Fatal Truck Accidents
Fatal truck accidents can happen for a number of reasons, including failure to check blind spots, driver fatigue, and driver intoxication.
Due to their sheer size and weight, commercial trucks often cause substantial harm when they collide with a smaller vehicle. In some instances, these accidents even prove fatal, leaving the victim's family searching for answers and justice.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Truck Accident
If you have lost a loved one as the result of a trucking accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the truck driver and potentially the trucking company that was involved.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes § 537.080, wrongful death is defined as “the death of a person resulting from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof.” In other words, this means that the person filing a wrongful death claim will need to show that the defendant’s negligent or intentional conduct resulted in the death of the victim.
Driver vs. Company Liability
Truck drivers are under a duty to operate their trucks with reasonable care and skill, including following any training they received, complying with continuing education requirements, and obeying applicable traffic laws. Additionally, Missouri recognizes the doctrine of vicarious liability, which allows a plaintiff to hold an employer liable when the employee commits a tort during the course and scope of his or her job duties. According to this theory, a trucking company may be held accountable for the careless or reckless acts of its drivers. In some situations, a company may be directly liable as well, such as when it hires an unqualified driver or encourages its drivers to break trucking industry rules.
Seeking Damages From a Fatal Accident
In a wrongful death action, a plaintiff can potentially recover compensation for any funeral or burial expenses incurred as a result of the decedent’s loss, as well as compensation for medical expenses and other associated costs. In addition, Missouri recognizes a related claim for loss of consortium. Under this cause of action, a spouse may seek damages for the loss of the victim’s love, companionship, assistance, and society. These damages are often challenging to quantify, and an experienced attorney may play a vital role in articulating the extent of your losses.
Discuss Your Case with a Fatal Truck Accident Attorney
If you have lost a loved one as the result of a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Columbia fatal truck accident lawyer Matt Uhrig knows that no amount of money can ever truly compensate you for your bereavement. It can, however, ensure that you and your family are compensated for the financial costs associated with the loss.
Matt Uhrig can stand by you throughout the legal process, including pre-filing investigation, negotiations, and trial. If you’re a resident of Missouri, Matt Uhrig can help you pursue the full scope of damages through a wrongful death claim.