Jacksonville Families File Lawsuit After Semi-Truck Accident
Hannah Krajewski, 21, and Devaughn Gresham, 23, were both killed in an accident involving a semi-truck. Now, the families have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company and the driver who was responsible for the crash. Criminal charges may be filed against the driver pending an investigation.
The truck driver was reportedly going 70 mph in the crash. The couple was headed into Jacksonville for their date night when the semi rounded a curve. The driver lost control of the vehicle, which slammed into the couple’s Kia Optima and crushed it into a guardrail. The mangled car is now barely recognizable.
This is a case of the truck driver operating his vehicle unsafely. A lawsuit will be filed against him and the trucking company he works for, FEC Highway Services LLC and it looks to be headed for a settlement. The trucking company has no defense for this situation. Their driver was driving over the speed limit while turning a corner on roads that may have been slippery due to weather. Further, while there was no construction the night of the accident, construction was happening in the area meaning the vehicle should have probably been going slower than it was.
Since Florida Highway Patrol will likely assign blame for the accident on the truck driver, the trucking company will likely be forced to settle the wrongful death lawsuits. The truck driver may also face charges related to reckless endangerment or vehicular homicide.
Elements of Harm in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In this case, it’s the two families who are filing a lawsuit on behalf of their deceased loved one. The elements of harm in a wrongful death lawsuit are different than the elements of harm in a personal injury lawsuit. Essentially, the parents are not suing the company because their children were killed, but they’re suing the company to make amends for the way they feel about the loss of their children.
The plaintiffs are also entitled to recover damages for funeral expenses, but since they are not dependents of the victims, they cannot recover lost wages. They can sue for emotional grief, the suffering of their loved one, and the loss of companionship. For that reason, wrongful death lawsuits filed on behalf of deceased children by grieving parents tend to have lower jury awards and settlements than other types of wrongful death lawsuits, especially those brought by spouses and children on behalf of a deceased breadwinner. In those cases, the family would be entitled to the supposed earnings of the deceased to support the family.
However, even though the elements of harm are less lucrative in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a child, this may be a case where the plaintiffs are entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for gross negligence or extreme wrongdoing.
Talk to a Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence or malice of another person, call the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Gillette Law today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.