If you recently lost a loved one to an auto accident, you may be considering a lawsuit. However, it may be difficult to sue because of the special circumstances surrounding a commercial rig and driver. Here are the reasons why suing a semi truck driver for a wrongful death is a difficult process, and how your auto accident attorney can be of monumental help.

The Driver Can Claim That the Truck or Road Conditions Were to Blame

Sometimes, accidents aren't the fault of the truck driver. A thorough investigation needs to be conducted to make sure that the truck did not have defects and that the accident was not the result of road conditions. A jack-knifed semi, for example, can result in one or more deaths, but the causes could be poor driving skills, inattentive driving, driving under the influence, mechanical failures with the truck and even icy roads. This illustrates how difficult it may be to establish that the driver is wholly responsible for your loved one's death. Your lawyer can launch a more intensive investigation into the accident to see what can be done.

The Driver/ Driver's Company Could Already Have Legal Representation and/or Defense Counsel 

If your loved one died immediately at the scene of the accident, then charges may have been brought against the semi driver almost as immediately. If he or she already has legal representation, this occurs one of three ways.  

  • One, if the driver works for a very big corporation or company, he or she may already have representation through the company's owner. 
  • Two, the driver may also have representation through a local chapter of the Teamsters, the union that represents the truck drivers' rights both in court and in employment contract bargaining. 
  • Three, the driver may be an independent contractor who has secured his or her own lawyer, either on his/her own or through the state's/county's legal system that provides free or reduced cost representation. 

Only your lawyer can cut through the red tape to see the evidence presented against the driver to see if there is a valid reason for these charges and whether or not you have a case for wrongful death.

The Driver May Not Be Your Target for the Lawsuit

If your lawyer launches a thorough investigation into your loved one's death and finds that the driver was forced to drive a truck that was faulty, then the driver cannot be held wholly responsible. In that case, you would have to pursue a lawsuit against the company for which he or she drives. The driver may still receive a punishment in the courts, but your real target shifts to the shipping/ trucking company. Contact a business, such as Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel, for more information.