Fatal Truck Accidents in McKinney
If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you are likely struggling with the sudden absence in your life. While no legal process could fully heal your grief, you may nonetheless be able to hold the negligent party accountable for causing the crash. A wrongful death lawyer who has experience with fatal truck accidents in McKinney could work to recover compensation for loss of consortium, emotional trauma, funeral expenses, and lost income.
Common Fact Patterns
Truck accidents in McKinney could lead to wrongful death in any number of situations. The most common is rear-end collisions on the highway. McKinney has a high volume of traffic for its size and has a number of large highways coming in and out of the central metroplex. All of these highways can have sudden back-ups of traffic, creating the potential for rear end collisions with 18 wheelers. At various parts of the day, a person can go from 70 to 80 miles an hour to 0 in a matter of moments. This leaves drivers exposed to a serious collision with a truck.
Fatigue is also very common among longer-haul truck drivers. Drivers often drive for long hours, sometimes evading federal regulations about rest. As a result, they may be inattentive, distracted, or have a slower reaction time, leading to a serious collision.
Finally, many truck accidents occur in intersections, particularly unprotected left turns in which somebody turns across traffic. Fatalities commonly occur in those situations because at least one vehicle is typically going at highway speeds at the time of impact.
Establishing Liability in a Fatal Truck Case
There are a number of truck drivers out there who follow the rules and do everything they can to drive safely. In fact, some literally drive millions of miles without having any type of serious wreck. A relatively small group of about ten to fifteen percent of truck drivers are responsible for 8o percent of collisions.
Many of these negligent drivers either drive distracted, drive when they are overly tired, drive when they are on the telephone or watching videos while they are driving, or even use narcotics or alcohol. Inevitably, when the more serious wrecks occur, lawyers often find evidence of persistent, poor behavior behind the wheel.
Often, the truck driver is not the only party that may be held responsible for a wrongful death. If a trucking company knowingly hired a driver with a bad driving history or overscheduled a driver in a manner that caused fatigue, that company may be liable for a resulting wrongful death.
How Do Fatal Truck Cases Differ from Other Wrongful Death Cases?
Trucking cases are unique in that there is a robust set of regulations called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act that most truck drivers and trucking companies must follow. The regulations create a public-private partnership between the trucking companies and the federal government in regards to safety standards and other legal concerns.
All of these statutes are supposed to create a safety net to keep bad drivers off the road. When employers knowingly turn a blind eye to these safety requirements, they create huge holes in this public-private partnership. A wrongful death attorney could point out federal violations on the part of the driver or trucking company to enhance a wrongful death claim.
Hiring an Attorney After a Fatal Truck Accident in McKinney
A truck driver or trucking company that caused a wrongful death should be held accountable in a court of law. An experienced attorney could collect evidence, review federal safety standards, and build an extensive demand package to recover compensation on behalf of a decedent’s family. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident in McKinney, consider reaching out to a lawyer when you are ready.