The Leading Personal Injury Lawyer in Monroe, NC Examines Your Options
Serious injury and even death can result from catastrophic truck accidents. If someone you know and love has suffered a devastating injury from a truck accident, it is important to know what you can do to ensure they are taken care of. To help, the leading personal injury lawyer, Monroe, NC firm Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb, is here to break down your options.
Make Sure Your Loved One is Receiving Proper Medical Care
Your Loved One’s Health Should Remain One of Your Main Priorities
As you determine how to handle the legal aspects of your loved one’s accident, you must also pay special attention to their medical needs. Many truck crashes cause serious, and even fatal, injuries to occupants of the car. For some car passengers, their first emergency visit is the first step to a long medical journey to recovery. Your loved one might require a series of surgeries or long-term care such as physical therapy and rehabilitation programs.
Some of the most common injuries that result from truck accidents include:
Head Injuries: Serious head trauma causing a loss of motor skills or the development of cognitive issues may result from a truck accident. Sometimes, symptoms of a head injury do not appear until after the accident. Headaches, dizziness, confusion, and vision problems are some of the most common symptoms of a head injury.
Back and Neck Injuries: Many people involved in truck accidents experience whiplash — a neck injury occurring as a result of a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. In some of the most serious truck accidents, internal decapitation, also known as atlanto-occipital dislocation, can occur. The road to recovery from a damaging — though rare — injury like this one can be long and painful.
Broken Bones: Due to the immense force and power of a truck, many victims of these accidents suffer from broken bones. Some patients may have to undergo surgery or a bone fracture repair, during which the surgeon places metal screws, rods, pins, or plates at the site of the injury. Others may receive a cast. However, broken bones do not always heal properly. As a result, your loved one might have to undergo additional medical procedures before the bone finally heals.
Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma to the internal organs such as the liver and the spleen can also occur as a result of a truck accident. If these organs are critically injured, they can be extremely difficult to repair. Truck accidents can also cause internal bleeding in its victims, which is often indicated by confusion, weakness, fatigue, and blood in vomit or urine.
Bruises and Lacerations: Bruises and lacerations are also common results of a serious truck accident. If a person is thrown from their vehicle, they may experience road burn. Road burn occurs when the skin comes in quick contact with the surface of the road forming rashes and abrasions. In the most severe cases, skin grafting may be required for open wounds.
Document Everything You Know
A Personal Injury Lawyer in Monroe, NC Tells You What Files You Need to Keep
Your loved one may have a legal case against the truck driver or the owners of the trucking company involved in the accident. If the trucking company and its insurance company don’t treat your loved one fairly and properly, you might be forced to file a lawsuit against the driver and the trucking company. In this case, it is critical that you gather physical evidence of your loved one’s injuries as well as any details you can gather from the scene of the accident.
Remember to take note of the accident’s surrounding area, any traffic signals and signs nearby, nearby lanes of traffic, and any other factors that could have played a role in the accident.
If anyone witnessed the accident, make sure you take their contact information down. You may even ask any businesses located near the vicinity of the accident to see if their video footage captured its events.
Other factors that could play a critical role in filing a truck accident lawsuit include:
Travel costs and any other expenses related to medical treatment
Find a Leading Personal Injury Lawyer in Monroe, NC to Assist You
An Experienced Lawyer Can Give You the Help That You and Your Family Need
Should you and your loved one be forced to file a lawsuit against the trucker or trucking company involved in the accident, you will need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in Monroe, NC to assist you. An attorney is trained to handle your loved one’s claims process with their insurance company while also helping you manage the aforementioned tips. While your personal injury lawyer works tirelessly to advocate on behalf of your loved one, you can keep your focus on monitoring their mental and physical health.
As you search for a lawyer, remember to take these factors into consideration:
The Top Charlotte Truck Accident Lawyer Reviews the 5 Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Due to their tremendous size and weight, commercial trucks present a high level of danger to passenger vehicles. With 18-wheeler trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds and passenger vehicles weighing an average of 4,000 pounds, it is no wonder that occupants of passenger vehicles face a higher risk of serious injury or death in an accident. A variety of factors can lead to a vehicle accident, such as poor weather, driver fatigue, or equipment failure. In our latest article, an experienced Charlotte truck accident lawyer reviews the 5 most common causes of commercial truck accidents.
