The size and weight of large trucks make them capable of causing devastating accidents. A truck accident wrongful death occurs when the negligence of a truck driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or other responsible party directly results in someone’s death. In such cases, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for their tragic losses.
Fatal Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 4,213 fatal truck crashes in the United States in 2016, a 3% increase from the previous year. Of these fatal crashes, 4% involved hazardous materials, such as gasoline and other flammable liquids. Issues with vehicles were reported as the cause of 5% of fatal truck crashes in that same year. The most common vehicle-related factors leading to a fatal crash included “other working vehicle” (2%) and “tires” (1%). The most harmful event was listed as “collision with vehicle in transport,” making up 74% of trucks involved in fatal crashes.
Liable Parties in a Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim
Potentially liable parties in a truck accident wrongful death claim may include:
- Truck Drivers: Truck drivers who speed, drive while distracted, or fail to yield the right-of-way may be held responsible for the injuries they cause. They may also face a wrongful death lawsuit if they failed to inspect their vehicle, failed to obey a traffic control device, fell asleep at the wheel, or caused a wrongful death due to drunk driving or impaired driving.
- Truck Companies: Companies can be held accountable for the negligence of their employees. They may also be liable for violating federal laws regarding the number of hours their drivers are on the road, if this leads to a wrongful death.
- Truck Owners: Some fatal truck accidents result not from driver error but from a mechanical malfunction. Truck owners can be held accountable for a crash that results from their failure to properly service and maintain the vehicles.
- Truck Manufacturers: Truck part companies can be held responsible for a fatal crash if their product is defective and that defect leads to a loss of life.
If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Truck Accident
If you have lost a family member in a truck accident, the Kansas City wrongful death attorneys at Cullan & Cullan can help you understand your rights. Financial compensation may be available for the considerable losses you have suffered. Depending on the circumstances of the crash and your relationship to the victim, you may be entitled to a verdict or settlement that could make a difference in your ability to face a more stable life. Contact us at (816) 253-8606 today!