Truck accidents that involve passenger vehicles carry a higher risk of severe and fatal injuries. Commercial vehicles often weigh significantly more than the average passenger car. Trucks that haul trailers can weigh several tons more than typical cars, meaning that the impact of an accident can be especially hazardous. While exercising caution and adhering to traffic laws can help avoid an accident, even the most careful drivers can sometimes find themselves in an accident.
Most accidents can be the result of errors made by drivers, such as using electronic devices or speeding. All drivers have a responsibility to follow traffic laws to improve safety. When you sustain injuries from a car accident, you may be entitled to collect financial compensation from the at-fault driver. Injuries can include minor whiplash and scrapes or debilitating injuries that cause cognitive or mobility impairment problems.
Certain injuries may leave you unable to work, which can make it difficult for you to pay your monthly expenses and medical bills. A Spindale truck accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Damage to your vehicle
- Lost wages
- Transportation costs while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced
- Future lost earnings
- Loss of affection
- Loss of enjoyment
Under North Carolina G.S. § 1-52, personal injury claims involving car accidents must be filed within three years of the accident.. You should consider retaining a truck accident lawyer to ensure you comply with this and other procedural requirements.
If you suffered injuries related to a car accident, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866 to schedule a free consultation.
Determining Liability in Your Truck Accident
Following an accident that involves a commercial truck, there may be multiple parties from which you can recover, such as:
- The other driver
- The other driver’s employer
- The other driver’s insurance policy
- Your insurance policy carrier
Liability can be established by your insurance company, law enforcement, and the other driver’s insurance policy. The reason why liability matters is because North Carolina is an at-fault insurance state, meaning that the responsible driver’s auto insurance policy is the primary payor for economic losses.
North Carolina Insurance Laws of Which You Should Be Aware
North Carolina G.S. § 20-279.21(b)(2) requires all vehicle owners to carry auto insurance that has at least:
- $25,000 in property damage coverage
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for one injured person
- $60,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more injured people
Drivers can choose to maintain more coverage than the mandatory minimum. Once fault is determined, you can be reimbursed for losses up to the other driver’s policy limits. Commercial and business vehicles may have additional coverage, which is why you may want to retain a Spindale truck accident lawyer following an accident.
If your economic losses exceed the other driver’s policy limits, you can often collect benefits from your insurance policy through your underinsured motorist coverage. You have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver if the amount offered to you through their liability insurance is not fair compensation for your damages.
What You Need to Know About Contributory Negligence
North Carolina uses a contributory negligence rule that prevents you from recovering damages against the tortfeasor if you are partially responsible for the accident. Whether you are 1% at-fault or 49% at-fault, you could be barred from recovering damages against the other party. However, your attorney can often utilize evidence and testimony to prove the other motorist was fully responsible.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866 for a free consultation.
Potentially Recoverable Damages in Your Truck Accident
When you sustain injuries from a car accident that causes financial and non-economic losses, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver. North Carolina does not generally cap damages for personal injury claims involving car accidents.
Economic Damages You Could Collect
Economic damages encompass all financial costs associated with your accident, which can range from towing costs to medical bills. While medical insurance covers a portion of your medical bills, severe injuries that require hospitalization or extensive treatment may cause excessive medical debt. If your injuries preclude you from working or force you to take a lower-paying position, you can receive compensation for lost wages. You can receive lost wages if you can no longer do the work you performed before the accident.
Vehicle repair costs—including parts and labor—are likewise considered economic losses. Economic losses are actual damages you absorbed as a direct result of your accident, meaning they can be proven with receipts or bills. Therefore, it is important to keep records of your expenses.
Economic losses can also include:
- Transportation costs to medical appointments
- Damage to personal property inside your vehicle
- Prescription medications you need as a result of the accident
- Medical devices you need because of your injuries
- In-home nursing services
- Rehabilitation costs
Non-Economic Damages You May Be Able to Recover
Unlike actual costs, non-economic damages consider how the accident impacted all areas of your life, not just your finances. Serious accidents can cause trauma, anxiety, and depression, especially if your injuries are debilitating. Losing the ability to work can cause you to rely on unemployment or even Social Security disability benefits, which can make it difficult to maintain your standard of living.
Mobility impairments, such as losing the ability to walk or an important bodily function, can impact your independence. If injuries result in the loss of bodily functions, it can negatively impact your personal and familial relationships. Non-economic damages can also consider whether your injuries are permanent and require future medical care.
Injuries sustained in a car accident can also lead to a diminished quality of life, especially if you are unable to enjoy the same activities you engaged in before your accident.
Examples of non-economic claims that a Spindale truck accident lawyer can pursue include:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of affection
- Mental anguish
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for a Free Consultation Today
Car accidents can not only be very traumatic, but they can also leave you with chronic injuries that limit your independence and happiness. Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options following a car accident.