Fatal Trucking Accidents
Commercial trucks on the interstate may weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and they may be over 20 feet long, including double trailers. While the truck driver may walk away relatively unharmed, people in smaller vehicles or on foot may be killed by the force of the impact in an accident, particularly when high speeds are involved. The FMCSA has promulgated numerous rules that truck drivers and trucking companies must follow. However, even when these rules are obeyed, truck drivers and their employers have an additional duty to use reasonable care in connection with their operations to avoid causing harm to others. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Maryville truck accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe can help family members seek damages through a wrongful death claim.Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Truck Accident
Under Tennessee Code section 20-5-106, a wrongful death is a loss of life caused by injuries received from someone else or the wrongful act or omission of another party. The law provides a priority line for family and loved ones who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Once a family member's right to recover compensation is established, the next issue that you need to establish in a fatal trucking accident case is the truck driver's negligence or other wrongful act.
Truck drivers on the interstate must use reasonable care and also follow the FMCSA regulations. A failure to do so is likely to be seen as a breach of the duty of care owed to others on the road. A trucking company may also be held responsible for putting an unfit or incompetent truck driver on the road with a potentially deadly vehicle. Some trucking companies disregard their obligation to the traveling public and ignore red flags on a background check or encourage drivers to violate hours of service rules so that they can make daunting deadlines. A trucking company may be responsible for a fatal trucking accident under a theory of negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent training.
Unlike a criminal case, which may also be brought separately against the party that caused your loved one's death, liability in a civil case results in an award of monetary damages. Basic damages that may be recovered after a fatal trucking accident in which another party's liability is established typically include funeral expenses, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity between the date of injury and the date of death, pain and suffering from the same period, and the pecuniary value of the decedent's life.
The pecuniary value of the decedent’s life will include the present value of your loved one's lost future earning capacity, minus any living expenses that would have been necessary for the decedent so that they could work. It may also include intangibles related to your loved one's relationship to others. A surviving spouse may also recover compensation for loss of consortium, and children may recover damages for the loss of the love, affection, and society of a parent, as may parents of a deceased child.Consult Maryville Truck Accident Lawyer Mark Hartsoe for Trucking Cases in Maryville and East Tennessee
A fatal truck accident is often devastating to multiple people, yet trucking companies and their insurers may try to avoid liability, all in the name of profit. These cases may be technically challenging and often demand the help of a motor vehicle collision lawyer who understands the industry and how to gather evidence. Not all personal injury attorneys have this experience. If your loved one was killed in a fatal crash, Maryville truck accident attorney Mark C. Hartsoe can evaluate whether you may have a case and provide skillful representation. The Hartsoe Law Firm is ready to immediately investigate your truck wreck case. We have an experienced accident reconstructionist on call 24 hours a day to go to the accident scene to preserve important evidence (obtain photographs and measurements, interview witnesses, etc.). Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to set up your free appointment. We represent families throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.