Jose Lopez was killed after his pick-up truck was struck by a tractor trailer on Monday, September 11, 2023.
The 40-year-old from Canal Point was driving north on U.S. Highway 441 in Canal Point at approximately 6:10am. According to a crash reported issued by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, a 1996 Freightliner semi-truck, also heading north on U.S. 441, was moving slowly because of a suspected mechanical issue. Unable to avoid the big rig, Lopez’ 1999 Chevrolet S10 pick-up truck impacted the semi’s front bumper, causing it to careen partially off the road. First responders provided treatment at the scene prior to Lopez being taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach via TraumaHawk. He died later in the day.
Claims process in Trucking Accidents is Complicated
It is essential to know that the claims process when an individual is involved in a truck accident can be extremely complicated. This is because many different factors must be considered, including who could be held legally responsible for the accident. Examples of potential liable parties in the death of Jose Lopez may include:
The Truck Driver
In many cases, the truck driver will be found at least partially responsible for the accident. This is especially true if the driver was speeding, driving under the influence, or engaging in other risky or negligent behavior. Even if the driver wasn’t breaking any laws at the time of the accident, they could still be held liable if your lawyer can show that they weren’t using reasonable care.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company could also be responsible for an accident that one of their drivers causes. This can happen if the company fails to maintain the truck properly or adequately screen and train its drivers. Additionally, many trucking companies push their drivers to work long hours that violate labor laws, which contributes to truck accidents.
The Owner of the Truck
If the truck involved in the accident was leased or rented, then the owner of the truck could also be held liable. Just as with a trucking company, an owner might be held vicariously liable for an accident caused by someone they trusted to drive their truck. An owner might also be responsible if they fail to maintain the truck properly or have it inspected regularly.
The Truck Manufacturer
In some cases, a defective part of the truck might have caused or contributed to an accident. For example, if a brake failure results in an accident, the manufacturer of those brakes could be sued. However, it can sometimes be challenging to prove that a defective part actually caused an accident (as opposed to being due to human error), so this isn’t always an easy case to win.
The Loading Company
If improper loading led to an accident (e.g., if boxes fell off of a poorly loaded truck and hit another vehicle), the loading company might be held responsible. Like other possible defendants in a trucking case, the loading company can sometimes be difficult to hold accountable because it can be hard to prove that their actions (or inaction) led directly to an accident.
Potential Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil suit brought forth when someone dies due to another person’s negligence or intentional harm. In most cases, for a family member to win a wrongful death suit, they must prove that their loved one died because of another person’s negligence While no amount of money can bring Jose Lopez, a wrongful death lawsuit can help the Lopez family find justice and closure.
The Four Elements You Must Prove in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
To win a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be able to prove four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Here’s a more detailed look at each element.
Duty: The first element you must prove is that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. In other words, you must show that the defendant had a responsibility to avoid causing injury or harm to your loved one. For example, all drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and operate their vehicles in a safe manner.
Breach: The second element you must prove is that the defendant breached their duty of care. In other words, you must show that the defendant did not act as they were supposed to and that this breach resulted in the accident that caused the victim’s death. For example, a driver runs a red light and hits another car.
Causation: The third element you must prove is causation. To do this, you must show that the defendant’s breach of duty directly led to the accident that caused your loved one’s death. This can sometimes be difficult to prove (for example, if both cars were speeding at the time of the accident), but it is essential to winning your case.
Damages: As a representative for Jose Lopez, you must show that you have suffered some type of loss due to the victim’s death. For example, you will have burial and funeral expenses, and you might have lost income due to your loved one’s death if they were employed. Whatever your damages may be, you will need to provide evidence of them to recover compensation from the liable party.
Why GOLDLAW is the right choice for you!
GOLDLAW has decades of experiencing representing clients with truck accident claims, and getting them the level of compensation they deserve, including a $6,500,000 settlement for the family of tow truck driver who was hit and killed by a tractor-trailer as he was helping a stranded motorist, and a $2,010,000 settlement for a driver who was hit by a negligent commercial truck driver. Why is GOLDLAW the right choice for you?
GOLDLAW has the resources and firepower to battle big insurance!
GOLDLAW fully understands the pain and anguish that brought you to reaching out and we WANT to help in any we can.
GOLDLAW will ALWAYS let you know where your case stands and is available 24/7 to talk to you when you have questions!
Need help with a truck accident claim in West Palm Beach or anywhere in Florida? Contact us here, or call (561) 222-2222 for a COMPLIMENTARY consultation.