Fatal Truck Accidents
Fatal truck accidents can occur for many different reasons. Often, when a truck crashes, there are multiple accident victims. They may all claim against a truck driver’s insurance policy, quickly exhausting coverage. If your loved one was in a fatal truck accident, you should call the experienced Syracuse wrongful death attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano to aim at the best possible outcome. While no lawyer can guarantee a result, we have over 3 decades of experience representing accident victims and their families. We have recovered over $100 million in personal injury awards.Fatal Truck Accidents
Fatal truck accidents can be caused by truck driver fatigue, drugs and alcohol, maintenance errors, overweighted trucks, texting while driving, jackknifing, speeding, improper wide turns, and many other behaviors by a truck driver. If your loved one was killed in a truck accident caused by a truck driver’s negligence and you suffered losses as a result, it may be appropriate to sue the truck driver for compensation. Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by personal representatives of a decedent’s estate on behalf of those beneficiaries eligible to obtain compensation under the law.
Often, a personal representative must establish a truck driver’s negligence to recover damages in court. To show negligence, the representative needs to show it was more likely than not: (1) the truck driver owed a duty of reasonable care, (2) the truck driver breached this duty, (3) causation, and (4) actual damage.
When representing you, our attorneys will not look only at ways in which the truck driver may have been at fault, but also investigates whether others may have contributed to a fatal crash and should be held responsible, too. Others who may be responsible for a fatal truck crash include the trucking company, a mechanic, a third party loading company, and other drivers.
Trucking companies can be held vicariously liable for losses caused by a loved one’s death. Vicarious liability is indirect liability; we’d first need to show that the truck driver was negligent in order to seek compensation from the trucking company. However, trucking companies owe a duty of reasonable care when hiring, training, or supervising truck drivers.
When the trucking company breaches the duty of reasonable care in these activities and someone on the road is injured because of it, trucking companies can be held directly liable. For instance, if the truck driver has a prescription drug abuse problem that previously resulted in an accident, but the trucking company never conducted a background check or drug and alcohol tests that would have revealed this information, it may be directly liable for the death.
There are also situations in which a truck manufacturer is responsible for a death. In that case, it may be appropriate to bring a product liability lawsuit alleging there are manufacturing or design defects.Damages
When a personal representative recovers compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, it will be distributed to beneficiaries according to the law. This means only a spouse and child of a decedent are beneficiaries, but when others were financially dependent on the decedent, they may be able to qualify for compensation as well.
Damages you may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses for your loved one
- Funeral and burial costs
- Your loved one’s past, present, and future lost wages.
- Reduced inheritance that your loved one would have left.
- Loss in parental guidance the decedent would have provided had he or she reached anticipated life expectancy.
- Services, such as childcare, provided by the decedent.
When you choose a law firm to represent you in a truck accident lawsuit, you should consider its trial experience, reviews, and record of success. It can be difficult to go up against insurance companies and defense attorneys who are doing their best to evade liability. You want an experienced Upstate New York trial attorney on your side, fighting for the best possible outcome. We represent clients in Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Oswego, Lowville, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Herkimer, Binghamton, and Elmira. Complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000.