A large portion of drivers is intimidated whenever they are navigating the streets and roads near a large transportation truck; a fear that is only amplified when the speed of the vehicles is accelerated to match regular highway speeds. This fear is absolutely justified, given the information we have heard, seen, and read from past collisions involving such a truck. The aftermath is devastating.
Statistics provided by the Ontario Provincial Police tell us that every fifth highway collision involves one or more commercial trucks. And fatalities are not uncommon. So what happens when such a collision occurs? Who can be held responsible in the case of a fatality? Who pays the compensation to the bereaved? And which of the bereaved is even allowed to file a claim?
Filing A Wrongful Death Claim In The Aftermath of A Collision
If the fatality was the result of another party’s negligence, then the Family Law Act states that the bereaved have the right to file a wrongful death claim as means of obtaining compensation for their losses. Basically, if the deceased would have been able to file for compensation had they survived, then the right to sue will be passed on to the bereaved. That is why the next of kin need to seek the assistance of a injury lawyer to sue the at-fault party and get the compensation, though the grief is for life.
People who are entitled to filing this claim are the deceased one’s spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. Personal Injury Lawyer in Hamilton gives a list of damages that the bereaved are entitled to, which includes compensation for the following:
• Medical and rehabilitation expenses that may have accumulated prior to the death
• Funeral expenses
• Reimbursement for loss of guidance, companionship, and care
• Travel expenses that may have accumulated from hospital visits prior to the death
• Reimbursement for housekeeping, nursing care, and other services which were provided to the deceased prior to their death
Unfortunately, emotional distress has still not been recognized as compensation that should be awarded, though therapy or counseling associated with the recovery from the trauma of such an unexpected loss will sometimes be covered.
Determining Liability In A Wrongful Death Case
Even in situations in which liability clearly lies with a truck driver, it may still sometimes be the trucking company who is ultimately held liable. This is especially true if the company is forcing drivers to drive without sufficient breaks and resting time, encouraging their drivers to disregard speed limits, or enforces a schedule that is too strict to be obeyed without disregarding safety regulations.