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Large commercial trucks provide a crucial service, transporting goods quickly and efficiently across the country. These large vehicles must be kept in top shape, however, not only to comply with regulations and laws, but also to protect truck drivers and other motorists and pedestrians.

The importance of proper truck maintenance was tragically highlighted when a loose semi-truck wheel hit and killed a man on Feb. 7 on the side of Interstate 44 in Oklahoma. The Missouri man was changing a tire near the Afton exit in Craig County when the fatal accident occurred.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that, while the victim was working on his car, a passing semi truck lost a wheel. In a statement, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety said an “unsafe vehicle wheel” resulted in the fatal trucking accident.

Obviously, a sudden death such as this one can devastate the victim’s family, leaving lifelong emotional scars. In addition to coming to grips with the loss of a loved one, families have to deal with the practical consequences of such a tragedy, particularly if the victim’s income supported the family. Those left behind often don’t know that legal recourse is available in their time of need.

When a fatal accident results from the negligence of another, no legal action can heal the emotional pain experienced by the grieving family. However, family members may seek to obtain some form of compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and funeral costs resulting from the fatal accident.

In many cases, when a truck accident has caused another person’s death, the truck driver and the trucking company can be held liable for damages.

Source: KTUL TV, “Semi-Truck Wheel Hits, Kills Man Changing Tire on Highway,” Juan Sanchez, Feb. 7, 2014