Truck Accident Lawyer Charlotte, NC
A truck accident lawyer in Charlotte, NC knows just how catastrophic and deadly trucking accidents can be in our state. Trucking accidents commonly occur in North Carolina due to our vast streets and highway system. Highways such as I-85 and I-77 are home to many tractor trailers and our state is high in demand for the commercial trucking industry. This makes North Carolina and its citizens susceptible to deadly trucking accidents. Due to the truck’s weight and size, accidents often end up being severe and result in wrongful death or extreme injury.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident in North Carolina, contact Schehr Law, PLLC today to speak with an experienced Charlotte, NC truck accident lawyer.
What causes a truck accident?
Truck accidents can occur due to a magnitude of different reasons. Truck drivers spend a majority of their time on the highways performing their job and often sleep and live in their trucks. Truck drivers are under enormous pressure to get their freight quickly to different locations. Often, this pressure leads to sleepless nights, lack of nutrition, and careless personal maintenance. Ultimately, this combination adds up to a disaster on the roadways.
Truck drivers are expected to act as a reasonably prudent person operating a motor vehicle on the roadways. When a truck driver’s conduct falls below this standard and causes an injury, the driver can be liable for negligence.
Other causes of truck accidents include the following:
- Lack of maintenance
- Faulty brakes
- Driving too slowly
- Driving under hazardous conditions
- Failing to stop within the assured clear distance ahead
- Engine malfunction
- Hauling too much weight
- Failing to keep a proper lookout
- Improper parking
- Faulty steering systems
- Hydraulic failure
- Lack of proper training
- Tire pressure and blown tires
Who is at fault for a trucking accident?
The truck driver or employee may be only one of several defendants who are liable for a truck related accident. Predominantly, the driver of a commercial truck is working for a trucking company. The trucking company is generally liable for its employee’s negligence through a theory of respondent superior.
Often a trucking company will borrow an employee from another trucking company to help get cargo moved quickly. If this is the case, both employers may share responsibility for the negligent act through North Carolina’s borrowed employee rule.
Insurance is a major player in trucking accidents. Due to the massive size and weight of the trucks, commercial trucking companies are required by statute to hold certain limits of insurance coverage. Generally, these limits are much higher than what you would see from basic car insurance. Commercial trucking insurance may also cover more than typical car insurance.
An experienced Charlotte, NC truck accident lawyer knows how to deal with the major insurance companies and to not let them bully you.
Types of truck accidents
There are many different types of truck accidents that can occur. Understanding the type of truck accident that has occurred is important due to the different statutes and regulations that come into play. Here is a list of a few different types of trucking accidents:
Rear end collisions
Due to the weight and size of semi-trucks, rear end collisions are a common type of truck accident. Given the size of the truck, this type of accident can be horrific when paired with a smaller vehicle. If the truck driver does not properly calculate the distance and time to stop, a rear end collision may occur.
A jackknife accident occurs when a truck attempts a sudden stop, and the trailer of the truck slides out at a 90-degree angle. This type of accident is deadly given the violent swing of the trailer. Often, the truck will roll-over or block the entire roadway.
Improperly parking accidents
Certain statutes make it a violation for a truck to park in certain areas. For example, a truck may not park on the shoulder of a highway where the truck is protruding into the roadway. It may be considered negligence per se to violate such a statute. If the violation results in an accident, the driver may be liable for negligence.
Wide turn accidents
Due to a semi-truck’s length, wide turn accidents are very common. Truck drivers must receive the proper training and skills to be able to safely operate a truck. One skill they must learn is to take wide turns safely. If there was a lack of proper training, or the driver failed in this skill, a negligence claim may be pursued.
T-bone accidents are common due to the length of tractor trailers. If a truck runs through a stop sign or light, the trailer of the truck may still protrude into the intersection once the other light has turned green. This often leads to a T-bone type collision.
Tire blowout accidents
Commercial trucks must follow federal and state law when it comes to tire type and pressure. Different road conditions and weather may lead a driver to use a different tire or different pressure in a tire. If a truck’s tires are not safe under the law, a blow out may occur. These accidents are often violent and may lead to a jackknife or rollover type accident.
Brake failure accidents
Due to size and weight, truck drivers must maintain brakes that are regulated by federal and state law. If a driver’s brakes are not up to code, they risk a brake failure. Furthermore, due to the mountainous roads in NC, brake failure is very common due to the high heat of the braking system when traveling down a hill or mountain.
Damages in a truck accident case
Damages in a truck accident case are generally much higher than that of a standard car accident case. The reason for this is that there are more parties involved and insurance is higher. As mentioned previously, trucking companies are required to carry higher insurance due to the nature of their industry. With a higher insurance policy and more resources through the trucking company, settlements and verdicts are generally higher.
Here are several types of damages that can be recovered in a truck accident case:
- Medical care and bills
- Future medical care and rehabilitation services
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income and future lost wages
- Vehicle repair and replacement
- Permanency for injuries
- Punitive damages in rare cases
If the truck accident results in a fatality and loss of life, the deceased party’s family may bring a wrongful death action on the victims’ behalf. A wrongful death action allows the deceased’s family to pay for burial expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and a variety of other losses.
Truck accidents are more complex than general car accident cases. These cases often involve the litigation process which includes taking deposition, doing discovery, attending mediation, and complex negotiations. It is imperative that you reach out to a Charlotte, NC truck accident lawyer to get help.
How can a truck accident lawyer in Charlotte, NC help?
Truck accident cases are different from car accident cases given the different statutes and commercial trucking regulations that are promulgated by each state. In North Carolina, we have our own set of commercial trucking laws that we can turn to. At Schehr Law, PLLC, we are well versed and understand the ins and outs of these complex laws.
We understand the necessary evidence required to establish a prima facie case of negligence in a trucking case. Reach out to our office today to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Charlotte, NC.