While the United States relies on commercial trucks to support modern society, accidents involving these vehicles can lead to catastrophic harm, particularly due to their sheer size and weight. Unfortunately, annual trucking accidents have been on the rise, with North Carolina recording thousands of crashes and injuries per year.
We know an accident involving a truck can negatively affect you and your family’s lives and that’s why we have Lewisville truck accident lawyers who specialize in establishing liability and seeking the compensation victims deserve.
What Regulations Govern Truck Drivers in NC?
Hours of Service
Truck drivers in North Carolina are subject to federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, which limit the amount of time they can drive and be on duty. These regulations are designed to prevent driver fatigue and reduce the risk of accidents.
- Drivers can only drive up to 14 consecutive hours, and only after taking 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- Drivers must take a half-hour break after driving for 8 consecutive hours.
- Drivers can only be on duty for 60 hours in a 7-day period or 70 hours in an 8-day period.
Truck drivers are subject to regular inspections by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). These are put in place to ensure the vehicles are safe to operate and that truck drivers comply with the law.
Substance Abuse Testing
Drivers are subject to random drug and alcohol testing as well as possible testing should an accident occur.
Trucks in NC are required to be properly marked. This includes clear and visible markings on the vehicle’s exterior and proper documentation on board.
What is the Difference Between a Truck and a Car Accident?
Truck accidents are more likely to be fatal than car accidents because of the size and weight of trucks. Trucks way bigger and heavier compared to cars, which means that they have larger momentum and can cause more serious injuries in an accident. Additionally, trucks can be difficult to see, especially in poor weather conditions. This can lead to accidents when drivers do not see the truck and pull out in front of it.
Who Can You Sue?
If you are not liable for the accident, you can use the party at fault. This can be the truck driver, the trucking company, the party that loaded up the truck, and even the manufacturers of the vehicle or parts.
What Caused the Accident?
An array of factors can cause a truck accident but the most common in the state include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Poor road maintenance
- Oversized or improperly secured freight
- Lack of truck maintenance or equipment malfunction
- Poorly trained or inexperienced drivers.
Do I Have a Case?
In order to determine if you have a truck accident case, there are a few things you can look for. These include:
- The truck’s size and weight: Large trucks are more likely to cause severe injuries in an accident and so, if you are injured by one, you’re more likely to have a case.
- The truck driver’s negligence: If the driver was negligent in some manner such as speeding, driving under the influence, or failing to follow the traffic rules, you may have a case.
- The severity of injuries: If the accident left you severely injured, you may have a case.
- The availability of witnesses: If there were people available who can testify regarding the accident, you are likely to succeed in the case.
- Your medical bills: If the accident exposed you to a significant medical bill, you can make a claim against the party at fault.
If you have one or more of these factors in your case, do not hesitate to consult a seasoned truck accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. They can help you determine if you have a solid claim and represent you in negotiations with the insurance provider or in court.
What is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident Claim?
Given each case is unique, there is no definite figure for how much a claim is worth. Various factors have to be considered, including the type and nature of injuries experienced, whether they are short-term or long-term, whether you have been unable to work, etc. To get an idea of how much your case is worth, consult an experienced truck accident attorney in NC.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer in Lewisville Help You?
You will get instant peace of mind when you have a reputable lawyer representing you. They will ensure you do not make any legal mistakes and handle all communications with the other parties. In addition, a reliable truck accident lawyer in Lewisville, NC can help you with the following aspects:
Any statements, videos, and photos from the accident scene will be beneficial. However, an attorney with experience in the industry will know who to talk to and where to gather other useful details. This includes the trucking logs, footage from a nearby camera, etc. They will be able to determine who is liable and create a solid base for your case.
Filing Your Claim
Legal claims are best handled by legal professionals. Even if you know how to go about it yourself, a veteran working on your behalf increases the chances of a successful claim.
Insurance adjusters will certainly get in touch with you and even offer a settlement. This is to avoid any complications that might follow, including a lawsuit. A negotiated settlement can come in handy as it expedites the claim’s conclusion and gives you access to the money you require. However, in order to get a fair settlement, a shrewd negotiator that is not fazed by their tactics is necessary. A truck accident lawyer is familiar with insurance providers and knows how to handle them.
When it comes to truck accident claims, parties involved don’t usually want court proceedings. It not only delays the process, but it leads to more expenses in legal fees. However, if the negotiations don’t turn out fair, litigation is the only option. As such, you will need a legal representative who is familiar with the process and who will represent you properly. A truck accident lawyer is thus necessary.
How Long Will the Settlement Take?
The length of time it takes to settle a truck accident case in North Carolina can vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries: The more severe, the longer it might take to handle the case.
- The amount of the medical bills: The higher the medical expenses, the more likely the other party will take longer to settle the claim.
- The availability of witnesses: If there are witnesses who can testify about the accident, your case is more likely to be settled sooner.
- Willingness of the liable party to cooperate: Some parties are more willing to settle these cases sooner than others.
- The case’s complexity: If you are dealing with a complex case, it’s likely to take longer to handle.
Generally, it’s reasonable to expect a truck accident claim in NC to take anywhere between 2 to 24 months to settle. However, some cases may take shorter or longer.
Hire the Best Lewisville Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation for damages and injuries. To get a fair settlement, however, you need the best representatives in town. Hire the best truck accident lawyers in Lewisville by calling the McIver Law Firm today at 336-727-9886!