Legal options are available to family members left suffering after a truck accident has claimed the life of a loved one.

A recent truck accident in Hooksett, New Hampshire, about an hour and a half from Worcester, resulted in one fatality. Inspection reports show that the truck and trailer involved in the truck accident were in violation of safety codes and should have been removed from service before the accident. New Hampshire State Police said that a wheel flew off the trailer, hitting a police cruiser and then another vehicle, killing the driver of the second vehicle. The trailer belonged to a manufactured home company in Maine and was carrying a modular home when the wheel assembly broke loose.

State police inspections revealed that the brakes on the truck were “inadequate” for safe stopping. The brakes were contaminated with grease and oil and a brake hose was deteriorating. The report also stated that applying the service brake caused air loss from the brake canister on one axle. On that same axle the brake hose was deteriorating after chafing against another piece of the truck. Additionally, the trailer’s remaining wheels had improper emergency braking.

Truck accidents can have tragic consequences. In recognition of that, truck drivers and truck companies are subject to federal trucking regulations. When the truck accident is due to negligent truck maintenance or the actions of a negligent or unqualified truck driver, the truck driver and the truck company can be liable to victims and families of victims.

Families of victims that have suffered the loss of a loved one in a truck accident have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against any party whose negligence or wrongful conduct caused the accident. The liability of the truck company will depend on the relationship between the truck company and the truck driver and any liability will depend, of course, on the circumstances of the accident. A personal injury attorney with experience in semi truck accidents can help the family evaluate their case and represent them in the lawsuit.

Source: The Eagle Tribune, “Report: Safety issues with truck in fatal accident,” Sept. 25, 2013