North Carolina is home to miles upon miles of major highways and interstates that connect major industries up and down the East Coast and beyond. With so many highways and so much commerce, it’s no surprise that North Carolina has a high number of commercial trucks — 18-wheelers, fuel trucks, gravel trucks, dump trucks, etc. — on the road at any given time. 

Collisions are serious whenever any type of vehicle is involved, but that’s especially true whenever commercial trucks are involved, as their size and weight can cause more severe injuries and more serious damage to property. 

What are the most common reasons for trucking accidents? 

  • Operator error: Truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to reach certain destinations in a short amount of time, and often their pay and bonuses are tied to how many miles they log. This often leads to distracted driving, driving while fatigued, or worse, driving under the influence of amphetamines or other stimulants to stay awake and alert. 
  • Trucks that are not properly maintained: Trucks that log thousands of miles every week need a lot more regular maintenance work than non-commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, not every trucking company makes sure their fleet is always up to par. This can lead to trucks breaking down, or something seemingly minor causing a major crash with injuries – or worse. 
  • Inclement weather: Truck drivers are supposed to be trained to drive in inclement weather, but if they’re not — or they’re ignoring their safety protocols in order to log more miles despite bad weather — the results can be deadly. Trucks take much longer to stop because of their size and weight, and when they don’t take proper precautions they can jackknife, hydroplane or hit other vehicles on the road. 
  • Improper cargo load: Just like the commercial truck itself is large and heavy, oftentimes so is the cargo inside the truck. That’s why cargo has to be loaded a certain way, to avoid having the weight of the cargo force open the truck and spill onto the road. No one wants to be driving behind a log truck that’s improperly loaded and snaps under pressure.
  • Equipment failure: When it comes to trucks breaking down, it’s not always poor vehicle maintenance that’s to blame. Sometimes, truck part manufacturers are found negligent for creating faulty parts and products that end up breaking when installed and causing catastrophic crashes. 

 

The stakes for accidents involving commercial trucks are much higher than crashes involving cars, as the injuries can be far worse and the damage much more costly. That’s why it’s crucial for you to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for a consultation. 

Laws governing trucking accidents can often be complicated and sometimes unfair – and that’s even more true in North Carolina. 

What happens in North Carolina if you’ve been in a trucking accident and you are partially at fault? 

North Carolina is a “contributory negligence” state, one of only four states and the District of Columbia to follow such a rule. This is an extreme law that prohibits you from recovering any damages if you are even 1 percent at fault for the accident. 

For example: Let’s say you are driving and someone takes a left turn right in front of you, forcing a crash. It would seem that the driver who took a left turn was to blame, right? But if you were found to be going over the speed limit, or texting while driving, you would share in the fault. Therefore, you would not be able to seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. 

This law doesn’t only apply to judges and juries. It also applies to insurance adjusters. Without an experienced personal injury attorney working on your behalf, the insurance adjuster will do everything he or she can to place a portion of the blame on you and deny your claim. 

What makes matters even more convoluted is that there is no specific set of guidelines for assigning fault, so it’s up to you or your attorney to negotiate with a claims handler or persuade judge or jury. 

There are a few exceptions to the contributory negligence rule, but they’re not easy to explain. These include:

  • When minor children are involved
  • When the trucker had the “Last Clear Chance” to avoid the wreck
  • Gross negligence (DUI, extreme recklessness, etc)

When it comes to trucking accidents, there’s usually even more at stake. Why? Because the injuries are often more severe and the damage is often more extensive. Often, when you’re involved in an accident with a semi, you’re dealing with a large trucking company and an even bigger insurance company. This is why it is even more crucial to convince a judge, jury or insurance adjuster that you were not at fault. 

Without an attorney, it will be very hard for someone involved in a trucking accident to understand the intricacies of the case. Robert Armstrong has more than 30 years of experience handling only personal injury cases. He is uniquely suited to handle your case. If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident, contact the office of Robert Armstrong today

 

Truck accidents are often quite destructive and painful due to the size of these enormous vehicles.  If you walk away from a truck accident, consider yourself lucky. You are undoubtedly in a state of shock following this unfortunate event.  Our legal team is here to help you every step of the way toward justice. Here is how to proceed in the aftermath of a truck accident.

