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What Benefits am I Entitled to if My Spouse was Killed in a Trucking Accident?

Trucking Accidents

Posted on August 23, 2019

If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident that was caused by the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or company, please accept our condolences. In the aftermath of a tragedy like this, you may want to know what kind of compensation you are entitled to. Today, we want to discuss these cases, the frequency, and what kind of compensation you could potentially receive.

This is an important topic because these incidents do happen. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that there were 148,000 people injured and 4,761 people were killed in large truck crashes during the latest reporting year.

Wrongful death claims and truck accidents in Florida

Wrongful death cases arise when someone is killed due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another individual, company, or entity. There are many ways in which these cases occur, but ones involving commercial trucks can become incredibly complex and involve multiple companies, contractors, and insurance carriers.

What compensation is available?

No two commercial truck wrongful death cases are alike, and there is no set amount for how much a victim’s family can receive. A skilled Jacksonville wrongful death lawyer will be able to properly calculate these damages.

Compensation may be available for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Cost of pre-death medical care
  • Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
  • Mental anguish damages
  • Loss of consortium or companionship damages
  • Possible punitive damages against those responsible

Who can recover these wrongful death benefits?

Florida law allows the following people to file wrongful death claims:

  • The deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents
  • Any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”

What factors go into the amount of money family members will receive?

There are various factors that go into a final settlement amount. These factors include:

  • The liability of the truck driver or company. Was the driver or company grossly negligent?
  • The total cost of injuries and medical treatment prior to the victim’s death.
  • The age of the victim.
  • The income and expected future earnings of the deceased.
  • The total amount of insurance available through the truck driver’s carrier.

A skilled Florida truck accident attorney will be able to help you navigate this process. Seeking maximum compensation for a wrongful death case involving a truck means gathering all evidence related to the crash, the driver and company’s safety records, your medical records, and more.

These accidents happen in various ways

Many commercial truck accidents are the result of truck driver negligence or vehicle failure. Most commercial trucks and CDL drivers on the roadway are regulated by the FMCSA and the US DOT.

Truck drivers must always follow weight capacity restrictions as well as the hours of service requirements. Failing to do so will lead to dangerous operating conditions. Drivers should never operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while distracted behind the wheel.

Truck companies must follow FMCSA regulations regarding the regular inspection and maintenance of their vehicles. When one or more systems of a large truck fail, a driver could lose control of the vehicle. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and inflict serious damage when it crashes.