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Monetary toll is great when big rigs cause fatal car accidents

Some of the largest economic recoveries from California vehicular accidents involve negligently operated tractor trailers. If the rig was being operated by or on behalf of a large industrial company, there may be very large settlements in car accidents caused by negligent truckers. The prospect of collecting a large settlement, however, may be of little immediate comfort to a surviving husband who has lost his wife and children in a brutally tragic collision.

Such an accident occurred in Los Angeles County on June 28 when a big rig rear-ended a minivan on Gorman School Road at about 4 a.m., killing two mothers and their four children. The truck pushed the van over an embankment, and it burst into flames shortly thereafter. The two fathers in the van survived, only to experience the bitter frustration of trying in vain to extricate their families from the flaming vehicle. Apparently, the van had been in an earlier accident and was sitting stunned between the slow lane and the shoulder when the truck plowed into it.

Details about the truck driver or the owner of the truck were not yet available. In any event, the two surviving husbands will be able to pursue claims for wrongful death damages against the driver and, most likely, also against the owner of the rig. Industrial trucks are usually well insured and are covered by redundant layers of insurance to make doubly sure that any excess gaps are fully insured.

When a truck driver is liable for multiple deaths, the toll owed to the survivors can be in the tens of millions or more. It is important that the surviving family members seek out personal injury attorneys who have experience with catastrophic car accidents and the insurance issues that they may spawn.  In California and elsewhere, however, there is no amount of money that can even begin to outweigh the toll of human suffering that this tragedy will take from the two surviving victims for the remainder of their lives.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "4 Children, 2 Women Killed in Multi-Car Crash in Gorman", Willian Avila and Oleevia Woo, June 28, 2016

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