Entitlement to compensation when someone dies in a truck collision - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Entitlement to compensation when someone dies in a truck collision


It can be intimidating for drivers of passenger vehicles to be riding next to or in front of a large transport truck traveling at highway speeds. Your fears about what could happen to you and the passengers in your vehicle in the event of a collision are well-founded. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, one out of every five highway crashes in the province involve at least one commercial truck. When someone is killed in a truck accident, questions arise about who can be held responsible for paying compensation and which members of a victim’s family have the right to make a claim for damages.

Ontario wrongful death claims

The Family Law Act offers the family members of a person killed due to the negligent conduct of another party the right to make a claim for wrongful death compensation. According to the act, a party whose negligence causes the death of a person who would have been entitled to sue for compensation had he or she survived, the following members of the deceased person’s family may file the compensation claim:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Brothers and sisters

The law specifies the damages for which family members may be compensated, including:

  • Expenses a family member might have actually incurred on behalf of the victim, such as payments made for the medical care or other needs of the deceased.
  • Funeral and burial expenses paid on behalf of the deceased.
  • Family members may recover their expenses for travel to visit the victim. This would occur if a victim lives for a period of time following the accident before dying from the injuries.
  • Compensation to a relative who provided nursing care, housekeeping or other services to the victim between the accident and when the victim succumbed to his or her injuries.
  • Damages related to the loss of companionship, care and guidance of the deceased.

Emotional distress relatives experience upon the death of a loved one is not recognized as a part of the compensation awarded under a wrongful death claim. However, the law might recognize the claim of a relative for reimbursement of the cost of counseling required to overcome the emotional trauma he or she suffered upon learning of a loved one’s death. 

Identifying the party to sue for wrongful death in a trucking accident

The responsible party when an accident is caused by the driver of a commercial vehicle could also be the company that owned and maintained the vehicle. Typical types of driver conduct that could cause a truck to collide with another vehicle include:

  • Driving while drowsy
  • Distracted driving, including texting and driving
  • Speeding
  • Reckless or unsafe driving
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

A trucking company that forces its drivers to exceed the safe number of hours behind the while and causes them to drive without adequate rest could be liable along with the driver. Speeding on the part of a driver could be the result of the tight schedule he or she must adhere follow to satisfy the requirements of the trucking company making both the driver and the company responsible.

If an accident is caused by defective brakes or other equipment failures, the trucking company responsible for maintaining the vehicle could be responsible. A defective part might also lead to a claim against the manufacturer of the defective part.

Ontario personal injury lawyers can help

It is essential for family members of a deceased trucking accident victim to have experienced and knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers representing them. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience handling wrongful death and trucking accident claims on behalf of victims and their families. Contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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