Tend to Your Injuries

Nothing matters more than your health.  If you are injured or in pain, you need immediate medical assistance.  Do not worry about the nuances of your truck accident case in the immediate aftermath of the event.  Have your wounds tended to and your pain alleviated. Let your attorney handle compiling evidence, interviewing witnesses and building a sound legal case.  

Even if you do not feel any physical pain after the accident, it still makes sense to have your condition documented with a medical report.  It is possible you have endured internal bleeding, whiplash or another underlying injury that won’t manifest for a while. It is important to note truck accident victims who refuse medical attention open the door for opposing counsel to argue the accident did not cause any injury or pain.  

 

Contact the Police

If possible, contact the police from the scene of the accident.  A police report makes the accident that much more official and legitimate in the eyes of the court as well as insurance company representatives.  Keep in mind some of those involved in truck accidents do not know the full extent of their injuries stemming from the accident for days or even weeks after the event.  

The police report detailing the accident also has the potential to prove your innocence and the truck driver’s negligence.  Negligence is a legal term commonly used to refer to a person or institution’s failure to provide due care to those in the vicinity.  So don’t shy away from contacting the authorities.  

 

Document the Accident Scene and Obtain Insurance Information

Write down the truck driver’s insurance information, license plate, name and vehicle description.  When interacting with the truck driver, do not state any more than you have to. Do not admit fault in the slightest.  If possible, record the interaction with your smartphone.

Take a picture of the accident scene with your smartphone or draw a picture with pen and paper.  Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the truck and any nearby property. Flag down witnesses, take down their names and contact information.  Witness testimony just might make the difference between a massive payout and losing this critically important legal battle.  

 

Contact the Insurance Company 

Reach out to your auto insurance company to report the accident.  Write down the details of your conversation with the auto insurance representative.  Do your best to describe what happened.  

If you are not of sound mind following the accident, it is better to wait until you are coherent and can explain exactly what happened so the insurance company has a clear picture of the accident.  If you end up speaking to the other driver’s insurance company, keep your words to a minimum. Do not even hint at the potential you might have been at fault for the accident. Stick to the facts and do not provide extensive detail. Do not agree to a recorded statement!

 

Hire an Attorney

You need a seasoned truck accident attorney on your side to go up against the truck company’s highly-paid legal representation.  Hire an attorney and you will be able to narrow your focus on improving your health. Your attorney will work on your behalf to obtain a settlement offer or a favorable court decision. Contact Robert Armstrong Law, today.

We all know the dangers associated with distracted driving. Between texting, surfing the web or putting on makeup, drivers on the road today are more susceptible to distracted driving than ever. And when you combine the commonality of distracted driving with a 40-ton semi-truck, it makes for a lethal combination. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), distracted truck drivers are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those that aren’t. This article discusses some of the main distractions that truckers face, as well as some of the laws meant to protect others on the road and consequences of breaking these laws. 

 

Distracted Driving Statistics  

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, or FMCSA, inattention is the leading factor in crashes and near-crashes on America’s highways. A study performed by FMCSA found that nearly 80% of crashes involved some form of driver inattention in the 3 seconds just before an accident. 

Additionally, a three-year study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that approximately 11,000 truck crashes across the country involved driver distraction. 

And in a year-long study performed by FMCSA, 71% of large truck accidents occurred when the truck driver was doing something other than focusing on the road. This means facing different types distractions around them, both internally and externally. 

 

Types of Distractions 

Many of the distractions truck drivers face are similar to those everyday commuters have to deal with. Both groups are distracted by cell phones, texting, using GPS, as well as gazing at billboards, eating or drinking. However, drivers of large commercial trucks are confronted with many additional distractions that passenger vehicle drivers may not consider. 

For example, in addition to using cell phones to text friends or family, truckers also use various apps to communicate with each other while on the road. Other truck drivers use satellite radio services such as Sirius or XM radios, increasing their chances of distracted driving. 

