Semi-trucks provide valuable services to the people of the United States. Without big rigs, the U.S. economy would grind to a halt. With that said, there is a downside to the presence of semis on the streets and highways of our country. These negative aspects include the fact that semi-truck accidents oftentimes result in catastrophic and even fatal injuries. There are some key semi-truck accident wrongful death facts and stats that you need to bear in mind.
Semi-Truck Accident Fatalities Each Year
While there is some fluctuation from one year to another, over 4,000 people are killed in semi-truck accidents across the United States each year. In 2018, 4,136 individuals lost their lives in big rig accidents in the U.S. The death rate dipped a bit during the pandemic years as a result of a temporary decrease in the number of people who were on roadways.
There is one consistent reality about fatal semi-truck accidents. In the vast majority of cases, those who die in commercial truck accidents are:
- Drivers and passengers of automobiles involved in a big rig wreck
Big rig operators are far, far less likely to be serious injured or killed in in an accident involving their trucks.
Weight and Size of Commercial Trucks Spell Disaster in a Wreck
A fundamental reality associated with the deadly nature of big rig collisions is the immense size and weight of semis. A typical semi-truck weighs on average 80,000 when loaded and in operation on a U.S. roadway. A 4,000 pound standard passenger car is no match for a 40 ton semi-truck. (A typical passenger car is 2 tons.)
Other Factors of a Semi-Truck Accident
Size alone is far from the only factor that makes commercial truck wrecks possible and deadly. Factors that oftentimes come into play when a semi collision occurs include:
- Distracted big rig operator (talking on phone, texting, eating, drinking, etc.)
- Impaired or intoxicated semi driver (illicit drugs, prescribed medications, alcohol)
- Fatigued commercial truck driver
- Improperly trained semi operator
- Semi mechanical breakdown
- Semi-truck operator driving at an excessive speed (beyond the speed limit, too fast for prevailing conditions)
- Combination of facts (for example, mechanical malfunction coupled with a fatigued rig operator)
Who can Pursue a Semi-Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claim?
Certain close family members are in a position to pursue a semi-truck accident wrongful death claim. The laws vary from one state to another when it comes to which family members legally can pursue a semi accident wrongful death claim. Examples of family members who most often are in a legal position to pursue this type of wrongful death claim include:
Compensation in a Semi-Truck Accident Wrongful Death Case
As is the case with who can pursue a semi-truck wrongful death claim, the laws in each individual U.S. state dictate the specific types of financial compensation that might be awarded in a particular case. The types of losses for which a family member typically can seek compensation might include:
- Final medical expenses of deceased family member
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
- Lost wages and support
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
In some instances, a family member may be able to obtain what are known as punitive damages in a semi-truck accident wrongful death lawsuit. In simple terms, punitive damages represent additional money paid to a family member in a lawsuit. Punitive damages are awarded when the conduct of the party that caused an accident is deemed to be particularly reckless or egregious.
Semi-Truck Accident Wrongful Death Lawyer and Your Legal Rights
If you lost a family member in a semi accident, The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can connect with a Doan Law Firm semi-truck accident wrongful death lawyer any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000. We keep our semi-truck accident wrongful death lawyer telephone line staffed 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, including all major holidays.
There is no charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm semi-truck accident wrongful death lawyer. In fact, our firm never charges a fee unless we win your case for you. Our legal team is committed to fighting tirelessly to obtain justice for you.