It can be devastating to lose a loved one in a sudden truck accident, especially if it was caused by the negligence of the truck driver, trucking company, or other negligent party. While nothing can ease your grief over the loss of your family member, you may be able to obtain justice and the compensation that you are entitled to from the at-fault parties by filing a wrongful death action.
Major Reasons That Fatal Truck Accidents Occur
In most truck accidents where a victim is killed, the negligence of another party is the underlying cause of the collision. These cases are complex, and more than the trucker and trucking company may be responsible for compensating the victim’s family. Here are some of the top causes of these tragic wrecks:
- Distracted driving
- Not driving at a safe speed for weather conditions
- Intoxication due to drug or alcohol use
- Drowsy driving—often caused by violations of federal hours of service regulations
- Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo
- Lack of truck maintenance
- Truck driver inexperience or training
What Is a Wrongful Death Action in Virginia?
A wrongful death action is a type of personal injury claim that is brought by the heirs of someone killed due to the negligence or other wrongful act of another party. It is similar to a claim that the victim could have filed against the trucker, trucking company, and other negligent parties if he had lived. However, the parties pursuing the case are different, and the compensation they are entitled to is calculated differently.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Action in Virginia?
A wrongful death action after a fatal truck collision must be brought by a statutory beneficiary as defined under Virginia law. Statutory beneficiaries are family members or dependents of the deceased and can include the following:
- Surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren
- Surviving parents and siblings of the deceased
- Dependents living in the victim’s household
- Surviving family members who are entitled to inherit under Virginia’s intestacy laws
Compensation You May Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Action
In Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation as a statutory beneficiary if you prove that the negligence of the trucker or other parties caused your loved one’s death. You may be awarded compensation for:
- Mental anguish and sorrow that you suffer
- Loss of your family member’s care, comfort, guidance, companionship, and advice
- Value of the lost wages and benefits your loved one would have earned if he had lived
- Medical expenses incurred due to the truck accident
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages
Was a family member killed in a truck accident in Norfolk? Let our experienced truck accident attorneys take over the burden of pursuing your wrongful death claims so that you can focus on your grief and moving on with your life. Call our office to schedule a free initial consultation to get your questions answered and learn how our dedicated lawyers can help you.