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Truck Accident Lawyer in Clinton

Representing Victims in Their Fight for Compensation

Every year, there are thousands of truck accidents in North Carolina, with hundreds of people injured and dozens killed on roads like Interstate 40 and 95. When those accidents and injuries are caused by a truck driver’s mistakes or negligence on the part of the trucking company, victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering. However, North Carolina has some specific laws that can impact whether you can file a personal injury suit.

Truck accident cases can get complicated, and you may be dealing with the insurance provider for the trucking company as well as multiple attorneys from their in-house legal teams. You need an experienced personal injury attorney on your team as well. At Brent Adams & Associates, we understand that this is a time when you should be focusing on healing and recovering from your injuries. We’re here to ensure you’re aware of your rights and have knowledgeable legal representation so you can do just that.

Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?

Driving is an almost-inescapable part of American culture. We have to drive to get to work and school, visit friends and family, and run errands like grocery shopping or going to the post office. But every time we get on the road, we run the risk of being in an accident due to someone else’s poor decisions while behind the wheel. And when the other vehicle is a massive tractor trailer, the results can be disastrous.

Truck accidents usually fall into one of two categories: an issue with the driver or an issue with the truck itself. Common reasons for a truck accident related to the driver include:

  • Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone while driving or trying to reach across the cab for something
  • Impaired driving, which can include being under the influence of alcohol or another substance or driving while tired
  • Speeding or driving too fast for road and weather conditions
  • Failing to maintain an assured clear distance ahead

If the wreck was caused by some issue with the truck itself, it may be related to shifting cargo from an improperly balanced load or poor maintenance. In some cases, the company may not have properly vetted the driver or may have engaged in practices that promote unsafe driving, such as having drivers run overloaded trucks or drive hours longer than allowed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Can I Still Sue If I Was Partially at Fault?

North Carolina is one of only four states that operates under the contributory negligence law. This means that if you were even 1 percent at fault for an accident, you are not able to file a lawsuit against the other party. This also means that the other party’s insurance company will try to do everything possible to show that you were partially at fault for the accident.

An agent may call to discuss the accident with you, and it’s very easy to say something that could hurt your case without realizing it. This is one reason why it’s important to work with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. They can talk to the insurance companies on your behalf or be present when you make a statement to ensure that nothing happens that could jeopardize your case.

What Kind of Compensation Can Victims Get?

In North Carolina, accident victims are able to receive compensation for economic damages and noneconomic damages as long as they can prove that their injuries were sustained from the other party’s negligence. Economic damages generally make up the largest portion. These are the expenses you incur from medical treatment and follow-up care. It can also include modifications that you have to make to your home, such as if you have to install a wheelchair ramp or renovate bathrooms to be wheelchair accessible, and any medical equipment you need to function in your home. Economic damages can also include income you didn’t receive as a result of having to miss work and any negative effect on your earning potential.

Noneconomic damages are more commonly referred to as pain and suffering. This part of the compensation puts a numerical value on the physical, mental, and emotional pain you’ve had to endure because of the accident. For example, if you’re suffering from panic attacks or flashbacks from the accident and this is impacting your daily functioning, you could receive compensation for this. It can be difficult to value these intangible issues, but an attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount to ask for.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

It can take some time to fully understand your injuries — and the expenses associated with them — and that’s why the law doesn’t require that you file a personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident right away. You have three years from the date of the accident to file your claim. However, it’s not usually a good idea to wait until the end of that timeline. Truck accident cases can take several months to resolve, and the longer you wait to file, the longer it will take for you to actually receive funds if you win. In the meantime, you could be left making payments you can’t afford on your medical bills.

It’s best to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your truck accident. They will review your case and can give you guidance on how to interact with insurance agents or representatives from the trucking company. Once you retain an attorney, they can communicate with those people on your behalf. An attorney can also provide counsel as to when you should submit your filing to ensure you’re not undercutting yourself on expenses or the impact on your earning potential.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Clinton or the surrounding area, call the attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates at 877-273-6823.