Moreover, truckers are typically on the road for hours at a time and travel long distances. Because of these long hauls, many drivers find themselves engaging with cell phones or other technology out of mere boredom, as well as necessity. 

 

Laws and Consequences 

Although many types of distractions are virtually impossible to make illegal, such as eating or drinking while driving (aside from alcohol, of course), federal and state regulations have addressed the most common distraction: technological gadgets. 

The entity that regulates commercial trucking in the U.S., FMCSA, has enacted rules that regulate cell phone usage by truck drivers. According to FMCSA, texting while driving a semi-truck is completely forbidden. Moreover, while truckers are allowed to talk on a cell phone, the phone must be firmly mounted near the driver’s seat, and a hands-free device must be used. 

Drivers that violate these rules can be subjected to harsh punishment as well. According to FMCSA, using a hand-held device while driving a semi-truck can result in driver disqualification. Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers. 

In addition to civil penalties, drivers that have multiple violations can have their commercial driver’s license revoked by the State and disqualification by the federal government. 

Distracted driving is one of the largest causes of vehicle accidents across the nation. These accidents can be much worse when an 80,000-pound truck is involved. Unfortunately, there are even more types of distractions that truckers face. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, it’s important to have an attorney that is experienced in trucking law on your side to ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.  Contact Robert Armstrong, today.

 

Truck drivers in the United States face some of the most precarious safety concerns of any profession. Like most drivers, they are constantly on the lookout for evolving rules and regulations they must comply with on the road. One of the main differences between daily commuters and long-haul truck drivers, however, is that trucks must know and obey these laws as part of their means of earning a living.

Another difference is that in addition to the standard “rules of the road” most drivers face, the truck driving industry must also comply with rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency under the purview of the U.S. Department of Transportation.   

This article summarizes some of the most important changes to trucking regulations passed by FMCSA in 2019.

 

Electronic Logging Devices Required by Year-End

In late 2017 the FMCSA began requiring most commercial vehicles to install electronic logging devices (ELDs) on their vehicles. While most rigs were equipped with the older Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs), FMCSA excluded AOBRDs from that requirement at the time. However, FMCSA has finally provided a date by which all “grandfathered” AOBRDs must transitioned to a mandate-required ELD: December 16, 2019.

 

Hours of Service Reform

Related to logging devices, truckers have stated their issues with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements. In August 2018 the FMCSA requested opinions from truck drivers specifically regarding these requirements in relation to split sleeper berths and rest breaks. In response to driver opinions, there are two rules being presented to the U.S. House of Representatives: HR 5417 (REST Act) and HR 6178 (HOURS Act).

The REST Act proposes that truck drivers would be allowed a rest break up to three hours, a 14-hour clock pause, and would eliminate the 30-minute break requirement. The HOURS Act proposes four different requirements: ag exemption, short-haul alignment, a decrease in supporting documents, and omitting the advanced noticed for the split sleeper berth.

 

Drug and Alcohol Testing

The FMCSA Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will go into effect on January 6, 2020, and within 60 days the FMCSA administrator must submit a status report to Congress on the Clearinghouse status. Under the new rule, employers will be required to examine the clearinghouse for any drug or alcohol violations before proceeding with a pre-employment screening and annual confirmation.

However, before DOT can change the rule, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must develop guidelines regarding hair follicle testing. Currently, only urine testing is approved which can identify drug use within the past days or weeks. Conversely, hair testing can identify drug use within the past 2-3 months.

 

Sleep Apnea and Speed Limiter Updates

Sleep apnea is one of the largest safety concerns for truck drivers across the country. In March 2016 the FMCSA and Federal Railroad Administration proposed a rule that would include a higher degree of sleep apnea testing.

In August 2017, FMCSA and FRA decided against moving forward with this proposed regulation after significant industry push-back. As of April 2019, the regulation has been put on hold, but according to federal regulators, it is not completely dead.

Similarly, proposed rules regarding speed limiters for commercial trucks faced industry pushback in August 2016. The rule required that all commercial trucks have speed limiter devices installed. Discussed speeds ranged from 60 to 68 mph. This rule, although not dead, has also been placed on hold as of April 2019.

