Wrongful Death Damages for Families of 18-Wheeler Accident Victims Vary by State

The amount (and type) of money damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit varies considerably from state to state.  For example, some states allow families to recover compensation for the pain and suffering the decedent endured prior to death and other states do not. If an accident victim suffers a severe head injury (or crushed limbs or any other injury) and later dies from his or her injuries a year after the accident, in some states the family will not be able to recover compensation for that person’s pain, emotional distress, disability, and loss of quality of life.

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For families of 18-wheeler accident victims, this is one reason that it is critical to hire an experienced accident attorney who will analyze the facts to determine which state’s laws could potentially apply, which might determine where the lawsuit should be filed.  In general, a wrongful death lawsuit against an 18-wheeler driver and trucking company can be filed in:

  • The state where the accident happened;
  • The state where the trucking company is located; or
  • The state where the accident victim lived.

Of course, this analysis will vary from state to state. In addition, corporate documents often need to be obtained and analyzed to determine if there are other possible venues (states where the lawsuit can be filed). In one case, we were successfully able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in another state when the statute of limitations had already expired in the state originally contemplated for the case.

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