If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, you may be able to receive compensation from the liable party to start the process of rebuilding your life. A truck accident lawyer from our firm can step in and help you explore your legal options against a negligent truck driver or related entity. We help accident victims just like you throughout North and South Carolina, including in Rutherfordton.
By pursuing compensation, you can hold the liable party – no matter who they are – accountable for their actions. You can also win compensation that covers all of your accident-related expenses.
Damages You Can Seek After a Truck Accident
With the help of Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, you may be able to recover damages for one or more of the following:
- Lost wages: This refers to the income you missed out on while on a temporary leave of absence from work. You may also qualify for damages if your injuries will permanently affect your ability to earn a living.
- Property damage: If your car was damaged in the accident and you had to pay for repairs, you may seek reimbursement for those expenses.
- Medical bills: You could receive compensation for any medical costs already incurred, as well as expenses you expect to incur for future treatment.
- Other expenses: Did you end up spending money on any product or service that you would not have needed if the accident had not happened? You may be able to collect damages for that expense.
- Pain and suffering: Both physical and emotional distress could make you eligible for monetary damages.
- Reduced quality of life: This could mean many things, including the inability to independently perform tasks that used to be easy for you.
- Disability: You could qualify for compensation for that injury if the accident caused a temporary or permanent disability.
- Loss of consortium: Your relationship with your spouse has deteriorated, ended, or otherwise been negatively affected by the accident.
We offer a free initial case review, during which we encourage prospective clients to share the details of their accident. This testimony, along with evidence we collect during our independent investigation, can help us figure out how much money to seek from the liable party’s insurance company.
Types of Truck Accidents in Rutherfordton, NC
Whether traveling U.S. 64 or Highway 221 in Rutherfordton, you share the road with large commercial trucks hauling cargo across state lines. Large trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than smaller passenger vehicles. Accidents that can result include the following:
- Override accidents – This happens when the truck runs over another vehicle. This can occur when the truck rear-ends the passenger car.
- Underride accidents – This happens when a car is pushed under the truck. This typically occurs when the truck driver brakes suddenly, making it difficult for the driver behind the truck to stop.
- Side-swipe crashes – This happens when a vehicle hits the side of a truck. This accident frequently occurs when two lanes merge, such as on an interstate highway on-ramp.
- Right-hook crashes – This refers to a truck driver turning right into a cyclist traveling in the same direction, hitting them.
- Jackknife crashes – This can happen when a large truck and its trailer go into a skid, forming an angle of 90 degrees with each other.
If one of these accidents happened to you or a loved one, we can help. Our Rutherfordton truck accident lawyer can investigate what happened, determine liability, and file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit on your behalf.
If you were involved in a traffic accident caused by a truck driver who didn’t yield the right-of-way, a left turn accident lawyer from our team to help you access compensation. The injuries you suffered might require ongoing medical care and you might also be unable to work due to your injuries. Our legal team can help you rebuild your life.
Getting Legal Help After a Truck Accident
Insurance companies sometimes take advantage of the fact that claimants are not fully aware of their rights and responsibilities after a truck accident. At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we want to keep you fully informed throughout the legal process so you can make educated decisions regarding your future.
Our services include:
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
The insurance company could offer a fast settlement that may initially appeal to you. However, this offer may be insufficient for your needs and fail to compensate you for your injuries.
To make sure that you truly get what you are entitled to, let us handle all communications with the insurance company. We would be happy to:
- Send out the initial notification, letting them know that you are filing a claim against their client
- Field all settlement offers and let you know whether or not they are fair
- Sit down with their representatives and negotiate for the amount that you deserve
- Draw up the necessary paperwork once a settlement agreement is reached
- Answer all of your questions at every step of this process
- If negotiations are not successful, we are ready and willing to take the fight to court on your behalf.
Working on a Contingency-Fee Basis
We understand that, following a truck accident, you are likely experiencing financial difficulties. For this reason, you may be concerned about how you can afford legal assistance. At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we work on a contingency-fee basis for injury cases. This means that:
- Unless we get financial recovery on your behalf, you owe us no attorney fees.
- We do not require any start-up fees or hourly payments; we receive attorney fees only through the settlement offer we obtain for you.
- You can more easily afford the legal representation you deserve.
