Raleigh Truck Accident Lawyer

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Raleigh Truck Accident Attorney

Commercial trucking is a crucial element of the American economy and supply chain. Thousands of truck drivers deliver billions of tons of goods and materials to communities across the country every day, and many North Carolina businesses rely on commercial truck drivers as essential components of their operations.

Experienced Legal Representation for Raleigh, NC, Truck Accident Claims

Most drivers in the Raleigh area are accustomed to encountering large commercial trucks on local roads, and while most pass by these large vehicles without issue, truck accidents do happen in various ways for various reasons. If you or a family member recently sustained injuries in a truck accident, it’s vital to know the value of legal counsel on your side if you want to recover as fully as possible. The legal proceedings you could face after a truck accident are likely to be far more complex than what you could expect after a standard passenger vehicle accident, and the right attorney can be invaluable to your recovery.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. regularly assist truck accident victims and victims of other personal injuries in Raleigh with their legal troubles. We have successfully represented many truck accident victims in the area and can leverage our extensive legal experience for you as you seek compensation for your damages. Every case is unique, and every truck accident victim will encounter different challenges as they seek compensation for the damages they’ve suffered, but the right legal representative can help you approach this situation with confidence and peace of mind.

Benefits of Hiring a Raleigh Truck Accident Attorney

You may wonder whether you really need to hire an attorney to help with your recovery from a truck accident. While it’s true that you can technically pursue recovery on your own, and there is no law that requires you to hire legal counsel, you have far better chances of maximizing your recovery when you have an attorney you can trust handling your case.

If you attempted to recover on your own, you would contend with court filing deadlines, evidence gathering, and a host of other complex issues that you may not know how to handle on your own. Even a seemingly slight mistake can lead to serious problems or even put your entire recovery in jeopardy. Additionally, if you managed to succeed with an insurance claim and/or civil suit on your own, you would be unlikely to recover as much compensation as an experienced Raleigh truck accident attorney could have obtained for you. Even after accounting for your attorney’s fee for representing you, they are likely to uncover various avenues of compensation you might overlook on your own.

When you choose the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. to represent your case, you will have a responsive legal advocate readily available to provide crucial guidance and compassionate support through each step of your recovery efforts. Instead of contending with the procedural demands of your case alongside your medical issues in recovery, you can focus on healing with peace of mind as your attorney handles all your case proceedings for you. Ultimately, you are not only more likely to succeed with your case with an attorney’s assistance, but also more likely to secure far more compensation than you could have managed alone.

Proving Fault for a Truck Accident in Raleigh

The first legal challenge you will face after a commercial truck accident is proving fault. You must identify the party or parties responsible for causing your accident and prove exactly how they caused it. While many truck accidents happen from the same causes as other passenger vehicle accidents, these large vehicles present additional safety risks that you must acknowledge.

Many truck accidents happen due to the negligence of the truck driver. Every commercial truck driver has a higher duty of care than the average individual behind the wheel due to the fact that driving an inherently dangerous vehicle is an essential part of their job duties. All drivers must possess the appropriate level of training and experience to handle the demands of their job; they must also exercise reasonable care at all times behind the wheel.

A few of the most commonly reported causes of truck accidents in the Raleigh area include:

  • Truck driver errors. Truck drivers can make serious mistakes when handling their trucks, and a seasoned attorney will know how to prove the exact cause of your recent accident. If a truck driver lacked the necessary certifications or experience to handle their route, or their error directly caused the accident, it is possible for their employer to also face liability for the incident.
  • Distracted driving. Whenever any driver becomes distracted behind the wheel, they can cause an accident. Cell phone records and witness testimony are often crucial to proving that an at-fault driver was distracted.
  • Speeding. Any time any driver speeds, they create a safety hazard for themselves and all others around them. Speeding is especially dangerous for commercial trucks because these vehicles are much larger and heavier than most other vehicles, meaning they need much more time and space to slow down and stop to avoid a collision. Speeding is a major contributing factor to the number of traffic accident fatalities reported across the United States each year.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. This is the most common type of illegal misconduct responsible for accidents, and the defendant who has caused a DUI accident faces serious penalties. Jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension are all possible penalties, and these penalties increase when they have injured or killed someone with their actions. If a truck driver caused a DUI accident in Raleigh, they are likely to face these penalties along with the loss of their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
  • Maintenance issues. Large commercial trucks have more complex internal components and spend more time on the road than most standard passenger vehicles. This means they have far greater maintenance requirements, and any failure to perform appropriate maintenance on a commercial truck can lead to severe consequences. The party responsible for the truck’s maintenance would face liability for this type of crash.

