hiring, training, or supervision. However, it may be held indirectly accountable under a theory of vicarious liability; in order to establish the trucking company’s vicarious liability, you will need to show that the truck driver was acting in the course and scope of employment when operating the truck.

Injury victims may also hold a vehicle manufacturer accountable in a product liability lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, the plaintiff may pursue a case for breach of warranty, negligence, or strict liability.

Damages in Fatal Truck Accidents

Losses that may be recovered in a fatal truck accident lawsuit include medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, loss of parental guidance, life expectancy, and conscious pain and suffering of the decedent prior to death.

Retain an Experienced Syracuse Attorney

Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death. If you lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you should discuss whether you have grounds to file a lawsuit with the seasoned Syracuse lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent truck accident victims and their families across upstate New York in Auburn, Rochester, Watertown, Canandaigua, Lowville, Oswego, Lyons, Wampsville, Ithaca, Oneida, Elmira, Cooperstown, Herkimer, Utica, and Binghamton. Complete DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s online form or call us at 315-479-9000.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY