North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer
Since you’re here, we assume that you’re considering contacting a North Carolina truck accident lawyer about a potential claim. If that’s true, there are a few things you should know about our firm:
- We’ve secured over $25 Million for our clients. While we can’t guarantee similar results, we are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve.
- We offer free, no obligation consultations. If you think you have an accident claim, you have nothing to lose by speaking to us about your case.
- Time is of the essence. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for a truck accident is 3 years.
Let’s talk about your case Not ready to talk to one of our attorneys? No problem. We invite you to keep reading to gain a better understanding of what it means to have a truck accident claim in North Carolina.
NORTH CAROLINA TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS ASSISTING CLIENTS WITH INJURY CLAIMS
Truck accidents happen much more often than they should, and they frequently occur due to driver error. In some situations, a truck driver will be distracted or drowsy behind the wheel. At the same time, dangerous trucking collisions can also occur when a motorist is negligent, engaging in aggressive driving or texting while driving.
In a large number of truck accident cases, passenger vehicle occupants sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries. If you were seriously injured, or if you lost a loved one in a truck collision, you should learn more about filing a claim by speaking with a North Carolina truck accident lawyer.
North Carolina Truck Accident Statistics
As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains, large truck crashes can be especially dangerous to occupants of smaller vehicles due to the large size of big rigs. Indeed, most 18-wheelers weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 times as much as a smaller passenger vehicle. The following are some additional statistics about truck crashes from the IIHS:
- A total of 4,102 people were killed in truck accidents in 2017;
- The majority of fatalities in truck accidents (68%) are occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles;
- About 14% of all truck accident fatalities are pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists;
- Approximately 17% of all truck accident deaths involve truck drivers; and
- Deadly truck accidents have increased in recent years, with a 30% increase between 2009 and 2017.
CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a large truck crash causation study, which cites some of the following as frequent causes of truck collisions:
- Truck driver error;
- Failing to have truck properly maintained;
- Improper loading of a truck bed;
- Motorist error;
- Truck defect, or defective truck part;
- Poor road conditions; and
- Inclement weather.
When it comes to truck driver error, the following are some of the most common types of driver error:
- Drowsy or fatigued driving;
- Distracted driving, which can range from texting behind the wheel to eating while driving;
- Intoxicated driving; and
- Reckless or aggressive driving.
While the truck drivers themselves may be at fault in some cases, in others, the trucking company or other third party will play a significant role in the accident.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries can vary, depending on the severity of the accident. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Head injuries;
- Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations; and
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
Serious truck accidents can also result in death.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT IN NORTH CAROLINA?
Like other personal injury cases, you may recover damages for your injuries after a truck accident. Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may be able to file a claim against more than one party. Generally speaking, if a trucking company or truck owner is responsible, those parties tend to have deeper pockets—and thus a better ability to compensate an injury victim—than a truck driver. Examples of parties who may be liable in a trucking crash include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Truck driver;
- Truck owner;
- Trucking company;
- Loader of the truck;
- Designer of the truck or one of its parts;
- Manufacturer of the truck or one of its parts;
- Property owner where the accident occurred; and/or
- Motorist in another vehicle.
To recover compensation for your injuries, you must first prove that the other party was negligent. To prove negligence, the following elements must be satisfied:
- The other party owed you a duty of care;
- They breached this duty;
- Their breach actually and proximately caused the accident; and
- You suffered damages.
Because there are many involved parties in trucking, there may be more than one negligent party that contributed to your accident. If it is not clear who was at fault, an investigation can provide insight.
North Carolina operates under a “contributory negligence” theory. This theory provides that if the injured party contributed to the accident even slightly, they would not be able to recover from the other party, even if the other party was 99% at fault. If the injured party did not contribute to the accident, they can recover damages.
After a truck accident, you may incur many expenses. To help with these expenses, you may seek damages. There are two main types of damages available in personal injury cases: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are calculable damages. They can be given an exact dollar amount. These damages include:
- Medical treatment;
- Present and future medical expenses; and
- Lost wages.
Most often, proving economic damages is done with the appropriate documentation.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not as easy to calculate. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish or emotional distress; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Your attorney can review the details of your case and calculate your non-economic damages.
Statute of Limitations for a North Carolina Truck Accident Lawsuit
The North Carolina statute of limitations for most truck accident claims is three years. In a personal injury lawsuit, this means that a plaintiff has three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If the plaintiff does not file a claim within this three-year time window, North Carolina law will consider the plaintiff to have a time-barred claim. In other words, due to the “clock” on the statute of limitations running out, the plaintiff will not be able to file a lawsuit. Three years might seem like a significant amount of time, but there are risks in waiting to file a claim. The longer you wait, the more evidence that could be lost in your case.
Moreover, until you actually file a claim, you will not be able to obtain financial compensation for your losses. It is important to note that the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is different from the statute of limitations in a truck accident injury case. If you are planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit because a loved one sustained fatal injuries in a trucking collision, you have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. To be clear, the “clock” on the wrongful death statute of limitations does not begin “ticking” at the time of the deceased’s injury, but instead at the time of the deceased’s death. An experienced North Carolina truck accident attorney can provide you with additional information.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you or someone you love was seriously injured or killed in a truck accident in North Carolina, one of the experienced North Carolina truck accident attorneys at our firm can get started on your case today. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we will be able to start the process of seeking financial compensation in your case. Contact Dawson & Albritton, P.A. for more information about the personal injury services we provide to clients in North Carolina.