What Happens When a Trucking Accident Leads to Death?

Trucking accidents are some of the worst that can occur because they often lead to serious harm. Not all truck drivers are negligent, but for those that are, they put others at serious risk of catastrophic results, including the worst-case scenario—a fatal accident.

Unfortunately, fatal accidents can occur and when they do, it’s important for the families of the decedents to understand the next steps and what they may be able to do. However, it can be tough when you’re already grieving and dealing with the emotional trauma of the situation.

Having someone explain what may come next is important. Families need to understand they can hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. This makes knowing what to expect extremely important. Here are some of the things you should know following a fatal trucking accident.

The Negligent Party Must Be Held Accountable

Negligence in terms of a trucking accident comes in many different forms. Holding the responsible party liable means making sure you understand exactly how these types of collisions occur and who exactly is considered responsible.

Here are some of the ways negligence may occur:

  • A truck driver may be considered negligent in various scenarios. For instance, a truck driver may be drunk or under the influence of a drug which inhibits their ability to operate the truck safely. Or they may be fatigued from overworking. They may fall asleep at the wheel and cause a serious collision.
  • The trucking company may be liable when they fail to inspect the truck for defective parts or any potential problems that could lead to a crash. They may also force the driver to violate the Hours of Service regulations in order to meet specific deadlines and deliveries. The result? A tired driver who may lose control of a truck.
  • Other workers in the warehouse may be held accountable if they are responsible for loading the cargo into the trailer and do so in an unsafe manner that can cause a serious crash. This can include overloading the trailer so that it weighs more than allowed or loading it unevenly which can cause the trailer to tip over on sharp turns or in heavy winds.

In some situations, a manufacturer may be responsible if the parts on the truck they produce are defective and cause a collision. Knowing what rights you have as the family of the decedent is important to moving forward and holding these individuals accountable.

The Family’s Rights After a Wrongful Death

When someone is fatally injured as a result of a trucking accident, it is up to the family or the decedent’s estate to take legal action against the negligent party. This means filing a wrongful death lawsuit to help seek justice—as well as compensation rightfully deserved.

The family may be able to seek damages including those for lost future earnings, loss of companionship, loss of guardianship, loss of consortium, and more. This makes it increasingly important to hire someone who understands trucking accidents, the significant damage they can cause, and ways to move forward when someone’s negligent actions result in death.

During this difficult and emotional time, you want to have someone on your side who is dedicated to your needs, your rights, and your best interests. Losing a loved one is never easy and the legal matters shouldn’t be your top priority.

At Ervin & Ervin, we prioritize our clients’ needs so they can focus on the things that matter during the grieving process. Our Oklahoma truck accident lawyers know that you have other things on your mind, so we handle the legal matters on your behalf.

If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident caused by negligence, know that you have rights and they need to be protected. Speak with our firm in a free consultation and learn what options may be available to you and your family.

Call us today at (918) 994-0880 and speak with a skilled representative committed to helping you seek maximum compensation and maximum justice.