North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial trucks are a vital part of our economy, but they can be extremely dangerous to passenger vehicles on the roads of North Carolina. Large tractor-trailers, such as logging trucks, can cause catastrophic injuries and damage when they collide with cars, SUVs, or vans. Fatalities are common, leaving survivors with grief and unexpected financial burdens.
At the Ricci Law Firm, we provide the guidance of an experienced North Carolina truck accident lawyer to determine who is at fault for your crash. We will develop a strong case that demonstrates negligence and secures the compensation you deserve. You do not need to face the legal or insurance systems alone. Contact us for a free initial consultation to learn about your options.
Common Kinds of Truck Accidents in North Carolina
Commercial tractor-trailers typically weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and measure 70 to 80 feet in length. These massive vehicles do not start, stop, or turn on a dime. They are highly prone to tipping over or jackknifing if they are forced to swerve.
Trucks also have large blind spots where other motorists are in extreme danger. A careless truck driver can easily run a car off the road or force it into other vehicles. Trucks can be involved in many kinds of accidents on the rural roads and highways of our state. Some common types of truck accidents include:
- Jackknife: When a driver must brake suddenly, the trailer can twist until it is beside the truck, swiping smaller vehicles as it moves.
- Underride: When a truck brakes unexpectedly, any smaller car or truck following it can slide under the back of the trailer. Most trucks have guards installed to prevent this.
- Head-on: These accidents are common on two-lane roads in rural areas, and passengers in the smaller vehicle can suffer severe injuries or fatalities.
- Side impact or T-bone: When a truck is turning through an intersection, other cars can hit it on the side and slide under the trailer.
- Blind spot: Commercial trucks have large areas where the driver cannot see vehicles around the truck. You can essentially “disappear” and be at risk of injury.
- Rollover: When a truck swerves or turns too quickly, any unbalanced or heavy cargo can shift, causing the trailer to roll over onto other vehicles.
Truck drivers must drive more cautiously since trucks are larger and have limited maneuverability. Any careless or negligent action can cost lives.
Blind Spot Accidents
Blind spots exist on the front, rear, and sides of commercial trucks. Drivers cannot see most vehicles when they are in these “no-zones”. While you may not spend a lot of time close to a truck on smaller roads or city streets, it is common to get stuck in highway traffic near a tractor-trailer.
The general rule for driving near a truck is that if you cannot see the driver’s mirrors, the driver cannot see you. This is especially true for the rear blind spot. If you are invisible to the driver, they may initiate a lane change because they think the lane is clear. You could be squeezed between the trailer and another vehicle.
The no-zones include:
- Front no-zone: This area extends approximately 20 feet in front of the truck. You should avoid riding in this area or changing lanes into the zone.
- Side no-zone: The whole right side of the truck and trailer is the side no-zone. You should avoid passing a truck on this side.
- Rear no-zone: You should stay at least 200 feet back from the end of the trailer to avoid this area. When the driver’s side mirrors disappear from your view, you are too close to the trailer.
If you have been hurt in one of these kinds of collisions, the truck accident lawyers at Ricci Law Firm can help you gather evidence to support your claim for medical bills and auto repair.
Factors That Contribute to North Carolina Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports several factors that cause devastation in these kinds of collisions. Experienced truck accident attorneys in North Carolina know that truck drivers can make the same errors as drivers in smaller vehicles, but the effects are much more catastrophic.
Common driver factors that contribute to truck accidents include:
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Running red lights
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Driving while sleepy or fatigued
While the driver can often be blamed for a crash, even a good driver cannot overcome malfunctioning equipment on a truck that is poorly maintained. Drivers must inspect their trucks, but if the vehicle is part of a fleet, the maintenance crew may be at fault if they used unapproved parts or failed to do repairs. Likewise, trucking companies can be blamed if their drivers are not well-trained or if they are pushed to meet unrealistic schedules.