For most drivers across the country, sharing the road with semi-trucks is a common occurrence. However, most people don’t know many of the differences between semi-trucks and passenger vehicles, or how they can drive more safely around them. With over 75% of all commercial motor vehicle accidents caused by passenger vehicle drivers, knowing the distinctions and how to adjust driving habits can be the difference between life and death.

 

Distinctions in Operation of Semi-trucks

Semi-trucks operate very differently the common passenger vehicles. For starters, most semis weigh approximately 80,000 pounds (or 40 tons), and have 18 wheels spread across a large cabin and extra-long trailer. The mere size and separate components mean that semi-trucks can’t perform many of the maneuvers that passenger vehicles can.

For example, these extra-long trailers provide extra-large blind spots for truck drivers. Because of this, it’s extremely difficult for drivers to see passenger vehicles when they change lanes or make a turn. Moreover, merely making a turn with these trailers requires truck drivers to go out and make wide turns to accommodate the extra payload behind them.  

Also, stepping on the brakes with 40 tons of steel behind you means that you won’t get the same immediate reaction you do when stopping a Toyota Corolla. Semi-trucks require long stopping distances and passenger vehicles that do not allow for this often see themselves on the wrong side of a rear-end accident with these giant trucks. The weight also means that truck drivers have limited maneuverability in traffic or other obstacles.  

 

Safe Driving Tips

While there are many distinctions in how semi-trucks operate on the road, everyday passenger vehicle drivers should be aware of some practices that will help them avoid an accident with these trucks. Below is a brief rundown of five of the most important safety tips to keep in mind when sharing the road with semi-trucks:

 

  • Avoid blind spots and pass quickly

Many drivers are not aware that the right side of a semi-truck is the largest blind spot for a trucker. The right side can often block two, three or four lanes. Drivers should avoid spending time directly in front of a truck’s cab and behind the trailer as well, and when you do have to pass, make sure you do it as quickly, and as safely, as possible.

  • Keep a safe distance 

Like most of us, truckers often have to make sudden stops. However, the damage to a passenger vehicle (and the passengers themselves) is much more catastrophic when they rear end a large semi-truck. Moreover, semis often experience tire blowouts and their trailers are susceptible to forcing a rollover due to strong gusts of wind. Make sure to keep a safe distance from semis in order to avoid potential accidents resulting from this.    

  • Drive defensively

Driving a vehicle down the highway is most likely second nature to most drivers. But no matter how relaxed you may be with the process, drives should always take extra care when driving near large semi-trucks. The mere size and weight mean they are slower to react. Take a more defensive driving approach when around semis so you can anticipate any potential sudden change on the road, and react accordingly.

  • Always signal 

As mentioned above, semis are slower to react than most passenger vehicles. This means they take more time to respond to other cars stopping, turning or merging. For this reason it’s important to give notice to truckers and use your signal to alert them of any upcoming changes. This allows truck drivers time to anticipate your move and slow down or change lanes safely.

  • Dim bright lights  

Unlike passenger cars, semis have large mirrors surrounding them so they can see as much of the road as possible. Unfortunately, this means they have more light reflecting into their cabin than the typical vehicle. This light reflection can cause temporary blindness for truckers, so it’s important to dim your hi-beams when driving around semis.

There are many differences between passenger vehicles and semi-trucks. Many of these differences can mean drivers are at an increased risk of a significant accident when encountering big-rigs on the road. Drivers can minimize this risk by knowing how to drive safely around them.

Accidents to happen, however. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a semi-truck, contact an experienced and qualified semi-truck accident attorney to ensure your rights are protected and you are fully compensated for your injuries.

Auto accidents involving semi-trucks can be some of the most devastating violent on our roads. They’re also exceedingly common. Across the United States, there are an estimated 500,000 trucking-related accidents each year. 5,000 of these result in death. Perhaps even more surprising than these numbers is the fact that over 70% of these occur when the weather is clear and the roads are dry.

With the major highways and freight routes throughout North Carolina, the Tar Heel State sees a higher number of accidents than most states in the country. Actually, there were over 14,000 large truck accidents in 2016 alone. This article provides some facts and statistics regarding trucking accidents in North Carolina, and the importance of seeking the unique and qualified counsel of an attorney specializing in trucking accidents.

