Most North Carolina motorists go about their daily driving tasks with little concern or trepidation yet are, on some level, aware of the risks of accidents. Although road safety is regularly promoted through public awareness campaigns, the number of accidents nationally continues to climb and is, by most estimates, in excess of 6 million incidents every year. Thankfully, most accidents are relatively minor, involving no personal injury and clear liability, but truck accidents present a different set of challenges than a more typical scenario involving two passenger cars.
As with every issue of liability involving a potential lawsuit, the greater number of litigants involved, the more complex the case. When a commercial truck is involved in a crash, there can be multiple parties who may have some stake in what ultimately happens. For instance, the truck driver, the owner of the truck, the company that leased the truck and the owner of the freight that was being shipped by the truck may be, and generally are, separate entities that each have separate interests. Compare this with two automobile drivers who are involved in a fender-bender type accident and exchange information, call their insurance companies and go about their business.
Further complicating the determination of liability in truck accidents are the voluminous federal regulations that govern and control the trucking industry. Issues such as driver training, number of hours on the road over a recent period, truck safety, proper freight loading and many others become part of the equation. Additionally, the various parties who may be liable as defendants are quick to respond and begin formulating a defense as to their own lack of culpability.
The injury potential to a driver involved in a commercial truck accident is clearly greater than in a typical crash due to the sheer size and mass of the vehicle involved. A personal injury lawyer can offer counsel and advice on recovering damages.