Truck accidents can have devastating outcomes, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities due to the sheer size and weight of large trucks. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in such an incident, understanding truck accident liability can help you successfully recover compensation. North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, which means you can be cut off from receiving compensation if the defendant proves you were partially responsible for the accident.
The laws surrounding truck accidents in North Carolina can make claims more complicated to resolve. Proving your claim may require an understanding of complex trucking regulations, and you may need to make your case against multiple parties. It’s important to have a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer to help build a solid liability argument.
Are Truck Drivers Responsible for Damages?
North Carolina adopts an at-fault system in motor vehicle accidents. That means you have the legal right to pursue a claim based on fault. The party whose negligence caused the accident bears the responsibility for the damages. In many cases, that could be the truck driver. Most truck drivers work for trucking companies, meaning their employer’s insurance might ultimately be responsible for paying your injury claim.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
You might encounter a range of potential defendants when investigating truck accident liability. Each of these parties might contribute to your accident in different ways. Some of the most common liable parties beyond truck drivers include:
- Trucking companies. Companiescan be accountable if they neglect vehicle maintenance, employ inexperienced drivers, or coerce drivers into exceeding legal hours.
- Cargo handlers. Improper or uneven loading can destabilize a truck, causing accidents.
- Truck manufacturers. The manufacturer could be liable if a malfunction in the truck or a specific component led to the crash.
- Other road users. Occasionally, the careless actions of other drivers can indirectly provoke a truck accident.
Our truck accident lawyer can help identify all parties who should contribute to your claim.
Federal Trucking Guidelines
Alongside state laws, federal regulations—specifically the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)—govern trucking operations. Any violation of these guidelines can help demonstrate negligence, such as surpassing allowed driving hours or overlooking vehicle maintenance. Should a trucking company defy these federal safety regulations, it might be responsible for paying your claim.
The Challenge of Contributory Negligence
North Carolina uses the doctrine of contributory negligence. You might be barred from claiming damages if you’re even minutely at fault (1% or above) for the accident. North Carolina stands among the few states still adhering to this rule, making experienced legal advice all the more essential. The other driver’s insurance company or employer will do whatever is necessary to allege you contributed to your accident and as a result are not entitled to any compensation.
Adhering to North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations
The clock starts ticking after a truck accident in North Carolina. Victims typically have a three-year window to file a personal injury lawsuit, starting from the accident date. Missing this crucial timeline could relinquish your right to compensation. You might think three years is a long time, but it can fly by when you’re embroiled in a complicated liability investigation and have severe injuries.
Contact a Raleigh – Durham Truck Accident Lawyer
Recovering from a truck accident can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining. You should concentrate on your recovery rather than arguing with insurance and trucking companies. Let us handle the legal aspects of your claim. We have nearly a decade of experience and know what it takes to build a solid case for truck accident liability. When you hire the Law Offices of Naomi Ellis, PLLC, you will work directly with Naomi from start to finish—no case managers, paralegals, associates, or secretaries. Please contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.