 

Facts about Large Commercial Trucks

In the United States, the trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which falls under the U.S. Department of Transportation. Additionally, commercial trucks are also subject to laws governed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Semi-truck drivers must possess a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and are subject to restrictions on hours of service, keeping driver logs and meeting strict maintenance requirements, among other duties.

Although these strenuous requirements are meant to keep drivers safe and reduce accidents on the road, the mere nature of a large commercial semi-truck subjects them to increased chances of being involved in an accident. Weighing over 80,000 pounds with enormous trailers in tow make them a strong force on the road. Not to mention the number of trucks on the road each year.

In fact, semi-trucks are much more likely to be involved in a fatal, multi-vehicle crash than other large passenger vehicles such as busses or vans. And considering that 70% of America’s resources are transported by trucks, including approximately 15 million on the road each year, it’s not surprising to hear the large numbers associated with accidents, injuries and deaths involving semis.

 

Accidents by the Numbers

Commercial Motor Vehicles in North Carolina pose a large risk to drives throughout the state. According to recent statistics, accidents involving commercial busses, firetrucks and school busses accounted for nearly 2,500 of the total accidents in the state.

However, tractor trailer truck accidents accounted for nearly double that figure in 2017 alone. Even more disturbing, of the 2,500 from busses and firetrucks, 3 resulted in death. Compare that with 66 fatalities from large truck accidents.

Unfortunately, these numbers don’t seem to be declining either. According to the FMCSA, large truck and bus accidents across the U.S. have increased nearly 30% since 2009. During this time that means that a passenger or driver sustains an injury or is killed in an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor trailer every 15 minutes.

Another statistic that is quite alarming comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). According to the IIHS, in crashes that involve large trucks and other passenger vehicles, 98% of fatalities happen to the individuals in the passenger vehicle.

The size and strength of large trucks combined with the increasingly busy highways in North Carolina make for a deadly combination. And unfortunately, the number of accidents, injuries and deaths stemming from large trucks in the state do not appear to be slowing down.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large commercial vehicle in North Carolina, it’s important to consult an experienced and qualified attorney that knows the nuances of trucking law in North Carolina. Having a qualified lawyer on your side can help you fight insurance companies and ensure your rights are protected and you are fully compensated for your injuries.

All vehicle accidents can result in serious injury or extensive property damage. However, when these accidents involve 80,000 pound semi-trucks, the injuries and damage are often much worse. Due to the mere nature of semi-trucks and the damage they can inflict, there are many differences between auto accidents involving big-rigs and those involving your everyday commuter.

This article discusses five of the most significant differences between semi-truck and passenger vehicle accidents. From more stringent federal regulations to larger insurance payouts, one important thing to note about semi-truck accidents is that usually require unique legal experience. If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck accident, contact a qualified and experienced attorney to help you navigate this nuanced area of law.

 

 

  • Operational Requirements

 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a commercial truck is defined as a motor vehicle that meets at least one of the following operational requirements:

  • Has a gross combination weight of 26,001 or more pounds (including a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,001 pounds)
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds
  • Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
  • Is used to transport hazardous materials (regardless of the size of the vehicle)

As anyone who has seen these trucks on the road, it’s clear that they tower over every passenger vehicle out there. These operational requirements set forth by the federal government ensure that semi-trucks are in a class of their own. Indeed, these trucks take longer to come to a stop, accelerate more slowly, need additional space to maneuver around, and require special handling when backing up. These all can lead to increased risks of an accident.

 

  • Different Regulations

 

Of the nearly 500,000 semi-truck accidents in the United States each year, nearly 90% of them are caused by human error and 30% are caused by driver fatigue. When you consider these numbers, it’s obvious to see why there are separate regulating bodies to set different rules and regulations for truck drivers.

All commercial trucks in the country are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The FMCSA sets numerous regulations that commercial trucks must comply with, including more stringent maintenance schedules, special driver’s licenses and qualifications, logbooks, and annual inspections.

