If a truck driver’s actions were responsible for the injuries you sustained in an accident, DeMayo Law Offices might be able to represent you in your case. Aggressive driving involves any behavior that puts other people in harm’s way. When a truck driver drives aggressively, they could cause an accident, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities to the occupants of other vehicles. It’s not only dangerous, but also illegal in North Carolina. Someone found guilty of aggressive driving could face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge and possible jail time.
At DeMayo Law Offices, we have over 150 years of combined legal experience allowing us to approach each client’s case confidently. Our team of dedicated North Carolina aggressive driving accident lawyers can be your advocate during this devastating period in your life. We will use our knowledge, experience, and resources to pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve and hold the truck driver liable.
You will not be alone in this fight for justice. Call (877) 333-1000 for a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer to discuss your case and the legal services we provide.
What Is Aggressive Driving?
It’s important to know the difference between aggressive driving and reckless driving. Many people think the two are interchangeable, however, they are two different criminal offenses. Reckless driving is a less serious offense and can exist without an associated aggressive driving charge. Conversely, aggressive driving cannot exist without reckless driving because it includes some elements of the latter offense.
According to North Carolina statute § 20-141.6, aggressive driving refers to an individual operating a motor vehicle on a public vehicular area, highway, or street who:
- Violates speed restrictions or school zone speed limits; and
- Drives heedlessly and carelessly with a willful or wanton disregard for others’ safety or rights.
At least two of the offenses below must have occurred for someone to be guilty of aggressive driving:
- Running a stop sign;
- Running a red light;
- Failing to yield the right of way;
- Following another driver too closely; or
- Passing someone illegally.
Aggressive driving combined with other dangerous behaviors could result in a serious accident between a truck driver and other vehicle occupants. Such behaviors include:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to check blind spots
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe lane changes
- Taking a turn too fast
- Weaving in and out of traffic
Truck accidents can result in long-lasting effects for the victim. The size and weight of a commercial truck can crush your car, trapping you inside. The weeks, months, and years after an accident can be challenging while you’re trying to heal and get your life back on track.
DeMayo Law Offices understands the devastation you might feel in the immediate aftermath of a crash. You can depend on us to fight for justice against the truck driver and hold them responsible for their actions.
Common Injuries Associated with Aggressive Driving Accidents
According to statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aggressive driving causes 66% of motor vehicle-related deaths. When a large truck and small car collide, the car’s driver and passengers often end up with more significant injuries. There’s typically no competition between these two types of vehicles. Commercial trucks usually win.
The most common injuries aggressive driving accident victims sustain include:
- Crush injuries
- Concussion or whiplash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal damage and bleeding
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Ejection injuries
- Bruising and laceration
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Psychological trauma
If you suffered these or any other injuries in an aggressive driving accident, contact DeMayo Law Offices so we can begin working on your case. We can prepare an effective strategy to seek the money you’re owed from the insurance company so you can recover.
Steps to Take After an Accident Caused By an Aggressive Truck Driver
You might not understand how crucial the period following an accident can be. You should immediately seek medical treatment and hire an experienced DeMayo Law Offices attorney to represent you in your case.
Medical evidence can mean the difference between a denied insurance claim and recovering the maximum settlement possible. Without medical records documenting your injuries, there’s no way to prove that you got hurt in the accident and required medical care.
While DeMayo Law Offices handles your case’s legal aspects, you should attend all scheduled doctor’s appointments. Insurance companies will review your medical records to understand the timeline of treatment and the expenses you incurred. That information combined with other factors, helps them decide the settlement amount they think you deserve. If you skip appointments regularly or wait before seeking initial treatment, the insurance company might deny your claim. They could argue that you didn’t get hurt in the crash or the injury wasn’t severe enough for you to see a doctor right away.
During the claims process, follow your doctor’s orders and don’t stop treatment until they release you from their care. You should inform us of any changes to the treatment plan and provide us with all the information we need to request the appropriate medical records. We can submit them to the insurance company and attempt to negotiate a fair settlement.
Avoid These Common Mistakes After A Truck Accident
You might think it’s an open and shut case. The truck driver was behaving aggressively; therefore, they should be held liable for your injuries and losses. Unfortunately, accident cases are much more complicated than people realize. While you’re trying to seek compensation, the insurance company is looking for reasons to invalidate your claim. Their goal is to get away with offering the lowest possible settlement or avoid paying out the claim altogether.
Many accident victims make errors that negatively impact their financial outcome. The North Carolina aggressive driving truck accident lawyers of DeMayo Law Offices want to prepare you for the legal process. Here is a list of actions you should avoid:
- Don’t discuss your case with the truck driver’s liability insurance company. They might call and ask you questions about the accident. It’s critical that you don’t speak with them. They’re trying to gather information about the crash that proves their policyholder wasn’t at fault. Tell them you hired a lawyer and give them our contact information.
- Don’t stop treatment before your doctor permits you to do so. Your doctor will monitor your recovery and determine if additional appointments are necessary or if you’ve reached a recovery plateau and your condition won’t improve no matter what treatment you undergo. If you stop too soon, the insurance company could take that to mean your injury isn’t as severe as you claimed it was.
- Don’t provide a recorded statement to the truck driver’s insurance company. They might ask to record you while discussing the details of the case. They could use what you say against you later. You are under no legal obligation to agree to a recorded statement, so politely decline their request.
- Don’t sign any documents from the insurance company. They might send you HIPAA forms to request your medical records and waivers that prevent you from pursuing the maximum available insurance coverage. This is a tactic often used to trick claimants into signing away their rights. Send anything you receive from the insurance company to us so we can review it first.
North Carolina Car Insurance Laws
North Carolina requires all motor vehicle drivers to purchase liability insurance with minimum limits. These limits can cover an injured victim’s losses if the policyholder causes an accident. Commercial trucks come in various shapes and sizes; however, they’re all significantly bigger than passenger vehicles. They tend to cause greater destruction in an accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recognizes this fact and regulates the liability limits trucking companies must purchase for their drivers. These limits depend on the truck’s weight and whether it’s transporting non-hazardous or hazardous cargo. The liability coverage for commercial truck drivers is:
- $300,000 for trucks weighing less than 10,001 pounds and transporting non-hazardous cargo
- $750,000 for trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds and carrying non-hazardous freight
- $1 million to $5 million for oil and other hazardous materials
Who’s Liable in an Aggressive Driving Accident in North Carolina?
North Carolina adheres to a fault system when it comes to accidents and insurance. That means the person who causes an accident becomes liable for the victim’s losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Physical impairment
- Lost wages and lost future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering
The at-fault driver’s insurance company typically picks up the bill. However, if they decide to deny the claim or provide a low settlement offer that doesn’t adequately cover your total losses, you might be entitled to compensation from a lawsuit.
Speak to A North Carolina Aggressive Driving Accident Lawyer Today
At DeMayo Law Offices, our legal team will go to battle for you. We’re not afraid of a fight and will aggressively pursue the financial compensation you need and deserve. With over 92,000 resolved cases behind us, you can feel confident knowing you are in excellent hands. We use our knowledge of state laws and all the resources at our disposal to reach a favorable outcome for our clients.
Call DeMayo Law Offices for a free consultation at (877) 333-1000 right now if you were injured in a truck accident with an aggressive truck driver.