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It is mentally and emotionally draining to lose a family member because of another person’s reckless or careless decisions. Choices like a negligent trucker falling asleep at the wheel, in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. This act mandates CDL operators traveling for 10-15 hours to have eight hours of rest back-to-back. Relatives have legal rights when the negligent actions of truck drivers result in the death of a next of kin.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a truck driver, an experienced tractor-trailer collision attorney could help you pursue justice. Our team of skilled legal professionals has experience holding negligent truckers and trucking companies accountable for fatal truck accidents in Pensacola.

Common Types of Fatal Truck Accidents

The truck collisions that are most likely to end in fatalities are T-bone crashes, head-on collisions, and sideswipes.

Head-on collisions are extremely deadly and take place when a vehicle driving in the wrong direction slams into the automobile of the individual who is correctly following the law. This can happen on a two-lane road when an aggressive driver tries to get ahead of other vehicles or when someone enters the wrong side of the freeway.

T-bone truck crashes occur when the front of a tractor-trailer hits the side of another car, resulting in the vehicle forming a “T”-like shape. Sideswipes are when a motorist in the left lane swerves into the right lane, hitting the side of a car. This is also a forceful incident that could result in the vehicle that was struck flipping over or running off the road. Sideswipes occur when the person behind the wheel of the swerving vehicle is illegally switching lanes without peeking through their rear and side-view mirrors. It also happens in failure-to-yield situations when merging on the highway.

Dependents who lost a family member in an 18-wheeler collision could benefit from a knowledgeable Pensacola fatal truck crash attorney prosecuting a lawsuit against the wrongdoer.

Seeking Justice in Wrongful Death Cases

Family members who lost someone in a fatal semi-truck crash have the legal right to recover damages if the death was the result of a negligent driver and if the person would have had the right to file a lawsuit against the other driver had they survived, according to Florida Statutes § 768.19.

The legal right of action is referred to as a wrongful death claim. Essentially, a family representative works with legal professionals to file a civil complaint with the county court requesting monetary compensation for each of their clearly described damages and losses. Florida only permits relatives in instances of civil negligence to bring forth a cause of action for wrongful death no later than two years from the date of the decedent’s passing.

A proactive Pensacola fatal truck accident lawyer could swiftly file the case in the interest of justice.

Proving Negligence & Recoverable Damages

In wrongful death cases, the relatives’ attorney must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the deceased person would still be alive had it not been for the careless actions of the unlawful truck driver or company. Evidence of truckers texting while driving, intoxicated, speeding, or any other careless activity may be used as proof of misconduct. The burden is not to establish that the at-fault trucker was 100 percent responsible for the death; a liability threshold of at least 50 percent has to be met.

Once this threshold is met either in court or through a settlement, damages will be assessed against the negligent trucker or trucking company. If they refuse to pay, the family could later move to garnish their assets to satisfy what is owed. Usually, the damage award comes in lump sum payments or prorated payments over a specific period.

A dedicated fatal truck wreck attorney in Pensacola could help a decedent’s next of kin or estate collect monetary compensation for healthcare debt, mental pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and the taking away of a provider.

Speak With a Pensacola Attorney As Soon As Possible After a Fatal Truck Accident

We know it is essential to grieve with family and figure out the next steps following fatal truck accidents in Pensacola. When you are ready, you can contact our firm to speak with a compassionate legal professional. All communications are confidential, and we provide updates throughout every stage of the civil lawsuit process. Call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon for the help you and your family deserve.