In Georgia, especially Atlanta, truck accidents occur because of a number of reasons. Generally, big rigs and commercial trucks should be safe because their drivers go through rigorous trainings, and there are state and federal laws to ensure public safety. In 2014 however, Georgia recorded a staggering 140 fatalities that were the result of truck accidents that caused the wrongful death. Due to their large size and heavy weight, trucks cause greater harm to other smaller vehicles especially their drivers and passengers.
Losing someone due to a truck accident is utterly devastating and we understand that seeking legal action towards the at-fault party may be the last thing on your mind or confusing. Our experienced and expert truck accident lawyers at Council & Associates can help immediate family members find closure, and recover financial losses by filing a wrongful death claim. If you are the spouse or child of someone that died as a result of an accident with a commercial truck, you may be eligible to get compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, the loss of earnings both past and future, and also the intangible emotions like pain and suffering. Additionally, you could recover for what is called a loss of consortium claim. This means the loss of the love and comfort from the deceased that was deprived of your family because of the wrongful death of your loved one.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Georgia, a wrongful death claim occurs when someone’s negligent conduct or behavior caused someone to lose their life. Trucking accidents are just one of the many reasons a wrongful death claim may occur. For example, if someone dies due to a fatal car accident, medical malpractice, commercial truck or tractor-trailer accident, or even if someone dies because they didn’t receive proper care while in a nursing home these are all considered grounds for bringing a wrongful death claim.
Who has the Right to Sue in a Wrongful Death Case?
In Georgia, wrongful death claims can be brought by a surviving spouse, if there is no surviving spouse, then any surviving children, if there is no surviving spouse or children, then a surviving parent of the deceased, if there is no surviving spouse, children, or parent, then a personal representative can be appointed. Georgia law also provides that the surviving family who files a wrongful death lawsuit is entitled to file a claim for the “full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived.” O.C. G.A.51-4-1.
The wrongful death law in Georgia entitles the following family members of the surviving family to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court:
- The spouse
- The children (if there is no living spouse)
- The parents (if there is no living spouse or children)
- Estate administrator (if not survived by any of the mentioned family members)
Why Trucking Accident Attorneys are Important
Most people think car accidents and accidents involving semi-trucks or 18 wheelers are handled the same. This thought couldn’t be further from the truth. There are two major ways that these accidents differ.
First, when you’re dealing with a typical car accident, you generally have one person who is responsible for causing the accident and that person, through their insurance company, would be the only person obligated to pay the injured parties damages. However, when you’re dealing with an accident involving a semi-truck or an 18 wheeler, not only is the truck driver who caused the accident potentially responsible for the damages caused, the company that the truck driver was working for at the time of the accident may also be responsible for paying the injured parties damages.
Second, truck drivers are not only required to follow state safety rules when operating a semi-truck or 18 wheeler, they must follow Federal safety rules. These federal rules are very strict and they outline, among many things, the type of specialized training a truck driver must have before operating a semi-truck or tractor-trailer and how many hours a truck driver can safely drive his/her truck before taking a break or resting. These federal rules are key when it comes to holding a truck driver and a trucking company responsible for causing an accident.
Therefore, it is important it is for an individual who is involved in an accident with a semi-truck or 18 wheeler to select an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.
Losing someone is life-changing and our law firm understands how important it is for your family to receive rightful and just compensation. When you hire an experienced personal injury firm, you will not feel that you are alone to deal with the emotional struggles following the loss of a loved one. Don’t subject yourself to a more stressful situation by going head-to-head with the big truck companies and their insurance carriers who tend to bully victims into settling for a lesser amount. A wrongful death attorney will dedicate their time and resources to determine who are the liable parties and file for your claim with your best interest at heart, allowing you to focus on recovering and moving on after the tragedy.
At Council & Associates, you are not alone in this upsetting and distressful time. Contact our Georgia Personal Injury Law firm today at (404)562-8857 and find out how we can help you. We offer a free client consultation to assess the issues in your case.