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Tractor trailer accidents in North Carolina are far too common, especially with the state’s many winding roadways and areas with steep highway grades.

If you or a loved one have been injured during a trucking accident, a Kinston truck accident lawyer can help by determining whether the truck driver or the trucking company is liable for your damages. Skilled attorneys will work passionately and help you fight for the compensation you are entitled to.

Truck Accident Facts

About 333,000 large tractor trailer collisions occur each year in the US, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – the federal agency that tracks highway accidents throughout the country. Reports from 2012 show that nearly 4,000 people were killed and 104,000 were injured in large truck accidents.

Liability in Truck Accidents

Many factors can come into play when determining truck accident liability. Roadway and weather conditions, and drowsy, reckless or distracted driving on the part of either driver involved in the crash can all influence which party may ultimately be held responsible for causing the accident.

Trucking Company Responsibilities

When trucking companies employ drivers, they have a responsibility to do their due diligence in determining whether their employee is a safe driver. They also have a duty to make sure the driver’s commercial driving license is in good standing and has not been suspended or revoked.

Companies should conduct thorough background screenings for any drug or alcohol-related driving charges, reckless driving charges, or poor references from former employers. Many trucking companies also conduct drug testing for new drivers.

Large tractor trailer companies also have a responsibility to make sure their vehicles are in good condition and up-to-date with safety inspections and necessary repairs. Likewise, they should take precautions to make sure the tractor trailers are loaded safely, since overloaded and disproportionately weighted trucks are more likely to cause rollover and jackknife accidents.

Large Truck Company Policies

Unsafe trucking company policies that encourage – or even require – drowsy driving increase the likelihood of an accident occurring. Trucking companies that force or encourage their drivers to log excessive hours on the road without adequate rest breaks pose a risk to the public, since drowsy drivers may fall asleep at the wheel.

To stay awake, some tractor trailer drivers even resort to taking certain drugs that can affect a driver’s perception and ability to safely operate the vehicle.

If these dangerous practices are exposed in a personal injury case, the company may be held liable for the victims’ medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other costs, as well as any potential punitive damages.

Common Types of Large Truck Accidents

Tractor trailer accidents can happen in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Jackknife accidents
  • Multi-vehicle pile-ups
  • Rollover accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Under-ride accidents
  • Overloaded truck
  • Semi-truck blind spot
  • Runaway truck

How Can a Kinston Truck Accident Lawyer Help?

Your Kinston tractor trailer accident lawyer can examine the trucking company’s policies – both official policies and those that were practiced informally- and drivers’ logs to determine whether the trucking company bears responsibility for causing the accident.

He or she can also analyze the circumstances of the accident and whether the truck load was appropriate for the conditions at the time.