Best Truck Accident Lawyers Charlotte, NC Of 2024 – Forbes

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A truck accident can be more complex than a car accident, because there are a variety of laws that apply to truck drivers. Truck drivers are required to follow more stringent regulations and laws. Truck drivers have to qualify for a specialized license to showcase their abilities and understanding of the law.

Sadly, trucking accidents can be more dangerous and costly than car accidents, raising the stakes of the situation for the plaintiff and the insurance companies.

Because trucking accidents can be more complicated than other accidents, there are some things to keep in mind as you begin, or continue, your legal journey.

North Carolina Statute of Limitations

Like most civil cases, trucking accidents must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. A statute of limitations is the deadline by which you have to file your case before you are no longer able to pursue compensation.

The statute of limitations varies depending on the case you are filing, but exists to ensure that a fair trial, if necessary, is possible. Over time, witnesses can forget details, medical information can be lost and documentation can be misplaced, preventing a judge or mediator from having an accurate understanding of the case.

In North Carolina, victims of a trucking accident have three years from the date of the accident to file their claim.

For instance, if you were in a trucking accident on April 1st, 2022, you have until April 1st, 2025 to file your case. The case need not reach a conclusion by that point, but the process be begun.

Even though an individual has three years to file a trucking accident case, it’s wise to begin the process as soon as you can. Starting the case early on can ensure that you are able to get any documentation and can connect with any witnesses who may have critical information.

North Carolina Laws for Truck Drivers

  • Valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Truck drivers in North Carolina, whether volunteer or paid, are required to hold a valid CDL to transport passengers or goods. A CDL is not required for driving recreational vehicles, military equipment, emergency equipment or farm vehicles, but a driver is still required to hold a regular license in the appropriate class.
  • Driving time limits. Truck drivers are limited to driving 11 consecutive hours if working interstate or 12 hours if only driving in North Carolina. Drivers may drive up to two additional hours if road conditions make it unsafe for them to stop. This law is designed to ensure that drivers are adequately rested before driving.
  • Stricter impaired driving. In North Carolina, the legal commercial vehicle driving limit is .04 of blood alcohol concentration. Driving a truck while impaired also carries a hefty fine of $200 and more severe consequences for repeat offenders.
  • Insurance requirements. Federal regulations and North Carolina law requires companies to have at minimum $750,000 in liability insurance. For certain substances, like hazardous materials, the minimum can be as high as $5 million in liability coverage.
  • Must follow federal regulations. Outside of following North Carolina laws, truck drivers are also held to high standards federally and must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which regulates weight limits, time spent driving and more.

Identifying Fault for a Truck Crash

Generally, when there is a truck accident, one party may have to take responsibility for causing the accident, or both parties may find they are each partially responsible. Whomever is determined to be the victim may be entitled to compensation.

Yet determining fault can be difficult. Sometimes, it’s unclear what the exact events were and other times, individuals may deny any wrongdoing. In these situations, police may evaluate witness statements, camera footage and more to help determine who is at fault for causing the accident.

In North Carolina, determining who is at fault is even more important, as North Carolina follows a pure contributory negligence doctrine. Under this doctrine, a victim can only recover damages if they prove the other party was 100% at fault. For instance, if a truck driver ran a red light, causing a crash, but the individual who was hit had been speeding, the victim may be found partially responsible for their injuries. In this situation, the victim may be unable to recover any compensation from the other party.

North Carolina does allow for an exception to the pure contributory negligence doctrine, which is that if one driver had a clear opportunity to avoid the collision, but didn’t, then they are at fault.. Failing to act may lead to liability even if the victim was partially responsible for their injuries.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

While working with an attorney for a trucking accident isn’t necessary, it can make a big difference in your case. Often, truck companies have dedicated lawyers whose goal is to protect the company’s assets. Without legal experience, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when advocating for compensation.

Truck accident lawyers also usually work on contingency, meaning that you only pay them if they successfully obtain compensation for your injury or damages. Most lawyers take about 33% of the settlement or verdict, but it’s important to check with them to understand their fee structure. Outside of this, you may also have to pay additional fees that are required regardless of if you are filing by yourself.

If you decide to work with an attorney, they’ll be able to walk you through the entire process. With you, they’ll determine an appropriate amount of compensation and then work on negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. While most cases settle outside of the courtroom, if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will also help fight for your case in court.

In addition to assisting with settlement negotiations or possibly a trial, lawyers have experience dealing with insurance companies, seeking out witnesses and documentation and handling the paperwork. Your lawyer should be able to ensure the process is completed correctly and that any questions or concerns you have are addressed.

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