 

 

  • Insurance Policies

 

Semi-trucks are naturally much larger than passenger cars and most of them travel across interstate boundaries. This means not only that semis can inflict extensive damage when they are involved in an accident, but that insurance companies must charge more to cover their claims. These increased insurance policies can potentially be worth millions of dollars. And with increased policies, comes more aggressive adjusters.

Insurance adjusters investigating semi-truck accidents are notoriously known for being some of the most experienced in the auto industry, and are aggressive in trying to settle claims with victims. They will also go to extensive lengths to ensure any claim is denied. Victims of a semi-truck accident should ensure an experienced attorney in this field property investigates the accident and can handle seasoned insurance adjusters.

 

 

  • Accident Evidence

 

The typical passenger car crash investigation involves similar aspects of evidence gathering: written witness statements, photographs of the vehicles involved, police reports, recorded video, etc. While these are important in semi-truck accidents as well, there is much more that is required for a complete and accurate investigation.

As noted above, semi-truck drivers require special licenses. This means that evidence related to the truckers qualifications, training file, hours of operation, driver inspection records, and post-collision drug and alcohol screening results. Moreover, cargo evidence such as weight tickets, dispatch instructions, and delivery documents can all either benefit or hurt a victim’s case.

 

 

  • Require Unique Attorney Experience

 

Semi-trucks differ from passenger vehicles in a number of ways. From the different operational and regulation requirements, to increased insurance policies and evidence gathering, the mere nature of a semi-truck accident requires specialized knowledge. This is especially true when attempting to determine liability. Because semi-truck accidents require unique attorney experience that cannot be found in traditional auto accident lawyers, it’s important that you find a qualified semi-truck attorney that can help accurately investigate your case and ensure you or your loved ones are fully compensated.

Semi-trucks can often be some of the most overwhelming vehicles on the road. While getting in any car accident is frightening enough, it can be much worse when an 18-wheeler is involved.

A fully-loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can require over 100 yards to come to a complete stop. Compound that with the fact that there are over 15,000 trucking accidents in North Carolina alone and you realize how dangerous these trucks are and how likely an accident involving one of them is to occur.

If you are injured in a semi-truck accident, you want to know what to do and how to get compensated for your injuries. While it is vital to engage a qualified lawyer early in the process, this article helps to shed some additional light on common causes of semi-truck accidents, and what you should expect if you’re involved.

 

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

Across the country there an estimated 2 million semi-trucks on the road each year, and nearly one quarter, or 500,000 of which are involved in accidents. Even worse, in 98% of the semi-truck vs. passenger vehicle accidents in which there is a death, the person killed was in the passenger vehicle.  Although semi-truck drivers are prone to many of the same issues that everyday drivers face, the nature of the job adds another aspect that common commuters don’t have to worry about, including long hours and extensive wear-and-tear on their rigs.

According to federal regulations, truckers cannot drive more than 60 hours over seven consecutive days. When you break that down, that means that most drivers are putting in eight and a half hours a day on the road, and some log as much as 11 hours of driving time! Combine the long hours with an estimated 28% of truck drivers having sleep apnea, it’s a big cause for concern.

Another common cause of accidents for semi-truck drivers is mechanical issues with their trucks. Most semis are forced to endure tens of thousands of miles across the country, often logging thousands of hours without a tune-up. If a truck weighing over 40 tons has a tire blowout, for example, it’s not the same as a Honda Civic experiencing the same problem. Drivers can often lose control and put other drivers at risk.

 

Assigning Appropriate Liability

It can be tricky assigning liability for an accident involving a semi-truck. Although drivers may fall asleep or become distracted while driving, liability can fall on other parties as well. For this reason, it’s important that immediately after an accident involving a semi you engage a qualified attorney that can help investigate and handle any immediate contact with insurance companies.

After a thorough investigation, your attorney may find that the driver’s employer or the manufacturer of the truck may be liable. Although the individual driver was the one driving when the accident occurred, employers are often held accountable for the actions of their employees. This is especially true when the employee is acting under the control of the employer. Due to legal principles such as negligence, and joint and several liability, obtaining a attorney is important to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable.

