Because of the speed and force involved, any automobile accident can result in very serious or even fatal injuries. Unfortunately, collisions involving commercial trucks can cause devastating consequences, and loss of life is even more likely than in accidents between smaller vehicles. This is because a fully-loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Furthermore, the height disparity between passenger vehicles and the trailers these trucks tow often leads to deadly underride or override accidents.
In many cases, truck accident deaths result from the negligence of the trucker, the trucking company, or a manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts. If you have lost a loved one in an Indiana truck accident and another party is responsible for the collision, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. The experienced Valparaiso wrongful death attorneys at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers are ready to help you file your claim and seek the justice you deserve. Call (219) 286-7361, or reach out to us online today for a free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death case is a situation in which a party’s wrongful actions resulted in the death of another person. If a truck accident victim dies because of injuries sustained in the collision, their loved ones have the right to seek compensation for damages.
Of course, no amount of financial compensation will be able to make up for the loss of a loved one. Nor will it be able to heal the pain you feel due to their passing. However, a wrongful death claim is a way of holding the at-fault party financially responsible for the victim’s death. Furthermore, the compensation you receive can help you cover financial costs that you and your family have incurred because of your loved one’s injuries and death. This can include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical and hospital expenses
- Lost wages and income your loved one would have earned if they were still alive
- Loss of household services
- The costs of pursuing a wrongful death suit
- Loss of affection, companionship, parental guidance, and care
There is a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death cases in Indiana. If you intend to recover compensation for your loved one’s death, you must file your claim or lawsuit within two years of the day they died.
Common Causes of Truck Accident Fatalities
A commercial truck’s sheer size and weight mean that there is zero margin of error when operating them. Even the tiniest mistakes have the potential to cause catastrophic consequences. Some of the most common causes of fatalities in commercial vehicle collisions that lead to wrongful death cases are:
- Truck driver error
- Truck drivers operating their vehicles while distracted
- Drowsy truck drivers
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Improperly loaded or secured truck cargo
- Truckers neglect to check their blind spots
- Poor or insufficient truck driver training or supervision
Who Is at Fault in a Truck Accident Wrongful Death Case?
There are multiple factors to consider when determining liability for a truck accident case. In most car crash cases, the other driver is usually the at-fault party. In truck accident cases, however, the at-fault party might be:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- The mechanics in charge of maintaining the truck
- The truck’s manufacturer
In some cases, more than one of these parties may bear liability for the wrongful death case. An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney will have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine who should be named as the defendant in your wrongful death case. Contact us today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The question of who can file a wrongful death lawsuit has different answers depending on which state you are in. These people are generally entitled to file a lawful death claim in Indiana.
If the person who lost their life was an adult, the individual who files the claim and collects the financial reward is the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. This is usually the surviving spouse, an adult child, a sibling, or a parent.
If the deceased was a child, one or both parents could file a wrongful death claim. For wrongful death claims, Indiana law defines a child as:
- A person who is not married, does not have dependents, and is under the age of 20 years old
- A person who is not married, does not have dependents, is under the age of 23 years old, and is enrolled in college, a career or technical school, or some other educational program
- A fetus that has reached viability
Determining who can file a wrongful death claim in Indiana can be complicated. The issue becomes even more complex if the accident occurred in a different state. This is one of the reasons you should consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney before taking action.
Contact an Experienced Valparaiso Wrongful Death Truck Accident Attorney
The Valparaiso personal injury lawyers at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers represent families throughout the state of Indiana who have lost loved ones in tragic, preventable accidents. We understand that it is every family’s priority to have space to grieve their loss, but there is also a real need to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
Furthermore, the costs associated with medical care and funeral services should not be your responsibility if your loved one lost their life due to the negligent actions of another party. The legal team at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers is here to help you fight to recover the compensation you are owed so that you do not have to suffer financially when you are already mourning your loved one. We will handle all the legal matters ourselves so that you can focus on taking care of your daily needs.
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death case and want to discuss your legal options, contact Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (219) 286-7361.