Due to their size, big rigs versus pedestrian accidents often have a fatal outcome. The two deaths in this case are a reminder to use caution around big trucks, whether on foot or on the road.
“Often the best way to explain a legal premise or what the law means is to highlight a case that happened to someone else. This particular case was bizarre in that two men were killed four days apart at the same location, in the same manner. Each of these deaths are examples of men who, although they were familiar with big rigs, did not pay attention to what they were doing when they got out of their trucks. Equally, other truckers were not paying attention to pedestrians,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.
The first truck crash happened early in January 2011. The second wreck was four days later. Both truckers on the ground were killed by other truckers who did not see them. Unfortunately, the second fatality was a hit and run and the police have not yet located the 18-wheeler who killed the Texas trucker.
Are these personal injury or wrongful death cases?
“In each case, it is likely the families of the dead truckers would want to speak to a wrongful death attorney to ask how to obtain compensation for the loss of their loved one. Sudden death like this comes as a great shock to everyone left behind. Does the question of negligence play a part in these cases? Yes, and that would likely focus on what the truckers who hit both men were doing just prior to the impact. It’s something that needs to be known to put together a wrongful death case,” Schuelke said.
Wrongful death cases are typically about compensation for those left behind to allow them to get on with their lives. “Figuring out the damages that may be collected for a wrongful death is often complicated and although the family may claim medical bills and funeral and burial expenses, the future needs to be considered. In other words, damages may address future losses, such as an estimated total of wages the person would have earned had they lived and the pain and suffering of the survivors who have lost their loved one,” Schuelke said. Often, future earning testimony will need to be given by an expert witness.
Does a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit need to be shared with all the relatives? “The answer to that is, possibly, and that entirely depends on which state’s law governs the case,” said Schuelke.
Contact Perlmutter & Schuelke LLP at http://www.civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.