Truck Accidents

Truck Accident Lawyers in North Carolina

Fighting for Victims of Semi-Truck Accidents in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem truck accident lawyers offer a free initial case evaluation

Truck accidents are some of the most devastating crashes that occur on North Carolina roadways. These accidents often lead to serious injuries and death due to the size and weight of commercial vehicles.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash, it is important to have a North Carolina truck accident lawyer on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve from all parties at fault.

Our firm handles all types of truck accidents, including those caused by:

Call Comerford Chilson & Moser at (336) 568-8779 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Why Hire Comerford Chilson & Moser?

Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys Member

Comerford Chilson & Moser has been in business for over 20 years and has a proven track record of success handling a wide variety of personal injury cases. Our team of experienced North Carolina truck accident attorneys has handled every type commercial trucking accident imaginable and we're not afraid to take a case to trial if necessary. 

We're also highly selective in the cases we take on, so you can be confident that we'll give your case the individual attention it deserves. We're proud to say that we get a lot of our business through referrals from satisfied clients. 

By hiring our firm, you can trust that we will:

  • Thoroughly investigate the cause of the truck accident
  • Gather evidence, including accident reports and witness statements
  • Consult with medical experts to assess the extent of your injuries and the necessary medical treatment
  • Calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to seek a fair settlement
  • Take your case to trial if necessary to fight for the compensation you deserve

If you are hoping for the best possible outcome for your case, you need our firm on your side. With over 90 years of cumulative experience, we feel we are the obvious choice for those seeking representation after a serious truck accident.  We will answer any questions you may have regarding your truck accident case. If your case is taken on, we will begin to review the facts of your case immediately. 

What Are the Federal Trucking Regulations?

Federal trucking regulations in the United States are primarily governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency within the Department of Transportation (DOT). These regulations are designed to ensure the safety of commercial motor vehicle operations and include a wide range of rules covering various aspects of trucking. Key regulations include:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations: These rules limit the number of hours a commercial driver can operate a vehicle to prevent fatigue. Key provisions include:
  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: Drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 14-Hour Limit: Drivers cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 30-Minute Break: Drivers must take a 30-minute break after 8 cumulative hours of driving time if they haven’t had at least a 30-minute break.
  • 60/70-Hour Limit: Drivers cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. They can restart the 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Requirements: Drivers must have a valid CDL appropriate for the type of vehicle they operate. There are different classes of CDLs (Class A, B, and C) based on the vehicle's weight and type.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: Regulations require pre-employment, post-accident, random, and reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing for drivers to ensure they are not operating under the influence.
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection: Trucking companies must regularly inspect, repair, and maintain their vehicles. Drivers are also required to conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections to ensure their vehicle's safety.
  • Weight and Size Limits: Federal regulations set limits on the weight and size of commercial vehicles to protect highways and bridges. Vehicles must comply with axle weight limits, gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR), and dimensional limits.
  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs): Most commercial drivers are required to use ELDs to electronically record their driving hours to ensure compliance with HOS regulations.
  • Safety Regulations: These include a wide range of requirements aimed at ensuring the safety of commercial vehicles, such as:
  • Securing Cargo: Proper methods for loading and securing cargo to prevent shifting or falling.
  • Driver Fitness: Medical certifications and physical qualifications for drivers.
  • Hazardous Materials: Specific regulations for the transportation of hazardous materials, including labeling, packaging, and handling requirements.
  • Insurance Requirements: Minimum levels of financial responsibility for commercial motor vehicles, ensuring that carriers have adequate insurance coverage for potential liabilities.
  • Recordkeeping: Companies must maintain various records, including driver logs, maintenance records, and inspection reports, to demonstrate compliance with federal regulations.
  • Compliance Reviews and Audits: FMCSA conducts compliance reviews and audits of trucking companies to ensure they adhere to federal regulations. Non-compliance can result in fines, penalties, or even shutdown orders.

These regulations are designed to enhance the safety of the trucking industry, protect drivers, and ensure the well-being of the public. Compliance with these rules is mandatory for all commercial trucking operations across the United States.

How to Get Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries in North Carolina

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is important to seek compensation for the losses you have sustained. Truck accidents can result in devastating injuries that result in long-term medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

With help from a North Carolina truck accident lawyer at Comerford Chilson & Moser, you can recover compensation for the following types of damages, and more:

  • Medical expenses related to your injury, including surgery, medication, and long-term care
  • Lost wages for missed time at work
  • Damage to your vehicle and other property
  • Permanent injury and loss of quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

Our firm's reputation speaks for itself, as we have successfully recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We understand the financial and emotional burdens that truck accident injuries can cause, and we are here to help you seek the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or other type of commercial truck, contact our North Carolina truck accident lawyers at (336) 568-8779to schedule a free consultation.

Commonly Asked Questions

What should I do if I am involved in a semi-truck accident in Winston-Salem, NC?

