Wrongful Death due to a Truck Accident

On the morning of August 1, 2006, a minivan that had four occupants (a woman driver, her mother, and her two sons – one was 15 months old while the other was 3 years old) was caught in a traffic congestion on Interstate 80. It slowed down and stopped behind a flat-bed truck as a three-axle Intercontinental 9400 semi-trailer approached behind it at more than 50mph. Failing to slow down in time, the semi-trailer rear-ended the minivan crushed and slammed it into the flat-bed truck, causing it to be engulfed in a horrific fire. No one survived the accident: not the semi-trailer driver and, definitely, not the occupants of the minivan.

Just like everyone else on the road, the individuals who drive 18-wheelers and other large cargo trucks have an immense responsibility to drive carefully. However, truckers and their employers need to shoulder the responsibility of safety on a much higher scale because the vehicles they drive are so much more massive than the average person’s car. When they are involved in an accident, especially at highway speeds, trucks can create devastation on the streets and seriously injure anyone involved.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that fatal truck accidents happen almost 11 times a day, resulting to more than 4,000 deaths and more than 100,000 injuries each year. This number of fatalities caused by trucks is only a tenth of the number of deaths due to car accidents; however, truck accidents are always much more tragic- often the cause of disabling injuries or wrongful death.

Despite the threats presented by trucks, there is no way that these huge vehicles will be removed from U.S. roads and highways due to their major contribution to the country’s economy. Thus, dispel the fear of so many other motorists from sharing the road with these vehicles, the government makes sure that only qualified, licensed and well trained drivers would be allowed to operate them. Laws have also been passed to ensure the safe operation of trucks; laws like the allowed maximum number of driving hours and the required number of hours of rest, lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, which is 0.04%, strict prohibition of the use of cell phone, use of standard tires and brakes, regular maintenance of the vehicle, and a mandate on employers to keep bad drivers off the road.

Upon digging deeper into the accident mentioned above, a private investigator hired by the lawyer of the victim’s family found out that driver of the semi-truck had 3 past cases of rear-end accidents, 7 warnings from his safety manager, and drove at an unsafe speed prior to the accident: the warnings and the past cases of rear-end accidents, according to traffic authorities, should have been seen by the driver’s employer as red flags for unsafe driving, more than enough reason to keep the driver off the road.

Losing a loved one in an accident caused by the poor judgment or negligence is unbearably tragic; you may not be thinking about legal action at first, and that is normal. However, as time goes on and the wound begins to heal, seeking justice against the party responsible for the loss of your loved one might become more important to you.

Truck accidents can have life-altering consequences. The injuries sustained in such accidents and their resulting medical bills can leave a person unfairly dealing with the mistakes made by a negligent truck driver, company, or manufacturer on a permanent basis. However, it is possible to hold the person or persons accountable for your injuries and receive damages for all your sufferings and losses.


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