On any given day, there are thousands of trucks barreling down the North Carolina roadways. Because so many trucks are present, there are bound to be bad truck accidents that leave victims seriously injured, or worse. Most often, these accidents are caused by the carelessness of the truck drivers. Let’s take a look at some common types of truck driver misconduct, and what you could do if tragedy strikes.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
- Speeding: Truck accidents are often caused by truck drivers who drive too fast (above the posted speed limit). This could lead to jackknifing, where the truck could take out a bunch of cars across several lanes before overturning. Speeding could also cause the driver to be unable to stop in enough time given the weight of the truck. Notably, 18-wheelers weigh nearly 80,000 pounds on average. There is more time needed for a truck to stop as compared to a 4,000-pound car.
- Distracted driving: It used to be just fiddling with the radio that distracted drivers most. But with the advent of smartphones, distracted driving has taken on a new meaning. The problem is much worse now. Truck drivers are scrolling through their social media apps while operating death traps. They text while driving. They watch videos while driving. A truck driver who has even a split-second of distraction could lose control of their truck and run into someone or something, potentially causing serious injuries or even death.
- Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving is similar to driving too fast. But it also encompasses many other reckless behaviors. Drivers are aggressive if they take turns too quickly, drive too closely to the vehicles in front of them, swerve at other drivers, or just act as angry and impatient drivers. Some truck drivers believe that they own the road. Aggressive behavior could amount to deadly behavior.
- Driving while impaired: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI) is an easy way to get yourself killed or to kill or maim someone else. When a truck driver is intoxicated, though, it poses a greater risk to the safety of those around them as compared to an intoxicated driver of a small car. It is for this reason that truck drivers have a lower threshold than other drivers for getting a DWI in North Carolina. A DWI conviction could derail a truck driver’s career. Unfortunately, some truck drivers don’t follow the rules.
- Weather conditions: Obviously, bad weather can affect driving conditions on the roads of North Carolina. The state has been hit with its fair share of snowstorms over the years, and this could lead to icy conditions that cause drivers to be unable to stop even when driving under the speed limit. Even a typical rainy day can leave the roads slick. When truck drivers don’t judge the conditions well, it could lead to a devastating outcome.
- Fatigue: Exhaustion can easily pave the way for a bad truck accident. Drivers who are drowsy or fall asleep, even for a brief second, can cause death and destruction. For this reason, truck drivers are subject to hours of service restrictions. These restrictions include daily limits on the amount of time that truck drivers can be behind the wheel. After 11 hours of driving, a truck driver is required to take a 10-hour break. Some truck drivers fail to obey these regulations.
Types Of Truck Accident Injuries
Due to the size and weight of the average truck, there is a lot of force involved in a collision with another vehicle. Injuries to victims can be far more severe than with a car-to-car accident. Here are some typical injuries that might result from a North Carolina truck accident:
- Broken and fractured bones throughout the body
- Torn and damaged ligaments and tendons
- Closed head injuries including fractured skulls, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and concussions
- Spinal cord and disc injuries causing paralysis
What Can A Truck Accident Lawyer Do For You?
When some people are injured in a North Carolina truck accident, they think they don’t need a lawyer and can just represent themselves with the insurance companies. This is a mistake. Hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer goes a long way toward you—the victim of the truck accident—getting the reasonable and fair compensation you deserve. Sometimes truck accident cases caused by someone’s negligence can get complicated. Some drivers don’t fess up, and some insurance companies don’t want to settle for anything more than peanuts. As an injured person, you should be focused on getting better and following your treatment plan. Let the lawyers handle everything else. Here are some things that an experienced truck accident lawyer can do for you:
- Contact the insurance companies, talk to the insurance adjusters, and deal with the investigators
- Obtain the police accident report
- Take detailed photographs of the scene of the accident to possibly use at a trial to explain how the truck accident happened
- Obtain witness statements from anyone who saw the collision
- Collect and maintain any evidence that is pertinent to the cause of the accident and would demonstrate who is at fault
- Obtain medical records to demonstrate the extent of the injuries
- Locate and contact any and all insurance policies and companies that might come into play and provide coverage
- Negotiate on your behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- File a lawsuit on your behalf seeking the rightful compensation for your injuries including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages
- Hire medical experts, vocational experts, and economic experts that can demonstrate to a jury the severity of your injuries as well as the financial impact your injuries have on you and your family
North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers
Hiring the right North Carolina truck accident lawyer is critical to protecting the value of your case. The Law Office of Kevin J. Williams knows this. Backed by decades of experience with representing truck accident victims, Law Office of Kevin J. Williams has the skill and discernment to hold bad truck drivers, their employers, and their insurance companies accountable. We are here for you and will provide you with much-needed clarity on the best way to proceed during this difficult time. Most importantly, we will fight on your behalf to get you paid. To learn more, reach out to Law Office of Kevin J. Williams by calling (336) 793-8459 or by contacting us online today.