Can I Sue if a Loved One Was Killed in a Truck Accident in North Carolina?
Tractor-trailers play a critical role in transporting goods across the state of North Carolina. However, these large trucks also pose a serious risk to NC drivers on the road due to their enormous size and weight, and often cause accidents resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. When someone has tragically lost a family member in a large truck accident, they often ask us: “Can I sue if my loved one was killed in a truck accident?”
The short answer is yes. In the state of North Carolina, you can sue if your loved one was killed in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence. In this article, we’ll share what you need to know about truck accident wrongful death claims, and how you can protect your legal rights in pursuing justice.
If you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident, our experienced truck accident lawyers are ready to help.
There are no upfront costs and no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Justice Counts for those who have lost a family member in a truck accident, and we would love to help you however we can. Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim.
What Can File a Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim?
In general, if you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident due to another person’s negligence, you can bring a claim against the trucking company or another party for damages.
This is possible because North Carolina law allows certain family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages stemming from the truck driver or trucking company’s negligent or wrongful act.
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim brought to hold a person or company responsible for damages in which the death of an individual resulted from a negligent act.
Relatives who are commonly eligible to file a wrongful death claim include:
- the deceased’s spouse
- the deceased’s domestic partner
- parents of the deceased
- the deceased’s children
- the deceased’s designated heirs
It is important to note that under North Carolina’s statute of limitations, you only have two years from the date of the accident to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one.
This is different from the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in North Carolina, which is three years.
Although we know that a lawsuit may be the last thing you want to think about in the days following the loss of your loved one to a truck accident, North Carolina’s two-year statute of limitations makes it critically important that you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
There is no obligation and there are no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Justice Counts for those who have lost a loved one in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, and we would love to help you fight for justice and compensation if we can.
Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your truck accident wrongful death claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Fatal Truck Accident?
When your loved one is killed in a trucking accident, your first thought might be to sue the driver of the truck or tractor-trailer.
However, under the doctrine of vicarious liability, a trucking company may also be held liable for an accident caused by a truck driver working on its behalf.
This is because both truck drivers and their employers have a duty to ensure that they operate safely on the roads and maintain the safety of their vehicles and equipment.
Parties that may be held liable for a truck accident include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Truck manufacturers
- Truck maintenance companies
- Construction or pavement marking companies
- State or local governments (if, for example, they failed to address unsafe road conditions)
If your loved one was killed in a truck accident on North Carolina roads, you may be able to hold one or more parties liable for their negligence in causing the truck accident that killed your loved one.
However, truck accident wrongful death lawsuits can be much more complex than regular accidents claims because they involve much more devastating injuries and often significant amounts of evidence.
Because our truck accident lawyers have decades of experience fighting for justice on behalf of truck accident victims, we are very familiar with the types of legal evidence and documentation you must produce to show fault on the part of the truck driver or trucking company.
Our truck accident attorneys can help guide you through the process of filing a wrongful death claim and help build your case for damages.
This includes collecting evidence from the truck accident scene, retaining expert crash investigators, obtaining testimony from witnesses, and helping prove liability in your case.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover for My Loved One?
Though it is impossible to put a monetary value on the life of a human being, wrongful death claims allow you to recover damages that your loved one would have been eligible to claim if they were alive.
Your lawyer can help determine which type of damages to include in your truck accident wrongful death claim, including:
- Medical costs
- Funeral expenses and other death-related costs
- Lost earning capacity projected over the course of your loved one’s future income
- Costs associated with emotional support services in the aftermath of your loved one’s death, like grief counseling
- Punitive damages, if the court finds them to be applicable
Several factors are considered in the determination of a wrongful death settlement, including the circumstances of the crash, medical and financial expenses incurred from the accident, the age of victim, and more.
Although the trucking company’s insurance will often push you to accept the lowest settlement possible, having an experienced attorney by your side can help you evaluate your damages and negotiate for a higher settlement for the loss of your loved one.
Experienced Truck Accident Wrongful Death Lawyers
If your loved one has been tragically killed in a trucking accident, it is essential that you seek guidance from an experienced truck accident lawyer right away. Riddle & Brantley’s experienced attorneys can help you not only prove liability in a complex truck accident but also seek maximum compensation for your loss.
There is no obligation and you won’t pay a dime in attorney fees unless we win your case.
In more than three decades serving victims, our truck accident wrongful death lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of surviving family members (see disclaimer below), including:
- $9,450,000 — Our attorneys recovered $9.45 million in separate settlements with a truck insurance company and pavement marking company after a family of four was killed in a tragic accident involving tractor-trailers. We led a comprehensive accident investigation to prove liability and even subpoenaed traffic data from Google Maps in the case.
- $2,250,000 — Attorney Gene Riddle represented a family he knew personally after a young woman was killed in a terrible head-on truck accident. The other driver had crossed the center line and was held liable in the crash. We partnered with attorney David Kirby of Kirby Edwards to investigate the accident and were able to negotiate a settlement of $2.25 million.
- $2,000,000 — Attorney Gene Riddle represented the estate and two surviving sons after an elderly woman was hit by a tractor-trailer. She suffered severe injuries and ultimately succumbed several days later. We brought in outside experts to prove liability in the accident and negotiated a $2 million settlement.
Nothing can ever make up for the loss of a loved one, but you can sue if your loved one was killed in a truck accident in order to recover damages.
We have handled many truck accident death cases in more than 35 years serving the people of North Carolina, and we would love to help you however we can.
The consultation is free and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation for your loss.
Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s discuss your case.
*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.