 

Negligence Laws in North Carolina

Most states across the country assign liability to the party that caused the damage – both to people and property. However, North Carolina follows a different legal theory called “contributory negligence”. Under this theory, if a party contributes to the crash, even if the other driver was 99% at fault, the injured victim may be prohibited from recovering any compensation.

However, to provide some relief to victims, North Carolina also follows the last clear chance doctrine. This legal theory may allow injured parties to recover compensation, even if partially at fault, if they can prove that there was a dangerous situation making it impossible for you to avoid the crash, and the other driver had a clear chance to avoid the collision but they failed to take it.

When pursuing an injury claim following any kind of automotive accident, the question of fault is one of the most important matters to address. Your attorney must be able to prove that some other party was negligent in some way that resulted in your injuries. Due to the many nuances of North Carolina law in this area, consult with an experienced North Carolina lawyer as early in the process as possible. It is also vital to never admit liability or enter into any agreement before you have consulted a lawyer.

 

My firm works with you to maximize your recovery following a trucking accident. We offer our clients a free initial consultation, and work on a contingency fee basis.

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Semi-truck accidents are particularly devastating as the sheer size of the truck makes collisions that much more violent.  If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, there is a good chance you will have the opportunity to accept a sizable settlement offer as long as you lean on a skilled legal team.  This type of auto accident case is unique in a number of regards. Let’s take a look at how semi-truck accident cases work.

 

The Basics of Semi-truck Accident Cases

Most people involved in semi-truck accidents assume a resulting legal case will take an abundance of time.  Though this type of auto accident is comparably complicated, there is no guarantee the legal battle will prove lengthy.  Hire an attorney and you will be able to focus on recuperating from your injuries while a comprehensive liability investigation is conducted.  Our legal team is here to compile evidence, keep track of your related expenses, prove the truck driver’s negligence and help you enjoy a high quality of life after the accident.

It might be necessary to put a physical hold on the truck involved in the accident to guarantee evidence is available should the matter proceed to court.  Our legal team will take as long as necessary to perform a full investigation of the damage to the truck as well as possible truck defects that might have contributed to the accident or directly caused it.  Though this detailed legal investigation has the potential to extend the length of time it takes to reach a favorable settlement offer, it is important to serving justice. An in-depth investigation will reveal essential information and insights that help prove the truck driver’s guilt and build your case for justice as well as financial compensation.

Semi-truck Accidents Have the Potential for a Large Payout

Insurance policies for these large trucks are typically quite large.  In most cases, semi-trucks have insurance coverage in the range of a million dollars.  This massive insurance coverage creates the opportunity for a sizable payout. Our legal team is here to maximize your payout for all related costs from medical treatment to durable medical equipment, pain, suffering, lost time at work and so on.  Add in the fact that there is the possibility for several defendant policies to be in play and the matter becomes that much more complicated.

 

Settlement Factors: Injuries, Medical Treatment and Beyond

The extent of your injuries and required medical treatment play a major role in the course settlement talks take.  The typical personal injury case reaches a conclusion after the victim has completely recovered. However, accidents involving semi-trucks are likely to result in harsh injuries that require extensive treatment and a lengthy period of recovery.  These factors all have the potential to delay settlement talks as both parties attempt to determine the true costs of the injuries. Your attorney will guide you through this process to ensure you do not settle your claim in the midst of treatment.  It is impossible to understand the true cost of related expenses, pain, suffering, lost wages and other expenses until you have been released from the doctor’s care.

Be patient, let your attorney handle settlement negotiations and you just might emerge with a good settlement offer in due time.  The majority of semi-truck cases settle yet there is always the option of bringing the case to trial. All in all, the length of time it takes to reach a resolution hinges on the forementioned medical treatment summary and liability findings.  Furthermore, the available insurance also matters. Do not attempt to navigate the legal maze on your own. We will fiercely advocate on your behalf to ensure the negligent truck driver’s actions are highlighted and penalized in the form of financial compensation.

My firm works with you to maximize your recovery following a trucking accident. We offer our clients a free initial consultation, and work on a contingency fee basis.

Contact Us to Schedule an Appointment