You do not have an unlimited amount of time to pursue litigation. Below are some factors that may affect or even derail your case if you wait too long.
- The general statute of limitations: Under S. § 1-52, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. If you do not, you will likely lose the right to pursue litigation.
- What type of case you are filing: The above statute applies to personal injury cases. If you are filing a wrongful death case on a deceased loved one’s behalf, the statute of limitations is two years, per S. § 1-53.
- Impermanent evidence: As time passes, witnesses may forget important details, crucial paperwork may be lost, and video evidence may be destroyed. The sooner you start, the more evidence is likely to be available to support your suit.
Proving Liability for a Truck Accident
To recover compensation, we need to establish that all injuries and financial losses resulting from another party’s negligence. Sometimes, more than one party can be found responsible for your injuries. We can carefully investigate your case to find evidence of the liable party’s (or parties’) guilt. In a truck accident, liable parties could include:
- The trucker
- The trucker’s employer
- The company that built the truck
- The parties responsible for loading the truck
Important evidence in truck accident lawsuits may include:
- The police report
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Traffic surveillance footage or security camera footage
- Medical records
You have the right to pursue compensation, no matter who is responsible for the collision. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can work to establish that the other party is responsible for the collision and, as a result, should pay for your financial losses.
Common Truck Accident Causes
Do you know exactly how your truck accident happened? Just as we can investigate to identify the liable party, a lawyer from our firm can determine the specific event or events that precipitated your Rutherfordton accident.
Although truck accidents can happen for many reasons, a few common causes often play a role in these incidents.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers are required to be alert at all times while driving their vehicles. Unfortunately, many drivers become fatigued after working long hours behind the wheel without sleep. As a result, they may fall asleep at the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 13% of commercial truck drivers were considered drowsy at the time of their crash.
Fatigue affects the driver in various ways, including:
- Slowed reaction time and reflexes
- Impaired judgment
- Increased risk of falling asleep
- Impaired balance
Distractions such as cell phone conversations and radio transmissions can lead to crashes if drivers fail to keep their eyes on the road. Anytime a truck driver is on the road, they must focus and not engage in any distracting activity. This includes using cell phones and other electronic devices.
Weather conditions such as rain or snow can affect visibility, making it difficult for truck drivers to see oncoming traffic. These may cause trucks to lose control and veer off course.
Large Blind Spots
Large blind spots are especially dangerous at intersections and when turning. Drivers may also have trouble seeing other vehicles, especially if they are equipped with large trailers that block their vision. Drivers need to check their mirrors before turning while always keeping their eyes on the road.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, an improper turns accident lawyer from our team can help you recover damages. We can investigate the collision and use the available evidence to build a strong case against the liable party.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. The penalties for a DWI conviction vary by state, but DWI could land a driver in jail, facing hefty fines and even license suspension.
Hour of Service Violations
Trucking companies are required to follow the hours-of-service regulations set forth by FMCSA. These regulations govern how long commercial drivers may be on duty and when they must take rest breaks. FMCSA has specific requirements for truck drivers, including a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving time.
Many truck drivers are tempted to speed to improve their time on the road. Speeding substantially increases the crash risk and can make it much more difficult for the driver to brake in an emergency.
Failure to Adhere to Traffic Laws
Truckers are less likely to be involved in accidents if they adhere to traffic laws and wear seat belts while behind the wheel.
Vehicular Malfunction or Failure
Vehicle defects can cause dangerous situations for truck drivers. These include faulty brakes or unsafe tires that can blow out, causing serious injury or death.
Truck Accident Injuries and Medical Care
Truck accident injuries may include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Sprained, strained, or torn ligaments
You should always seek prompt medical attention following a collision, even if you are able to walk away from the accident scene. In addition to possibly saving your life, the resulting medical record can serve as important evidence in a lawsuit.
We encourage you to keep all evidence pertaining to your injuries and their subsequent care. Imaging scans, prescription medications, and other relevant items can help us tie your injuries back to the truck accident.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today
Truck accident injuries can limit your ability to work and cause significant medical debt. A truck accident attorney from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can work hard to pursue damages from the liable party and exhaust all possible sources of recovery in accordance with your legal interests.
Call us today at the Rutherfordton office to start your free case evaluation.