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My Spouse Was Killed in a Semi-Truck Accident, Do I Have a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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December 23, 2020 | Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death |

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Wrongful Death: Spouse Killed in Semi-Truck Accident

The loss of a spouse is one of the most difficult things a person can experience. When the death is a result of another person or party’s act of negligence, the tragedy can feel even worse. If you’ve lost a spouse due to wrongful death, you are urged to contact the wrongful death attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham today.

What Happens Following a Semi-Truck Accident?

Following a wrongful death as a result of a semi-truck accident, an investigation of the accident will be conducted. When arriving at the scene of the accident, police will likely begin the investigation by interviewing witnesses and those directly involved in the accident.

You will likely be required to register the accident with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Information required includes date of the accident, town or city in which the accident occurred, drivers’ names, number of injuries, and number of fatalities.

If the family or spouse of the victim wishes to proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit, their attorney will conduct their own investigation to determine liability. An attorney’s investigation can determine liable parties ranging between:

  • The company employing the semi-truck driver: due to extensive background checks as a requirement, a trucking company could be liable if it is discovered the driver was not properly trained or capable of performing their job safely.
  • Other drivers involved in the accident: the attorney will investigate anyone else involved in the accident since the truck driver may not be at fault.
  • Truck manufacturers: if a defective part was a factor contributing to the accident, the manufacturing company could be at fault.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana

In the state of Indiana, wrongful death can be defined by the death of an individual as the result of another’s negligent behavior. A wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring back a loved one, but it can provide the spouse and family with the following:

  • Allowing the spouse and family to fight for justice on behalf of their passed loved one
  • Seeking compensation to help financially support the surviving spouse and family

In Indiana, the representative of the spouse or family of the deceased person is responsible for filing the wrongful death lawsuit. The personal injury attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve and provide necessary legal advice throughout the course of your claim.

What to Do if Your Spouse is a Victim of Wrongful Death

Moving forward after the loss of your spouse is challenging. Although it may be difficult, it is very important that proper evidence is gathered, and specific steps are taken following the accident. If you’ve been involved in or witnessed a semi-truck accident, take these steps:

  1. Call the police. They will likely also dispatch an ambulance to be safe. Once the police arrive, file an accident report. This is required by law and can be used as an important piece of evidence in your case.
  2. Seek immediate medical attention. Your health and safety are most important. Refusing medical attention can be used against you in your claim at a later point.
  3. File a report with your insurance company. This step should not be skipped, however, do not admit fault to the insurance company. Consult your lawyer before speaking with insurance representatives.
  4. If you haven’t done so already, contact a personal injury lawyer at Wilson Kehoe Winingham.

Compensation for Wrongful Death

 Compensation for spouses of wrongful death victims may be awarded in different ways. Types of compensation can include compensatory or punitive damages. Compensatory damages include the following:

  • Medical bills including expenses for care, treatment, or hospitalization
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress to relatives
  • Loss of wages or income of the person who died
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Attorney fees

Punitive damages are a bit different. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are damages assessed in the legal process. Punitive damages punish the person or company at fault for negligence. 

Statute of Limitations

The deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Indiana is two years from the date of death.

 Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

If your spouse was a victim of a truck accident and lost his or her life, you may be eligible for compensation. The personal injury lawyers at WKW can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no obligation case evaluation today.

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