Trucking Accident Lawsuits in North and South Carolina
Large commercial trucks go by several names—tractor-trailers, big rigs, 18 wheelers, etc. These vehicles transport goods from the Carolinas to the rest of the county and bring back food, clothes, and other merchandise from the rest of the nation. It is not an exaggeration to say that commercial trucks play a vital role in the nation’s economy.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you might wonder whether you can receive compensation. We realize that the days and weeks after a bad collision can be confusing, and we are here for you. Trucking accident lawsuits are complicated, and you would benefit from an attorney’s help. Please contact Peace Law Firm to review your options.
Truck Accident Injuries
Big rigs can weigh up to 80,000, which is usually 40 times heavier than other passenger sedans. Many accident victims suffer devastating injuries. Others end up dying.
At our firm, we have seen people suffer from:
- Crushed limbs
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries, including herniated discs
- Permanent nerve damage
- Disfiguring facial injuries
Each year, thousands of people are also killed in truck accidents, leaving behind family members. Trucking accident lawsuits after someone dies are possible but complex.
If you suffer a non-fatal injury, remember to obtain immediate medical attention and follow your doctor’s advice. Many injuries can heal, but you might need months of physical rehabilitation and counseling to overcome the traumatic effects of your collision.
Compensation after a Truck Accident
In trucking accident lawsuits, our clients have managed to obtain money to cover the following;
- Medical care
- Future medical care
- Lost wages
- Future loss of earnings capacity
- Property damage (such as damage to our client’s vehicle)
These expenses can be very high, especially if you have suffered a serious injury. Surgery, rehabilitation, and a private nurse can all add up to six figure medical expenses. Many people will need continuing medical care when they have been permanently disabled.
With very serious injuries, many of our clients cannot work either, so they lose out on badly needed income. Even after they return to work, they might need to take a less demanding and lower paying job.
Many clients also receive compensation for pain and suffering and other intangible losses, such as mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. The amount our clients are eligible to receive depends on each person’ individual circumstances. You should meet with a lawyer to better understand the kinds of settlements involved in truck accident cases.
Our clients can receive compensation in trucking accident lawsuits if they can show that the driver was to blame for the crash. If the driver isn’t to blame, then our clients cannot bring a lawsuit or negotiate a settlement. One of the advantages of hiring an attorney early in the process is that he or she can document the accident to help you prove fault.
For example, an attorney can:
- Visit the scene of the accident and look for skid marks or other evidence that shows how the accident unfolded
- Inspect damage to the vehicles involved
- Analyze the police report
- Interview witnesses to the accident
- Obtain information from the truck’s black box
If the driver is to blame, then our clients can sue him. However, under North and South Carolina laws, our clients can usually bring trucking accident lawsuits against the company that employed the driver. The employer is often automatically liable simply because they are the employer.
In other situations, a trucking company might have been negligent itself. For example, a truck driver should have an appropriate commercial license and pass a physical exam before being employed.
Some trucking companies cut corners and don’t perform proper background checks, or they don’t take the driver off the road after failing a drug test. When trucking companies have been negligent in this manner, they are primarily responsible for the accident.
Timelines for Bringing Trucking Accident Lawsuits
Both North and South Carolina expect injured motorists to bring lawsuits in a timely manner. The maximum amount of time you have is found in the relevant “statute of limitations.” These laws spell out the maximum amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit, and the clock usually starts ticking from the date of the crash when your injuries are apparent.
Both North and South Carolina allow victims to bring a lawsuit within 3 years.
What happens if you wait too long? Unfortunately, a judge can dismiss your case, which prevents you from obtaining compensation. You cannot hold the truck driver or trucking company responsible for your injuries.
Instead of guessing how much time you have to sue, you should meet with an attorney right away. We will move into high gear to get a lawsuit filed if you are approaching the deadline.
Steps to Take after a Trucking Accident
As experienced attorneys, we have seen some people make critical errors in the moments after a trucking accident. To help strengthen your case, we recommend the following:
- Check the other occupants of your vehicle. Ask if they need an ambulance.
- Call the police after the accident. An officer will file a police report.
- Obtain the truck driver’s insurance information as well as his contact information.
- Get the names of all witnesses to the accident along with their contact information.
- Take pictures if you are able of the accident scene, including the field of debris.
- Avoid getting your car immediately fixed. Instead, the damage could contain clues about the accident.
Of course, you might be so badly injured after the accident that you are unable to move. In that case, the most you should do is get medical attention for you and anyone else in your vehicle who was injured. Do not worry, your attorney can help find evidence to use in your case.
Speak to Peace Law Firm
We have built a reputation in North and South Carolina providing aggressive advocacy for those injured in trucking accidents. If you need help, contact us today. We offer a free, no-risk consultation with a member of our team.