The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration states that a person is injured or killed every 16 minutes in a trucking accident in the United States. The North Carolina highways are some of the most frequently traveled in the country when you consider we have two major interstates intersecting it (I-40 and I-95). Our highways are widely traveled by truck drivers going coast to coast or north to south (including tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, big rigs, semi trucks, dump trucks and lowboys). It should be no surprise that trucking accidents happen frequently, often as a result of fatigue, improper loading, improper equipment, lack of training, alcohol/substance abuse, exceeding safe speed or operating on bald tires.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident
You need to move fast to secure the evidence. You can be assured that the trucking company will have its own representatives involved very quickly. Like all motor vehicles, large trucks are sophisticated pieces of machinery that require regular maintenance in order to properly, and safely, function. Before they even hit the road, trucks are supposed to be examined to ensure the functionality of all parts. Brakes, brake lights, side reflectors, trailer hitches, and the engine are all truck parts that need to be in good working order for a truck to be safe while on the road. The very first thing we do when we get involved in a trucking accident is to put the trucking company and its insurance representative on notice of our intent that all of evidence must be preserved so that it is not lost, destroyed or misplaced. There is also crucial data on the truck’s “black box” that must be preserved that can prove things such as excessive speed or amount of hours that were driven. These are all things we move to get access to very quickly. Truck drivers have a responsibility, like all other motorists, to be cautious and diligent drivers, always obeying the rules of the road so as to prevent accidents and injury. However, if a driver chooses not to follow the rules of the road, drives recklessly in dangerous road conditions, chooses not to regularly inspect his or her truck to ensure complete functionality, or chooses to abandon rules that have been set in place for truck drivers to always perform at an optimum level, such as truck driver fatigue, then that driver has chosen negligence over safety and may be entirely responsible for any damage he or she causes on the road.
Due to the sheer size of the vehicle, collisions with tractor trailers can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, it is imperative you hire an experienced attorney that can quickly investigate your claim and preserve critical evidence.