It is an unfortunate fact that motor vehicles risk getting into accidents with much larger trucks when they drive on highways. Given the disparity in size between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, it is typically the driver of the car who sustains the most severe injuries, which sometimes results in death. As a result, large trucks pose a significant safety risk on the highways, especially at high speeds, and they are regulated accordingly.
Nonetheless, fatal truck accidents in Orland Park are common, but an experienced lawyer could help you fight for damages due to the death of your loved one. A dedicated wrongful death attorney could investigate the cause of the accident and the trucking company’s available insurance to determine the best course of action.
In a trucking accident case which results in wrongful death, it is important to complete a thorough investigation. Not only will the truck driver be held responsible, there may be other parties who are also legally liable. Sometimes the insurance on the truck itself will not be sufficient to cover expenses if the accident resulted in a death.
In addition to the trucking company, other potential defendants may include a dispatch company, a contracting company, and the owner of the freight being called, among others. An experienced nearby attorney should know the proper parties to file suit against in a fatal truck accident case to maximize the recovery.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the amount that the surviving family is able to recover is limited by insurance coverage. For example, if an individual was killed in a car accident, and the liable driver had the state minimum insurance, the recovery will only be about $25,000.
Because the government realizes the safety risk associated with large trucks, they require trucks to have much higher policy limits. Therefore, if there is a truck accident which results in death, there is a higher likelihood of a complete recovery. However, some trucks will carry the minimum required for tractor-trailers and even this amount could be insufficient to fully compensate a family for the loss of a loved one.
In an Orland Park fatal truck accident, there will typically be one or more insurance companies involved. Trucking companies will have their own insurance and some will have the excess (umbrella) insurance limit in the event of a fatality.
It is important to complete a thorough investigation to ensure that all possible insurance policies are disclosed. Like with car insurance, the truck insurance companies look out for the interest of their insured. The job of their insurance adjuster is to save money and minimize the amount paid on claims.
They are not required to fully compensate an injured individual or their grieving family. This is why it is important for the family to find a lawyer who has dealt with these companies in the past and knows how to counter their tactics.
While some states have a set amount of money (typically referred to as a cap), which can be recovered for non-economic damages, other states allow a jury to make the determination on non-economic damages. Whether a state has a cap is usually irrelevant in wrongful death truck accidents. The more important factor is the insurance policy limit for the truck. Whatever the limits are, that typically acts as a cap for recovery.
It is nearly impossible to make a recovery beyond what the policy limits are for a truck company. Even in the case of wrongful death, the insurance limits will be important in negotiating any possible settlement.
Recovering damages cannot fix the emotional pain after a fatal truck accident in Orland Park, but it can provide a peace of mind during your time of grief. The trucking company and their insurer will fight hard to resist paying your family. A skilled lawyer in your community could put their knowledge to use and help you make the best case for compensation. If your loved one was killed in a truck accident, call now for a free consultation.