Truck accidents usually cause more severe injuries than accidents involving two small cars. After all, commercial trucks weigh significantly more than the standard compact car. The full force of a collision between these two vehicles can lead to devastating destruction, injuries, and fatalities. At DeMayo Law Offices, we have over 150 years of collective experience representing accident victims and holding negligent truck drivers and trucking companies liable.
You would think truck drivers would have to go through extensive training before they’re allowed to operate a commercial truck – while that’s true, some trucking companies will hire inexperienced drivers to save money or because they’re understaffed. Without adequate training and education, truck drivers end up on the roads without understanding how to handle these complicated vehicles.
Improperly trained or inexperienced drivers don’t understand how to maneuver their 50-foot trucks through traffic, around sharp turns, and in emergencies. This often results in catastrophic accidents, causing injuries to the occupants of smaller vehicles. The truck driver or trucking company should be held accountable for their careless actions. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by an improperly trained or inexperienced driver, you need a truck accident attorney. DeMayo Law Offices is ready to help you. Call us for a free consultation today at (877) 333-1000.
Types of Commercial Trucks
To understand the seriousness of a collision with a commercial truck, you need to know the types of trucks you could encounter on the road. Some drivers deliver products to people’s homes, while others transport hazardous materials to other parts of the country. Commercial trucks come in many shapes and sizes and contain various items.
The most common types of commercial trucks you might see include:
- Heavy haulers
- Box trucks
- Tow trucks
- Garbage and dump trucks
- Refrigerator trucks
- Cement mixers
- Commercial buses
- Tanker trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Delivery trucks and vans
If you suffered injuries in an accident with any of the trucks above, you might be entitled to financial compensation. You should contact DeMayo Law Offices immediately so we can review the facts of the case and determine if someone else is responsible for your injuries and expenses.
Why Improperly Trained or Inexperienced Truck Drivers Are a Problem
Typically, truck drivers get paid by the mile. Their employers also make money once their drivers successfully transport and deliver cargo to their destinations. Profits aren’t coming in while drivers are going through training. There are also fees and costs for these training programs.
Drivers might complete as little training as possible before getting behind the wheel of a commercial truck. Furthermore, the trucking company could choose to hire an inexperienced driver over someone with more training and qualifications if that’s the least expensive option. They will assign driving shifts as soon as possible to turn an immediate profit.
Operating a large truck is very different than driving a passenger vehicle. An inexperienced or improperly trained driver probably doesn’t know how to compensate for these differences. For example, commercial trucks require a greater stopping distance than a small car. They must start braking well ahead of stopped traffic or red lights. Without the necessary preparations, there won’t be enough space between them and the vehicle ahead to come to a complete stop, which could lead to a collision.
Commercial driving schools are located throughout the country. Some are better than others by offering higher quality training and more comprehensive programs to result in a more well-rounded driver. Even if two different schools require the same amount of time behind the wheel, the people training the drivers might not do an equally good job explaining how to operate the vehicle safely and what to do if there’s an emergency. A driver could then take a test for their commercial driver’s license, pass, and immediately begin operating a truck without adequate experience or skills.
Common Reasons Improperly Trained or Inexperienced Drivers Cause Accidents
Some of the most catastrophic crashes involve a commercial truck and passenger car. There’s no competition when these two vehicles collide – the occupants of the smaller vehicle often sustain more severe injuries than the truck driver.
Truck drivers with minimal experience or training tend to make errors behind the wheel that can result in devastating accidents.
The most common errors include:
- Overloading cargo on the trailer
- Failing to check blind spots
- Unsafe lane changes
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to take the required breaks during a shift
- Taking turns too fast
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance and repairs
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Fatigued driving
You have the right to pursue compensation from the truck driver or trucking company for the harm you suffered. The medical expenses associated with an accident can cause significant financial strain. The overwhelming stress is something you shouldn’t have to face. The at-fault party should be held accountable for their mistakes.
Who You Can Hold Liable When An Improperly Trained or Inexperienced Driver Causes A Truck Accident
It’s a common assumption that the truck driver is always at fault for an accident. After all, they were behind the wheel of the truck. Their actions contributed to the crash, so they’re the ones to blame. However, it’s not always that straightforward. Their employer could be just as responsible for knowingly hiring someone with little experience or training.
DeMayo Law Offices can investigate the accident to determine liability and the available options for seeking compensation. We can obtain relevant evidence that proves who was at fault, the injuries you suffered, and the associated costs you incurred while recovering.
Some of the evidence we might gather includes:
- Police reports
- Trucking company’s hiring practices
- Truck driver’s licensing, training, and employment history
- Accident scene evidence and photos
- Video surveillance of the crash
- Eyewitness statements
- Repair estimates for vehicle damage
Once we complete our investigation, we can file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance company. All trucking companies must purchase liability insurance for their drivers with minimum limits. These limits depend on the weight of the truck and the type of cargo being transported.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires the following liability limits:
- $300,000 – Weight under 10,001 pounds and non-hazardous freight
- $750,000 – Weight over 10,001 pounds and non-hazardous cargo
- $1 million – Oil and hazardous substances
- $5 million – Other hazardous materials
Liability insurance for truck drivers is much higher than the minimum required limits for people operating small cars. That’s because commercial trucks tend to cause more damage and worse injuries. When you file an insurance claim, you could seek a settlement up to the maximum amount of coverage necessary to recoup your total losses.
Compensation You Might Be Entitled To After A Truck Accident In North Carolina
Physical, emotional, and financial losses are common after an accident. The number of losses you suffered could contribute to the amount of compensation you receive. Proving the truck driver or trucking company was at fault for your injuries could result in compensation that adequately covers your past and future losses. You shouldn’t have to pay for anything yourself when you didn’t cause the crash.
Losses you could seek to cover in an insurance claim include:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Medical bills
- Loss of income and lost future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Car repair expenses
It can be an uphill battle convincing an insurance company that you deserve a fair settlement. Insurance companies are in the business of saving money. They might use tactics to intimidate you into accepting a low settlement offer. They could also find reasons to deny your claim. It’s critical that you enlist the help of DeMayo Law Offices so no one tries to take advantage of you during the claims process. You can depend on us to fight for the compensation you need and deserve to heal your injuries.
Filing A Lawsuit In North Carolina
Lawsuits require following strict deadlines, gathering sufficient evidence, and participating in various legal proceedings. Without an experienced lawyer on your side, the chance of losing your case is much higher. That’s because there are many moving parts during a lawsuit that you may not know about and probably don’t know how to handle. You could also encounter obstacles that you’re unsure how to overcome.
DeMayo Law Offices has successfully taken thousands of cases to trial and secured over $1,000,000,000 in settlements and verdicts. We’re familiar with state laws and have access to the countless resources necessary to perform a thorough investigation and gather evidence. When you hire us, we will take on the responsibility of each step and walk you through the process.
North Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations. This deadline requires injured victims to file a lawsuit within three years of the date of their accident. If three years pass and you haven’t filed, you could lose your right to compensation through the courts from the at-fault truck driver or trucking company.
Contact An Experienced Lawyer from DeMayo Law Offices
At DeMayo Law Offices, we’ve been handling cases like yours for over 25 years. We know what it takes to get the job done. Our legal team will advocate for your rights and fight by your side until the very end. We can aggressively represent your interests during an insurance claim and take your case to court if necessary. We believe our clients deserve maximum compensation to get on the road to recovery.
If you sustained injuries in an accident with an improperly trained or inexperienced truck driver, call DeMayo Law Offices at (877) 333-1000 right now. We can meet for a free consultation to review your case and discuss your legal options for holding the truck driver or trucking company liable.