Other groups that could bear responsibility in a truck accident include vendors or suppliers who load cargo improperly and government agencies who do not maintain roads or clear debris from the highways. Understanding who is to blame for your injuries and damage is a big part of your truck accident lawyer’s job to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
A lucky victim of a truck accident will walk away with cuts and bruises. However, most collisions with these huge, heavy vehicles end in disaster. Other drivers and passengers can experience severe injuries that require months of treatment. Some are permanently disabled and must learn how to adjust to a drastically changed future. In the worst cases, victims pass away instantly or soon after.
Some of the most common injuries our truck accident lawyers see include:
Either during the crash or from surgery later, many victims suffer the amputation of their hands, arms, legs, or feet. These appendages can be severed during the accident or may be so severely crushed or burned that surgical removal is the only way to save the patient.
Arms, legs, collarbones, and hips are frequently broken or fractured in collisions with large trucks. These breaks can cause additional injuries in the form of severed blood vessels and punctured internal organs. If broken bones do not heal properly, the victim can suffer lifelong pain or mobility issues.
Burns From Fire or Chemicals
Although vehicles do not always burst into flames after a truck accident, the chance of it is higher if the truck ruptures any of its many chemical containers. The oil, gasoline, and other fluids contained in a truck and trailer can catch fire or injure you if it spills onto your skin.
These kinds of injuries require special care in a burn unit. Victims often need multiple surgeries for skin grafts to reduce scarring and maintain the function of the area.
Head and Brain Injuries
Because the body of a car, van, SUV, or pickup truck is so often crushed by a tractor-trailer, head and brain injuries are common among victims. They may suffer fractures, penetrating wounds, and closed head trauma to the brain. Passengers may also experience damage to the mouth or inner ear.
Symptoms of brain injury include loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, difficulty with speech or understanding, mood changes, seizures, numbness, and loss of bodily control.
Broken bones can puncture your lungs, heart, liver, spleen, stomach, and pancreas. If a foreign object penetrates your body, you could suffer severe blood loss, either externally or internally. Seat belts can also cause damage and bruising to internal organs or knock the wind out of your lungs.
However, failure to use these safety devices means you could be thrown from your vehicle and impact other vehicles, the road, or guardrails. This could lead to even more severe injuries.
Lacerations and Cuts
While minor compared to other injuries, lacerations to the face could result in disfiguring scarring. If your hands or arms are cut, you could experience a loss of function. Broken windshields can spray glass and metal into the passenger cabin, inflicting multiple cuts and wounds on anyone inside.
In addition to the potential for causing blindness, these cuts can become infected and cause more serious medical conditions.
Neck, Back, and Spinal Cord Injuries
The extreme forces at work in a truck accident mean your body can be crushed, twisted, and stopped suddenly, causing catastrophic damage. You can suffer whiplash or other severe neck injuries resulting in a loss of movement and sensation. Damage to your back can also cause paralysis, loss of strength or function, or significant pain.
Spinal cord injuries can limit your movement and cause lifelong discomfort. You may need surgery to correct any of these issues. If they cannot be repaired, you might need lengthy rehabilitation or mobility devices after the accident.
Liability in North Carolina Truck Accidents
A truck accident is rarely as simple as it first appears. You may think that it is obvious that the driver committed some traffic violation and caused you to crash into them. However, our firm has learned that these cases can be very complicated. Finding out who is liable for your losses can involve multiple parties bearing different levels of blame.
Fortunately, each truck accident attorney at the Ricci Law Firm knows how to investigate and develop evidence demonstrating the four elements of negligence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- They failed in that duty.
- You suffered injury and property damage as a direct result of the failure.
- You incurred expenses related to your damages.
