Truck Accident Liability in North Carolina
If you were involved in a collision with a commercial truck in North Carolina, you may be dealing with severe injuries, mounting medical bills, forced time off work, and a totaled vehicle. When someone else is responsible for those losses, you are entitled to seek full and fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
Depending on the cause of the truck accident, one or several parties may be found at fault — or liable — for your losses. However, truck accident claims are some of the most difficult to resolve. Figuring out truck accident liability requires a detailed investigation and solid evidence. That’s where the injury lawyers at Stewart Law Offices come in.
Every day, our accomplished attorneys fight to protect the rights of people who have been hurt in North Carolina truck accidents. If you’ve been hurt, our legal team will work relentlessly to identify every liable party and aggressively pursue the compensation you’re owed.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Who May Be Responsible for a Truck Accident in North Carolina?
To hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions, it’s necessary to prove that they were directly responsible for your injuries and other accident-related losses. While many people automatically assume that truck drivers are to blame for truck accidents, that’s not necessarily true.
Several parties could bear some liability in a truck accident, including:
- Truck drivers: Drivers may be legally responsible for injuries and other damages if their actions or negligence led to a collision. Truckers could be liable for accidents if they violate state or federal laws, drive while distracted or drowsy, or drive while intoxicated.
- Truck owners: Some drivers own their own rigs, but in many cases, commercial trucks are owned by other individuals or companies. Truck owners could be liable for accidents if they fail to perform proper truck maintenance, inspections, or repairs needed to keep the truck operating safely.
- Trucking companies: In some cases, trucking companies that hire drivers could be responsible for accidents. If a company cuts corners by hiring unqualified drivers, encouraging unsafe driving practices, or neglecting proper maintenance standards, it may be liable for mechanical failures or the actions of its employees.
- Truck mechanics: Mechanics are sometimes held responsible for equipment or system failures that lead to truck accidents. Negligent inspection, maintenance, or repair of truck tires, brakes, and steering systems can cause component failures that lead to avoidable accidents.
- Truck component manufacturers: Sometimes, defective or malfunctioning components cause truck accidents. If a faulty component causes a wreck, the designer or manufacturer could be held liable for any resulting injuries.
- Cargo loading companies: If the teams that load cargo into semi-trucks fail to take proper precautions, they may be held liable for injuries or damages caused by freight-related accidents. Loading teams that neglect to properly secure or inspect cargo may be responsible for rollover or cargo spill accidents.
Gathering Evidence to Determine Who is Liable for a Truck Accident
To hold negligent parties accountable in a North Carolina truck accident claim, it’s important to gather evidence that demonstrates who was liable for the collision. The attorneys at Stewart Law Offices collect many types of evidence to help our clients develop strong truck accident claims, such as:
- Accident reports: Crash reports often contain law enforcement officials’ formal opinions regarding the cause of a crash as well as useful information such as accident diagrams and toxicology test results.
- Expert witness testimony: Expert witnesses like accident reconstruction specialists can provide professional analyses of what led up to the truck accident.
- Photographs or video footage: Pictures of the crash scene and video footage from trucks’ in-cab dash cams or traffic security cameras often provide valuable evidence of the causes and effects of a truck accident.
- Truck driver logbooks: Truckers are required to record trip information, including their hours of service (HOS) and truck inspection reports. Logbooks sometimes show that truck drivers violated HOS rules or failed to maintain their trucks properly, contributing to a crash.
- GPS and cell phone records: An attorney can subpoena a trucker’s GPS or phone records, which can show how a driver was traveling just before a crash or establish that he/she was distracted by phone calls or texts.
- Truck black box data: Just like airplanes, many commercial trucks have black boxes that monitor fleets and record pre-crash information. These devices contain data about the physical conditions that may have led to a truck accident.
- Truck company compliance and safety histories: A trucking company’s employment, compliance, and safety records can demonstrate whether they’ve engaged in negligent hiring practices or taken shortcuts when it comes to truck maintenance.
- Truck maintenance and repair records: A look at the maintenance history for a given truck can show whether the rig should have been placed out of service until certain repairs were made.
- Cargo loading records: Bills of lading or other cargo-related records may provide evidence of mislabeled cargo, overloaded trailers, or negligent loading techniques that may have contributed to an accident.
In some cases, investigations may show that multiple parties were responsible for the truck accident that injured you. When this occurs, you may be able to maximize the compensation you receive by filing personal injury claims against each at-fault party.
Having multiple defendants in your truck accident claim also means demanding compensation from several different insurance companies, all of whom will work to minimize or deny your claim. It’s rare for accident claims involving multiple at-fault parties to resolve quickly, especially if the defendants end up fighting amongst themselves about how much they are to blame.
When claims get complicated, insurance carriers sometimes offer quick settlements that seem attractively generous at first glance. However, accepting a settlement offer before the truck accident has been investigated thoroughly may allow negligent parties to avoid accountability and leave you with far less compensation than you deserve. This is a key reason to retain the services of a diligent and knowledgeable truck accident attorney.
At Stewart Law Offices, we know how truck accidents should be investigated and can help you avoid signing away your rights to the money you deserve. Our team will fight aggressively to hold negligent parties responsible and to maximize the compensation you receive from all possible sources.
How Our Law Firm Can Help You
Stewart Law Offices can handle your truck accident claim from start to finish. We will:
- Conduct an in-depth investigation: Our attorneys can evaluate police reports, witness statements, and electronic truck records to find evidence of other parties’ negligence. We also conduct our own investigations into drivers and trucking companies to look for proof of negligent hiring, training, or maintenance.
- Manage all paperwork: The administrative aspects of filing a claim, such as completing paperwork and submitting it on time, are tedious but important. Our team can handle all of the red tape for you and make sure your claim isn’t derailed by preventable errors or missed deadlines.
- Help you get the treatment you need: Sometimes, insurance providers try to limit the number of doctor’s visits you can have or claim that your injuries no longer require medical care. We can fight back to help you get the medical treatment you need to properly recover from the truck accident.
- Negotiate with insurance companies: Our lawyers work hard to build the strongest cases possible before we even begin settlement negotiations. This way, insurance companies know we are taking your case seriously and that we’re prepared to demand the full and fair compensation you’re owed.
- Represent you in court, if needed: If insurance companies refuse to offer reasonable settlements, we will be ready to take your case to court. *Stewart Law Offices has a long history of obtaining successful case results, and we are not afraid to fight aggressively for every dollar you need to get back on your feet.
Contact Stewart Law Offices Today
The North Carolina truck accident lawyers at Stewart Law Offices have experience helping injured people recover compensation after being seriously injured in collisions with tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial motor vehicles.
Our law firm has the resources needed to fully investigate your claim and build as strong a case as possible against all liable parties.