Fatal Truck Accidents
When a truck accident leads to the death of a loved one, grieving family members can pursue legal rights which allow them to recover compensation from the truck driver, the trucking company and all other parties who share responsibility for the fatal accident. At Nagle & Associates, Raleigh truck accident lawyer Carl Nagle stands ready to provide compassionate, knowledgeable guidance and representation following a tragic collision. A wrongful death claim can help surviving spouses and other family members cope with the financial impact of the loss of a loved one, and these claims also force responsible parties to honor the losses they have caused through negligent driving and careless business practices. For decades, our staff has been dedicated exclusively to advocating on behalf of serious and fatal motor vehicle collision victims. We have recovered over $290 million for people throughout North Carolina, including in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, and Asheville.Filing a Wrongful Death Claim after a Fatal Truck Accident in North Carolina
After a truck accident, the personal representative of the deceased victim may pursue a wrongful death claim against the truck driver, his employers and all other parties who share blame for the collision. A wrongful death claim is a special type of personal injury action, and these claims are governed entirely by statute in North Carolina. While most of these cases settle privately without court involvement, the victim’s family must present a strong case and demonstrate a readiness to prevail at trial before the trucking company and their insurers will come forward with an appropriate settlement offer. The party who hires counsel and presents the claim or lawsuit if the “administrator” or personal representative of the decedent’s estate. In many situations, the personal representative is the surviving spouse or parent of the decedent. Under North Carolina law, a personal representative has the exclusive right to bring the claim, and the representative must be appointed by the Clerk of Court in order for a wrongful death lawsuit to proceed.
Wrongful death claims may arise from any type of fatal accident. In the case of truck and tractor trailer accidents, they can be complicated due to the multiple parties potentially responsible for the collision. Not only is the truck driver legally liable to the victim’s family, but also the owner of the truck, the company that leased the truck, and the truck manufacturer may also be deemed liable. In some cases, the cargo owners, the shipper who loaded cargo, the parties who maintained the truck, and the manufacturer of component parts on the truck may also be included to contribute payment for all wrongful death claims.
In order to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, the decedent’s family must prove that the truck driver, his employer and other parties were at fault for causing the death of the plaintiff’s loved one. To prove legal responsibility in a wrongful death lawsuit, the defendant’s conduct must have violated the legal standard of reasonable care, such that it would be considered negligent. Driver error is a main cause of trucking accidents, and some truck drivers are found to have been excessively fatigued or to have operated their vehicle while intoxicated or distracted. Equipment failure may also contribute to an accident, including manufacturing errors as well as flaws in design.
Carl Nagle and our transportation law team has a great deal of experience dealing with the federal legal issues presented in truck accident cases. As we evaluate the conduct of truck drivers, cargo loaders and shippers, and the trucking companies that contract to haul cargo, we must carefully analyze all conduct against the backdrop of North Carolina traffic laws and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The FMCSRs are the body of federal law that govern truck drivers who operate across state lines. This covers most every long-haul trucker and it is critical to assess all applicable federal regulations and to secure proof of every violation that contributed to causing the fatal accident. This legal framework is the basis of a successful truck accident claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit is meant to put the decedent’s legal beneficiaries in the same financial position in which they would be if their loved one had survived. The North Carolina Wrongful Death Act specifies the damages that the personal representative may recover, including compensation for emotional pain and suffering, as well as reimbursement for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the victim. It can be hard to place a dollar amount on the value of services and care provided by the decedent. Economists and actuaries can help to ensure that the surviving family members assert their right to the maximum appropriate amount.Retain a Raleigh Accident Lawyer for Your Fatal Truck Accident Claim
If you have lost a loved one due to a truck driver’s careless behavior, Raleigh fatal truck accident attorney Carl Nagle can advise you on how to isolate proof of truck driver error under federal regulatory law, and how to secure maximum compensation pursuant to the NC Wrongful Death Act. At Nagle & Associates, we combine our commitment to advocating for the rights of victims with our insider understanding of the insurance industry, due to Mr. Nagle’s former experience as an insurance adjuster and an insurance defense attorney. During his years in the insurance industry, Carl handled truck accident claims as an insurance adjuster, and he also defended truck drivers and trucking companies when he worked in Atlanta as an insurance company lawyer. It is our goal to maximize compensation on behalf of our clients, and to this end we charge a smaller percentage of any eventual settlement or verdict than most firms do. From seven offices throughout the state, we have assisted residents of Raleigh, Asheville, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Hickory, and other cities throughout Guilford, Wake, Mecklenburg, Forsyth, Durham, Catawba, and New Hanover Counties. Call 800-411-1583 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.