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Trucking Accidents and Wrongful Death: The Legal Process

by | May 28, 2019 | Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are some of the most devastating. The weight of the large commercial vehicle is enough to cause catastrophic injuries and in the worst-case scenario, death. Unfortunately, this leaves the family of the victim to grieve and determine what legal action they have available to hold the negligent party accountable.

We know that not all truck drivers are at fault, but when they are, the results can have detrimental ramifications. As the family of someone who was fatally injured in a truck accident, it’s important to know what steps come next and how to move forward.

While you may not want to think about the legal actions, it’s important in seeking closure, seeking justice, and seeking compensation. Before moving forward, learn more about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, who may be liable, and what types of damages may be recovered.

Who Files a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?

The laws concerning wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia are pretty straightforward with regards to who is eligible to file. Under Georgia law, the surviving spouse, if any has the right to file a wrongful death claim.   If there is no surviving spouse, the child/children of the deceased can file the claim.   Also, if the spouse refuses to bring a claim, the child/children can bring the claim.  If there is no spouse nor children, the parents of the deceased can bring the claim.  In the event a child/children is a minor, the child can still bring the claim, usually through their caretaker or an appointed conservator/trustee.

Who Is Held Accountable?

In any trucking accident, there are several different parties who may be considered liable for any damages that are caused—including wrongful death. This can include the following parties:

  • The trucking company
  • The truck driver
  • The cargo loader
  • The manufacturer

Those in the trucking industry are considered professionals as they are paid for their profession. As such, they are held to a high standard regarding how they follow rules, care for their truck and cargo, and the safety of others. When negligence is involved, these professionals can be held accountable for the damages sustained.

What Damages May Be Available?

There are different types of damages that may be sought with regards to wrongful death cases. Most claims are filed for the entire value of the deceased individual’s life in which damages can includes lost wages, lost future earnings, lost care and companionship, and lost benefits that would have been provided by the deceased.

Other claims filed by the representative of the deceased party’s estate can seek damages for medical expenses from the date of the injury to the date of death, costs associated with burial and funeral, and pain and suffering damages suffered by the deceased prior to their death.

Before you file a wrongful death claim, you should recognize what timelines exist, so you can avoid missing out on the justice you deserve. In the state of Georgia, you have two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

In some situations, the statute of limitations can increase up to seven years, but the estate must not be probated.

At Hudson King, we care for our clients because we know how difficult this time can be. Losing a loved one due to negligence is never easy to endure, and we aim to be in your corner every step of the way holding the parties in the trucking industry accountable for their actions.

Learn how our South Georgia truck accident attorneys can protect your rights, protecting your family, and pursuing justice for your lost loved one.

Contact our firm today by calling us at (229) 515-8585 to discuss your potential case.

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