Truck Accident Lawyers in Raleigh, NC Recovering Compensation For Individuals Injured in Commercial Truck Accidents
Due to the expansive growth in our nation and state, more commercial vehicles are on the roads than ever before. Unfortunately, with more commercial trucks on the road, the chances of being involved in an accident significantly increase for other motorists. It can take injury victims weeks, months, or even years to fully recover from a truck accident.
Truck drivers are legally obligated to follow all federal laws that apply to safety regulations. These rules apply equally to a single independent contractor or those employed through a privately owned company.
However, many trucking companies try to skirt the rules and push truck drivers to operate over their legal hours. Driving over legal hours can have deadly consequences for truck accident victims traveling in smaller vehicles, making them more susceptible to injury.
If you have been injured due to being involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you need solid legal representation to recover damages for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our law offices and ask to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
Why Do Truck Accidents Occur?
There are many reasons why a big rig accident can occur, and sadly, in many instances, the crash can prove fatal for all parties involved. Some of the most commonly cited factors that contribute to trucking accidents include:
- Driver error
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Equipment failure
- Defective parts or tires
- Dangerous road conditions
- Improper maintenance
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Improper loading of cargo
- Adverse weather conditions
While some of these factors can contribute to collision, truck driver fatigue is one of the most easily preventable causes. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations mandate that commercial drivers may only drive for a specified period of time. Unfortunately, many trucking company dispatchers will encourage drivers to go beyond the legal limits to get their loads delivered early or on time. This can lead to a severe accident occurring.
Brent Adams & Associates can investigate the circumstances that led to your accident with a tractor-trailer and determine the root cause of the crash. In some instances, a manufacturer may also be held accountable if it can be proven that a design flaw led up to your accident. Therefore, it is critical that you hire a qualified attorney to review the facts of your accident case.
Our Raleigh personal injury attorneys have extensive experience recovering settlements for all truck accident claims.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
If you have been injured in a semi-truck crash, you may be able to file a truck accident lawsuit to recover damages. Most injury victims are typically awarded economic and non-economic damages if they win their case. However, in some circumstances, injury victims may also be awarded punitive damages if specific legal criteria are met.
Injury victims must never agree to settle their case until they have finished their medical treatment or have had a medical diagnosis that states the long-term effects of their injuries. Long-term injuries often require prolonged medical care, which is quite costly and must be accounted for in the final settlement.
Economic damages are also often referred to as special damages. These types of damages are granted to reimburse injury victims for any out-of-pocket expenses they may incur due to being involved in an accident.
Some of the most commonly awarded economic damages include:
- Past and future medical bills.
- Lost wages due to your inability to work.
- Loss of earning capacity if you are unable to return to the same type of employment you engaged in before being injured.
- Property damage is meant to help you repair or replace your vehicle.
In addition to paying for your medical bills, economic damages can also be calculated to cover any ongoing medical care you may need to recover from your injuries. This can include medical expenses related to physical therapy, rehabilitation, specialized tests, and other necessary treatments.
If you have been involved in a truck accident case, it is essential that you keep track of all of your receipts to be fully reimbursed.
Non-economic damages differ from economic damages as they have no set monetary value. Instead, they are more subjective and awarded based on the unique circumstances that surround your accident and subsequent injuries.
The most commonly awarded non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering are meant to compensate you for the physical pain you endured due to being injured.
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you can no longer participate in the same activities you enjoyed before being injured.
- Mental anguish for the emotional distress and trauma you suffered due to the accident.
- Loss of consortium refers to loss of companionship, sexual function, or ability to bear children.
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
Unlike economic and non-economic damages meant to compensate a victim, punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for their actions. Under North Carolina law, punitive damages may be awarded if it can be demonstrated that the defendant acted with malice or a will or wanton act that could reasonably be assumed to cause other parties harm or injury. Punitive damages are also meant to deter the responsible party or other individuals from repeating the same type of behavior.
For example, suppose a commercial driver operates their truck knowingly under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident. In that case, they could be compelled to pay punitive damages to the injury victim. Under North Carolina law, punitive damages are capped and cannot exceed three times the amount of the compensatory damages, or $250,000, whichever amount is greater.
A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can examine your case and determine if punitive damages apply to your circumstances. Through their training and experience, they can also establish what monetary amount is appropriate.
Brent Adams & Associates of Raleigh, N.C., has extensive experience in helping clients recover damages for their truck accident claims and is unwavering in their desire to see injury victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Why Should I Allow a Truck Accident Attorney to Help Me With an Insurance Claim?
One of the most daunting aspects of handling truck accident cases can be the overly complex process involved with insurance claims. In many instances, there are multiple insurance policies and as well as out-of-state policies, which must be filed. Without a working knowledge of truck accident law, individuals wishing to pursue a personal injury case could find themselves quickly overwhelmed and confused.
After you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be contacted by an insurance company representative. Insurance adjusters frequently try to obtain statements from claimants. They encourage you to give them a recorded statement detailing the facts of the accident. However, it is not in your best interests to ever provide a written or recorded statement to the liable party’s insurance company. They have the right to use your statement against you if they feel it benefits their company.
Before you ever talk to an insurance adjuster or any other individual affiliated with the responsible party’s insurance company, you must consult a qualified truck accident lawyer. They can advise you of your legal rights so that you avoid potentially losing your claim.
The most important reason to have a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer assisting you with your claim is North Carolina law and how it views contributory negligence. North Carolina contributory negligence law stipulates that even if you are found to be one percent at fault for an accident, you cannot collect damages from the liable party. For this reason, many insurers often look for evidence they can sue to assert that the injury victim is also negligent and is ineligible to file a claim or recover damages.
Contact Brent Adams & Associates to learn more about how we can assist you with the claims process. The trucking industry has teams of lawyers whose only job is looking for loopholes and other ways to avoid paying out large claims.
Our personal injury lawyers will stand by your side through the entire legal process from start to finish to ensure that you recover just compensation for your injuries and property damage.
How Can Your Law Firm Help Me Recover Compensation?
If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you need to hire a qualified attorney immediately. Large trucks can cause injury victims to sustain severe injuries that can take a substantial time to heal. Additionally, some truck accidents can cause victims to sustain life-altering catastrophic injuries. These injuries are usually permanent and can quickly create financial hardship for the injury victim and their family.
Our law firm understands that truck accident victims need full and fair compensation to gain the peace of mind they deserve. Therefore, our accident attorneys are firmly committed to assisting clients by providing them with the solid legal representation they need to recover a settlement in their best interests.
When we agree to take your case, our legal team will immediately begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your accident. Our truck accident lawyers all have extensive experience handling out-of-state insurance claims and knowledge of how a truck is built and operates. We may also utilize an accident reconstructionist who can analyze the evidence and help determine the mitigating factors that led up to the accident.
Our personal injury attorneys also have a great deal of skill and experience in negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. Many individuals are not aware of the fact that a majority of truck accident claims are actually negotiated and settled out of court. Our attorneys are passionately committed to obtaining maximum compensation for our clients.
If the insurance company is not willing to negotiate if they offer a settlement that is not in your best interests, our lawyers are fully prepared to take your truck accident case to court. We are not afraid to stand up to the insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Brent Adams & Associates of Raleigh, North Carolina, by calling 919-726-3705 and asking to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We will be happy to answer your questions and explain your legal options.