We will gather evidence such as maintenance records, cell phone data, video and photos from the scene, and other documentation to show negligence and support your claim for damages. There are many individuals and companies who could be held liable, such as:
- The truck driver
- Trucking companies
- Fleet owners
- Parts manufacturers
- Maintenance crews
- Repair shops
- Cargo loaders
- Government agencies responsible for road maintenance or construction
- Drivers who left hazards on the road, such as tires, ladders, or lost cargo
Most of these defendants will have teams of lawyers and deep pockets ready to fight against any claims of wrongdoing. Even their insurance companies will fight hard against admitting any fault, so they do not have to pay your damages. Despite this, our attorneys will assess your claim and litigate aggressively to secure the financial relief you require.
North Carolina Statute of Limitations
You must file your claim within three years of the date of the accident to meet the state’s statute of limitations. If you wait too long, you could lose your right to seek compensation. Our attorneys will ensure that your paperwork is complete, correct, and filed on time, so you do not miss your window of opportunity.
What Your North Carolina Truck Accident Claim Could Be Worth
Truck accidents nearly always end up in catastrophic injuries and significant property damage for smaller vehicles. Your car might be destroyed, and you could end up in the hospital for a long time. If a younger person is permanently disabled and cannot care for themselves or earn a living, they deserve compensation that allows them to adjust to their altered life and live it comfortably.
The key to understanding what your claim could be worth is consulting with a qualified truck accident lawyer. Each case is completely unique in terms of the extent of your injuries, your property losses, and how long you will need to recover. You deserve to be reimbursed for every penny of every loss, but many losses are subjective. At the Ricci Law Firm, we believe in ethically providing an honest assessment of what you can expect. We will work hard to secure the appropriate and fairly calculated settlement or jury award you need.
You can seek restitution for economic losses and non-economic losses. Anything with a fixed monetary value is considered an economic loss. Your pain and suffering, as well as the mental anguish you experience, is counted as non-economic. For example, you could request reimbursement for damages such as:
- Loss of income
- Loss of inheritance potential
- All medical bills and hospital costs
- Emergency transport costs
- Nursing care, either in-home or at a facility
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Mobility devices
- Repairs or replacement costs for your vehicle and other personal property
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Your attorneys will file claims against the appropriate insurance companies and negotiate a fair settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, our team is ready to continue to the courtroom. We are skilled in negotiating with insurance representatives and opposing counsel. We will ensure you have the strongest case we can provide and will not back down from large trucking companies.
Ricci Law Firm Truck Accident Attorneys Fight for You
When you are recovering from devastating injuries after a truck accident, you do not need the stress of trying to obtain compensation from the ones who hurt you. You must focus on healing and avoid additional stress. Our truck accident lawyers specialize in handling all the legal challenges so you can worry less.
Our team is very familiar with the regulations and laws in the trucking industry. We understand personal injury law and how to interpret it to your advantage. We will negotiate with insurance companies and other lawyers on your behalf.
Our team also provides assistance when you:
- Need help gathering robust evidence
- Suffer injuries that worsened a pre-existing condition
- Do not understand how to protect your rights
- Worry about suing a large trucking company
- Do not know how to file a lawsuit or insurance claim
- Need an estimate of the compensation you could obtain
The Ricci Law Firm also helps if your family has lost a loved one in a truck accident. You can claim all the medical and property damages from the crash as well as the costs for a funeral and burial. Facing a lifetime without your family member deserves compensation, and our truck accident lawyers can help you file a wrongful death claim.
Money cannot replace a loved one, but a fair settlement from those to blame will help ease financial burdens while you deal with your grief and pain.
Contact a Skilled North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer Now
Anger, frustration, and confusion are common reactions to suffering injuries from a truck accident. You may not know where to turn, and if you are severely hurt, it may be some time before you can even focus on seeking compensation.
When you put your trust in a North Carolina truck accident lawyer from the Ricci Law Firm, you can rest easy knowing that we are hard to work to pursue the financial relief you need. We offer compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated service to each of our clients, regardless of their circumstances. We also charge on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay unless and until we win your case.
Do not delay and miss your chance to secure the restitution you deserve. Contact us using our convenient online form to schedule a free case evaluation today.