How many times in your life have you seen an accident that involves a tractor-trailer? Too many times to remember, right? With estimates of 2,752,043 tractor-trailers on the road the odds are that at least some of these tractor-trailers will be operated by a trucker who will not act responsibly and will negligently cause a collision on a North Carolina highway.
Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and do not stop on a dime. In fact, the CDL manual provided to truck drivers instructs drivers with a 60-foot rig to leave as much as 6 seconds for stopping time. The reason is simple – the sheer force and momentum of a collision with an 18-wheeler can be absolutely devastating.
Tractor-Trailer Collisions in North Carolina
In 2018 North Carolina reported 6,513 total tractor-trailer related collisions. There were 73 reported fatalities and 1,381 reported injuries caused by commercial vehicles.
Mecklenburg county (Charlotte) led the state with 1,027 tractor-trailer related collisions, which led to 4 fatalities and 210 injuries. Wake (Raleigh) county was second in the state with 396 tractor-trailer related collisions, which led to 2 fatalities and 67 total injuries. Orange county reported 60 total collisions, 1 fatality and 14 injuries.
Obviously, Mecklenburg county and Wake county were the statewide leaders in commercial vehicle collisions, injuries and fatalities. This is due to the sheer size of those two counties, as well as the major interstates that run through them (I85 & I40), which see hundreds of tractor-trailers use them daily.
Tractor-Trailer Collision Claims
North Carolina personal injury claims involving tractor-trailer collisions are in many respects more complex than other automobile crash cases. They can involve complex accident reconstructions, use of multiple expert witnesses, such as trucking industry professionals, and examination of regulations passed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Because of the sheer size of tractor-trailers, trucking accidents also tend to involve serious to catastrophic injuries and complex medical issues.
The most important advice that a lawyer can give a tractor-trailer collision victim is to immediately seek counsel to assist with the crash investigation. Unlike many car accident cases, high-impact trucking accident cases need immediate, extensive investigation. For example, your attorney may want to retain an accident reconstruction engineer to immediately perform a skid mark analysis or investigate other physical indications as to how the crash occurred at the scene. It is also important to preserve data available through the truck’s “black box”, as well as any GPS data or onboard video footage.
Damages Recoverable in Tractor-Trailer Collision Cases
If you have been injured as a result of tractor-trailer collisions, North Carolina law allows for recovery of several “elements” of monetary damages. Included in those are compensation for past and future medical and pharmaceutical expenses, past and future lost wages, past and future physical pain and mental suffering, permanent injury, and permanent scarring. In handling your case, Maginnis Law will, if appropriate, work with life care planners, vocational rehabilitation experts, and expert physicians to ensure that your full future medical expenses are thoroughly estimated.
Representation for North Carolina Tractor-Trailer Collisions
Reckless tractor-trailer drivers are a danger to everyone on the road. When their negligence causes a wreck, it is important the victim hold the driver and their employer financially responsible.
The Raleigh trucking accident attorneys of Maginnis Law can assist you in the process of recovering fair compensation for your injuries. The firm’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, is a multi-million dollar advocate and has also been designated a Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2016. To schedule a free consultation, visit our contact page. Our firm offers a contingency fee arrangement to all victims of tractor trailer collisions. This means that you pay no attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. If you have any questions regarding this blog post or a potential case don’t hesitate to give us a call at 919-526-0450.
We offer free consultations relating to most of our other practice areas, but please call or email for details to confirm what we can do with your potential case.