Trucking accidents are almost always serious crashes. They’re bigger, heavier and cause more damage and more severe injuries than accidents involving smaller vehicles. If you were in an accident involving a commercial truck — like an 18-wheeler, box truck, or dump truck — and walked away without serious injury, consider yourself very lucky.
Sometimes, trucking accidents have victims beyond those were directly involved with the crash. For the people who have lost a loved one in a trucking accident that was caused by the truck driver, you might be wondering what to do next. Your life is changed forever, and no amount of money can bring your loved one back.
But a fair payment can help to bring closure and financial soundness at a time when nothing seems to make sense.
Wrongful death lawsuits
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by anyone who’s in charge of the estate of the person who died. These typically include:
- Significant other
Wrongful death laws in North Carolina
North Carolina is one of many states that follow the Lord Campbell’s Act. If that sounds outdated, it’s because it is. Lord Campbell’s Act — a law enacted in Britain in the 1800s — states that only a designated beneficiary can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there are no survivors that qualify under the law, then the right to sue is carried on to the next round of survivors. If there are no rightful survivors, no wrongful death suit can be filed.
Who can you sue in a wrongful death case for a trucking accident?
When it comes to negligence, there could be several parties to blame for causing a crash that took the life of your loved one. These defendants could include:
- The truck driver
- The company for which the truck driver works or worked
- The company that was shipping the cargo being carried
- The truck maker or manufacturer of faulty truck parts that could have caused the crash.
What kind of compensation can you seek in a wrongful death suit?
There are three types of damages you can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Economic: This covers all the expenses you incurred from the death, like a funeral/burial, or lost wages that your loved one brought in before their death. It could also include benefits you lost as a result of the death, like health insurance or inheritance.
- Non-economic: Also known as pain and suffering
- Punitive: This is essentially to punish the party responsible for your loved one’s death.
If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident and think you may have the case for a wrongful death lawsuit, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.