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Collisions between passenger vehicles and big trucks are terrifying. Loaded big rigs are 20 to 30 times the weight of a standard car, making any accident between the two incredibly dangerous for the car’s occupants. Severe and life-threatening injuries are a common result of such a crash. Most truck accidents are not the injured party’s fault, which means the victim usually has legal options to pursue compensation for their losses.

If you or your loved one suffered an injury in a truck accident, our New Bern truck accident lawyers will support your pursuit of compensation for medical bills and other damages, leaving you time to focus on your recovery. You can call us for a free case evaluation at (919) 785-5000. Our New Bern personal injury lawyers can review your legal options and next steps with you.

Our New Bern Truck Accident Attorneys Can Represent You at No Upfront Cost

We offer a free case consultation so that we can listen to your story and offer our best advice on the next steps in your case. There is no obligation with this offer.

If we can help you in your pursuit of a compensation settlement or verdict, and you feel comfortable with the legal team at Whitley Law Firm, we will take on your case. We work on clients’ cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that at the end of your case, you only pay us attorney’s fees if we recover compensation for your losses. If we don’t, you don’t owe us any money.

We imagine a world where we help each other like family—with protection, guidance, care, support, and empathy through every step of your journey. Suffering a serious injury alters your life, and we aim to change your story by fighting to make you and your family as whole as possible.

Your New Bern Truck Accident Case Could Cover Catastrophic Injuries and Other Accident-Related Expenses

New Bern Truck Accident Lawyer

If negligence causes an accident that damages property or injures people, those who sustain losses may pursue compensation from the negligent party. There are two main types of recoverable compensation in North Carolina for the damage done by a tractor-trailer or other big truck. These are economic and non-economic damages, as explained below.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the monetary losses from the accident. This is money you have paid out or will pay out solely because someone’s negligence harmed you or damaged your property, such as:

  • Medical expenses for current and ongoing care and treatment. Your hospital stays and surgeries, ambulance rides, transportation to and from appointments, prescriptions, and prosthetics—generally, any expense associated with harm to your mental or physical health is included. Because commercial trucks weigh more than a standard passenger car, victims suffer painful and life-changing catastrophic injuries, such as moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs), third- and fourth-degree burns, internal organ damage, and more.

The cost of treating these injuries can last a lifetime. For example, in 2021, the average cost of treating a spinal cord injury for the first year could cost $397,544, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Our New Burn truck accident attorneys will request damages from the liable party to cover these costs.

  • Lost income and lost future earning ability. These losses are part of the reckoning when someone suffers an injury. Depending on the injury, you may need to recover for weeks or months and be unable to work. If the injury is severe, you might not be able to return to work or must take a lower-paying position. The cost of lost future earnings is based on age, previous salary, and other factors.
  • Replacement or repair for damaged property. Your car and any personal belongings are included as partial or complete economic losses in this category.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are accident-related losses that are difficult to calculate but are assigned a dollar value as you put your claim together, such as:

  • Pain and suffering during and after the accident. This may include the physical aches and pains from your injury and can last days or years, depending on the injury’s severity. It also includes the mental distress you suffer. This can manifest as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, anger, and other mental health conditions.
  • Impaired quality of life. This category covers any loss of the joy you once felt and a change in your physical or mental ability to participate in your daily activities.
  • Loss of companionship, loss of consortium, or change in relationships. This category includes a distancing in the relationship between a parent and child or spouse due to the physical or emotional damage of an injury.

Wrongful Death Damages

An injured victim—or the victim’s personal representative if the accident results in the victim’s death—has the right to recover damages associated with their injury if someone else’s negligence caused the accident or recklessness. Families who seek compensation on behalf of a loved one who suffered fatal injuries in a New Bern trucking collision could be eligible under state law to recover wrongful death damages.

Parties in these damages can receive compensation for:

  • The decedent’s medical expenses related to the truck accident in New Bern
  • The decedent’s lost income (current and future)
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering the decedent experienced from the accident

We can review how wrongful death actions work in North Carolina and who in your family could recover losses.

Punitive Damages

Another category of losses, punitive damages, could apply to your case. Courts rarely award these damages, which do not compensate you for economic or non-economic losses. Instead, they punish the negligent person for their actions and, by example, prevent others from performing similarly. To recover punitive damages, you must prove another is liable for compensation and that an aggravating factor on their part of “fraud, malice,” or “willful or wanton conduct,” was related to your injury.

The final dollar amount you may recover for your losses typically depends on the accident’s cause, the severity of your losses, and your past income and future earnings potential. Our New Bern truck accident attorney will account for all your losses, so when you file your claim, you will have a solid understanding of what a full and fair compensation settlement looks like.

Whitley Law Firm Attorneys Will Fight For Your Recovery

At Whitley Law Firm, our clients become our family. Once we take your case, we are passionately committed to providing the support, guidance, and comfort you need, and we won’t settle without fighting for every dime you deserve.

