Commercial trucking is a crucial part of North Carolina’s economy and the supply chain of the entire United States. Drivers throughout the Charlotte area regularly encounter tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks without issue, but serious truck accidents do happen for various reasons. When these accidents occur, the large size of these commercial vehicles is often the cause of far worse damages than what one might expect after a standard passenger vehicle accident.
If you or a family member recently suffered injuries and other damages in a truck accident that someone else caused, a Charlotte truck accident attorney can help hold the at-fault driver accountable for the damages you suffered because of their negligence or intentional misconduct. The Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. regularly assists clients throughout the Charlotte area with all types of personal injury cases , including those that pertain to truck accidents. We know the legal challenges you are likely to encounter as you seek compensation for your damages and can provide guidance and support through all stages of your recovery efforts.
The first issue you will encounter after a truck accident when it comes to recovering your losses is proving fault. North Carolina upholds the fault rule, meaning that it is essential for a victim to prove fault before they can recover any compensation for their damages. One issue that often makes truck accident cases more complex than standard car accident cases is vicarious liability. Depending on how your truck accident happened, it is possible for liability to fall to more than one party, such as the employer of the driver who caused your accident.
The trucking industry is very heavily regulated, and all trucking companies must follow strict rules when it comes to onboarding, training, and managing their drivers. An investigation into your truck accident might reveal that the employer of the driver who caused your accident failed to meet regulatory requirements in a manner that contributed to your accident. For example, if the at-fault driver was driving under the influence (DUI) and they had a history of prior DUI violations, their employer should have noticed this issue during a proper background check. If the employer never conducted the check, then they would likely face vicarious liability if the driver later caused a DUI accident.
This is just one example of the complexities you might encounter when it comes to proving fault. Truck accidents can happen in many ways, and a few of the most commonly reported causes include:
These are just a few examples of how truck accidents might happen in the Charlotte area. After receiving medical attention for your injuries, it’s vital to consult an experienced attorney who can help gather whatever evidence you may need to firmly establish liability for the incident. Once you prove fault, you can proceed with claiming compensation for your damages.
Your first option for recovering from any vehicle accident is likely to be an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. State law requires every driver to have personal auto insurance that includes bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. Most trucking companies and their drivers have more expansive insurance than the average individual driver, but this does not mean you should expect full recovery from insurance alone or that dealing with the insurance carrier will be easy.
Your Charlotte truck accident attorney can help you file your auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy. Once their insurance company notices that you are represented by legal counsel, they will be more inclined to process the claim efficiently and you will be less likely to encounter any bad faith handling of the claim.
Insurance may provide some compensation for your damages, but truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and expensive financial losses for victims. This means that insurance may only cover a portion of your total losses, and a personal injury suit against the party who caused the accident will be essential to ensure the fullest possible recovery.
North Carolina’s personal injury statutes allow a plaintiff to seek full repayment of all economic losses they suffered because of a defendant’s actions. The average person may be able to assess immediately noticeable damages, but they also have the right to claim compensation for the future losses their accident will cause. Calculating projected losses is difficult without an experienced attorney’s assistance.
The economic damages you could potentially claim for your recent truck accident in Charlotte could include:
After your Charlotte truck accident attorney has helped you accurately assess the full extent of the economic damages you can claim from the defendant, you might discover you have grounds to claim far more compensation than you may have initially anticipated. However, your recovery does not end with repayment of your economic losses. You also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation.
When the average vehicle accident victim hears the term “pain and suffering,” they may wonder how intangible losses like these could be translated to monetary value. State law does not place a limit on pain and suffering compensation for most personal injury claims, so the plaintiff has the right to seek as much compensation as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm they suffered. When it comes to determining a suitable amount for your case, your Charlotte truck accident attorney can provide guidance to help maximize this aspect of your case award.
