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Large truck accidents are some of the most severe – and deadly – motor vehicle accidents occurring on US roadways. When a regular commuter vehicle is involved in an accident with a large commercial vehicle, there is the potential for serious physical injuries. If you or a loved one were involved in a collision with a large truck, semi-truck, or tractor-trailer, one of our firm’s experienced Winston-Salem truck accident lawyers can help. Our attorneys have years of experience handling a variety of personal injury cases and will know how to guide you through the process and help you seek liability.

How Common are Truck Accidents in Winston-Salem?

In 2014, there were about 411,000 crashes involving large trucks or buses, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the US Department of Transportation.

Of those accidents, 3,424 involved at least one fatality, and approximately 82,000 – or 20 percent – of the accidents involved a nonfatal injury.

Common Types of Trucking Accidents

There are numerous factors that can contribute to causing an accident involving a large truck. Some of the most common causes of large truck accidents include:

  • Jackknife accidents
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Unevenly loaded trucks
  • Rollovers
  • Distracted or drowsy drivers
  • Poorly trained or vetted drivers
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances
  • Vehicle defects
  • Faulty brakes
  • Trucks in disrepair
  • Maintenance and inspection negligence
  • Excessive speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Head-on collisions
  • Crossing the median or center line
  • Sideswipe crashes
  • Rear-end collisions

What Responsibilities do Trucking Companies Have?

When a trucking company puts a commercial driver on the road, it has a duty to the public to make sure that the truck driver is fit to be in control of such a heavy-weight vehicle. Trucking companies should conduct adequate background and reference checks and should perform drug and alcohol tests – both as a condition of employment and at random throughout the duration of employment.

The trucking company also has a responsibility to the driver and the public to promote safe driving company policies. This means that drivers should be allotted ample time to complete their runs or deliveries, so that drivers are not encouraged or incentivized to drive drowsy, skip adequate rest time, or take drugs to stay awake.

How a Winston-Salem Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

Your truck accident lawyer in Winston-Salem can investigate the commercial trucking company’s driver policies to determine whether any dangerous practices contributed to causing the accident and your injuries.

Your lawyer can examine driving logs, interview witnesses, and review records and policies. He or she may also look into whether the driver’s background was adequately investigated at the time of employment, whether the training and support provided to drivers was appropriate, and whether the driver was unfairly penalized for not driving fast enough, or offered bonuses or incentives to cut-corners with safety measures.

Your Winston-Salem truck accident attorney can also make sure that your case is filed within the time limit imposed by law in North Carolina, which is typically three years from the date of the accident, or from the time the victim discovered or should have known about the injury.