Truck and Car crash accident on the road

Truck Collisions and Wrongful Death

Truck collisions are among the most catastrophic traffic incidents that can occur. The sheer size and mass of these vehicles can cause devastating damage, leading to life-altering injuries and, in the worst cases, wrongful death.

So, what are your rights in the event of a truck collision, and how can you hold the responsible parties accountable for collisions that result in wrongful death? 

Understanding truck collisions and the regulations for filing a wrongful death claim is crucial for anyone affected, as families of victims are often left with overwhelming emotional distress and financial burdens, which can complicate the claims process. 

At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O, we are experienced in handling cases involving truck collisions and wrongful death. We can help you understand your available options, file a wrongful death claim, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, we serve clients throughout Douglas County, Sarpy County, Dodge County, and Lancaster County. 

Understanding Truck Collisions 

Truck collisions occur when large commercial vehicles, such as semi trucks, dump trucks, and 18-wheelers, collide with smaller passenger cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, or cyclists. These incidents are more complex than typical car wrecks due to various factors, including: 

  • Size and weight: The average tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, while a standard car weighs around 4,000 pounds. The difference in weight and size means that the impact of a truck collision is much greater, leading to more severe injuries and damages. 

  • Limited maneuverability: Trucks are not as agile as smaller vehicles and require more time to stop or change direction. This can be problematic in situations where the driver needs to react quickly, such as avoiding an obstacle or stopping to avoid a collision. 

  • Driver fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and have strict deadlines to meet, leading to fatigue and drowsy driving. This can significantly impact their reaction time and ability to operate the vehicle safely. 

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Nebraska consistently ranks high in the number of truck collisions. Often, these collisions result in serious physical and psychological injuries, and in more extreme cases, wrongful death. 

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims 

Wrongful death refers to a death caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another party. In truck collisions, this occurs when a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist is killed when a truck collides with them or their vehicle. There are several ways in which wrongful death can occur, including: 

  • Truck driver negligence: This includes behaviors such as distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

  • Employer negligence: Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers are properly trained and licensed and that their vehicles are regularly inspected and maintained. Failure to do so can lead to accidents and potential wrongful death. 

  • Defective truck parts: If a truck collision is caused by faulty equipment or parts, the manufacturer or distributor of those parts may be held liable for any resulting injuries or deaths. 

Nebraska's wrongful death laws define wrongful death as a fatality due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional harm of another party, and the deceased's personal representative is tasked with seeking legal recourse. 

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Truck Collision 

Understanding the process of filing a wrongful death claim is crucial for a victim's family. Depending on the specifics of the case, a victim's family can potentially recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, such as immediate medical expenses, funeral costs, the loss of the deceased's expected salary, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. 

Filing a wrongful death claim in Nebraska involves several critical steps that a victim's family needs to follow to enable them to seek damages and compensation: 

  1. Seek Legal Representation: Immediately after a truck collision resulting in wrongful death, it's imperative to consult with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney. An attorney experienced in truck accident litigation can guide you through the legal process, help gather the necessary evidence, and make sure your claim meets all the legal state requirements. 

  1. Investigate the Accident: Your legal team will conduct a thorough investigation of the truck collision. This includes collecting police reports, eyewitness accounts, truck driver logs, truck company records, and any available video footage. An in-depth investigation helps establish liability by identifying the negligence that led to the wrongful death. 

  1. File a Wrongful Death Claim: In Nebraska, the personal representative of the deceased's estate (often a family member) is required to file the wrongful death claim. This legal action must be filed within two years from the date of death, according to Nebraska's statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. 

  1. Gather and Present Evidence: Your attorney will help you compile the evidence obtained during the investigation phase to establish the defendant's negligence or wrongful act that resulted in the victim's death. 

  1. Negotiate a Settlement: Many wrongful death claims are resolved through settlement negotiations with the defendant's insurance company or legal representation. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to secure fair compensation that covers medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, loss of companionship, and other damages. 

  1. Proceed to Trial if Necessary: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. During the trial, your legal team will present your case to a judge or jury, who will then make a decision regarding liability and compensation. 

For families affected by a wrongful death after a truck collision in Nebraska, it's important to understand the legal processes involved in seeking justice and compensation. The right legal representation, such as our attorney at Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., can handle the specifics of the wrongful death claim, allowing the victim's family to grieve and heal. 

Seeking Experienced Legal Support 

At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we understand the profound impact a truck collision can have on families, especially when it leads to wrongful death. Facing the aftermath of such tragedies is never easy, but you don't have to go through it alone.  

Our personal injury attorney is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to make sure those responsible for your loss are held accountable. If you have lost a loved one due to a truck collision in Nebraska, we're committed to advocating for the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today to request a consultation.