Fatal Truck Accidents
Any motor vehicle collision has the potential to cause fatal injuries; however, given their size, semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal accidents. Families who lost loved ones in fatal truck accidents are often left with many unanswered questions, which can make it difficult to process their loss. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we proudly represent families in wrongful death cases, helping them pursue justice and fair compensation for the loss of their loved ones. We have more than two decades of experience aggressively pursuing these claims, with a dual focus on maximizing our clients’ recovery amount while minimizing the burdens placed on them.What Is a North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A North Carolina wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit. However, instead of the claim being filed by the accident victim themselves, it is filed by their surviving loved ones. To recover in a wrongful death lawsuit, a family must establish that their loved one’s death was the result of another’s “wrongful act, neglect, or default.”
Families that successfully bring a wrongful death claim following a fatal truck accident are entitled to recover financial damages intended to compensate them for their loss. While the damages in fatal truck accidents vary widely, they often include compensation for the following:
- Medical bills and hospital expenses,
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased accident victim,
- Loss of the victim’s earnings,
- Funeral and burial expenses,
- Loss of services, protection, care, and assistance, and
- Loss of support, guidance, companionship and comfort.
In some cases, courts will also award punitive damages. Unlike other types of damages, punitive damages are not intended to compensate a grieving family and instead are focused on punishing the defendant for their especially egregious conduct. Thus, punitive damages are only available where a victim’s death was the result of the defendant’s malice or willful or wanton conduct.Who Is Liable for a Fatal Truck Accident?
Fatal truck accidents can result from the negligence of several parties. Perhaps the most obvious is a negligent truck driver. Truck drivers, like other motorists, have a legal obligation to drive in a safe and responsible manner. The following are a few examples of truck driver negligence:
- Drowsy driving,
- Distracted driving,
- Impaired driving, and
- Aggressive driving.
Trucking companies may also be financially responsible for fatal truck accidents, either as a result of an employee driver's negligence or based on their own negligence. Generally, trucking companies are responsible for the negligent acts of their employees; for example, if a truck driver is employed by a trucking company and causes an accident while on the road. In these cases, it doesn’t matter if the trucking company was negligent.
Trucking companies can also be held liable through a theory of primary negligence. These cases involve some negligent action or decision made by a trucking company that led to the accident. Negligent hiring is perhaps the most common type of claim involving a trucking company’s primary negligence.
Some fatal trucking accidents may involve both types of claims. For example, if an accident is the result of fault maintenance, either the truck driver or their employer may be liable, depending on the nature of the employment relationship.
It is imperative that families consult with an experienced Charlotte truck accident lawyer to identify all potentially liable parties to ensure they receive full compensation for their losses.Contact the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, to Discuss Your Case Today
If you lost a loved one in a tragic accident, your family is undoubtedly going through a traumatic and life-changing period. When you are ready, reach out to the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, to learn more about bringing a wrongful death case against the parties responsible for your loss. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we have decades of experience helping families obtain justice on behalf of their loved ones. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte wrongful death lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach one of our Concord injury lawyers at 704-918-4747. We take all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, meaning we will not bill you for our services unless we can connect you with compensation for what you’ve been through.