It is an unfortunate reality that there is an element of danger every time you get behind the wheel. The average person suffers an auto accident every 10 years. This may seem high, but remember that even the safest, most attentive driver can’t account for another motorist causing a wreck.
Some of the most traumatic accidents that happen on the roadways are crashes involving commercial tractor trailers. The power, size and cargo these vehicles carry make even minor collisions powerful forces that could cost people their lives.
The people of Howell learned that last spring when a commercial trucker caused an accident on U.S. 23 that resulted in the deaths of three other motorists. The driver, 62-year-old Gary Bryce Erard, then employed by Hausback Brothers Inc., caused a nine-vehicle pileup when he failed to stop his truck and careened through traffic stopped by road construction.
Two of the motorists who did not survive the crash were Robin Brown and his fiancé Sarah Miller, whose car was completely crushed underneath Erard’s truck when it finally came to a stop.
Understanding a wrongful death suit
Losing a loved one in an accident is a devastating experience. When these accidents involve the negligence of another party, you may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While nothing will be able to bring back the departed, a lawsuit can ease the burden by seeking compensation for your loss.
An attorney can help you pursue several types of damages in a wrongful death suit. Damages can award compensation to you for monetary losses, such as medical bills and funeral expenses, and non-monetary losses, like emotional suffering and loss of love and companionship. Punitive damages, additional costs designed to punish the negligent party, may also be available in the case of especially egregious conduct.
Trying to place a dollar amount on a loved one’s life is a difficult thing to do, and something no court should ever take lightly. To help with the process, there are several factors a judge will take into consideration when determining compensation, including the deceased’s:
- Income and potential earning ability
- Overall health
- Education and training levels
- Medical bills
- Funeral or cremation costs
- Benefits, such as pension or health insurance
These are only examples. No two situations are alike; a court will administer the law as it sees fit.
There is no shame in seeking damages after losing a loved one due to another party’s negligence. Compensation can help you to cover their final expenses and work through your own grief as well.