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Truck accidents occur far more frequently than many people realize, and are far too often deadly — usually for the occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there were more than 600 fatalities in crashes that involved commercial vehicles in the state in 2015. In Dallas County alone, there were 3,598 truck crashes in 2015. In all, 31 people lost their lives in 27 Dallas-area truck accidents.
If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, it is likely that the last thing you want to deal with is an insurance company, but a wrongful death claim can help you regain your financial footing after your loss. A truck accident wrongful death lawyer in Dallas from Lovins Trosclair can deal with the insurance company for you, representing your best interests and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
Call today: 214-484-1930.
How can I get compensation for my financial and emotional damages?
The Texas Wrongful Death Act gives family members of a person killed by someone else’s negligence the right to sue for certain damages. In most cases, you have two years to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. The Wrongful Death Act states that you must be the victim’s spouse, child or parent to file this type of claim.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies who represent trucking companies rarely want to settle this type of claim easily. In most cases, they will attempt to lowball you or claim you caused the accident. We can help you collect evidence to negate fault and negotiate with the insurers on your behalf.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Not just anyone can bring a wrongful death claim. Under Texas law, only the following can bring and benefit from a wrongful death action:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
The executor of the deceased’s estate can bring a claim if the spouse, children, or parents do not bring one in a timely manner as set out in the wrongful death statute.
Who is liable for a truck accident?
Before you can file a wrongful death claim, you need to determine who is at fault. You would assume that if a truck driver caused the accident that he would be the liable party. This is not always true.
In a truck accident, the driver is not usually the only liable party. Under the vicarious liability doctrine, a trucking company is responsible for the actions of its employees while they are on the clock. This means that when a trucker acts negligently and causes a crash, his employer will be your defendant.
Depending on the cause of the crash, other parties could be liable as well. This may include the truck manufacturer, a parts manufacturer, or even a company tasked with maintaining the truck. We can examine your case and determine who played a role in causing your loved one’s accident.
How do I prove fault for a Texas truck accident?
Truck accidents differ significantly from your typical car accident when it comes to collecting the evidence necessary to prove your case. In many truck versus car fatality crashes, the trucking company possesses much of the evidence needed to prove the driver’s negligence.
For this reason, one of the first things we do in a truck accident wrongful death case is send a spoliation letter to the trucking company. This letter notifies it of our intent to file suit, and prevents it from destroying any possible evidence. Evidence we preserve often includes:
- Driver logs
- Digital data collected by the truck’s onboard recorder
- Driver drug and alcohol test results
- Driver personnel records
- Driver medical records
- Maintenance records for the truck involved
- Truck permit information
- Pictures of the truck before and after the crash
We will also immediately engage an accident reconstructionist to investigate the collision. The accident reconstructionist will inspect all vehicles involved in the collision, document the accident scene, and download information contained in onboard recorders. This is important because valuable evidence can be lost forever if an experienced accident reconstructionist does not get to the scene in a timely manner.
We will also help gather other evidence to bolster your case, such as:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Pictures from the scene
- Medical records
What types of damages can I recover?
A wrongful death claim differs significantly from a personal injury claim or even a survival action when it comes to the types of damages you can recover. A wrongful death claim allows you to request compensation for your personal financial and emotional losses. This does not include the losses incurred by your loved one before their death. In a Texas wrongful death claim, economic damages may include:
- Financial losses, such as funeral or medical expenses left to you
- Lost financial support, based on your loved one’s current and future income
- Cost of therapy and other emotional support services
- Loss of services, such as parental or spousal services
- Loss of support around the house, such as chores and child care
- Loss of inheritance
You may also be able to recover compensation for noneconomic damages, such as:
- Loss of advice and counsel
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
These damages are difficult to quantify, but we regularly work with experts to get a value on these losses. We know that the emotional pain is the worst part of losing a family member so we will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
In rare cases of intentional or egregious negligence, a court may award punitive damages. These damages are very difficult to prove, but our lawyers have been successful establishing the gross negligence necessary to recover them.
How can Lovins Trosclair help me?
If you lost a loved one in a Dallas truck accident caused by a negligent trucker, let Lovins Trosclair go to work for you. We understand that battling a huge trucking company or talking to an insurance company is the last thing you want to do right now.
We can handle all aspects of your case for you, from securing evidence to negotiating a settlement or representing you in court.
Call our Dallas office at 214-484-1930 to set up a free initial consultation.