truck on highway

Charlotte Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to do everything they can to prevent collisions on North Carolina roads. When they fail to do so, the results can be catastrophic.

The massive size of a tractor-trailer compared to a passenger car means that the impact of a truck accident is often violent. The size difference also tends to be protective for truck drivers, leaving the occupants of the other smaller vehicles to suffer the worst of the injuries.

Truck accident victims often face long recovery periods, extended medical treatment, and an uncertain prognosis. Mounting medical bills combined with missed wages can result in additional stress and financial hardships.

   Arrange a free consultation today by calling 866-783-9278 or filling out an online contact form.

How Our Charlotte Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a North Carolina truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. An experienced truck accident attorney can evaluate your claim and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. At Stewart Law Offices, we know what’s at stake. We know what it takes to go up against big insurance companies that try to downplay your injuries. We provide aggressive representation for our clients and fight for the compensation that you are owed. Don’t wait to pursue the justice you deserve. Contact our Charlotte accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.

Charlotte Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuit Process

The first step in a truck accident case is to file a claim against the at-fault party(s). If they refuse to agree to a reasonable settlement, then you may need to file a lawsuit to get fair compensation.

Because truck accident lawsuits are so complicated, people usually hire an accomplished attorney to handle these cases.

At Stewart Law Offices, we’ll take care of all aspects of the lawsuit process for you. We’ll file the suit with the court, negotiate a trial date, gather all necessary evidence to properly fight for you, and help ensure that all required forms are submitted on time. Our goal is to make the legal process as successful and stress-free as possible for you.

What to Do After an 18-Wheeler Accident

Truck accidents can be terrifying. You might feel helpless and overwhelmed in the aftermath of the wreck, but there are some important steps that you can take to protect your legal rights.

  1. Call 911: Since the accident might be severe, first responders will be needed to handle injuries and assess property damages. Police will make an official report of the accident that will be vital evidence if you file a claim or lawsuit.
  2. Get to a safe area: If possible, move your car to a safe area and turn on your hazard lights. This will help other cars see you and reduce the chance that you will be hit while dealing with the original crash.
  3. Document the scene: Take pictures of any damage to your car, the truck, or other vehicles. Also take pictures of road markings, weather conditions, road hazards, and traffic signs or signals. Write down witness accounts of the crash and get their names and contact information. Get as many details from the truck driver as possible, including his/her name, contact information, insurance information, and license number, as well as the name of the driver’s employer, the name of the truck owner, and if different, the name of the owner of the trailer. Ask the police for a copy of the official accident report.
  4. Watch your words: Don’t admit fault or tell other people on the scene your version of what happened, and don’t sign anything at the scene unless you’re required by the police. Trucking companies might quickly dispatch their insurance agents and lawyers to the scene to try to avoid paying damages and protect their reputations. They might try to get you to say something they can use against you or trick you into accepting a low settlement offer.
  5. Get medical attention: If you didn’t get medical attention at the scene of the crash, visit a doctor as soon as possible to have them evaluate and treat your injuries. Not all injuries are obvious, and a medical professional can detect these injuries before they get worse. Medical records are also a critical piece of evidence if you file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Without these official records, you might not be able to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
  6. Report the accident: Most insurance policies require that you tell them about any accident within a reasonable amount of time to claim benefits.
  7. Contact Stewart Law Offices: Truck accidents are complicated because of their severity and the number of different parties that might be liable. It’s difficult and frustrating to sort through all these details on your own, especially while you’re trying to recover from the trauma of the crash. An experienced semi-truck accident attorney can help ease this burden by sorting through the mess on your behalf and fighting for your rights.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

A trucker’s job and livelihood depend on his or her driving record, so most do everything they can to stay safe on the road. But some truck drivers face pressures that the average commuter does not.
Employers may offer incentives for them to make early deliveries. Alternatively, they may penalize drivers for delivering late freight.
These unfair demands should not change the way they drive, but the sad reality is that truck drivers sometimes give in. When their poor choices cause an accident, they can — and should — be held accountable for their negligence. So should their employers. Common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Mechanical failures
  • Aggressive driving
  • Poor maintenance
  • Improperly loaded or loose cargo
  • Undertrained or unlicensed drivers
  • Following too closely
  • Failure to merge properly
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failure to yield

