A regular passenger vehicle is no match for a truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds. People involved in a crash with a commercial motor vehicle can face life-altering injuries and overwhelming medical bills. They may not be able to return to work, and the financial impact can haunt them for the rest of their lives. The Durham truck accident lawyers at Kreger Brodish LLP fight for justice for crash victims.
With over a decade of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, we have the skills and the resources to take on deep-pocketed trucking companies and insurance companies. If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision with an 18-wheeler in Durham, North Carolina, turn to our law firm today for a free initial case review. We’ll discuss your situation and advise you of your legal options with absolutely no obligation. Call now, and get the help you deserve.
Why Truck Accidents Are More Complicated
Truck accident claims can be much more complicated than typical car accident cases. Some of the reasons include:
- More serious injuries – The size of commercial trucks means that a collision with an 18-wheeler can impart significant forces. These forces often lead to victims suffering catastrophic injuries. Treatment and long-term care needs are more expensive, which means the victim needs to recover greater compensation to cover all their expenses and losses.
- Multiple injured parties – Truck accidents can involve multiple vehicles and victims. When many people are injured by a truck crash, it can complicate the claims process, especially if damages surpass the liable parties’ insurance coverages and financial resources.
- More evidence – Commercial motor vehicles are complex machines. Fully investigating a truck accident requires examining many more pieces of evidence that might be looked at in other kinds of auto accident cases. It also requires in-depth knowledge of complicated federal and state laws regulating commercial motor vehicle operation.
- More potentially liable parties – Many companies are involved in the operation of a commercial truck. Each of these parties may bear some or all the fault for a truck accident. This can complicate a truck accident claim as each of these parties tries to shift blame for the crash onto other potentially liable parties.
- Complicated insurance coverages – Trucking companies often have complex layered insurance policies, which can make it difficult to determine how much coverage may be available to compensate you for your losses.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident in Durham?
While liability for most auto accidents falls on one or more drivers involved in the crash, the nature of the trucking industry means that many more parties may share in liability. Examples of parties that may be at fault for a truck crash in Durham, North Carolina include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck’s owner, if different from the driver or trucking company
- The truck’s manufacturer
- A manufacturer of truck parts
- The truck’s mechanic
- The freight company or freight broker responsible for loading cargo onto the truck or trailer
Pursuing Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
If you were involved in a truck accident that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to recover compensation for losses that you have suffered, including:
- Medical expenses to treat and rehabilitate injuries you suffered in the wreck
- Costs for long-term care services for permanent disabilities or chronic health conditions caused by your injuries
- Lost income and earning ability if you are temporarily or permanently disabled from your job or any kind of employment
- Repair bills or replacement costs if your vehicle was damaged in the truck crash
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment and quality of life
In the most tragic cases, our firm helps families pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. Although no amount of money can make things right, these claims can hold the at-fault party accountable financially.
Understanding North Carolina’s Contributory Negligence Law
The trucking companies and their insurers may claim that you bear some share of fault for the accident that caused your injuries. You need to understand how that can affect your rights to financial recovery under North Carolina’s contributory negligence law. This rule says that an injured party cannot recover compensation if they bear any share of fault for an accident or the injuries they suffered. If you are found to be even 1 percent of the fault for a truck accident, you would be considered ineligible to pursue compensation.
For this reason, you need an experienced Durham truck accident lawyer who will push back when trucking companies and insurers try to pin the blame on you and avoid liability.
Evidence Our Lawyers May Use to Prove Your Truck Accident Claim
Thoroughly investigating a truck accident claim requires gathering and preserving a wide range of evidence. Some of the evidence that our Durham, North Carolina truck accident attorneys may secure for your case include:
- The truck driver’s logs, which show how long the driver had been on duty or behind the wheel
- The truck driver’s alcohol/drug screen, if one is performed after an accident
- The truck driver’s employment history and driving record
- Logs from the truck’s electronic data recorder, or “black box,” which can record data such as GPS position, truck speed, hours of operation, and driver inputs
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage, or dashcam/in-cab footage
- The load manifest, which shows what cargo was loaded into the truck or trailer and how it was loaded
- Truck inspection and maintenance records
- North Carolina police accident reports
- Trucking company investigation reports
- Post-accident vehicle inspection/repair records
- Accident scene photos
- Eyewitness statements
What Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Durham?
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper braking
- Failing to signal or check mirrors before changing lanes
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Unsafe turns, including wide right turns
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Unfamiliarity with routes
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Unsafe or unsecured cargo loads
- Defective truck parts
- Poor road conditions, including potholes or debris in the roadway
NC Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Lawsuits
Under North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations, you normally have only three years from the date of the truck accident to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. If you file suit after the limitations period expires on your claim, the court will likely dismiss your case.
Even though three years can seem like a long time, the complicated nature of truck accident claims requires a lot of legal work to ensure that you have a thoroughly prepared and effective case. For that reason, you should speak to a Durham, North Carolina truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to begin the process of preparing your truck accident claim.
What Are Some Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents?
Due to the sheer size of some commercial trucks, crashes can result in catastrophic, life-altering injuries. These injuries may include:
How Can Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Durham, NC Help You?
At Kreger Brodish LLP, we understand how overwhelming it can be to go up against big trucking companies and their insurers. Let our respected Durham truck accident lawyers handle all the aspects of your case so that you can focus on healing. You can trust our experienced team to:
- Perform a thorough, independent investigation of the crash to recover evidence and identify all liable parties
- Collect extensive documentation of your past, ongoing, and future anticipated expenses and losses
- Consult with expert witnesses to help us prepare an effective, persuasive argument on your behalf
- Handle all communication with the trucking companies and insurers
- Aggressively pursue settlement negotiations for fair and full compensation for you
- Prepare for trial and take your case to court if necessary to fight for the maximum compensation possible
If you were hurt in a truck crash through no fault of your own, contact the law firm of Kreger Brodish LLP today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Our Durham, North Carolina truck accident lawyers will be ready to provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case, so call us now.