Can I Sue a Truck Driver for Killing My Loved One in an Accident?
The loss of a loved one is always a tragic affair. The loss of a loved one in an avoidable truck accident is devastating. If your loved one died in a collision caused by a negligent truck driver, you may be seeking justice. You may also be dealing with the financial burden caused by your sudden and unexpected loss. A wrongful death lawsuit may help you recover monetary compensation for your losses while simultaneously holding the at-fault parties accountable for the tragic outcome. Read on to learn about bringing an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit after losing a family member in a fatal truck crash.
Truck Collisions Caused by Negligence
Illinois law states that a wrongful death occurs when a death is caused by wrongful or negligent actions and, had the victim survived his or her injuries, he or she would have had the right to bring a legal action for damages. Negligence refers to a party’s failure to act as a reasonably prudent person would have acted in a similar situation. For example, a truck driver may act negligently by continuing to drive even though he or she is much too sleepy to drive safely. A trucking company may act negligently by allowing truck drivers to violate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) rules regarding rest breaks and consecutive driving hours. Other examples of truck driver or trucking company negligence may include:
Failing to ensure that truck freight is loaded and secured properly
Failing to adequately maintain and inspect the truck
Failing to ensure that truck drivers are qualified to drive a large commercial vehicle
Texting and driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Speeding, running a red light, or otherwise violating Illinois traffic laws
What You Need to Bring a Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The defendant in a truck accident wrongful death lawsuit may be the driver, the trucking company, the party that loaded truck cargo, a product manufacturer, or other parties. To win your case, your attorney will need to prove three main factors:
The defendant violated the “duty of care” by acting negligently or wrongfully.
The breach of duty of care caused the victim’s death.
The victim and/or victim’s families sustained damages because of the death.
Damages in a wrongful death claim in Illinois often include the loss of the victim’s income and employment benefits, medical and funeral costs, and lost services such as domestic responsibilities or childcare. Compensation for intangible losses including loss of consortium and loss of parental instruction may also be available.
Contact a Joliet, Illinois Truck Accident Lawyer
If your loved one passed away in a truck accident, contact a Joliet truck accident attorney at Schwartz Injury Law to discuss bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Call 815-723-7300 for a free consultation.