When someone dies from preventable causes, including in a motor vehicle accident where negligence or recklessness was involved, surviving family members can sue for wrongful death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4000 people are killed and 100,000 are injured in large truck crashes each year.
Today Berkowitz and Hanna LLC looks at a July 10th trucking crash on Santa Cruz Highway 17 in northern California, where seven people were injured and one man was killed when a big-rig driver hauling a 2-ton load of dirt lost control. On that day, 25-year-old Daniel McGuire was sitting in traffic en route to work when an inexperienced truck driver crashed into ten vehicles, including his. Mr. McGuire was the only fatality. The young man’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three trucking companies, a construction firm and the truck owner. In this particular case, the victim’s family is not only seeking monetary damages for wrongful death, but also sending out a loud and clear message to the trucking industry: more stringent safety reform is needed.
Berkowitz and Hanna LLC notes that the lawsuit is particularly interesting because seeks to spearhead change in the trucking industry, calling for reforms such as the implementation of a tier-based driver’s license, which would delineate the trucker’s level of experience.
Note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.
Photo of Highway 17 (in Santa Cruz) by Richard Masoner via Flickr.com