Various forms of evidence can come into play in a truck accident claim when it comes to proving liability for the incident. Physical evidence, digital evidence like cell phone records, and statements from witnesses who saw the accident happen firsthand are all often crucial elements of proving fault for a truck accident. However, one additional layer of complexity that could be present in your truck accident case is vicarious liability. A plaintiff must also assess whether they could share fault for the accident, which would jeopardize their ability to recover compensation.

Vicarious Liability and Contributory Fault

The legal issue of vicarious liability can arise in a truck accident case if an investigation shows that a truck driver’s employer shares fault for the incident. For example, if the truck driver’s employer never conducted a proper background check that would have revealed the driver’s safety risk, the employer is likely to face vicarious liability if the driver later causes an accident. Your Raleigh truck accident attorney can help determine whether vicarious liability could influence your recovery efforts.

Another factor that might arise in your case is contributory fault. If a plaintiff is found partially liable for their accident, North Carolina’s contributory fault rule will prevent them from recovering compensation from the defendant. Under this standard, any amount of fault on the part of the plaintiff will negate their right to claim compensation from the defendant. If you have any concerns about bearing partial liability for a recent truck accident, it is crucial that you consult a Raleigh truck accident attorney as soon as possible.

Filing an Auto Insurance Claim for a Truck Accident in Raleigh

State law requires every driver in the state to have auto insurance. When an accident occurs, the fault rule dictates that whoever caused the accident is liable for the resulting damages, and their auto insurance is usually the victim’s first option for recovering their losses. At minimum, an individual driver is required to have:

  • At least $30,000 in liability coverage to compensate for bodily injuries to a single person.
  • $60,000 or more in total accident bodily injury liability coverage, which applies when more than one person sustains injuries in an accident caused by the policyholder.
  • $25,000 or more in property damage liability coverage, which can apply to vehicle repair or replacement costs.

These coverage requirements may be sufficient for a minor accident, and most truck drivers and their employers have greater coverage than what is strictly required by state law. However, this does not guarantee that insurance alone will be able to fully cover your damages after a truck accident, and dealing with any insurance company can be very stressful if you do not have an attorney you can trust advising you.

Your Raleigh truck accident attorney can help approach the auto insurance claim filing process with confidence. They will help submit your claim forms to the insurer and resolve any problems that could arise in the claim determination process. The insurance company is required to review and process your claim efficiently and in good faith, and your attorney is your most effective asset for ensuring this happens. Once you recover as much compensation as you can through insurance, the next step in your recovery process will be filing a personal injury claim against the party responsible for causing your accident.

Claiming Damages in a Personal Injury Suit for a Truck Accident

After your Raleigh truck accident attorney helps you recover an insurance settlement, any outstanding damages that insurance can’t cover may be cited in a personal injury claim. You have a limited time in which to file your personal injury suit, so it’s optimal to file your case as soon as possible. To succeed with your personal injury claim in Raleigh, you must identify the party or parties responsible for your damages and then prove the full extent of those damages.

The average personal injury plaintiff will have grounds to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages the defendant inflicted. Economic damages include the direct financial losses suffered by the plaintiff, which are usually proven with documentation showing the exact amounts lost. Your claimable economic damages could include:

  • Property losses. Insurance may not cover all your vehicle repair costs, but you have the right to seek compensation for any personal property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident.
  • Medical expenses. A truck accident has a high chance of causing serious injuries, many of which could require extensive ongoing medical care. If this applies to your situation, you have the right to hold the defendant accountable for both immediate and future medical expenses resulting from their negligence or misconduct. A good attorney can work with your medical team to ensure all your injuries are fairly considered when it comes to calculating your claimable medical expenses.
  • Lost wages. Many people who are injured in commercial truck accidents are unable to work for extended periods of time, leaving defendants liable for the income they are unable to earn. This applies to future income as well. If you were permanently disabled by your truck accident, and you will not be able to return to work in the future, the defendant is liable for the future income you are no longer able to earn. A seasoned Raleigh truck accident attorney can help you accurately calculate these projected future losses.

