Determining Fault in a North Carolina Truck Accident

Truck accident lawsuits are much more complex than other vehicle accidents. Not only are the personal injuries usually much more catastrophic, but there is often more than one at-fault party who is liable for the crash and the injuries victims suffer.

Part of the complexities of these types of accidents, however, is trying to determine who exactly is at fault for the crash. This is where having a skilled North Carolina truck accident lawyer can make all the difference in the success of your claim.

Determining Fault

The first step in determining fault is determining what the cause of the crash was. Some of the most common causes of truck crashes include:

  • Drowsy driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Excessive speed
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
  • Improperly loaded freight
  • Inexperienced truck driver
  • Poorly maintained vehicle

Although many truck accidents are caused by the truck driver, the company the driver works for may also bear liability for the crash, especially if they were aware of the dangers the truck driver posed to other commuters. Truck companies owe a duty of care to those commuters and failure to uphold that duty resulting in truck accident victims makes them liable in the eyes of the law.

What is the responsibility of the trucking company?

Some of the ways that a North Carolina truck accident lawyer may discover that a trucking company is liable for the accident include:

  • Employing truck drivers that have poor driving records
  • Encouraging or allowing truck drivers to ignore the driving hour limitations set forth by the federal government
  • Loading truck in excess of allowed weight limits
  • Not properly securing loads
  • Not regularly inspecting and maintaining vehicles

What type of damages can truck accident victims pursue?

The law allows accident victims to pursue financial compensation for the following types of losses:

  • All past, present, and future medical expenses, such as surgeries, doctor visits, therapy, medication, and medical devices
  • Loss of wages from being unable to work while recovering
  • Loss of future income if the injuries have left the victim unable to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish or other mental health issues, such as anxiety depression, and PTSD
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Permanent disability

Trucking companies usually have policies that are supposed to cover any damages that happen as a result of an accident caused by one of their drivers, however, it is not uncommon for the damages to exceed the limits of the policy coverage. In these cases, your truck accident attorney may file a claim against the trucking company itself, especially if the company has a history of negligent behaviors.

Unlike other types of damages, which are meant to cover your losses, these types of damages are referred to as punitive damages. They are meant to “punish” the company for their negligent or reckless behavior and also to send a message to other trucking companies that fail to uphold the duty of care they have to everyone their drivers share the roads with will not be tolerated. A North Carolina personal injury attorney can explain what damages exactly will apply in your case.

Contact a Carolinas Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact a North Carolina truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. We also represent families of victims killed in truck accidents in wrongful death lawsuits.

Our NC personal injury firm also offers a free truck accident injury guide for accident victims. The guide covers topics such as the tactics used by truck companies to deny or reduce injury claims, common violations of trucking companies, and the difference between commercial truck insurance and other types of vehicle insurance.