Truck crashes are common occurrences both in California and throughout the United States. Drivers reported roughly 499,000 accidents involving large commercial trucks to law enforcement in 2018 alone, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These crashes resulted in 4,136 fatalities, with the occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles accounting for the vast majority of those deaths.
If someone you love was killed in a California truck accident caused by another person or company's negligence, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages. The knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can help you understand your rights and navigate the complex legal process. Here's what you should know about these types of civil cases.
What a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Do For You
A wrongful death lawsuit can't bring back your lost loved one or make their untimely passing any less difficult. However, these lawsuits can help you hold the liable party (or parties) accountable and recover fair compensation for economic losses and loss of association and relationship with your lost family member. This can be extremely important if you or other family members heavily relied on the decedent's income to make ends meet.
Wrongful Death Basics
Any death caused by someone else's negligence can be considered a wrongful death. Common causes of truck accident wrongful deaths include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor driver hiring practices
- Inadequate driver training and supervision
- Insufficient truck inspections and maintenance
- Improperly-loaded cargo
- Defective truck components
Ready to file a wrongful death lawsuit? Not so fast. California limits who can file or benefit from these lawsuits to the victim's surviving spouse or domestic partner; children; grandchildren (provided the deceased's children are also dead); in some cases parents can also make such claims. In some circumstance, other financially-dependent minor children or stepchildren; and others entitled to the decedent's property according to intestate succession laws can make claims. You need legal counsel to make sure all the right people are involved in the claim, because all potential claimants must be involved in the wrongful death case.
What You Could Recover
In a successful wrongful death case, you can recover compensation for financial losses incurred because of your loved one's untimely passing, such as reasonable funeral and burial expenses, as well as lost income and other financial support. You can also seek recovery for non-economic damages for the lost companionship, relationship and guidance.
Additionally, if your wrongful death case includes a survival action, you can also pursue compensation for damages your family member suffered before they died, such as medical bills, property damages, and physical pain and suffering associated with the truck accident and their injuries.
Not sure which types of damages may apply in your California wrongful death case? We can help.
Why You Need an Attorney to Handle Your Truck Crash Wrongful Death Claim
Truck accident wrongful death claims are nothing like your typical car or truck crash cases. Why? Not only do these cases involve a fatality, but they also often involve a number of potentially liable parties, complex corporate insurance policies, a mountain of evidence not available in traditional accident cases, and the potential for a sizable settlement or financial award.
When it comes to truck accident claims, the larger the potential recovery, the harder you can expect the insurer for the trucker or trucking company to fight against paying it. With our exceptional attorneys by your side, you can level the playing field. We'll investigate the accident, gather essential evidence, identify the defendants, file your lawsuit, negotiate on your behalf, prepare your case for court, and much, much more. Most importantly, we'll send the trucking company a spoliation letter to ensure the preservation of valuable evidence. Want to learn more about how we can help? Talk to us about your case!
Request a Consultation
Contact the Inland Empire Law Group today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case with a member of our distinguished legal team. Don't wait—California law gives you just two years to file a wrongful death claim, that limit is even shorter if the case involves a government entity.