Goldsboro Truck Accident Lawyers
Any car accident can be a disastrous event for those involved. However, when colliding with a large commercial truck, these crashes can be especially severe and deadly. Commercial trucks, such as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, tankers, flatbeds, and more are notoriously heavy, bulky, difficult to maneuver, and slow to stop. When crashing into a smaller vehicle, it is generally the occupants of the car or SUV who suffer the most.
Strickland Agner Pittman represents those who have been victimized by negligent drivers and other parties, including truck drivers, trucking companies, and the manufacturers of trucks and their equipment.
What is Considered a Truck Accident?
A truck accident refers to any collision or incident involving a truck, typically a large commercial vehicle, and can cause significant damage, injuries, or fatalities. These accidents can occur due to various reasons, including human error, mechanical failures, environmental factors, or a combination of these.
Here are some common types of truck accidents:
- Jackknife: This occurs when the trailer of a truck swings out to form a 90-degree angle with the cab. It often happens due to sudden braking or slippery road conditions.
- Rollover: This happens when a truck tips over onto its side or roof. It can be caused by taking turns too quickly, unbalanced cargo, or abrupt steering maneuvers.
- Mechanical Failures: Accidents can occur due to various mechanical failures in trucks, including issues with brakes, steering systems, transmission, or other critical components.
- Underride and Override Accidents: Underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle gets trapped under the truck's trailer, usually during sudden stops or rear-end collisions. Override accidents occur when a truck rides over a smaller vehicle.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Trucks have large blind spots, and accidents can occur when smaller vehicles enter these blind spots, causing the truck driver to collide when changing lanes or making turns.
- Wide Turn Accidents: Trucks require more space to make turns. Accidents happen when a truck swings wide while turning and collides with vehicles in adjacent lanes.
- Cargo-related Accidents: Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo can shift during transit, leading to accidents. Spillage or falling cargo can cause collisions or obstruct roadways.
- Runaway Trailer Accidents: These accidents occur when the trailer becomes detached from the truck and rolls uncontrollably, posing a serious threat to other vehicles on the road.
Each type of accident may result from various factors, including driver error, weather conditions, mechanical issues, or other external factors. Preventative measures, such as proper maintenance, driver training, and adherence to safety regulations, are crucial in minimizing these accidents and their consequences.
Truck Accident Claims in North Carolina
The National Safety Council has reported that 4,842 trucks were involved in fatal traffic accidents in 2020. While this was slightly lower than in 2019, truck accident fatalities have been on the rise since 2011. Furthermore, while trucks represent only four percent of all registered vehicles, they were involved in nine percent of all fatal collisions. In 2020, 4,965 individuals were killed in truck accidents. The majority of these were those in passenger and other smaller vehicles at 71 percent as opposed to truckers.
Because of the complex factors involved in truck accidents, they require extensive investigation. The trucking industry is subject to state and federal regulations which, if violated, can be the cause of crashes. As mentioned above, truck accidents are also complicated by various entities who may be held liable, all of whom must be investigated to determine fault. These accident claims may require accident reconstruction experts and their testimony in court as well.
Truck accidents can have many causes, including:
- Fatigued truck drivers
- Drunk or drugged drivers
- Other traffic law violations
- Poor truck maintenance
- Improperly/overloaded cargo
- Defective truck parts (brakes, tires, etc.)
- Faulty road maintenance, design, or construction
- Poorly trained drivers
In addition to this, large commercial trucking companies may have their own teams of lawyers working to reduce their liability. These, along with insurance adjusters working for their employers, may do everything possible to shift the fault to you so that your claim can be denied. Because of these multiple factors working against you, you need an experienced team on your side whose only objective is to help you secure maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Determining liability in a truck accident can be complex and may involve multiple parties due to the various factors contributing to the crash. Here are some parties that could potentially be held liable:
- Truck Driver: The driver might be held liable if their actions directly caused the accident. This could include instances of speeding, reckless driving, driver fatigue, driving under the influence, or distracted driving.
- Trucking Company: The company employing the driver could be held responsible if they were negligent in their hiring process, failed to provide adequate training, encouraged or demanded unreasonable schedules leading to driver fatigue, or neglected vehicle maintenance.
- Truck Owner or Lessor: If the truck is owned or leased separately from the company operating it, the owner or lessor could bear liability if the accident resulted from poor maintenance, faulty equipment, or other issues related to the truck's condition.
- Maintenance and Repair Contractors: If a third-party maintenance or repair contractor negligently serviced the truck, resulting in mechanical failure contributing to the accident, they might share liability.
- Cargo Loaders or Shippers: Improperly loaded or secured cargo that leads to an accident could make the cargo loaders or shippers liable, especially if the cargo shift caused the accident.
- Manufacturers of Vehicle Parts: In cases where the accident was caused by a defective part (e.g., brakes, tires), the manufacturer of that specific part might be held liable under product liability laws.
- Government Entities: If the accident occurred due to poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or other infrastructure issues, the government entity responsible for road maintenance might be partially liable.
Determining liability often involves a thorough investigation, analyzing evidence, witness statements, police reports, and sometimes expert opinions. Depending on the circumstances, liability might be shared among multiple parties. Legal proceedings involving truck accidents are intricate, often requiring specialized knowledge of both traffic laws and commercial regulations.
Our experienced team at Strickland Agner Pittman can properly assess and pursue claims involving these accidents. We are ready to hold the liable parties accountable for their negligent actions and maximize the compensation you deserve.
Trucking accidents are generally much more complicated than motor vehicle accidents due to the various parties who may have caused or contributed to the accident. Our team is well-equipped and experienced in all of the complex factors involved in truck accident claims and lawsuits.