A wrongful death action filed against a large company generally requires showing how an employee’s negligence caused an otherwise preventable death. In certain cases, a lack of managerial oversight may serve as evidence that a company should have taken action to prevent a transportation employee from failing to drive safely.
If management fails to adequately train and supervise its staff, and it results in a fatality, the employer may face liability for damages. When a breach of duty regarding road safety occurs, it may provide cause for a wrongful death action.
The deceased’s estate may claim negligence
A legal action filed by the deceased’s estate may assert negligence caused the preventable death. As reported by USA Today, a wrongful death filing sought to hold a big box store liable for the loss of a family member. The suit claims a truck driver employed by the company continued operating his vehicle without sleep over a 24-hour period.
An investigation revealed the driver’s speed before slamming into the deceased’s vehicle was over the 55 mph limit. Officials had also lowered the speed limit to 45 mph due to road construction.
A company may attempt to defend by claiming contributory negligence
New York law allows a defendant to counter a lawsuit with contributory negligence. A company may attempt to provide evidence that the deceased contributed to his or her own death. Mobile phone records, for example, might indicate that the deceased answered a call at the time of the crash.
By providing evidence demonstrating that an employee did not exercise a duty of care, families may seek damages for the loss of a loved one. A jury may award compensation for the deceased’s medical and funeral expenses. It may also provide closure and help family members move forward from their grief.