Tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks are crucial to North Carolina’s economy and the entire supply chain of the United States, but they are also some of the most inherently dangerous vehicles on the road. When accidents happen involving large commercial trucks, they tend to cause far worse damages than standard passenger vehicle accidents. If you or a family member recently experienced a truck accident, a Wilmington truck accident attorney can help ensure accountability and compensation for your damages.
The Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. can provide compassionate and supportive legal counsel for all kinds of personal injury claims in Wilmington, including those arising from truck accidents. Our firm has successfully helped many past clients recover from such incidents and we know how damaging they can be. We also know the many pressing legal questions you are likely to have about your recovery options following this type of incident and are prepared to provide the answers and direction you need to approach the recovery process with confidence and peace of mind.
The recovery process after any vehicle accident in Wilmington begins with proving fault. North Carolina is a fault state, so whoever is responsible for causing your recent truck accident is liable for all resulting damages. Before you can file an automobile insurance claim and/or a personal injury claim, you must firmly prove liability for the incident, and proving fault for a commercial truck accident is likely to be more challenging than proving fault for a standard passenger vehicle accident due to the issue of vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability comes into play when an employer shares fault for an accident their employee caused. The trucking industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States, and all companies that employ truck drivers must follow strict rules when it comes to hiring, training, and background checks. Your Wilmington truck accident attorney can assist you in proving the exact cause of your accident and determining whether vicarious liability is likely to factor into your case.
You must name the party or parties responsible for the accident and then prove how they caused it. Most truck accidents and other vehicle accidents happen because of negligence, or failure to use reasonable care behind the wheel. Inattentive driving, speeding, and moving violations are some of the most common examples of this. It is also possible for illegal actions to result in devastating truck accidents. For example, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs can cause a serious crash, and the at-fault driver will face criminal charges along with their civil liability for damages they inflict on others.
As a fault state, every driver must have personal auto insurance that provides at least $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single victim, at least $60,000 in total accident coverage for bodily injuries to multiple victims, and at least $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. Trucking companies and their drivers are also required to have auto insurance, and some have coverage beyond the minimum requirements enforced by state law. However, this does not mean you should expect to fully recover your damages through auto insurance alone. Additionally, dealing with insurance company representatives can be very difficult, even for a seemingly straightforward claim.
When you have an experienced Wilmington truck accident attorney representing your case, you can approach the insurance claim filing process with greater confidence. Your attorney can help fill out your claim forms, submit them to the insurance carrier, and they can resolve any disputes the insurance company might raise against your claim. Once you receive your settlement check, your attorney can then assist you in recovering your remaining losses through a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
The main goal of any personal injury suit in Wilmington is for the plaintiff to prove liability for their damages and then recover compensation for those damages. The average person is likely able to assess their immediately recognizable damages like hospital bills and vehicle repair costs, but a truck accident can easily inflict a host of more complex damages they may be unable to calculate on their own.
Under North Carolina’s personal injury laws, the plaintiff has the right to seek full compensation for immediate and future economic losses inflicted by the defendant. These are likely to include:
If your truck accident was severely damaging, you could be entitled to claim a substantial amount of compensation for your economic damages, immediate and future. However, you also have the right to hold the defendant accountable for your pain and suffering.
The state’s personal injury statutes allow a plaintiff to claim as much recompense for pain and suffering as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm done to them by the defendant. There is no limit on pain and suffering, but the plaintiff must choose a realistic amount that reasonably reflects the level of physical pain and psychological distress the defendant inflicted.
Your Wilmington truck accident attorney can assist you in calculating an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to include in your claim. They may seek an amount that reflects your expected recovery time if you will likely recover fully from your injuries. However, if you suffered any permanent harm, they are more likely to pursue a large lump sum for you, calculated by multiplying your total economic damages by a number reflecting the severity of the harm done to you.
It’s also possible for other variables to influence your final case award. For example, if your accident was caused by the defendant because of an illegal act, they may face punitive damages at the discretion of the judge overseeing your case. If they are charged in criminal court for DUI or any other illegal act that caused your accident, they will be sentenced to restitution to you along with other penalties like fines and jail time. Your Wilmington truck accident attorney can advise you of any such issues likely to arise in your case and how they might influence your final case award.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. approach every civil claim we represent with the goal of helping our client recover as fully as state law allows. We will listen to your story and help develop a cohesive civil suit that aims for maximum compensation. Our team has helped many past clients navigate the auto insurance claim filing process and the civil court system, and we can put this experience to work for you in your recovery.
When you choose our firm to represent you, you will have more than 40 years of professional legal experience supporting you through all phases of your recovery. We generally aim to settle our clients’ cases as quickly as we can to reduce the time it takes for them to receive the compensation they need to recover, but we are not afraid to litigate for you if necessary. We will provide the legal representation you need without adding to your financial concerns with expensive hourly attorneys’ fees and do everything we can to help maximize your recovery.
A: You are not strictly required by law to hire legal counsel for a truck accident case. However, doing so will dramatically improve your chances of success with your recovery, and you will be more likely to maximize your total compensation. The right attorney can help identify every type of compensation you can seek from the defendant and streamline your case proceedings. You are more likely to win your case and more likely to receive appropriate compensation for your losses with a Wilmington truck accident attorney representing you.
A: If an investigation into your truck accident reveals that you are partially liable, you will be responsible for all your damages and will not be able to claim compensation from the other parties involved in the crash. North Carolina’s contributory negligence law prevents a plaintiff from claiming compensation from a defendant if the plaintiff shares fault for causing the damages, even if their fault is slight. If you have any concerns about bearing partial liability for your recent accident, you must consult a Wilmington truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
A: State law allows the victim of a vehicle accident that someone else caused to seek full repayment of all economic losses they suffered due to the other party’s actions. You may be able to recover some of your damages through auto insurance, but any outstanding losses that insurance cannot cover must be claimed through your personal injury suit. After calculating lost income, all medical expenses (immediate and future), lost future earning power, and pain and suffering compensation, you might discover that your case is worth much more than you expected at first.
A: If you plan to pursue a personal injury claim against any other party in the state, you must file your complaint with the court no later than three years following the date of your injury. This statute of limitations might seem generous, but it will take time to compile all the materials you need to successfully file your claim. For this reason, it is essential to hire an experienced Wilmington truck accident attorney you can trust to guide you through your case as soon as possible .
A: It’s understandable to be worried about the potential cost of hiring an attorney after a truck accident, but the reality is that legal counsel is more accessible than you might expect if you choose the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. to represent you. Our firm accepts personal injury clients on a contingency basis. This means you only pay a fee after we win your case, and your fee is a portion of whatever compensation we secure for you. There is no fee if we are unable to obtain appropriate recovery for your claim, and no risk of paying more in legal expenses than you win in compensation for your damages.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Wade E. Byrd P.A. have years of professional experience helping clients throughout the Wilmington area with all sorts of personal injury claims, including tractor-trailer accident cases involving substantial damages. Our firm has the experience and professional resources necessary to manage the most challenging cases and provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to confidently approach your case. Contact us today to set up your free consultation with a Wilmington truck accident attorney and learn how we can help you recover.