Accident between truck and car

Truck Accident and Wrongful Death

Law Offices of Steven Zwick Jan. 23, 2024

There were 168,320 truck accidents in 2022. 4,766 of these accidents tragically resulted in fatalities.

At the Law Offices of Steven Zwick, we know how the impact of losing a loved one extends far beyond the immediate emotional pain. It often leaves families grappling with financial burdens, from funeral costs to lost income.

If you're grieving the loss of someone who was taken too soon in a trucking accident, our team extends our sincerest sympathies. We understand that no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, but holding the responsible party accountable can provide some measure of justice. And you can do this by filing a wrongful death claim.

Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In the aftermath of a truck accident, the sheer scale of the trauma can be immense. Trucks, due to their heavy weight and size, have the potential to cause catastrophic damage and death. The financial implications of such an accident can be substantial, encompassing:

  • Medical expenses.

  • Loss of potential income and earnings.

  • Loss of companionship.

  • Funeral expenses.

  • And more.

A successful wrongful death claim can help alleviate these financial burdens, ensuring the trucking company — or their insurance company — is held responsible for the accident. This can lead to significant compensation that will help provide for the deceased's family. In some cases, damages for the emotional pain and suffering experienced by the family may also be awarded.  

Remember, a truck accident wrongful death claim is not just about monetary compensation. While it won't bring back your loved one, it can help you seek justice for your loved one and hold the responsible parties accountable to prevent future tragedies. 

What Constitifies Wrongful Death in California?

In California, wrongful death occurs when a person's death is caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party. This includes situations where the driver, truck company, truck manufacturer, person who loaded the cargo, or maintenance personnel acted negligently or failed to uphold their duty of care. 

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident?

In a truck accident, multiple parties can potentially be held liable. This can include:

  • The truck driver.

  • Truck company.

  • Truck manufacturers (including parts manufacturers).

  • The person who loaded the cargo.

  • Maintenance personnel.

Each party's level of responsibility will depend on the specific details of the accident. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

In California, certain individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Typically, immediate family members such as spouses, children, and parents of the deceased have the right to pursue a claim, though it's important to note that there's a specific hierarchy of individuals who are legally permitted to file a wrongful death claim. The order of priority is as follows: 

  1. Spouse or Domestic Partner: The deceased's spouse or registered domestic partner is generally the first in line to file a wrongful death claim. 

  1. Children: If there is no surviving spouse or the spouse chooses not to file a claim, the deceased's children have the next right to file. 

  1. Parents: If there are no surviving children, the parents of the deceased can file a claim. This is especially applicable if the parents were financially dependent on the deceased. 

  1. Siblings: In the absence of parents, siblings of the deceased who were financially dependent on them can file a claim. 

  1. Financial Dependents: Other individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased, like a putative spouse or children of the putative spouse, stepchildren, or the parents of the deceased, may also file a claim. 

  1. Heirs: Finally, if none of the above parties are available or choose to file a claim, other individuals who would be entitled to the deceased's property under California's intestate succession laws have the right to file a wrongful death claim.  

Please note that these are general guidelines and the specific circumstances of each case can affect who has the right to file a claim. For more accurate information, consulting with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney is highly recommended. 

Possible Damages Available

In a wrongful death claim, a variety of damages may be available to the surviving family members. Each type of damage serves to compensate for a different kind of loss experienced due to the untimely death of a loved one. Here's a detailed look at the possible damages available: 

  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: These damages cover the costs of the funeral and burial of the loved one. They aim to alleviate the immediate financial burden faced by the family following the death. 

  • Medical Bills: If the deceased received medical treatment before their death as a result of the accident, the family could be compensated for these costs. 

  • Lost Income: This refers to the earnings that the deceased would have contributed to the household if they had lived. It includes potential future earnings and benefits, taking into account the deceased's age, health, and occupation at the time of death. 

  • Loss of Companionship: Also known as loss of consortium, this compensates for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the loss of a loved one. It recognizes the value of the love, companionship, and emotional support that the deceased person provided. 

  • Emotional Distress: Surviving family members may be compensated for the emotional distress they have suffered due to the loss. This could include anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues that have arisen as a result of the untimely death. 

Remember, the specific damages awarded will depend on the circumstances of the case and the losses suffered by the surviving family members. Each claim is unique, and the damages awarded will reflect the individual circumstances of your case. 

Fight for Justice With Attorney Zwick

At the Law Offices of Steven Zwick, we're not just here to represent you — we're here to stand by your side every step of the way. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we're committed to providing the support you need. If you're looking for a team that will fight tirelessly for justice on behalf of your loved one, we're just a phone call away. 

Reach out to us today and let us help you navigate through this challenging time. With us by your side, you can rest assured knowing that we'll do everything in our power to seek the justice you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Steven Zwick today for a free consultation.

We serve Southern California, including Orange County and cities like Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, and many more.