Any kind of motor vehicle collision could turn out to be fatal, but commercial trucking crashes have a higher risk of causing death or life-altering injuries. The massive size of tractor-trailers can cause the complete destruction of a passenger vehicle in a crash.
Losing a loved one in such a traumatic way is hard on any family. It can be difficult to even accept your loss when it occurs so suddenly. Not only do you have grief and deal with, but you also have a funeral to pay for and lost income to consider.
The effects of that crash could impact you and your children for the rest of your life. Are there any protections in place for those who lose a loved one in a commercial trucking crash?
Georgia mandates thorough insurance coverage for commercial trucks
Commercial vehicles can cause a lot more damage than passenger vehicles that weigh a fraction of what huge trucks weigh. Given the risks of property damage and death associated with big vehicles, owner-operators and transportation companies usually have to have substantially higher insurance coverage than the average driver on the road.
General freight carriers must have at least $750,000 worth of coverage, but the requirement goes up to $5,000,000 in coverage for those transporting hazardous materials. Surviving family members can bring claims against a commercial vehicle policy for lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses and similar provable losses.
Civil action may be an option for some families
If the situation is one that involves negligence or illegal behavior, your rights are different than they are in a standard crash.
For example, if the driver of the commercial vehicle was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have grounds to take civil action against them for how their inappropriate behavior affected your family. If the crash was the result of faulty brakes because the company didn’t maintain the vehicle well enough, you may be able to bring a claim against the transportation business itself.
Looking over the details of the police report can give you a better idea of what kind of compensation could be available to your family.