Most attorneys base their clients’ pain and suffering compensation on the severity of the injuries suffered, expected recovery time, and whether the victim faces long-term or permanent harm. Your attorney might aim for a large lump sum if you have been permanently disabled by your injury, or they may instead seek an amount based on the time it will take for you to fully recover. Plaintiffs who have suffered permanent harm tend to recover more pain and suffering compensation than those expected to make full recoveries from their injuries.
When you have an experienced Charlotte truck accident attorney advising you and they have helped you gather all the evidence needed to firmly prove fault for your accident and the extent of your damages, you are ready to file your case with the court. Most of the personal injury suits filed end with privately negotiated settlements as the private settlement process enables both the plaintiff and defendant to resolve their case more quickly than they would in litigation. They also have more control over the outcome and can save money on legal fees.
During settlement negotiations, the parties compromise to reach mutually acceptable terms to resolve the case. As long as both parties are willing to settle, this may only take a fraction of the time that litigation would require. However, if the defendant refuses to accept liability or will not negotiate compensation with the plaintiff, the case will need to be resolved in court. When you litigate a civil suit, the judge will make the final determination when it comes to liability and compensation for your damages.
The team at the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. has successfully represented many past clients in a wide range of civil cases in the Charlotte area, including those pertaining to commercial truck accidents. These cases tend to be more challenging than standard passenger accident cases and the average victim may feel lost when it comes to confronting the legal proceedings ahead. With an experienced Charlotte truck accident attorney representing you, you will be better prepared to face the insurance claim process, settlement negotiations, or even litigation that may be necessary to resolve your case. The sooner you reach out to our team, the more time we have to develop an effective strategy that increases your chances of maximizing your recovery.
A: If you cannot fully recover your damages through auto insurance, you will need to file a personal injury claim against whoever caused your accident. The state enforces a three-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, and this time limit starts on the date an accident occurs. This might sound like plenty of time in which to build your case, but it is advisable to start as soon as possible after the accident to ensure the freshness of evidence you may need to establish fault.
A: State law may not strictly require you to hire legal counsel for your truck accident claim, but having an attorney you can trust representing you enables you to approach the case with greater confidence. You will be well prepared to face any disputes an insurance carrier may raise against your accident claim, and your attorney will be able to prepare a compelling civil claim for you if necessary. Ultimately, you have the greatest chance of succeeding with your case and of maximizing your total compensation when you have experienced legal counsel on your side.
A: North Carolina law states that the party responsible for causing your truck accident is liable for all associated damages. You have the right to seek full compensation for financial losses, including your vehicle repair bills, medical expenses, and lost wages, and you may also claim compensation for future losses resulting from the incident, such as loss of your earning capacity when you have been permanently disabled. In addition to these economic damages, you can also claim pain and suffering compensation, and there is no limit to how much you can claim for a vehicle accident under state law.
A: Unfortunately, if you are found even slightly at fault for causing your claimed damages, this will negate your ability to claim compensation from the defendant under the state’s contributory negligence rule. Any amount of plaintiff negligence in a civil suit negates their ability to claim compensation from the defendant, even if they are only very slightly to blame for the accident. If you are worried about bearing partial liability for your recent truck accident, it is crucial that you speak with a Charlotte truck accident attorney as soon as possible after you receive medical attention.
A: It’s natural for anyone struggling with the financial effects of a serious accident to worry about the potential cost of hiring an attorney to help them recover. However, this is no cause for alarm if you choose the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. to represent your case. We accept personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis. This means our client does not pay a fee unless and until we secure compensation on their behalf. Their fee is a percentage of the total compensation we recover for their damages, but if we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation, there is no fee at all.
A truck accident in Charlotte may be a life-changing experience, and it is natural for anyone who experiences such an accident to wonder how they can recover their losses. Working with a seasoned Charlotte truck accident attorney is the most effective way to increase your chances of success with all recovery efforts you pursue, and the team at the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. is ready to provide the legal counsel you need in this situation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Charlotte truck accident attorney to start working toward your recovery.