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rollover accidentIn 2020, there were 3,723 motor-vehicle deaths on California roads, with many of those involving trucks. Sadly, far too many people lose loved ones to road accidents, and in many cases, those losses are caused by someone else’s negligence. Trucking companies and their drivers are often to blame for catastrophic accidents involving big rigs, semis, and tractor-trailers. Due to the sheer size and weight of a truck, combined with high instances of driver error, sadly, truck accidents involving passenger vehicles are often fatal.

Family members suffer a great deal of financial and emotional strain during the aftermath of a truck accident. Of course, you cannot bring back your loved one by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. You can, however, pursue justice on behalf of your family and loved one by hiring a California attorney to help you with a wrongful death claim.

The wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates are dedicated to helping you and your family members get the justice and full compensation that you deserve. With multiple offices located in Irvine, Anaheim, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego and Riverside, our lawyers represent mourning families all across California. To schedule a free consultation with one of our wrongful death attorneys, call 949-727-9300.

Common Causes for Truck Accidents

When fully loaded, the average truck weighs approximately 30 times more than the average car. Because trucks are so large and heavy compared to vehicles, they have a higher risk of collisions due to the following factors:

  • The truck’s massive size makes it difficult for the driver to maneuver the vehicle precisely, increasing the possibility that they could cause an accident.
  • When a heavy truck brakes, it takes considerably longer than for a passenger vehicle.
  • This results in truck drivers not being able to react quickly to an emergency.
  • The trailer’s weight can cause surrounding vehicles to be crushed, sheared, and torn apart in an accident.
  • Depending on the cargo loaded into a truck, the distribution of the truck’s weight may vary. If the trailer is poorly loaded, it can tilt when it is turned or braking hard, making rolling over or jackknifing more likely.

Despite all the above factors, the most dangerous aspect of truck accidents is human error and negligence, including irresponsible driving, driving under the influence, improper cargo loading, and inadequate vehicle maintenance. In the event of wrongful death caused by a truck accident, surviving parties may be entitled to three primary types of damages.

  • Economic damages including lost wages, funeral costs, and lost benefits.
  • Non-economic damages including pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and loss of companionship.
  • Negligent behavior is rewarded with punitive damages. Compensation may be awarded to the surviving parties if an incompetent or negligent party is deemed responsible for a fatal incident.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?

In wrongful death cases, it can be confusing to figure out who can file a lawsuit. Having an experienced attorney assist with the recovery of compensation for the family can help prevent errors that may jeopardize the claim. According to California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, the following family members are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the case that their loved one was involved in a fatal truck incident:

  • A surviving spouse, domestic partner, or putative spouse
  • Children of the deceased
  • Grandchildren of the deceased person if the children (the grandchildren’s parents) are deceased themselves.
  • Parents and siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Under California’s intestate laws, any other person who stood to inherit something from the deceased’s estate.
  • Minor children or stepchildren who were financially dependent upon the deceased,

What Types of Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The family of someone who has been involved in a fatal truck accident cannot get their loved one back, but they can receive compensation for damages and trauma caused by the incident. Usually, wrongful death lawsuits are compensated based on state law. Survivors of a family member who dies are entitled to specific damages. In California, the family might be entitled to recover the following damages from a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Funeral and burial expenses, within reason.
  • Loss of income and financial support
  • Loss of comfort, love, affection, care, companionship, moral and emotional support, and protection
  • Loss of guidance

Of course, it goes without saying that an individual’s life cannot be valued. In monetary terms, the loss of the family member will never be recovered. But financial compensation can help ease additional suffering or difficulties that the death of your loved one may have caused.

Hiring an Attorney for Wrongful Death

In the wake of an accident, the hassles of dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, trucking firm lawyers, investigators, and so on can add to an already overwhelming situation. However, at this sad time, it is important to allow yourself to focus on your family and the memory of your loved one. To help ease additional troubles and hassle following a fatal truck accident, you must contact a professional attorney who can guide you through the processes.

The families of the deceased must seek the help of an attorney, as trucking companies are likely to have strong representation. Due to the high likelihood of trucking incidents occurring and the financial abilities of trucking companies, they usually have teams of lawyers working on their behalf to fight any lawsuits against them. Without proper representation, it’s unlikely that you will win your claim and get the justice and compensation that you deserve for the death of your loved one.

Sadly, no amount of money will ever be able to compensate a loved one for their death. However, you and your family shouldn’t have to suffer financially because of negligence on behalf of a truck driver or trucking company. When a truck accident causes a fatality, wrongful death attorneys can provide their assistance and significantly increase the chances that you get appropriate compensation.

Contact an Experienced California Wrongful Death Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another party, you should discuss your legal options with an attorney as you may be entitled to compensation. The California wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can then help determine if you have a valid claim.

With multiple offices located in Irvine, Anaheim, Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Diego, and Riverside, our wrongful death lawyers represent mourning families across California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 949-727-9300.