Injuries Caused by Trucking Accidents

Crashes involving commercial trucks are more likely to be deadly than regular crashes. They can also cause particularly devastating injuries, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Neck injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Burns
  • Amputation

These catastrophic injuries typically mean that victims may face years of ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and permanent disability. Victims may need to pay for modifications to their homes to accommodate medical equipment like wheelchairs. The lifetime costs of truck accident injuries can easily reach into the millions. Because the stakes are so high, working with a knowledgeable commercial truck accident lawyer at Stewart Law Offices can help protect your rights to compensation.

Truck Accident Liability

Truck accidents are complicated because numerous different parties might be held liable at the same time. These include:

  • Truck drivers
  • Truck companies
  • The truck or trailer’s owner(s)
  • The cargo owner
  • Mechanics
  • The truck manufacturer
  • Parts manufacturers
  • Government entities
  • Other drivers (e.g., a multi-vehicle wreck)

Commercial truck operations are governed by both state and federal laws. These regulations are stricter than the rules for other drivers because trucks are simply more dangerous if operated negligently.

For example, trucking companies must comply with weight and load restrictions, submit to vehicle inspections, and carry mandatory minimum insurance to cover injuries and damages.

Truck Driver Federal Requirements

Additionally, truck drivers in North Carolina must:

  • Be at least 18 if only driving in-state or 21 if driving out-of-state
  • Work no more than a certain number of hours in a row
  • Adhere to minimum rest requirements
  • Get biannual medical exams
  • Have a commercial driver’s license with specific endorsements according to the class of vehicle
  • Be charged with a DWI if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.04 or greater
  • Submit to drug and alcohol testing

Failure to follow these rules or others set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) could result in a lawsuit against the trucker if an accident occurs.

Can Trucking Companies Be Held Liable?

The truck driver’s employer could also be held liable in certain circumstances, including:

  • If the employee was unfit to drive and the employer knew about it (e.g., if they were inadequately trained, lacked the appropriate license, or were on medication that could impair their driving)
  • If the truck driver was partially at fault for the crash and was doing his/her job or “on the clock” at the time of the accident
  • If the company was negligent in its hiring or retention practices
  • If the employer failed to perform the required background checks

Determining fault will be critical in order to recover compensation in your truck accident claim. These complex cases can be challenging and require a focused investigation. Our seasoned attorneys will work to identify who should be held liable and will demand compensation from all negligent parties.

How to Prove Fault in a Charlotte, NC Truck Accident Case

In order to receive compensation after a truck accident, you must be able to prove that someone else’s negligence resulted in your injuries.

If you’re not too injured, you can readily collect some important information while you’re at the accident scene. Examples include:

  • Photos of the accident (including vehicle damage, skid marks, road signs, or other pertinent evidence)
  • The truck driver’s name, employer, and insurance information
  • Eyewitness contact information

Other important pieces of evidence will likely not be accessible to you. However, an experienced Charlotte truck accident attorney will also be able to obtain and preserve data from sources such as the truck’s computer, maintenance logs, or driving logs.

These may strengthen your liability argument by providing details about the crash, such as:

  • The truck’s speed at the time of the crash
  • The truck’s route
  • How long the driver had been on the road and whether they exceeded federal hours-of-service regulations
  • Correspondence between the trucker and their employer
  • Maintenance issues

Truck Accident Settlements

Considering how severe truck accidents can be, settlements and trial verdicts have the potential to be substantial. These awards provide compensation that can be critical to helping you recover from the crash. In Charlotte, North Carolina you may be compensated for:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Emotional trauma, such as the loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost companionship
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death compensation
The best way to know what types of damages you may be entitled to is by contacting a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Call Our Charlotte Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers Today!

At Stewart Law Offices, our truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you get on the road to recovery. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in the Carolinas, we’ll stand by your side and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us online for a free consultation!