Once you assess the full range of immediate and future economic damages available in your case, you may learn that you have grounds to claim far more than you initially expected. However, North Carolina’s personal injury laws also allow you to claim pain and suffering compensation.

Maximizing Your Recovery From a Raleigh Truck Accident

While you may be entitled to claim a substantial amount of compensation for your economic damages, your non-economic damages are likely to form the bulk of your recovery if you suffered severe injuries. State law allows the victim of a motor vehicle accident to seek compensation for their pain and suffering, and there is no limit to how much they can claim. However, the amount sought should reasonably reflect the overall severity of their injuries and whether they suffered any permanent harm. A plaintiff left permanently disabled by a truck accident is likely to recover more pain and suffering compensation than a plaintiff expected to make a full recovery.

It is also possible for punitive damages to come into play at a judge’s discretion. When a defendant’s actions have exceeded the extent of typical negligence, a judge may determine that they bear additional liability for the severity of their actions. Punitive damages are not sought directly by the plaintiff and are instead awarded by the judge handling the case, and the amount the plaintiff receives generally depends on the financial status of the defendant and the severity of their behavior. Similarly, if the defendant is charged in criminal court for their actions, restitution to the victim could form part of their sentence. Your Raleigh truck accident attorney can explain how any such variables could influence your case award.

When you choose the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. to represent you in a truck accident case, you are investing in more than 40 years of professional experience in personal injury law. Our team has successfully represented many past clients in a wide range of complex cases, including those arising from commercial truck accidents. We know how to identify the greatest legal challenges you are likely to face in your recovery efforts and will provide consistent support until you recover the compensation you are legally owed. You have a limited time to start your recovery process, so it is crucial that you reach out to legal counsel you can trust to handle your case as soon as possible after your truck accident.

FAQs

How Do I Prove Liability for a Truck Accident in Raleigh?

The process of proving fault for a truck accident is similar to what you would face after any other vehicle accident. You must identify the driver or drivers responsible for causing the crash and prove how they caused it. Various forms of evidence can come into play in a truck accident case, from physical evidence at the scene of the accident to digital records and traffic camera footage. After a commercial truck accident, it’s important to consult a Raleigh truck accident attorney as soon as possible so you have the greatest chance of success in proving fault for your damages.

How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Suit?

When you plan to file any type of personal injury case, you must do so within the statute of limitations. Under state law, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is three years from the date an injury occurred. It will take time to gather all the evidence and other materials you will need to file your case successfully, so it’s optimal to hire an attorney to start working on your case as soon as possible. You have an even smaller time limit for filing an auto insurance claim, which is another reason finding legal counsel as soon as you can is so critical to your recovery efforts.

What Are Common Injuries From Truck Accidents?

It’s possible for any vehicle accident to cause tremendous physical harm to those involved, but the risk of severe injury is much greater in commercial truck accidents due to the large size of most of these vehicles. It’s possible for a truck accident to result in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more. Many victims sustain multiple injuries in these accidents and face very long and difficult recoveries.

How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth in Raleigh?

Under the state’s personal injury laws, you have the right to claim total repayment of all financial losses you suffered as a result of your truck accident. These are likely to include your vehicle repair costs, medical expenses, and lost wages following the accident. However, you may also claim compensation for projected future losses if you suffered serious injuries, such as the cost of future medical care you will need to fully recover and compensation for your lost earning capacity if you have been permanently disabled. Additionally, a plaintiff may claim as much pain and suffering compensation as they deem appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm they suffered.

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Raleigh Truck Accident Attorney?

The Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. can provide the legal counsel you need without adding to your financial troubles in the aftermath of a damaging accident. Our firm accepts personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis. Under a contingency fee agreement, the attorney only accepts a fee from the client after they win their case, and the fee is a percentage of the total amount recovered from the defendant. If our team is unable to secure compensation in your truck accident case, we do not collect a fee at all.

An experienced Raleigh truck accident attorney is an invaluable asset for your case in several ways. Your legal team can handle your case proceedings for you so you can focus on recovery from your injuries with peace of mind. We aim to settle our clients’ cases as swiftly as possible, but if settlement is not an option for your claim, you can rely on us to represent you through litigation. Ultimately, every truck accident victim faces different challenges as they seek compensation for their damages, but every such victim benefits by hiring experienced legal representation to guide them through their case. If you are ready to learn what a Raleigh truck accident attorney can do for you, contact the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. today to schedule a free consultation with our team.

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