An accident with a big truck, or semi-truck can be devastating. The damage they do to cars and bodies can be catastrophic if they get out of control. If you have had an accident with a big truck, you are likely wondering “What is my truck accident claim worth?” Our Winston Salem Truck Accident Lawyer wants to fight for your fair damages. Those damages are economic, non-economic, and punitive. You may have a right to collect one, two, or all three of those, and we will ensure that you get what you are due.
How Do You Determine Fault?
In North Carolina, a strict contributory negligence rule is the law. Damages are only recoverable by the party that is determined to have zero contribution in the accident. If you have any percentage of fault in the accident, there will be no recovery. In any vehicle accident, there are four requirements for determining fault.
- Duty of care – Every driver owes every other driver on the roadway an equal amount of care.
- Breach of Duty of Care – The other driver did not fulfill his legal duty of care.
- Causation – The breach of duty of care directly caused the accident.
- Damages – Your damages are a result of the accident caused by the breach of duty of care.
Once our Accidents Experts recreate the wreck with photos, measurements, witness statements, and police reports, they can determine, with reasonable accuracy, the level of fault for each driver. After that is determined, we will pursue maximum compensation either in a settlement or court case.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are the easiest for us to calculate. These are the actual costs to put yourself back in the same condition you were in before the accident. These are for financial losses as a direct result of the accident. The focus of most attorneys is collecting damages for getting your vehicle repaired or replaced, medical expenses, and lost earnings. These are very important damages, and we spend a great deal of time on them too. Your truck accident claim also includes any rental costs you incur while your car is inoperable or the payments for transportation to necessary destinations like doctor’s appointments. We also look at the effect your injuries will have on your potential future earnings. This loss can be very impactful if you cannot return to your previous job. We must factor in insurance payments and benefits when we make these calculations.
What are Non-Economic Damages?
The more well-known name for non-economic damages is Pain and Suffering. It is true, that you are allowed to claim for pain and suffering through your recovery from debilitating illnesses. But that is not all this category can include. We can also claim non-economic damages for loss of or changes to a bodily function, or disfigurement. A change in your physical appearance may affect you tremendously. Additionally, we can file for loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, or loss of comfort in public. To be scarred, and feel that you can no longer go out in public is tragic. As is to lose the ability to feel joy in your life. We can also include loss of life if someone in the car died from injuries sustained in the accident. You should be compensated for these losses.
What are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages can only be collected if an entity responsible for the truck was negligent, reckless, or irresponsible. If you believe your accident fits into one of these categories, be sure to let us know. Our accident experts will ask pointed questions about these issues to get to the truth.
Punitive damages can be collected if the truck driver is guilty of any of the following violations.
Evaluations by the responding officers reveal indications of driver fatigue that the drivers later try not to disclose. We review driver data for miles, hours on the road, breaks taken, and any violations of the Federal Trucking Time of Service Laws.
Witness interviews frequently state the truck driver was eating, drinking, or on their cell phone when the accident occurred.
Again, witness interviews may reveal speeding, dangerous lane changing, or sudden braking by the trucker. Driving in road conditions that the driver knew were unfavorable can also fall into this category.
Alcohol or Drug Use
If the driver has any impaired driving history or habits of these problems, our experts are going to find them. All witness reports from the accident will be reviewed. Driving records will be carefully reviewed.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Truck Accident?
Drivers are required to keep thorough records of all delivery trips. Today records are maintained automatically by the truck under that driver’s login. The records include miles traveled, stops, breaks, and driving habits. Our expert truck attorney and the Driver’s Safety Board always review these reports in the event of an accident to assess any factors influencing the accident.
Truck owners, large corporations, and independent owners can also be held responsible for punitive damages. If proper maintenance was not done and that resulted in the failure that precipitated the accident, the entity responsible for that work would be sued. For example, if the company told their mechanics to only check the brake fluid every six months to save money. This failure caused the brakes to fail and cause an accident. The company would be charged for negligence.
If the manufacturer of a part avoided issuing a recall for a part that should have been sent out, they would be responsible if the part caused the failure. Even the company that loads the cargo can be included in a suit. If a large load is not loaded properly, it will easily tip if the driver operates at slightly increased speeds. Our Truck Accident Lawyer, Roderick T. McIver, knows how to determine who should share fault, and how to pursue the right entities.
Contact McIver Law Firm Today to Get the Most From Your Truck Accident Claim!
If you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent who had your family member die in a truck accident, contact a wrongful death attorney. If you believe there was negligence, you may have a case to file, and we can help you.
Contact a Winston Salem truck accident lawyer at McIver Law Firm by completing our contact form or calling 336-727-9886 and get your free case review. Our experts have extensive experience dealing with big truck accidents, and can help you get all you are due and get your life back on track.