1. Driving in Poor Weather
Bad Weather Can Throw Off Even the Most Experienced Commercial Truck Drivers
If a truck driver is not properly trained or if they underestimate the severity of the current weather conditions, they can put both themselves and other drivers around them at risk. During poor weather conditions, these drivers must practice extreme caution. They may even have to pull over to the side of the road if the dangerous weather conditions persist or grow worse. Failure to practice safe driving practices can result in severe injury or even death.
Rain — A heavy downpour can cause slippery road conditions. If a driver does not know how to properly brake without skidding or jackknifing, they pose a serious risk to the vehicles near them.
Ice and Snow — Icy roads are also particularly difficult for truck drivers to navigate. Due to the weight of the truck, drivers can easily lose control of their vehicles when attempting to maneuver them
Fog — Fog causes poor visibility, thereby increasing the chances of a commercial truck accidentally hitting another vehicle.
2. Equipment Failure
Forgetting to Regularly Inspect Equipment or Properly Maintain a Truck Can Result in Equipment Failure
Commercial truck drivers clock in thousands of miles every day. As a result, their trucks go through quite a bit of wear and tear. In order to keep their vehicles safe and properly-functioning, drivers and their crews must maintain the truck on a regular basis. Operating a truck while it is in need of maintenance — such as a worn brake pedal or a broken windshield — could cause a catastrophic traffic accident. Because of the dangers that a malfunctioning truck can inflict, drivers are required to inspect their rig and submit a vehicle maintenance report at the beginning of each shift. Equipment manufacturers could also be held responsible for an accident if investigators find a damaged or defective part in the truck. Parties that could be deemed liable include the equipment parts manufacturer, trucking company, and even any mechanics who performed repairs on the vehicle.
3. Engaging in Dangerous Driving Practices
Passenger Drivers Can Pose a Risk to Both Themselves and Nearby Vehicles
It is important to note that commercial truck drivers are not always at fault when an accident occurs. Passenger vehicles put themselves at a greater risk of causing an accident or sustaining serious injuries from an accident when engaging in unsafe driving practices. To protect yourself and the passengers of your vehicle, you should avoid:
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
Cutting in front of another passenger vehicle or commercial truck
Driving in a truck’s blind spot
Driving while drowsy or extremely fatigued
Distracted driving from texting or attempting to multi-task
4. Truck Driver Fatigue
Driving While Drowsy Can Have Devastating Consequences
Driving while fatigued is a major problem among commercial truck drivers. In fact, the CDC found that commercial drivers were more likely to suffer from drowsiness than regular drivers who are able to follow a regular work and sleep schedule. Truck driver fatigue can be caused by a variety of factors including a lack of sleep, attempting to drive while sick, or exhaustion from working too many hours.
5. Overloaded Cargo
Improper or Overloaded Cargo Can Fall Off a Truck, Causing a Catastrophic Accident
Because of the sheer weight and size of the loads that commercial trucks carry, drivers must abide by specific industry standards when loading the bed of their truck. Each load must pass various weight, size, length, width, and height requirements before being approved for transportation. Companies must employ special methods for securing their cargo. Any mistakes or negligence that occurs during the procedure could cause the load to fall into the road and cause a severe accident.
If you were involved in a commercial vehicle accident and need to speak with an experienced Charlotte truck accident lawyer, contact the Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb to schedule a free consultation. For over 30 years, the legal team at the Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb has successfully helped various clients who suffered from personal injury and damages as a result of commercial truck accidents.
A Personal Injury Lawyer in Charlotte Explains the 4 Key Differences
Anyone who has seen a truck or bus knows how much larger and intimidating they are than passenger vehicles. It’s no wonder you need a separate license to drive them! Unsurprisingly, commercial vehicle accidents are handled differently from passenger vehicle accidents.
Passengers Face a Higher Risk of Sustaining Serious Injuries in Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial Vehicle Accidents Can Cause Severe Injuries — Even Death
Not all vehicle accidents inflict the same level of damage to each other. A small convertible is likely going to cause less damage to your vehicle than an 18-wheeler. In fact, accidents involving commercial trucks have a higher chance of resulting in death or serious injury than accidents involving two passenger cars.
This is why most truck drivers or commercial vehicle operators carry insurance with high liability limits. The higher the liability, the more money there is available for the injured party.
