Truck Driver Rear-Ends Minivan, Man Dies: Part 5 – What Claims Are Possible in Addition to a Wrongful Death Claim?
This post is the fifth and final installment in a multipart series that examines the many facets of a wrongful death case as a result of an accident involving a large commercial truck.
Residents of Bowie County, Texas, Sue Smith have filed a personal injury and wrongful death suit as next friend of Thomas Smith and as representative of his estate, and on behalf of herself, against Bernard McDaniel and his employer, Dowell Transport, Inc. in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. Melanie Wagstaff is listed as a plaintiff in this suit as well. If you or a loved one has been injured in Texarkana, Odessa, El Paso, Houston, or anywhere in Texas, please contact us for a free consultation.
18-wheeler Hits Stopped Minivan, Lawsuit Follows
On June 25, 2013 at around 3 p.m., 73 year-old Texarkana resident Thomas Smith was driving a Dodge Caravan minivan on Interstate 30. Traffic slowed and Smith followed suit. An 18-wheeler owned by Dowell Transport, Inc. and driven by Bernard McDaniel hit Smith’s minivan from behind, causing fatal injuries to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith was pronounced dead on the scene at 3:50 p.m. The driver of the 18-wheeler, McDaniel, was not injured.
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What Kinds of Claims Can be Brought with a Wrongful Death Suit?
When a loved one dies, the survivors suffer many kinds of loss. When the death is the result of another’s negligence or intentional harm, the legal system works to mitigate as much of this loss as possible. In this particular case, Mr. Smith left behind a wife and a grown daughter. So, what kinds of loss did they suffer?
Clearly, both women have suffered immeasurable emotional losses. If the judge or jury finds that Dowell Transport, Inc. and/or the driver, Mr. McDaniel, caused Mr. Smith’s death, then it is up to the trier-of-fact to determine how much money to award to Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Wagstaff for their emotional turmoil. Specifically, in this case, Mrs. Smith requests damages for “loss of companionship and society.” In plain English, she is asking to be compensated (as best as possible) for the loss of her husband’s company and all that it entails. Mrs. Wagstaff sued for “loss of parental consortium,” or, to be compensated for the loss of a parent.
Mrs. Smith brought a claim for funeral and burial expenses. If Mrs. Smith relied on Mr. Smith for financial support, she may sue for the loss of her husband’s financial support. However, in this case she did not.
As stated in the previous installment in this series, only a licensed, experienced and skilled attorney who is familiar with the facts of your specific case can recommend what kinds of claims you should bring or not bring. In the meantime, if you or a loved one has been killed or injured anywhere in Texas, please contact one of our compassionate and skilled attorneys for a free consultation.
See Related Blog Posts:
Why Do I Need an Attorney? http://www.brianloncar.com/need-attorney
Commercial Truck Accident Part 1 http://www.brianloncar.com/commercial-truck-accident-part-1
Commercial Truck Accident Part 2 http://www.brianloncar.com/commercial-truck-accident-part-2
Commercial Truck Accident Part 3 http://www.brianloncar.com/truck-accident-part-3
Commercial Truck Accident Part 4 http://www.brianloncar.com/truck-accident-blog