If your loved one dies in a truck accident, there are several things that family members should do to help ensure fair compensation. In Rhode Island, the executor named in the deceased’s will may make a wrongful death claim for the loss of the loved one. This executor could be a spouse, parent, or adult child of the deceased. If no executor or administrator is named, the beneficiaries of the deceased can file. It’s beneficial to hire a wrongful death attorney to discuss your options and determine if the family is entitled to compensation for their economic and noneconomic losses following a wrongful death truck accident.
Causes of Rhode Island Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are caused in many ways and for many reasons. Due to the large size and weight of a truck, when it crashes with another vehicle, there are usually fatalities.
Types of Truck Accidents
- Rollover accident
- Blind spot accident
- Head-on collision
- Rear-end collision
- Cargo spill or trailer unlatched
- Failure to stop at a traffic signal or intersection
- Tire blowout
Negligence in a Fatal Rhode Island Truck Accident
To file a wrongful death claim, there must be evidence that the responsible party was negligent in their actions, and their actions caused the death of your loved one. For example, the truck driver may have been driving under the influence or driving too fast. Or the truck was not properly maintained. Proving negligence involves four elements.
Proving Truck Driver Negligence
- The truck driver breached their duty of care to other drivers on the road.
- The truck driver breached that duty.
- Victims suffered injuries, losses, and/or damages.
- Victims suffered losses due to the breach of duty.
Liability in a Fatal RI Truck Accident
Truck accidents are not the same as accidents between passenger cars. Unless there are other cars and drivers involved in a vehicle crash, there is usually one liable party. With commercial trucks, there can be many parties responsible for the accident.
Possible Liable Parties
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The company that loaded cargo on the truck
- The person or company responsible for service and maintenance of the truck
How a Lawyer Can Help
After a loved one dies in a truck accident, contacting a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible can help with your claim. Because you may not know who’s responsible for the accident, a lawyer can help make this determination and communicate with the insurance companies while you’re grieving.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
- An attorney can investigate the accident and gather evidence.
- An attorney can determine the party or parties responsible for your loved one’s death.
- An attorney can calculate the value of your claim.
- An attorney can handle negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. A lawyer may advise you to avoid talking to insurance companies since the company may want you to quickly settle the claim for the least amount of money.
- An attorney can make sure that the claim is filed within three years from the date of the accident to be within Rhode Island’s statute of limitations. If a claim is not filed before the deadline, it may be dismissed, and you will not be able to pursue damages for your loss.
- An attorney can protect your legal rights and represent you in court if the case goes to trial.
Compensation in a Fatal RI Truck Accident
In Rhode Island, there is a minimum of $250,000 in recovery for a wrongful death claim. Compensation can be awarded over that amount and may include damages for a variety of expenses.
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost income, taking into consideration the amount of money the deceased would have made during their lifetime
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship, protection, and care
Has Your Loved One Died Due to the Negligence of Others?
If your loved one died due to the negligence of others, you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help families in Providence, Warwick, and all areas of Rhode Island.