Common injuries that result from commercial vehicle accidents may include:
Back or neck injuries that could result in paralysis or impaired motor ability
Burns ranging in severity
Head trauma that could disrupt one’s ability to function independently
Cuts and lacerations
Internal bleeding to vital organs including the liver and the kidney
Many victims of these accidents choose to seek compensation for the negligence of the commercial party that resulted in their injuries.
Commercial Drivers Have Larger Insurance Policies
Compensation Might Be Higher for Commercial Vehicle Accidents
As we mentioned before, commercial vehicle drivers usually carry higher insurance liability limits than regular drivers. This is due to the higher severity of injuries that can result from accidents involving trucks and other commercial vehicles. Rather than being forced to pay out-of-pocket for their injuries, they can seek compensation from the damaging party. Victims seeking compensation for their injuries need enough assistance and help to get them through their recovery, whether this entails surgery or an extended hospital stay.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries
As a personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb knows that jurors consider the amount of compensation to grant victims according to several factors:
The severity and pain levels of the injuries: How severe were the injuries? Burn injuries are considered to be one of the most painful injuries that can result from a car accident. Paralysis and loss of motor functions can also result in chronic pain and interfere with one’s daily life and ability to function independently.
The length of recovery time: Some injuries take years to recover from. Some aren’t even recoverable at all. Jurors must seriously consider the extent to which a victim’s injuries have disrupted their lives.
The emotional trauma caused by the accident: Even after one’s physical injuries have healed, the psychological trauma that resulted from the accident can still remain. Years of therapy and counseling may follow.
There is Usually More Property Damage to Your Vehicle
Unsurprisingly, Commercial Vehicle Accidents Tend to be More Expensive Than Passenger Accidents
A semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This hefty weight, combined with the size of the truck, can inflict some serious damage on a vehicle. While they may be smaller, these commercial vehicles can also cause critical damage requiring expensive repairs:
Determining the Cause and Liability of a Commercial Vehicle Accident is More Complicated
Companies Could be Held Liable for Accidents — This is Why
Most commercial trucks traveling the roadways are performing interstate deliveries. As a result, most drivers operate under state and federal regulations. To become a driver, they must undergo specialized education and training before obtaining a commercial driver’s license.
You might be wondering “Why does this information matter?” In short, if an accident occurs and authorities discover that the commercial driver did not possess the required qualifications for the job, the trucking company could be found liable for negligence in training their drivers. The company could also be charged for negligence if investigators discover that equipment failure played a role in the accident. However, the driver could still be held partially responsible for the accident as they are expected to conduct thorough vehicle examinations before departing.
How to Decide Whether or Not You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in North Carolina
Hint: You Probably Do
When it comes to commercial vehicle accidents, these cases tend to be more complex than passenger accidents. Many past victims of commercial vehicle accidents found that they needed help navigating the complex legal process they were required to undergo. Because a company-owned vehicle was involved in the accident, insurance companies conduct a series of investigations and the defending party will need to follow. Attorneys at The Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb conduct a thorough investigation into the accident — including obtaining relevant evidence from the commercial vehicle company and their insurance company.
Insurance companies might also try to low-ball victims for damages. If accident victims aren’t experienced with how the process of obtaining compensation works, they might end up accepting a lower, and less helpful, offer.
Today’s Legal Lunchable is going to be about commercial vehicles – tractor trailers and trucks and you’ve seen them all the time, folks. I-85. I-77. I-485. They’re all over the place and it’s okay that they’re out there. But here’s the deal: these folks have to be careful too. These vehicles weigh between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds. And because they weigh that, the drivers are trained but also they have to keep certain logs. They have to do pre-trip inspections, post-trip inspections. There’s a lot required because of how dangerous it is.
I want to tell you about a case we had. We had a client who was driving down a rural road and he was on his way to work early in the morning and a commercial vehicle pulled right out in front of him and he went underneath it. Almost killed him. He was severely injured. They had two people in the truck that said that our client was speeding and because he was going so fast the truck didn’t see him, pulled out but it was our guy’s fault. But I tell you what. He came to us. We got involved in the case. We filed a lawsuit and we asked for the logs – the pre-trip inspections, everything this truck driver is supposed to do to be safe. And guess what? They didn’t have them. And very shortly thereafter, that insurance company tendered every bit of money they had which was $500,000.
If you, a family member or a loved one has been injured or hurt by someone driving a large vehicle, please call us. We will do everything we can to help.