If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, prioritize your safety and seek medical attention if needed. Contact the authorities to report the accident and gather information from the scene, including witness details and photos of the vehicles involved.

How can I determine liability in a semi-truck accident case?

Determining liability in a semi-truck accident case can be complex. An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate the accident, review evidence, and analyze factors such as truck driver negligence, mechanical failures, and trucking company negligence to establish liability.

What damages can I seek in a semi-truck accident claim?

In a semi-truck accident claim, you may seek various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages in cases of egregious negligence. A skilled attorney can help you assess and pursue the full extent of your damages.

How long do I have to file a semi-truck accident claim in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, including a semi-truck accident claim, is typically three years from the date of the accident. It's crucial to act promptly and consult with a lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Helpful Resources

& Settlements

Our Team Approach Adds Value
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    Mail Carrier Struck By Tractor-Trailer Truck

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    A brother and sister were killed after the driver of a tractor-trailer rear-ended them at a high-rate of speed.

Common Trucking Accident Injuries

When commercial truck drivers or commercial truck companies are negligent, it can lead to serious or catastrophic injuries to innocent drivers and passengers.  These injuries can have a profound effect on the victim's life, causing immense physical pain and limiting their ability to work and engage in activities they once enjoyed. 

Injuries that are commonly sustained in trucking accidents include:

  • Spinal cord injury: The sheer weight of commercial trucks can crush the spine irreversibly, leading to devastating injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuryA traumatic brain injury can have a profound effect on the individual’s ability to control their body, this can lead to a long and grueling medical journey and permanent disabilities.
  • Broken bones: Bones are easily broken by a commercial truck that weighs over a ton. This can lead to many fractures and multiple surgeries.
  • Burns: Among the most devastating injuries that can result from a truck accident are burns. Burns incurred in a truck accident may be the result of the impact itself or when the vehicle catches on fire, and these injuries often require extensive medical intervention, ongoing surgeries, and severe scarring. 
  • Disfiguring injuries: This type of injury from a truck accident can leave another driver or passenger permanently disfigured and, even with the most advanced reconstructive surgeries, these injuries are often impossible to fully resolve. 
  • Severe lacerations: This type of injury from a truck accident may occur when the driver or passenger is thrown out of the vehicle, and these lacerations can lead to serious blood loss and nerve damage. 
  • Internal organ damage: This type of injury from a truck accident can occur when the force of the impact crushes the body, and this type of damage often requires immediate emergency medical attention. 
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Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck Driver Negligence

Regrettably, many truck accidents — and their destructive outcomes — could be avoided if not for the negligence or recklessness of the truck driver.

Examples of truck driver negligence include:

  • Violating hours of service rules: To minimize the risk of operating the tractor trailer while overly fatigued, state and federal regulations mandate the number of hours truck drivers are permitted to operate in a consecutive period, as well as the hours required for consecutive rest. Truck drivers are required to keep detailed logs and receipts to verify such information. Furthermore, if at any point during travel, a driver recognizes the onset of sudden fatigue, the driver is required to immediately pull off the road.
  • Inadequate vehicle inspection and maintenance: To reduce the risk of an unsafe vehicle traveling on our highways, truck drivers and trucking companies are required to comply with regular inspection and maintenance regulations. Additionally, the truck driver must accurately document pre-trip inspections, trip inspections, and other maintenance checks in a detailed maintenance log.
  • Failure to comply with safety and traffic laws: Truck drivers are mandated by law to understand and comply with all state and federal traffic laws, including complying with traffic signals, posted speed limits, and other requirements. Additionally, given the seriousness of a potential crash involving a semi-truck or other commercial vehicles, it is unlawful for commercial drivers to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .04 or higher.

Not only is a truck driver’s failure to comply with state or federal regulations against the law, such negligence puts the lives of countless others who are on the road at risk. At Comerford, Chilson, & Moser, we are dedicated to holding truck drivers and their employers responsible for such negligence.

Mechanical Failure

If you or a family member is involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle, unsafe equipment or a mechanical failure may be at fault. The company itself, as well as maintenance subcontractors and parts manufacturers, may all be held liable.

Of course, you would not know if the truck was unsafe, and the trucking company is unlikely to reveal that information. Only an accident investigation specialist can determine as much. That is why it is important to contact our Winston-Salem truck accident lawyers at Comerford Chilson & Moser as soon as possible after a crash.

We work with accident reconstruction specialists and mechanical engineers who can pinpoint factors that contribute to truck accidents, such as: 

  • Faulty brakes
  • Worn tires
  • Defective or worn parts
  • And much more

We will review all records to determine whether proper preventative maintenance and safety inspections were completed.

Overweight Trucks & Unsafe Loads

Federal, state, and municipal laws restrict the amount of weight that trucks are permitted to carry. Federal laws limit the maximum weight of a truck to 80,000 pounds (factoring in the total weight of the load, the trailer, the fuel, and even the driver). Limits are also set based upon the number of axles on a truck and trailer.

