When an unexpected event causes life-altering harm or the death of a family member, severe emotional and economic injuries may affect an entire household. An otherwise preventable catastrophic accident requires holding responsible parties accountable for their negligence. A family deserves to heal, and a legal action may help in moving forward from the pain and suffering. 

During a trial, the court may review evidence to determine whether the wrongful death resulted from a mistake or a breach of duty. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, a motorist’s negligence may include a variety of traffic law infractions. When a driver operates a vehicle on behalf of an employer, however, the company owes a duty of care to ensure that the employee will drive safely. 

Driver-hiring responsibilities 

Before a company hires a driver, the employment candidate must generally complete a background check and pass a drug-screening test. Failing to hire competent and drug-free employees may hold the drivers and the company employing them responsible for any damages caused. 

Pain and suffering, value of life and punitive damages 

When a tractor-trailer driver hit a vehicle on a southeastern highway, its motorist and four of her family members died from the head-on impact. The court determined that the truck driver and three companies operating as subsidiaries were responsible for a range of damages, as reported by WTVM News. The jury awarded the surviving family members $280 million, which included funds for the lost lives, the family’s pain and suffering, legal fees and punitive damages. 

When a family incurs bills for unforeseen medical or burial expenses, legal action may provide compensation to cover them. If a victim’s income provided for his or her household, a jury verdict could include funding for the surviving family members’ health care, education and living expenses. 

A catastrophic injury or wrongful death suit often details the resulting grief and anguish. When the accident affects the victim’s children, a legal claim may request relief for their loss of comfort and guidance along with financial support.