Accidents that occur on bridges increase the potential for fatalities. An otherwise survivable accident could lead to death if a vehicle is forced off the side of a bridge. Authorities in Louisiana need some time to make that determination in a recent truck accident.
The accident occurred on Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. A work convoy and the garbage truck behind it were both heading in the same direction on the causeway. For some yet unknown reason, the garbage truck hit the back of one of the convoy’s trucks. The impact was forceful enough to cause the victim’s truck to ram through the railing, which propelled the truck off the bridge. The driver of the truck that ended up in Lake Pontchartrain died.
The victim’s truck was not the only thing that the garbage truck hit during the crash. It continued on to slam into a police car before tipping over onto its side. The driver had to be freed from the wreckage by emergency responders. Reports indicate that the driver of the garbage truck did not suffer any injuries.
If the victim was working at the time of the truck accident, his family is likely entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. However, they retain a separate right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver of the garbage truck and the company that employed him. The legal theory of respondeat superior allows a victim — or his or her family in the case of death — to pursue damages from the employer of a negligent driver. A successful claim could result in an award of damages that could help the family with the financial impact of the death of their loved one.
Source: greenfieldreporter.com, “Driver of truck involved in Causeway wreck accused of negligent homicide”, Nov. 15, 2014