Trucks often 20 to 30 times the average passenger motor vehicle. When a truck hits a car, the accident is far more likely to result in fatalities than accidents between two cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute reports that commercial trucks have the highest fatality rate per mile of any motor vehicle. Truck accidents claim the lives of tens of thousands of people across Illinois and the rest of the United States annually. The family members of deceased truck accident victims will require experienced legal counsel to protect their rights through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Truck Accident Fatalities and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Commercial truck drivers nationwide have a legal duty to operate their trucks in a reasonably safe manner so as to prevent injury to others. Additionally, truck drivers, trucking companies, and manufacturers of truck components must comply with numerous Illinois and federal regulations. If the trucking company, truck driver, or manufacturer fails to meet these requirements and a fatality occurs, the family members of those killed may be eligible to seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions brought to compensate the family members of those killed due to truck driver negligence. In Illinois, 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 180 states that whenever a death is caused by wrongful act or neglect, such that would have entitled the party injured to recover damages, the person or entity that caused the death may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. Accordingly, any truck accident fatality that is caused by negligence would give rise to a wrongful death action.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois?
Illinois law requires that the personal representative of the deceased truck accident victim’s estate file the wrongful death action. The personal representative is often appointed in the accident victim’s will and could by any close member of the family. If the accident victim did not appoint a personal representative before death, the court would do so. All proceeds obtained from the wrongful death lawsuit will go to the deceased individuals surviving spouse and next of kin, as determined by the court.
What Damages Could I Obtain in a Wrongful Death Action?
Potential damage in an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit include the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expense incurred before death
- Lost wages and benefits due to the untimely death
- Mental suffering, grief, and sorrow
- Loss of care and companionship
Your exact recovery will depend upon the unique facts of your case. Wrongful death actions can be difficult to calculate damages due to the non-economic nature of many of your losses. While loss of companionship and mental anguish can be hard to calculate, your Chicago wrongful death attorney will use his or her experience along with formulaic calculations to determine the value of your case.
Put Our Over 45 Years of Combined Legal Experience to Work on Your Case!
If your loved one was killed in a truck accident, contact the Chicago Wrongful Death Lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC. Our firm has handled all manner of wrongful death cases, achieving over 40 million in settlements and verdicts for our valued clients. We understand the devastating losses associated with the death of your relative in a truck accident. We are dedicated to seeing that our injured clients receive the full compensation to which they are entitled in a wrongful death action. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers at (312) 422-0500 or by filling out a free contact form online.