Total weight or how the weight is distributed on a tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle can be contributing factors in truck accidents. Companies can be held liable if it is shown that being overweight or having poor weight distribution was responsible for an accident in which you or someone you love was seriously injured. At Comerford Chilson & Moser, we know how to prove how overweight trucks and unsafe loads have contributed to serious truck accidents in North Carolina. 

Overloaded trucks can cause a number of issues, including:

  • Inability to come to a complete stop
  • Excessive pressure on tires, which may cause blowouts
  • Problems steering
  • Rollovers are more common

Trucking Company Negligence

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck crash, the attorneys at Comerford Chilson & Moser can help you pursue justice and accountability against those responsible for the accident, including the corporate businesses that place profit before the safety of those on the road.

State and federal regulations attempt to influence the safe operation of commercial vehicles and minimize the incidence of catastrophic truck crashes by requiring appropriate medical certification, licensing, testing, training, and other documentation of commercial truck drivers. When a business negligently hires a truck driver who has not met such requirements, or fails to verify a driver’s qualifications, the business is equally responsible for placing a potentially dangerous driver behind the wheel.

We hold trucking companies accountable for their negligent practices, such as:

  • Negligent hiring: Hiring drivers with poor driving records, history of incomplete or inaccurate logbooks, drug or alcohol abuse problems, criminal convictions, or any other issues that would raise concerns for most reasonable employers.
  • Other negligence: Failing to conduct regular alcohol and drug testing, properly maintain vehicles, review or maintain driver logs or inspection reports, provide necessary training, or impose sanctions on drivers for committing safety violations or logbook violations.

Our Reputation Speaks For Itself

"During our first meeting, he assured me that he would take this anxiety and responsibility from me. Emotionally, I felt a deep sense of relief that stayed with me during the months he was working for me."

- Roberta T.

We Work with Specialists to Build Strong Cases

Truck accidents can be devastating to families, yet trucking companies often seem to have the advantage in settling any lawsuits because they have experienced lawyers who are adept at minimizing the amount paid to victims. Many trucking companies have insurance representatives respond to an accident scene immediately to begin building a case that will help them limit their liability.

At Comerford Chilson & Moser, L.L.P., our truck accident attorneys in North Carolina are dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims in Winston-Salem and throughout the state.

We understand the complexities of truck accident cases and work with specialists to build strong cases on behalf of our clients, including:

  • Medical experts to validate the injuries you have suffered
  • Accident reconstructionists and investigators to prove liability
  • Commercial vehicle safety experts

Contact our truck accident attorneys in North Carolina for a free consultation. You can reach out to us online or call (336) 568-8779.

  • Who can I collect from in a truck accident personal injury lawsuit?

    Personal injury lawsuits regarding semi truck accidents can become complex rather quickly. Often, it is possible to name more than one party in a lawsuit. Our experienced truck accident lawyers help victims maximize the amount they recover by naming all responsible parties. This may include:

    • The driver of the truck
    • The owner of the truck company
    • The employer of the driver, which may be different than the truck owner
    • The owner of the tractor-trailer, which can be different than the owner of the truck itself
    • The manufacturer of the truck, tractor-trailer or any parts of the truck or cab
    • A third-party maintenance company
    • A municipality that contributed to the accident by creating dangerous road conditions or not properly marking dangerous conditions
  • What laws apply to truck drivers that may play a role in my case?

    Federal, state and local laws that apply to commercial trucks and their drivers can play an important role in a personal injury lawsuit. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the commercial trucking industry. Laws apply to:

    • The number of hours a driver can work in a given period of time
    • The training a driver must have completed
    • Drug and alcohol use by drivers (significantly lower blood alcohol concentration levels)
    • The maintenance schedule of the truck and tractor-trailer
    • The weight limit of the truck and its load

    Federal regulations also require commercial trucks to carry certain levels of insurance coverage. This protects victims of truck accidents from truck owners or companies stating that they do not have the financial resources to pay damages.

    Often, trucking companies will take elaborate steps to place their assets under a different entity in order to avoid paying damages in these cases. We work with forensic accountants and other specialists who are skilled at uncovering a company’s true assets in order to clear the way for our clients to collect the full amount they are owed.

  • What compensation can be recovered following a truck accident?
    An injured party may seek compensation for immediate and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and other damages. In wrongful death lawsuits, a decedent’s family may seek lost economic contributions, loss of care and companionship, funeral expenses, and other damages.
  • What important steps should be taken immediately following a truck accident?

    The first thing that should be done, of course, is to get medical attention for anyone who is seriously injured. Beyond that, here are some key steps that can help you in a personal injury lawsuit:

    • Report the accident to your insurance company
    • Provide as many details as possible to police and file an accident report
    • Take photos of the accident scene to record important details, including damage to vehicles and other property
    • Do not speak with any other insurance company representatives or sign any reports
    • Do not make any statements of who was at fault or the extent of your injuries
    • Contact an experienced personal injury attorney
    • See a doctor as soon as possible following an accident

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