Trucks are significantly larger than other motor vehicular accidents, so a collision involving a truck can cause severe injuries and property damage. Imagine how a smaller vehicle would fare against a truck if the two collided with each other. The individuals inside the smaller motor vehicle have a higher chance of sustaining catastrophic injuries than the truck driver. Worse, they are also more likely to die than the truck driver.
According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were a total of 5,788 fatalities due to truck accidents in the year 2021. Of those deaths, 72% are occupants of other vehicles. In fact, only 17% of the fatalities were truck occupants. Other motor vehicles do not stand a chance. However, because of these statistics, truck drivers should be more careful and their employers should be more reasonable. Truck accidents may happen, but when they cause wrongful death, someone should be liable for the victim and the family they leave behind.
How does wrongful death occur in a truck accident?
Wrongful death occurs when an individual or entity acts wrongfully or negligently. It is when a person or entity does not fulfill an owed duty of care, thus resulting in another person’s death. Here are situations where someone’s actions or inactions can cause a truck accident leading to wrongful death:
- The driver was driving distracted
- The driver was drunk driving
- The truck company did not conduct adequate screening and hired a driver without proper training or experience
- The truck company failed to maintain the truck in operable condition
- The truck company forces the driver to fulfill impossible delivery deadlines
- The truck driver experiences extreme fatigue
- The parts manufacturer negligently or intentionally did not evaluate the quality of the parts of the truck
- The loading company did not effectively secure the cargo
Employers should provide safe and healthy working conditions. Manufacturers should examine their products before selling them to the public. The driver has a duty to drive with due prudence to ensure those on the road are safe.
The Illinois Wrongful Death Act can help victims recover damages
People who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a person or entity’s wrongful act or neglect have the right to maintain an action and recover the appropriate damages. Typically, truck accidents are a result of negligence more than intentional misconduct. Nevertheless, recklessness should never lead to death, and the surviving loved ones have the right to seek justice.