Fatal truck accidents can shake the foundation of your world. Losing a loved one robs you of more than someone you care about. So many families contending with the aftermath of a fatal truck accident can find themselves robbed of financial stability, essential income, companionship, and emotional support.
What can you do in the face of this kind of loss? You can hold the person responsible for your loved one’s untimely passing responsible for their negligence. Morelli Law Firm can give you the tools to take a fatal truck collision to court. Our Hempstead fatal truck accident attorneys stand with you while you investigate your loved one’s losses and demand compensation for them.
Taking Action After a Loved One’s Death
Your right to legal action after a loved one’s fatal truck accident varies depending on the nature of that accident. If you can prove that a driver’s negligence contributed to your loved one’s fatal accident, you have the right to a civil claim. You cannot, however, initiate a criminal case against the offending party. The state and its prosecutors must instead initiate that action on their own.
That means that you can use the time after your loved one’s death to investigate their accident alongside a truck accident wrongful death lawyer. If you can find evidence, be that bystanders’ testimonies, physical debris, or a truck’s black box, proving that your loved one’s death could have been avoided, the truck driver implicated in your accident may owe you damages.
That said, keep your ears to the ground for information about the state’s action against the party allegedly liable for your loved one’s death. If the state finds a liable party guilty of criminal misconduct, you can submit that conviction to a civil court as proof of negligence. In other words, a criminal conviction may help you more effectively argue for compensation.
Only Certain Parties Can File a Fatal Truck Accident Claim
Before you take legal action against the person allegedly responsible for your loved one’s death, make sure you have the right to take action under New York’s applicable laws. You must meet the criteria established in New York Consolidated Law §4-1.1 to file a claim on your loved one’s behalf.
This statute states that only the following parties can pursue a civil claim on behalf of a loved one killed due to someone else’s negligence:
- The deceased’s parents or legal guardian
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s child
The deceased’s personal representative can also initiate a personal injury claim on their behalf. However, siblings, godparents, or non-married partners do not have the right to representative legal action. These parties can instead file their own personal injury claims demanding damages for relevant truck accident-related injuries, including a loved one’s wrongful death.
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Who to Hold Accountable for a Fatal Truck Accident
Truck drivers aren’t always legally responsible for their behavior on the road. There are instances in which a truck driver’s employer may step in and take responsibility for an accident. To do so, the agency or corporation must count the driver as an employee under their banner.
Many companies subsequently hire independent contractors to avoid this kind of legal responsibility. If you get into an accident with a driver categorized as an employee in a business’s eyes, you get to name that corporation liable for your loved one’s death. If we find an independent contractor to be at fault, you hold that individual responsible instead.
How to Hold Third Parties Accountable for a Fatal Truck Accident
There’s a chance that a truck driver shares fault for your accident with other drivers on the road. You may have the right to hold a range of parties accountable for your loved one’s death, including:
- Construction crews
- Rideshare drivers and other corporate motorists
- Government officials
You can discuss how best to distribute fault for your loved one’s death after you’ve investigated the nature of their accident. A fatal truck accident attorney in Hempstead can help you determine a third party’s role in your loved one’s collision and how you can most effectively present your case to a judge.
Compiling a Fatal Accident Claim
You must bring a civil complaint forward within New York’s personal injury statute of limitations, no matter who you want to hold responsible for a loved one’s death. You can find more information about this statute in New York Law §5-4.1.
This statute of limitations caps your ability to file a civil claim at two years. You subsequently have until the second anniversary of your loved one’s passing to bring your concerns before a judge.
You cannot miss this deadline if you want to take civil action against a liable party. A court can dismiss your claim if you try to bring your claim forward after your statute of limitations expires.
What Comes After You File?
You’ve gathered all the information you need to file a fatal truck accident claim. You’ve met your filing deadline. What now?
You have to give the court time to consider the nature of your accident. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the intake a local court has to contend with. Once a court considers your case, applicable representatives can choose whether or not to move it forward.
If your case moves forward, you have the right to choose how you interact with the person you’ve named liable for your loved one’s death. You can negotiate for an accident settlement out of court. Doing so, however, puts you face-to-face with your liable party. Many families find it easier to take their cases before a judge.
You can discuss the path that best suits your emotional and financial needs with a fatal truck accident lawyer in Hempstead. Our team can work within New York’s legal system to make your pursuit of wrongful death compensation as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
Let Hempstead Fatal Truck Crash Lawyers Help You Navigate Your Legal Rights
What does justice for the death of a loved one look like? Is it holding a liable party accountable for their negligence in criminal court? Is it securing financial compensation for your loved one’s suffering in civil court? Is it sitting with your family and remembering the joy that the departed brought to your life?
While no amount of legal effort can bring your loved one back to you, Morelli Law Firm’s team of experienced fatal truck accident attorneys in Hempstead can fight for the justice you need after a loved one’s wrongful passing. You can discuss your goals for a fatal truck accident lawsuit with our team during a case consultation today. Call or contact us online to schedule your visit.