Recently, the driver of a tractor trailer who struck a bucket truck and caused the death of a Fall River city worker last summer was charged with the negligent operation of a motor vehicle. This charge carries a possible prison sentence of up to two years. In addition to criminal charges, the tractor trailer driver could face civil liability for the wrongful death of the worker. Due to the potentially catastrophic injuries that can result from a tractor trailer crash, truck drivers must comply with a number of federal regulations designed to protect other drivers who must share the roads with these often dangerous vehicles.
Truck drivers are required by law to monitor the weight of their loads and take a certain number of breaks while driving in order to decrease the likelihood of having an accident. In this case, a Falls River city worker was working in a bucket truck on a traffic light when the tractor trailer struck the bottom of the bucket, causing the worker to fall 15 feet to the ground. Tragically, he later died at the hospital from his injuries.
If the tractor trailer driver is found to have acted negligently in causing the accident that led to the worker’s death, his immediate family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death action in order to receive financial compensation for their loss. Although no monetary compensation can ever replace a life, family members may be entitled to receive compensation such as loss of companionship, loss of future income, medical and funeral expenses and pain and suffering that the man underwent prior to his death.
Accidents involving trucks can be particularly complex, both due to the regulations to which trucks must adhere and the potential difficulty in determining what company may be liable for the injuries that result from a truck driver’s negligence. The truck driver and the owner of the truck may be individually liable, but another business or entity that employs or contracts the truck driver may share liability for the accident. As such, it is essential to be as knowledgeable as possible if faced with a tragedy such as this one, so as to maximize the compensation that may be recoverable in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Source: wpri.com, “Charges filed in deadly truck accident,” James O’Leary, Nov. 10, 2012