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Being involved in any accident is bad enough; but when the accident involves a commercial truck, the situation can become much more serious. With the additional weight that the trucks carry, collisions with trucks can result in severe property and bodily damage to the people in the smaller cars. Despite the fact that professional truck drivers are required to obtain special operators’ licenses, the same rules of the road apply to them as to everyone else.

If a person is involved in an accident with a commercial truck and the truck driver is at fault, they have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies that represent truck companies try to take advantage of unrepresented plaintiffs.

A Burlington truck accident lawyer can help people who have been injured in tractor trailer accidents to fight back against the insurance companies and obtain the compensation that they deserve. Contact an experienced injury attorney to pursue compensation today.

Laws Governing North Carolina Truck Accidents

Most collisions between trucks and passenger cars, despite the catastrophic effect that they may have on the cars, are accidental. While instances where a tractor trailer intentionally rams a car are not unheard-of, most collisions are the result of carelessness.

Because of this, the law in North Carolina allows injured people to sue under the theory of negligence.

In short, negligence is when a person has a legal responsibility to care for another person. When they fail in that responsibility, and another person is hurt, the person with the responsibility is liable for damages.

Establishing Negligence

To be more precise, there are five elements that a plaintiff and their Burlington truck accident lawyer would need to prove to win a truck accident negligence case:

  • The plaintiff must prove that the trucker owed a duty to protect them. This is never in dispute since all motorists assume a duty to protect all other people whenever they drive a vehicle
  • The plaintiff must prove that the truck driver took an action, or failed to act, in such a way as to cause harm. This can be by violating a rule of the road, such as by speeding or running a red light, or by simply being careless by not looking before changing lanes
  • The injuries suffered by the plaintiff need to be caused by the accident. Any pre-existing conditions will not be acceptable as damages, but if a preexisting injury is made worse by the accident, it may be claimed
  • The injuries suffered need to be foreseeable from the facts of the case. Considering that tractor trailer accident injuries can be severe, or even fatal, this is not often in dispute
  • Lastly, the plaintiff needs an actual physical injury. Non-physical injuries, such as mental anguish, or lost wages, can be added on, but all claims must be founded in physical harm

Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Cases

Plaintiffs in truck accident cases should also be aware of the time limits imposed on them by the North Carolina legislature. Known as the statute of limitations, plaintiffs in all cases alleging personal injury have only three years from the date of the accident to start a case according to N.C. Gen. Stat.1-52.

Speak with a Burlington Truck Accident Attorney

People who have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck often do not know where to turn. They may be severely injured, have a totaled car, or be missing significant time at work. They know that they have a claim, but figure that it is simply quicker and easier to take the insurance company’s first offer for settlement.

In fact, insurance companies make their profits this way. By pressuring unrepresented plaintiffs into signing quick, low-ball offers, they dispose of cases quickly and for little money. Do not be taken advantage of; contact a Burlington tractor trailer accident attorney today.

An experienced lawyer can gather the evidence, talk to witnesses, and deal with the insurance companies so that injured individuals can focus on their recovery. By negotiating from a position of strength, many cases come to a settlement for a fair amount and avoid trial. However, if a trial is necessary to get plaintiffs what their cases deserve, the attorney can stand at their side every step of the way. Contact a Burlington truck accident lawyer today.