Imagine finding yourself in the midst of chaos on a bustling Charlotte, NC highway. A tractor-trailer veers out of control, leaving you in a disastrous accident that alters the course of your life in mere seconds. Suddenly, you're faced with a host of questions that demand immediate answers. What steps should you take right now? […]
Tractor Trailer Accidents in the US
The United States relies heavily on the trucking industry to get supplies and food across the country and to our stores and factories. According to the American Trucking Associations, over 4 million commercial trucks moved over 72% of America’s freight in 2021. With over 300 billion miles on the road each year, these trucks are bound to be in a number of accidents and because of their size and what they are hauling, the consequences can be much worse than a normal car accident. When a tractor trailer carrying cookies recently crashed into a bridge in Dunn, NC, it burst into flames and tragically killed the driver. I-95, a main artery of transportation on the east coast, was closed for hours.
Tractor Trailer Fatalities and Injuries
According to the National Safety Council, there were over 4,800 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2020 and another 100,000 large truck accidents that resulted in injuries. If you or a loved one have been involved in a tractor trailer accident, it's important to understand your legal options. Working with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal system and seek the compensation you deserve is the best decision you can make in these stressful situations.
Who Pays for Tractor Trailer Accidents?
While many people may jump to the conclusion that the truck driver is at fault in large accidents, that is not always the case. Every accident must be investigated, with police officers gathering evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and photographs of the accident scene. If the situation is very complex, an accident reconstruction professional may be hired to help determine the cause of the accident. Once it has been determined who is at fault for the accident, the responsible party or parties may be required to pay for the injuries and damages. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.
Who Might Be at Fault?
The Truck Driver: If the accident was caused by the negligence or recklessness of the truck driver, they may be held responsible for the injuries and damages that resulted from the accident. Driver negligence can range from distracted or tired driving, to speeding, to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or even failing to properly maintain the truck.
The Trucking Company: In some cases, the trucking company may be held liable for injuries and damages resulting from a truck accident. This may be the case if the accident was caused by a problem with the truck, such as faulty brakes or tires because the trucking company failed to properly maintain the vehicle.
Other Parties: Sometimes, what appears to be driver error is actually a defective part on the truck. Depending on the circumstances, the manufacturer of the part or the truck mechanic who installed the part may be held liable for the damages caused in the accident.
Other Drivers: The truck driver may also be a victim in these accidents. Other motorists or circumstances in a construction zone may cause even the best of drivers to be unable to avoid a crash.
In many cases, the responsible party or parties will have insurance coverage that will help to pay for the injuries and damages resulting from the accident. Trucking companies and truck drivers are typically required to carry a certain amount of insurance coverage in order to operate legally. This insurance may cover both bodily injury and property damage. If the responsible party does not have insurance coverage, or if their insurance coverage is not sufficient to cover the full extent of the injuries and damages, the victims may need to seek compensation through a lawsuit.
What to Look for in a Charlotte Tractor Trailer Accident Attorney
There are many things to consider when looking for a tractor trailer accident attorney. Here are some of the ones that we feel are most important:
Experience - You want someone who understands the trucking industry and can navigate the laws that pertain to it. Ask an attorney you are interviewing about their track record and look at client reviews. You don’t want to work with someone who is learning the process while working on your case.
Reputation - Do some research, what do others think of an attorney you want to use. Asking friends or coworkers is a great way to find out if someone has a good reputation or not.
Location - Ideally, you want to work with an attorney that is located in a location that is convenient for you so that when you need to meet in person, you don’t have to waste time driving far. Rosensteel Fleishman Car Accident & Injury Lawyers now has four convenient locations in the Charlotte and Rock Hill area.
Communication - Effective communication is critical in any legal case, and North Carolina tractor trailer accident cases are no exception. Corey Rosensteel, an attorney for Rosensteel Fleishman advises, “Your attorney should be someone who is responsive and communicative, keeping you informed throughout the legal process. They should be willing to take the time to explain the legal process to you, answer your questions, and address any concerns you may have.”
The Importance of a Contingency Fee Arrangement
Tractor trailer accident cases can be expensive because they require significant resources in order to build a strong case. Many people are unable to afford the legal fees associated with hiring an attorney. For this reason, many Charlotte, NC personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney only gets paid if they win your case, and their fee is a percentage of the settlement or judgment. This helps you feel confident that your attorney is motivated to obtain the best possible outcome for you, because their reimbursement and payment is based on the success of your case.
It's important to choose an attorney who is willing to listen to your concerns and goals, and who is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for your case. A lawyer can also help you navigate through the legal process and protect your rights. If you're unsure about your case or what you should do next, call Rosensteel Fleishman Car Accident & Injury Lawyers today at 1-704-714-1450 for a free consultation about your situation.
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