Wrongful Death In Tractor-Trailer Accidents
For a variety of reasons, tractor-trailer accidents are disproportionately lethal, particularly for the driver or passengers in the other vehicle. Sometimes, an accident simply happens; however, sometimes a death (or multiple deaths) occur due to the negligence of one of the drivers. It is not always easy to establish that someone’s passing was due to the negligent or reckless behavior of another person, but it is possible, and can give a grieving family some closure if they lose someone in such a fashion.
Most Deaths Are Drivers & Passengers Of Small Vehicles
Tractor-trailers are vehicles that have two separate parts (a cab and a trailer) joined by what is referred to as a fifth wheel. They are innately heavier than passenger vehicles like cars or pickup trucks, and when a tractor-trailer has a cargo on board, the weight of the vehicle may double or triple. While other factors like driver error may play a role in causing a tractor-trailer accident, it is this weight that leads to such high fatality numbers (data shows that truck accidents comprise approximately 6.5 percent of all traffic crashes, but create almost 12 percent of the fatalities.
Not all of the fatalities in tractor-trailer accidents are the fault of someone’s negligent behavior, but many are, particularly the deaths of drivers and passengers in vehicles unlucky enough to be involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer. The truck driver is relatively insulated from harm by their large vehicle – but the occupants of the other vehicle have much less to protect them, leading to higher percentages of serious injury and death.
Have You Lost A Loved One?
If you have lost a loved one in a tractor-trailer accident, and you suspect that the negligence of the tractor-trailer driver (or another defendant, such as the trucking company) was the direct cause of their passing, know that you have the right to seek compensation for what your family has been through. Florida allows the spouses, parents, and minor children of a deceased person (and, in rare cases, relatives by blood or adoption who were dependent on the deceased) to seek compensation for wrongful death, though the personal representative of the estate must actually file the claim.
One thing for Floridians to keep in mind in these types of cases is that the state’s no-fault system will not apply; the tort immunity that normally prevents court cases over road accidents is lifted in the event of someone’s passing. In other words, you can file suit on behalf of a deceased loved one in court, instead of having to use personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay medical bills or other expenses. Fatalities on the road are seen as serious enough where PIP insurance may not be enough to cover all claims.
Call A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
A tractor-trailer accident can be devastating for survivors, but if you lose a loved one in this kind of accident, it can feel just as bad or worse. Money will not bring a loved one back, but it can help keep a family afloat during what can be a very difficult time. A Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help answer any questions you may have about your case. Call us today for a free consultation.