We support you in every facet of your case, including:

  • Investigating the accident’s cause. Our experts will look at each moment and each vehicle leading up to the crash to pinpoint what the drivers were doing, if the truck and other involved vehicles performed as expected, and if the weather, road conditions, or lighting contributed to the accident. We can reconstruct the accident and will gather evidence that helps lead to a clear identification of the liable party.
  • Proving negligence as North Carolina law requires. Our New Bern injury attorneys will show that the truck driver had a duty to drive safely, acted with negligence, thereby breaching the duty of care, and that their negligence caused the accident that injured you and caused your losses.
  • Filing your claim and negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. We will deal with the insurer for you and handle all communications and negotiations while you focus on healing from your injuries.
  • Preparing for trial if we cannot settle your case. We will represent you and fight for your full compensation, whether outside or inside the courtroom.

We Have Recovered Multimillion-Dollar Awards for Our Clients

Our law firm has served North Carolina’s injured for half a century. Over the years, we have fought for and won compensation for many truck accident victims. Recent case results include:

  • $5.5 million for a rural mail carrier when she was struck by a tractor-trailer.
  • $3.5 million for a car passenger struck head-on by a commercial bus.
  • $3 million for a family man hit while in his car and killed by a commercial truck.
  • $2 million for a moped driver hit from behind by a big rig.

There are no set amounts that you may recover as compensation for your losses. Our truck accident attorney serving New Bern will discuss a potential settlement amount with you as we develop your case.

The Whitley Advantage

The Whitley Advantage isn’t just one thing. It’s compassionate care, listening to what you have to say, and protecting like we would our own family. To us, it’s everything.

We offer each client:

  • Bilingual service in Spanish and English
  • Appointments when you need them
  • Your attorney’s direct email address
  • Return calls or emails within 24 hours
  • An understanding that we work for you, not the other way around

We focus on the needs of those with life-changing injuries from which recovery may not be possible. These cases are complex. They require our attorneys to prepare to battle for the sizable damages essential to your and your family’s future.

Whitley Law Firm Client Testimonial

Our clients become family as we work together toward the best possible outcome for their case. In one client’s words, this is their experience:

“Whitley Law Firm and I have had a long 6.5 year case together and I couldn’t thank them enough for all of the hard work they have done for me. They made every rough road a smooth one and treated me as if I were their only client. I have gotten to know a lot of the people in the firm and they feel like a part of my family. Whit, Stephen and Linda and the rest of the staff went over and beyond to get things done for me and I will be forever grateful. I will and have recommended the Whitley Law Firm to any and all who see their professional services. I look forward to working with them again in my upcoming case.” —W.M.

How Pure Contributory Negligence Could Affect a New Bern, NC, Personal Injury Case

North Carolina is one of a handful of U.S. states that follows a pure contributory negligence standard in personal injury cases. If the defendant can prove you are even 1% at fault for the accident, you cannot recover compensation. An example of pure contributory negligence might be if the victim was driving and texting when a speeding truck driver rear-ended them. One question is: is the victim at all responsible for what happened?

Working with our New Bern attorney, who has an extensive background in personal injury law, can be a huge benefit when proving negligence in a truck accident case. With more than 80 combined years of experience, we can handle the complexities that arise in these cases and work promptly to establish your case against the opposing party.

We handle investigation of these cases right away as we know the other side’s insurer is also investigating the accident, too. Acting quickly on your behalf allows our New Bern truck accident lawyers to take away any potential advantage the other party or parties may have.

North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations Limits Filing Deadline for Injury Lawsuits

North Carolina allows victims three years to file a personal injury lawsuit, per G.S. § 1-52. If negotiations with the insurance company fail, you must file within three years of the date of your accident, or you may not be allowed to pursue a compensation verdict, although there are exceptions that may allow you more time to file:

  • At the time of the accident, the victim is under age 18.
  • The victim is legally “insane” or “incompetent” at the time of the accident.
  • The negligent party is not in the state, or no one can find them.

One of the duties of your truck accident attorney is to monitor the deadlines associated with insurance claims and lawsuits to ensure you do not miss any opportunities because of red tape. We will handle this for you when we work on your case.

More on Truck Accidents: Negligence, Causes, and Potential Liable Parties

Negligence in a trucking accident may include actions that were not intentional but resulted in injury nonetheless, such as a truck driver losing control of their vehicle after falling asleep at the wheel. Recklessness requires establishing that the at-fault party acted without regard for the safety of others—for example, by texting while driving or driving while impaired.

Common Causes of Truck Collisions

Various circumstances may cause or contribute to trucking accidents, most of which are traffic law violations. Driver error is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. Driver error is any act or omission a truck driver engages in, leading to the driver being at fault for an accident. It can include speeding, driving while impaired, fatigued driving, or any number of similar behaviors.

Equipment failure is another common cause of trucking accidents and can result from trucking companies not completing maintenance regularly. Faulty road design or bad road conditions may also contribute to truck accidents. Accidents stemming from poor road conditions might not be the fault of trucking companies or truck drivers when local, state, or federal government agencies are responsible for road maintenance.

Improperly loaded cargo can throw off a commercial truck’s balance and cause an accident.

Common Liable Parties

Although we first look at the truck driver when searching for the negligent action or party, others may be to blame or may have contributed to the accident:

  • Trucking company or owner(s)
  • Maintenance staff
  • Truck or truck parts manufacturer
  • Truck inspectors
  • Another road user, such as another motor vehicle driver

Call Whitley Law Firm about a New Bern Truck Accident Today

Call (919) 785-5000 for your free case evaluation today. Our New Bern truck accident attorneys are ready to represent you and work toward your financial compensation. We will work hard for you and your family to get you the compensation you deserve.