Big rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial trucks are large, heavy, and often difficult to stop, making truck accidents serious and fatal for other road users. Cases involving truck accidents in North Carolina are often complex, so you will need a lawyer versed in truck accident cases who will fight aggressively for your rights.
McIver Law Firm offers aggressive and caring representation in every case, so you do not have to settle for less than you deserve. Our Winston Salem truck accident lawyer have a strong reputation and a proven track record to back it. When we take on your case, we fight to win—no matter how tough the fight—because you deserve fair compensation that will allow you a better quality of life after the truck accident.
Truck Accident Statistics In North Carolina
Far too many auto accidents — preventable and almost always a result of negligence — result in serious injuries or, worse, fatalities. The Department of Transport in North Carolina found that among truck accidents, panel vans have the highest number of accidents. Other truck accidents statistics include the following:
- Large trucks accounted for 9% of vehicles involved in fatal crashes.
- There were 3,567 truck and trailer accidents in 2020, with 21 resulting in fatalities.
- In 2021, 5,788 individuals died in 18-wheeler accidents, a 17% increase from 2020.
How Can a Winston Salem Truck Accident Attorney Help You?
Truck accident cases are often harder to navigate since multiple parties can be held liable. Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer can ensure you have a strong, compelling case that will secure you the maximum possible recovery.
A Winston Salem truck accident attorney can look out for your future and protect your rights against insurance companies that frequently use tactics to provide you with the least settlement possible or deny your claim altogether.
After all, the settlement you receive affects your ability to recover and your quality of life. Let us ensure we mitigate the risk of receiving anything less than you deserve. Our reputable truck accident lawyers can help you in the following ways:
- Conduct investigations and gather evidence, including expert testimony, police reports, photographic evidence from the accident scene, and witness statements.
- Put together all your medical and other financial records proving your losses.
- Hire and collaborate with medical experts who will establish your current and future medical needs so it is factored into the compensation you ought to receive.
- Help you identify all the at-fault parties in the accident.
- Send the at-fault party’s insurance company demand letters on your behalf.
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to obtain just compensation.
- Help you file a lawsuit within the statute of limitation by following the proper steps.
- Represent you in the trial if the insurance company refuses to settle.
Put the power of experience in your corner, let our knowledgeable and experienced Winston Salem truck accident lawyer represent you in your truck accident case, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
What Regulations Govern Truck Drivers in North Carolina?
Trucking companies and drivers must comply with the regulations and safety requirements governing trucks whenever the truck is on the open road. These regulations cover the truck’s operation, design, and maintenance, including when the truck is packed and the moment it hits the open road. The following are examples of the regulations governing truck drivers in North Carolina:
Hours of Service
The hours of service rule demands that truck drivers drive for a maximum of 11 hours after resting for ten consecutive hours. This ensures that truck drivers are well-rested before getting back on the road.
The FMCSA rules demand that all trucks undergo regular inspections and maintenance and that carriers keep detailed records of these repairs and inspections. Regular inspections and maintenance are vital to truck safety as they help mitigate catastrophic truck accidents.
Substance Abuse Testing
Truckers are prohibited from driving with alcohol or drugs in their system. North Carolina’s laws consider truck drivers intoxicated if they have a .04% BAC level.
State and federal laws strictly govern the transportation of hazardous materials. Vehicles should have clear markings warning other road users and meet specific containment rules, and drivers must have special licensing. Trucks carrying hazardous materials can cause fatality when involved in a road accident, so these markings must be visible.
Dangerous Truck Driving Behaviors
When driving a truck, any mistake can turn fatal in seconds. Simple maneuvers like making a turn can also cause catastrophic accidents.
For example, trucks are large and heavy, and drivers must refrain from attempting sudden maneuvers. Before turning or merging into another lane, a truck drivers must ensure they have sufficient time and space to complete the maneuver safely. Otherwise, failure to make the right decisions while behind the wheel lead to catastrophic accidents.
Other examples of dangerous truck driver behaviors include:
- Ignoring rest regulations
- Texting while driving
- Disregarding road signs and traffic signals
How Does a Truck Accident Differ From a Car Accident?
A truck accident stands apart from a typical car accident due to several key distinctions. Notably, strict regulations imposed by state and federal authorities govern the operation of 18-wheelers. To illustrate, let’s consider the hours of service regulations that dictate the maximum allowable driving time for property-carrying truck drivers.
According to these safety guidelines, drivers must adhere to an 11-hour driving limit following a mandatory ten consecutive hours of rest. This crucial rule aims to prevent fatigued truck drivers from operating these immensely powerful vehicles, reducing the risk of catastrophic road accidents.
Moreover, the substantial weight disparity between large commercial trucks and passenger cars — amounting to nearly 20 times greater — amplifies the potential impact and severity of 18-wheeler accidents. The following are other different ways truck accidents differ from car accidents:
- There is a higher likelihood of significant property damage and severe injuries in truck accidents than in car accidents.
- Complex federal laws may apply.
- Multiple parties, including the trucking company, maintenance crew, truck driver, and parts manufacturer, can be held at fault in a truck accident.
- Insurance policies for large commercial trucks include higher coverage limits.
What Caused the Accident?
There are several possible causes of truck accidents. However, truck accidents are often the result of human error. The following are some common causes of truck accidents:
Poorly maintained and defective roads can be dangerous and cause accidents or increase the risk of accidents. Misapplied or incorrect road markings can also contribute to truck accidents.
Human error is not always the primary cause of truck accidents. Sometimes, defective truck parts or trucks may play a role in the resulting accident.
