Our Raleigh Truck Accident Attorney Will Fight For You
If you or a loved one have been involved in a collision with a large truck, you know how devastating and destructive the damage can be. While no amount of money can bring a deceased family member back or make your painful and often permanent injuries go away, hiring the right lawyer is essential in helping you recover compensation. A Martin & Jones Raleigh truck accident attorney is ready to fight for your right to compensation for your serious personal injuries or for the wrongful death of someone close to you.
Our Raleigh Truck Accident Lawyer Explains Common Causes of North Carolina Wrecks
You are not alone in being seriously impacted by a tractor-trailer accident. Trucking company negligence causes thousands of crashes every year. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2019 alone there were nearly 130,000 wrecks nationwide involving large commercial vehicles. More than 68,000 people involved in these crashes were injured and more than 3,500 died.
The sad truth is that many North Carolina truck accidents could have been avoided if trucking industry regulations had been followed. While a Raleigh truck accident attorney is in the best position to investigate and identify the cause of the collision in order to hold the at-fault parties accountable, the following offers an explanation of how negligence causes dangerous accidents every day:
In recent years, we have become increasingly aware of the devastating consequence of driving while distracted. While legislative efforts have been rightfully focused on restricting phone use while behind the wheel, distracted driving can occur in many forms:
- Visual distractions – Anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road including looking at the scenery out the side of the truck or checking notifications on a smartphone.
- Manual distractions – Actions such as eating, changing the radio station, or reaching onto the floor require the driver to take one or both hands off the wheel. This can result in delayed reaction times or loss of control of the truck.
- Cognitive distractions – Failing to pay full attention to the road can also lead to an accident. Daydreaming, talking on the phone, or anything else that distracts the driver can make it difficult to avoid an accident.
The danger with smartphones is that they usually involve all three types of distractions, but there are many other instances that involve two or more types of distractions.
Truck drivers are under immense pressure to make deliveries on time. In addition, they are often incentivized by their employers to drive as many miles in a day as possible. As a result, truck drivers often find themselves driving on little sleep or late into the night to make up time. Drowsy driving presents numerous potential issues that could lead to an accident, including delayed reaction time.
Driving While Under the Influence
Everyone knows that driving while under the influence can be deadly. Drug testing and other measures outlined by national trucking and transportation regulations have reduced the number of accidents caused by truckers driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs can sometimes have unexpected side effects, especially when taken in combination. “No-doze” and similar products can allow a driver to stay behind the wheel far longer than they should. A truck driver may find themselves impaired and unable to safely drive even though they had no intention of operating “under the influence.”
Dangerous Road Conditions
Rain, snow, and ice create low visibility on roadways. Sudden storms, quick-changing weather patterns, and debris in the road create dangerous road conditions for both motorists and truckers. However, it takes a big rig a lot longer to slow down than a standard sedan. As a result, these dangerous road conditions often lead to catastrophic truck accidents.
Many truck drivers routinely drive in excess of the speed limit for the same reasons that they wind up driving while sleepy – they are under significant pressure to make their deliveries on time. Speeding can be especially dangerous for large trucks, as the increased speed requires a longer stopping distance and makes the truck harder to control.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving
Tailgating, unsafe lane changes, and other risky behaviors can easily lead to a serious accident. A Raleigh truck accident attorney can help identify if erratic driving may have resulted in your accident.
Other Parties Often Share the Responsibility for Truck Accidents
Even if wrecks are caused by negligent truckers, truck drivers may not be the only party to bear responsibility for damages. That’s because trucking operators are often responsible for their employees and because they, and others, may have been negligent as well.
Your Raleigh truck accident attorney knows to look for other common causes, violations, and negligent acts, such as:
- Truck maintenance companies and/or mechanics that fail to provide proper vehicle maintenance and repairs, allowing trucks to with faulty equipment to remain on the roadways
- Trucking companies that hire drivers that they knew or should have known were unfit for the position
- Trucking companies that violate hours-of-service rules
- Distributors or others responsible for overloading cargo
- Parties responsible for loading large trucks that fail to safely secure the cargo
- Truck and truck part manufacturers whose products are defective
What to Know About North Carolina Trucking Laws
North Carolina truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to both state and federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the federal agency primarily responsible for regulating interstate trucking, and its regulations have been implemented on the state level by most states including North Carolina. These regulations govern the following aspects of the trucking industry:
- Vehicle markings and inspections
- Insurance coverage
- Securing of cargo and transportation of hazardous materials
- Hours of service limitations and reporting requirements
- Drug and alcohol testing
North Carolina’s regulations mirror the federal regulations with a few important exceptions. Some examples of how federal and North Carolina regulations may apply to your case:
- Drivers whose driving is limited to the state of North Carolina may obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) at the age of 18 (federal law restricts CDLs to drivers 21 and older)
- For drivers carrying cargo, they are limited to driving 11 hours per day followed by a 10 hour rest period and can drive no more than 70 hours in an 8 day period
- For drivers carrying passengers, they are limited to 10 hours per day followed by an 8 hour rest period and
- Depending on vehicle weight, trucking companies must carry minimum insurance coverage of up to $750,000 to cover personal injury and property damage
Violation of any state or federal trucking regulations can be powerful evidence in support of your claim. A knowledgeable Raleigh truck accident attorney will be able to identify whether any such violations occurred in order to help you build your case.
Why You Need a Raleigh Truck Accident Attorney By Your Side
Pursuing a trucking accident claim is a complicated matter that requires experienced lawyers. Not only could there be multiple parties responsible for the accident, but trucking companies and their insurers are extremely sophisticated in defending truck accident cases. They consider defending cases like yours part of doing business and have legal teams ready to deploy as soon as a truck wreck happens. Their job is to settle the case for as little an amount as possible.
Do not be surprised if the trucking company or its representatives reach out to your or your family directly, or even show up at your home or the hospital. They often try to get people to agree to settlement amounts that may initially sound like a lot of money but are wholly inadequate to cover what the victim actually needs to recover.
The experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyers at Martin & Jones know what the trucking companies are up to and what it takes to get you the compensation that you.
Contact a Martin & Jones Raleigh Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the North Carolina personal injury trial lawyers at Martin & Jones offer compassionate, results-driven representation. There are time limits for filing a truck accident lawsuit in North Carolina, so please contact our offices right away for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can be reached online or by phone at 1-800-662-1234. We have offices in Raleigh, Durham and Wilmington and serve clients throughout the state.