Accidents involving a truck or freightliner can often have devastating consequences to other drivers. In some scenarios, these accidents may even result in death or irreversible injury. Victims of fatal truck crashes, as well as their families, can seek compensation from truck drivers through a Chicago truck accident lawsuit. In a situation where a family loses a loved one, these lawsuits are called wrongful death lawsuits, and allow the families of the deceased to seek financial compensation from the party responsible for the accident. In some cases, a negligent driver’s employer can also be held liable. Although bringing a wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring a loved one back, the financial compensation available through these claims may help the family as they emotionally recover and as they assess their future finances and sources of income.
According to a recent news report, an Illinois truck accident resulted in the death of two people, while three others sustained non-life-threatening injuries. A truck carrying automotive batteries failed to reduce its speed on the highway, and, because of this, struck three other vehicles. The freightliner and these other vehicles became fully engulfed in flames and damaged two other nearby cars. A driver and passenger of one of the cars were killed in the accident.
In situations like the one above, the families of those killed in the truck accident can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party, in this case, the truck driver. In Illinois, according to the Wrongful Death Act, a plaintiff must prove the death of their loved one was caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another person. The plaintiff bringing the case must be the victim’s surviving spouse or next of kin, and they will be the ones to receive any amount recovered from the defendant.
In terms of compensation, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act provides that the jury may award damages to cover “pecuniary losses” resulting from the death. Pecuniary losses include being deprived of financial support from the death of their loved one, as well as any medical bills or funeral costs resulting from the accident. Juries can also take into account non-monetary losses, such as the loss of companionship and guidance. If the plaintiff can prove that the defendant’s wrongful conduct was purposeful, they may go after additional compensation called punitive damages. However, Illinois courts have been un-receptive to allowing a plaintiff to recover damages for mental anguish from a family member’s loss. The more facts the plaintiff is able to provide about how the loss has negatively impacted their life and financial situation, the more compelling the case will be to the jury.
Because wrongful death lawsuits are extremely fact-specific and can sometimes be difficult to prove, potential plaintiffs should consult an experienced wrongful death attorney before bringing a lawsuit.
Contact an Illinois Wrongful Death Attorney
If your loved one has been killed because of the negligence of a truck driver, contact the dedicated attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. With years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, our attorneys will work to hold to responsible parties liable while your family mourns and emotionally heals. To discuss your Chicago wrongful death lawsuit, and to speak to an attorney, call us today at 312-924-7575.