Trucks require plenty of space to stop, so it is unsafe to speed since changing road conditions can make it impossible for the driver to stop in time and avoid a crash.
It is illegal to drive drunk. It is even more dangerous for truckers to drive while impaired as it reduces their judgment and reaction time, increasing the chance of a catastrophic collision.
Driving While Fatigued
This is a serious issue among truck drivers since most drive for long hours without taking a break. Much like driving while impaired, it is easy for a tired driver to make the wrong judgment and cause an accident.
After a truck accident in Winston Salem, McIver Law Firm should be the firm you call. Our Winston Salem truck accident lawyer can investigate the incident and help you establish what led to the crash. We will collect and analyze all crucial evidence while you focus on your recovery.
Do I Have a Case?
Consult a reputable truck accident lawyer to schedule a consultation for a case review. We will analyze your case and start an investigation to establish the liable parties, then confirm if you have a case.
If you are not liable for the accident in any way, we can take on your case and help you build a strong strategy to ensure you recover maximum compensation.
What Happens If I Was Partially At Fault?
According to North Carolina’s contributory negligence law, individuals who bear any responsibility for an accident are disqualified from receiving financial compensation. Even if your contribution to the accident was as little as 1%, you cannot recover any damages.
For example, if you are involved in a truck accident, and the court rules that you were jaywalking at the time of the incident and that act contributed to the crash, you could risk losing your right to seek financial compensation. While the drunk truck driver may be deemed negligent and primarily responsible for the accident, the fact that you shared blame will bar you from recovering compensation for damages.
Take action and refuse to allow the other party or insurance companies to claim that you were partially at fault for the accident. Instead, rely on our skilled personal injury lawyers in Winston Salem to thoroughly review and investigate your case and assist you in determining liability.
Who Am I Suing in a Truck Accident Case?
Truck accident lawsuits are complex, and determining liability becomes an extremely challenging process due to the involvement of multiple potentially liable parties and the need for extensive evidence.
At McIver Law Firm, our dedicated truck accident lawyers work tirelessly to identify all potentially responsible parties and develop personalized legal strategies for your case. Every day, regardless of who we are up against, our team fights to secure the maximum possible compensation for you and your family to help you move forward after a truck accident — no matter what!
The following are some of the parties that may be potentially liable for damages in a truck accident case:
You can sue a truck driver for damages if their actions or omissions contributed to the accident. You can also hold them liable for the accident if they were:
Owner of Truck
Truck owners can also bear liability after a tractor-trailer accident if their actions contributed to the crash. Below is a look at example scenarios where a truck owner can be liable:
- When a truck owner negligently entrusts the vehicle to an unqualified and inexperienced driver, and their actions cause a wreck.
- When a truck owner fails to schedule regular vehicle inspection and maintenance, resulting in mechanical failures that contribute to a crash.
You could sue a trucking company for damages if they violated the state or federal regulation laws protecting truck drivers and other road users. Trucking companies’ negligence also includes failure to:
- Train drivers
- Abide by or enforce hours of service rule
- Properly screen drivers when hiring
- Comply with cargo loading and securement rules
- Maintain trucks and keep them in safe conditions
Manufacturers of The Truck
You can sue the truck manufacturers if the accident resulted from mechanical problems or equipment failures. Tires, brakes, engine, transmission, and other electrical systems can fail if the manufacturer fails to:
- Test the safety of their equipment
- Properly install equipment on the trucks
- Design safety equipment
Should I Speak to the Insurance Claims Adjuster?
No. Following your truck accident, avoiding communicating with the insurance claims adjuster is highly advisable until you talk with an attorney. Making statements without legal guidance could undermine your chances of recovering rightful damages.
That said, it is crucial to seek the legal advice of a qualified semi-truck accident lawyer before engaging in any discussions with the insurance claims adjuster. When you have a Winston Salem truck accident lawyer in your corner, they will communicate with the adjuster on your behalf, ensuring your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Can’t I Just Handle This Myself?
While it is not mandatory to hire an attorney following your truck accident, doing so can significantly impact the outcome of your truck accident case, differentiating between just compensation and a lowball offer. Without the guidance of legal assistance, you may find yourself at a significant disadvantage when negotiating with insurance companies.
Remember, truck accident lawsuits frequently involve intricate and multifaceted circumstances, as multiple parties can bear liability. Moreover, Trucking companies possess vast resources, deep pockets, and employ assertive legal representation, making it highly unlikely for an individual without prior experience in truck accidents to prevail in a claim against them.
Rather than subjecting yourself to the hassle and frustration, allow the legal team at McIver Law Firm to handle your case. Our Winston Salem truck accident lawyer are dedicated to going the distance for our clients, and we will not back down until insurance companies provide the rightful compensation you deserve.
Schedule a Consultation With a Winston Salem Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
A semi-truck accident can cause severe emotional, physical, and financial devastation to victims and their loved ones. After a truck accident, your relationships, quality of life, and every aspect of your life may never be the same again. At McIver Law Firm, we are committed to helping shape our clients’ lives after a truck accident.
After years of handling truck accident cases, our legal team understands just how one tractor-trailer crash can destroy so many lives. We know piling medical bills, lost wages, considerable pain and suffering, and an uncertain future are just a few of the hurdles that truck accident victims and their families must overcome when they contact us.
Let our truck accident lawyers in Winston Salem help you go against the insurance companies and other liable parties and recover fair compensation for medical expenses and other damages. We are dedicated to delivering the results you need. With our team in your corner, you can be sure you have a heavyweight on your side.
Call us at 336-727-9886 to schedule a free initial consultation.