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What If a Loved One Dies in a Semi Truck Accident?

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It’s difficult to talk about deaths that result from accidents on the road. We hope it’s never a reality for you and your loved ones. But in case you know someone who’s going through it, it’s a good idea to learn what can be done to make sure the family of the person who passed away is taken care of.

Because semi trucks are so much larger and heavier than cars, semi truck accidents are more likely to result in serious injuries or death than an accident between two passenger vehicles. And in the case of a semi truck accident, it’s more likely that the injuries will be worse for whoever was in the passenger vehicle than for whoever was in the semi truck.

Maybe you know what to do in the event of a tragic car accident, but chances are you don’t know what to do in the event of a tragic semi truck accident. How are semi truck accidents different from car accidents? We have the answers for a situation we hope never arises.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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If your loved one passes away in a semi truck accident, you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the at-fault parties accountable.

A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury claim because it seeks to hold a party or parties responsible for their carelessness and negligence that caused the situation at hand. The difference is that in a personal injury claim, you’re looking for the party or parties at-fault to compensate you for your injuries. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you’re looking for recompense for the loss of a loved one.

In a personal injury claim, it’s typically just you who receives compensation because you were the one injured. But in a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s family members such as spouses, children, or parents who are compensated.

Types of Damages

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There are two types of damages in nearly every personal injury case: economic and noneconomic.

Economic damages are easily calculable expenses such as hospital bills or lost wages. In a wrongful death lawsuit, economic damages would also include things like funeral and burial expenses.

Noneconomic damages are losses that are less easy to calculate. They typically don’t take the forms of bills or receipts. Noneconomic damages include losses like the pain and suffering of the victim before he or she died and the emotional suffering of the family.

Even though noneconomic damages aren’t easily quantifiable, you are still entitled to these damages, especially in a wrongful death lawsuit where the noneconomic damages are sometimes more lasting and one could say more costly than the economic damages.

Who Can Be Held Responsible?

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A wrongful death case must be able to prove that the person who passed away died as a direct result of the negligence of someone else. Determining who should be held responsible for negligence can be difficult in a semi truck accident in which many parties may be involved.

In a car accident between two passenger vehicles, typically the only person at fault is the driver. But in a semi truck accident, there are many people who may have caused the accident, including the:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Truck manufacturer
  • Company that loaded the truck
  • Company that maintains the truck

Who should be held responsible depends on the details of the accident.

For example, if the semi truck driver was texting while driving, he or she would likely be held responsible for the accident. But if the truck was unevenly loaded and that caused the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, the loading company may be held responsible.

Help from an Indiana Semi Truck Accident Attorney

We hope your family is never in a situation where you need an attorney after the death of a loved one. But life is unpredictable, and tragedy can strike at any time. No amount of money in the world will ever be able to cover the loss of a loved one. Asking to be compensated for your economic and noneconomic damages is simply a way to allow you to grieve without having to worry about other crises like financial instability or lack of mental and emotional support.

If you ever need an Indiana semi truck accident attorney, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online to set up a free consultation.