Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits in 18 Wheeler Accidents in San Antonio

Losing a loved one is an indescribable pain, made even more overwhelming when the loss is sudden and unexpected. If your spouse or parent has been killed in an 18-wheeler accident in San Antonio or El Paso, you may be feeling lost, confused, and unsure of what steps to take next. One important consideration is whether a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate, and understanding this process can help you make informed decisions during this difficult time.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil legal action brought by the family members of someone who has died due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party. These lawsuits aim to provide financial compensation for the losses and suffering endured by the deceased's family.

Generally, to bring a wrongful death suit, you need to prove that another party's negligence or recklessness caused your loved one’s death. This often involves showing that:

  • The at-fault party owed a duty of care to your loved one.
  • The at-fault party breached that duty through negligence or reckless actions.
  • This breach directly caused your loved one's death.
  • You have suffered damages as a result of your loved one's death.

Wrongful Death in Context with Texas' Modified Comparative Negligence Laws

In Texas, the modified comparative negligence doctrine allows a party to recover damages as long as they are not more than 50% at fault for the accident. This means that if you are considering bringing a wrongful death suit after losing a family member in an 18-wheeler or other trucking accident, your compensation could be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to your deceased loved one. You may not be eligible for any damages if they are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident.

Who Are Potentially Liable Parties?

Identifying legal liability is critical to determining against whom you can file a wrongful death suit. In the case of trucking accidents, this can be complicated as it is not always the driver who is solely at fault; there are situations in which multiple parties, such as the trucking company, manufacturer, or maintenance provider, may share responsibility.

In 18-wheeler accidents, multiple parties may share legal liability for an accident, including:

  • The truck driver: If the driver was tired, distracted, or under the influence of drugs/alcohol, they could be held responsible.
  • The trucking company: Companies are often liable for failing to maintain vehicles properly, not adhering to safety regulations, or pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines.
  • Manufacturers: If a mechanical failure or defective part, such as brake failure or tire blowout, contributed to the accident, the manufacturer might be held accountable.
  • Loading Companies: Incorrectly loaded or overloaded trucks can cause accidents, making the loading company potentially liable.

Governmental agencies or municipalities may also bear some responsibility. For example, if the accident was caused or worsened by poor road conditions, such as potholes or inadequate signage, the entity responsible for road maintenance could also bear responsibility for the incident.

How Can an Attorney Help?

If you've lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident in San Antonio or El Paso, consulting an attorney is a crucial step to understand your options and seek justice for your loss. An experienced attorney can help you determine if another party's negligence caused your loved one's death and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may seek several types of compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering

Don't hesitate to reach out to a legal professional like Law Offices of Ruben Ortiz for support during this challenging time. We understand that dealing with the loss of a family member is overwhelming. We are here to help you understand your legal rights and options so that you can focus on your family.

Contact us online today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys serving San Antonio or El Paso. 

Related Posts
  • Steps to Take After an 18-Wheeler Accident in Texas: Protecting Your Legal Rights Read More
  • Proving Negligence in Personal Injury Cases: Key Elements to Consider Read More