A tractor-trailer operator lost his life after being struck by an out of control box truck on the shoulder of I-95 outside of Emporia, Virginia (VA). The fatal accident occurred near the interchange with Route 58, shortly after 1 am on October 13, 2013. The deceased victim was identified as a professional trucker from North Carolina. The at-fault driver, who also got injured when his vehicle eventually overturned after continuing to careen following the deadly collision, had been traveling north from Florida.
Police charged the man behind the wheel of the box truck with reckless driving. Alcohol has been ruled out as a cause. Crash scene evidence is being passed to the commonwealth's attorney for Greensville County, who may bring additional charges. Speeding, falling asleep while driving, abusing drugs and suffering a preventable medical emergency may all factor in prosecutors' decisions regarding how to handle this case.
Regardless of how the criminal court process plays out, accidents like this bring civil liability for causing a wrongful death. Commercial truck drivers and their rigs are all required to carry various forms of insurance that can provide compensation to the family of the deceased victim. However, navigating the multiple claims processes and holding insurance companies accountable for their responsibility to honor their contractual obligations to pay legitimate claims for burial costs and losses of future earnings and companionship can prove difficult.
Especially in a wreck such as the one that occurred on the interstate shoulder, lawyers for the insurance companies could raise objections like, "The man put himself at unnecessary risk by getting out his truck." Countering such callous and baseless arguments about contributory negligence is simpler when, even though grieving, family members consult with attorneys who specialize in representing plaintiffs in wrongful death actions.