Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents In North Carolina
If you or someone in your family is seriously injured in an accident with a commercial truck, you should know there are important steps to take to protect your legal interests. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Comerford Chilson & Moser, L.L.P., in Winston-Salem, have helped hundreds of injured individuals maximize the amount they recover following truck accidents, bus accidents and other incidents.
Our legal team travels throughout North Carolina and has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar resolutions for individuals who have been injured through no fault of their own, as well as families who have had a relative killed in a car or truck accident.
Q: 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
Q: 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
Q: 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.
Q: 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.