Do You Have A Civil Case After A Fatal Accident Involving An 18-Wheeler?

Many car accidents that involve 18-wheelers are fatal. If a close family member has passed away as a result of an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you might have a wrongful death case. However, you'll want to speak with a wrongful death attorney about whether you are likely to be entitled to compensation based on the facts of the case and your relationship with the deceased.

Your Relationship with the Deceased

To receive compensation for the death of a loved one, you must have a specific type of relationship that is determined by the state in which you reside. If you are a spouse, offspring, or parent, you will usually be considered entitled to compensation for wrongful death.

However, in some states, other individuals who have a relationship with the deceased, such as siblings and grandparents, will be entitled to compensation. Because some states have a very expansive list of individuals who can file claims, you will need to speak with a wrongful death lawyer about whether you are entitled to file a claim for a specific instance. 

How to Know if the Driver Is at Fault

Once you have determined that you have a case, the next step is to determine if there is a duty of care and whether the driver of the 18-wheeler breached the duty. By operating the 18-wheeler, the driver is responsible for driving the vehicle safely, and the company that employs the driver is responsible for making sure that the driver undergoes drug testing and is also trained on how to drive the vehicle.

The Cause of Death

The accident will need to have caused your loved one to pass away. Because 18-wheelers are large and heavy, they often cause fatalities. As a result of the death of your loved one, you might have suffered various damages, such as the cost of medical expenses, the loss of future financial support, pain and suffering, burial fees, attorney expenses, court fees, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium. 

The Next Steps

For a case involving an 18-wheeler, your wrongful death lawyer will likely encourage you to pursue a settlement with the commercial vehicle insurance provider of the truck company that was involved in your car accident.

You will then be able to decide whether you want to accept the settlement offer, negotiate a higher settlement offer, or take the trucking company to court.

Contact a wrongful death lawyer to learn more.