Wrongful death in a truck accident case, as with any claim of a loved one’s death due to a negligent driver, can be incredibly difficult and challenging. No matter what state you live in, the process for proving your loved one was killed by someone else’s negligence is very similar. However, this doesn’t mean it will be an easy process or that you’ll prevail simply because the accident occurred.
It is important to understand that there are typically two claims involved when making a wrongful death claim: the first claim involves the family member who brings forth the action, citing damages sustained by their family for allowing them to bring legal action against those responsible for their loss. The second involves the personal representative of the deceased victim filing suit on behalf of his estate.
What happens after a wrongful death in a truck accident varies by state law, but typically you must file a claim within a certain amount of time or be barred from filing suit due to the statute of limitations. As the defendant often has only days to respond, and it can affect the compensation amount significantly. you must understand what your rights are to act quickly, say the legal representatives at https://www.davidchristensenlaw.com/ann-arbor-personal-injury-lawyer/truck-accident/common-injuries/.
Factors to Consider
It is not enough simply to prove someone else caused an accident that led to another person’s death; there are innumerable factors that come into play during these cases. Not only do you have to prove how exactly the other party is negligent (and therefore at fault), but there is also the issue of damages. What damages can you show weren’t caused by your own actions? If you were speeding, drunk, or texting at the time of the accident, will that come into play when deciding what damages you are entitled to if you win your case? Will this deny compensation for medical costs and funeral expenses because it was your fault to some degree?
Another factor in these cases is whether or not there were any eyewitnesses. If the police report and eyewitness testimonies seem to support your claim, it is more likely you will win compensation; if they support the defendant’s claims, however, it will be harder for you to prove fault on their part.
The Scope of Compensation
Most people try to focus on justice they’ll receive when filing a wrongful death in a truck accident case, but few stop to think about how much they’re going to get (such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, and lost wages). In most cases of damages caused by an individual’s negligence, punitive damages are also available under tort law. Punitive damages are meant to punish the person responsible for causing harm and deter others from making similar behavior.
It’s important to keep in mind that courts will generally not award punitive damages if the defendant is already being held liable for compensatory damages, so be sure to speak with an attorney about what you are seeking compensation for before filing your case. Keep in mind also that the amount you receive will be reduced by any contributory negligence on your part due to speeding, drunk driving, or other factors at the time of the accident.
What to Expect After
After you file your claim, several things are likely to occur. First, all parties should be served notice at least 30 days before the trial begins. This gives everyone time to prepare their evidence and arguments, and you will need a skilled and experienced wrongful death attorney to understand these issues and to answer them correctly. A trusted attorney can help you understand what to expect in the process of filing a wrongful death in a truck accident case.
The defendant (the person you are suing) has several options at this point. They can either deny your claim entirely or admit to some of the points raised but not all. A third option is sometimes available called “tender,” which means they will offer to pay your damages without admitting full liability if you drop the lawsuit. This, however, may affect how much compensation you actually receive.
Once all evidence and arguments have been presented in court, if there isn’t a suitable arrangement for compensation made beforehand, it’s up to the judge or jury to decide on an amount.
Should everything go smoothly and you win your case, the settlement should be paid within 60 days or so after that decision is reached. You’ll then be able to put this entire experience behind you as much as possible and try to move on with your life.