Companies that use vehicles as part of their operations are responsible for ensuring that those vehicles are well-maintained. Not only does regular maintenance protect their own employees, but it can help prevent any mechanical failures on the road that could cause injuries or death to other motorists. Unfortunately, not all companies carry out this responsibility.
Last week, a possible mechanical failure in a truck led to the death of a long-time officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. According to the Los Angeles Times, a dump truck was traveling down a road in Beverly Hills when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The truck slammed into an LAPD patrol car carrying two officers. The accident damaged the patrol car so badly that rescuers needed to strip off the top of the car to free the officers inside. Unfortunately, only one of them survived.
The rookie officer who was riding as a passenger suffered serious injuries but was released from the hospital over the weekend. The 40-year-old officer who was driving the patrol car was killed in the accident. He had served on the force for 16 years. He leaves behind a wife and two children. His funeral was held yesterday.
So far, investigators believe that the truck lost control because of a mechanical failure that may have been related to its brakes. If this turns out to be the case, accountability may rest with the truck’s owner for improper maintenance.
In a situation like this, the family of a victim may have the option to hold a vehicle owner responsible for the wrongful death of their loved one. While no amount of money can ever make up for the untimely death of a loved one, a successful wrongful death lawsuit can result in compensation for funeral expenses, burial costs and other expenses, relieving the financial burden that some families suffer after a death.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “LAPD officer killed in crash to be laid to rest Thursday,” Kate Mather, March 13, 2014