DeMayo Law Offices has been representing truck accident victims for over 25 years. If a truck driver was speeding or driving too fast for road conditions and caused your injuries in a crash, you need a DeMayo Law Offices truck accident lawyer. We could help you with the next steps.
Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions is irresponsible behavior and extremely dangerous. When two vehicles collide at high speeds, severe injuries, fatalities, and expensive property damage can result. The stakes are usually higher when the accident involves a large truck and a small car. The size and weight difference create a greater force than those of an auto-to-auto collision and that force causes more significant injuries to the smaller vehicle occupants.
You can hold the truck driver liable for their actions and seek the maximum financial compensation available in an insurance claim or lawsuit with the help of DeMayo Law Offices. Call us for a free consultation today at (877) 333-1000.
The Dangerous Effects of Speeding
When someone speeds or drives too fast for road conditions, other people on the road are at risk of injury, and even death, if an accident occurs. Truck drivers often get paid by the mile or at a flat rate for a particular route, so they might drive at excessive speeds to stay on schedule and receive a higher paycheck. Unfortunately, this behavior can lead to accidents that could have been avoided.
The occupants of a passenger car tend to suffer greater harm than someone driving an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer. Truck drivers are high off the ground and protected from the destruction that happens below them.
Driving too fast prevents the driver from maneuvering their truck safely or avoiding a collision with another vehicle. If they’re ignoring traffic laws or engaging in other dangerous behaviors, the risk of a crash increases.
Common factors associated with speeding that can lead to accidents involving commercial trucks include:
- Cargo – Unsecured cargo can shift, causing an imbalanced trailer. Uneven weight distribution can throw the whole truck off balance, preventing the truck driver from having total control. Defective roadways are a common cause of shifting cargo when drivers don’t adjust their speed to account for potholes and other problems.
- Blind spots – Commercial trucks have larger blind spots than the average compact car. There is a blind spot at the front, back, and on either side. The driver isn’t able to see vehicles traveling ahead, behind, or next to them. Speeding can make it more challenging to notice someone in a blind spot, leading to a sideswipe collision as the truck driver is attempting to change lanes.
- Sharp turns – Truck drivers can’t handle a sharp turn at excessive speeds. They must slow down and maneuver with precision to avoid jumping a curb, driving into a small car, rolling over, or causing an accident.
- Stopping distance – A person driving at a high rate of speed will require more distance to stop their vehicle. Large trucks need even greater stopping distances because of their size and weight. It’s difficult to avoid a rear-end accident if traffic ahead comes to a standstill or there’s an emergency when the truck driver has been speeding.
- Vehicle control – Commercial trucks are difficult to operate. That’s why drivers must pass tests and hold a special license, indicating their qualifications and training. Many trucks consist of a front cab and rear trailer. These vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and exceed 50 feet in length. Speeding doesn’t make controlling all the moving parts any easier.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Not only is speeding dangerous, but in certain circumstances even driving at regular speeds is irresponsible. People often think of fog, sleet, or heavy rain when they think of “driving too fast for conditions.” However, these are not the only times when road conditions can be a factor in an accident.
Although lower speed limits are posted in construction zones, some drivers will not adhere to those limits. Truck drivers are no exception. They may be in a rush to make a delivery deadline or believe that since there are no construction workers on the road, they can safely carry on at the regular highway speed.
Sometimes the actual condition of the roadway itself is a problem. If the road or highway is poorly maintained and potholes or larger holes exist, speeding over them can cause a truck to pull one way or another. If there is debris on the road from a prior accident that wasn’t cleared properly, if another truck lost part of a load, or if a truck driver is driving too fast to see what is happening on the roadway in front of him, his attempts to avoid the obstacles may cause an accident.
Common Injuries in Speeding Truck Accidents
Injuries requiring extensive medical care can result in long-term physical or mental issues. These are common after an accident with a speeding truck. The most common injuries include:
- Back injuries
- Loss of limb
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Concussion or whiplash
- Broken bones
- Permanent disability
At DeMayo Law Offices, we know the long-term effects you might face after a traumatic accident. Your injury could lead to a disability that prevents you from returning to your job. You might need daily assistance performing routine tasks or ongoing treatment to manage pain and symptoms.
Medical bills are expensive, especially for people without health insurance. That can cause significant financial strain and an overwhelming burden for you and your family. You shouldn’t be responsible for these expenses. You can depend on us to pursue an effective legal strategy to help hold the truck driver liable for your suffering.
Truck Drivers Aren’t Always At Fault for An Accident
Determining who’s liable after a truck accident requires a thorough investigation and review of relevant evidence. It’s common to assume that the truck driver caused the crash and should be financially responsible for your resulting injuries and associated costs. While that’s true in some situations, other parties could also be to blame.
Federal regulations require trucking companies to meet specific standards. Violating any of these regulations could put an inexperienced truck driver on the road who ends up causing an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the standards that truck drivers and trucking companies should always follow.
Regulations for truck drivers include:
- Pass the necessary tests to acquire a commercial driver’s license.
- Inspect the truck at the beginning and end of each shift to check for damage or mechanical problems, make sure any previously noted repairs are completed and report on the current condition of the truck.
- Read, write, and speak at an English level necessary to communicate with others, maintain driver logs, and understand traffic signs.
- Always obey posted speed limits while operating the truck.
- Spend no more than eleven consecutive hours driving after spending ten hours off-duty.
- Avoid consuming alcohol or drugs before a driving shift.
- Never use a hand-held mobile device while driving.
Regulations for trucking companies include:
- Provide ongoing training.
- Complete a thorough background check on prospective drivers.
- Investigate any accident involving a commercial truck in the vehicle fleet.
- Confirm drivers aren’t violating maximum driving hour regulations by reviewing all driver logs.
- Perform routine maintenance and repairs on every vehicle.
- Supervise cargo loading for proper securement systems and weight and size limits.
- Perform random drug and alcohol testing on all drivers.
You might be entitled to compensation from the truck driver or their employer if you were hurt in an accident. Although the truck driver was speeding or driving too fast for conditions, the trucking company could be liable for negligently hiring an unqualified or unlicensed driver. DeMayo Law Offices can review the facts of your case to determine who was at fault and how to proceed with legal action.
Recovering Compensation After A Truck Accident In North Carolina
Deciding who should be financially responsible for your injuries and expenses is governed by the fault system that North Carolina follows. The party that causes an accident becomes liable for the victim’s various losses. For instance, if the truck driver was at fault, you can file a claim with his trucking company’s insurance company to cover your medical bills and other costs.
All trucking companies must purchase liability insurance for their truck drivers. The amount of coverage depends on the truck’s weight and the type of cargo the driver is transporting. For example, a truck weighing over 10,000 pounds carrying non-hazardous freight must be covered by a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance.
The coverage listed on the trucking company’s policy could potentially compensate for your past and future losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Diminished quality of life
- Property damage
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical impairment
An insurance claim might seem like a pretty straightforward process. However, you should enlist the help of an experienced attorney from DeMayo Law Offices. Handling the process alone can be a challenge. You will likely encounter obstacles you don’t know how to overcome, resulting in a denied claim. Insurance companies take advantage of unrepresented claimants who don’t understand their rights, offering lowball settlements, much lower than they deserve.
Pursuing A Wrongful Death Claim In North Carolina
If a truck driver caused your loved one’s death in an accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. The legal definition of wrongful death in North Carolina is one person’s death caused by another’s default, neglect, or wrongful act.
The personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the only person allowed to bring this type of case to court. They are the ones able to seek compensation for losses suffered by the estate and any surviving family members. Surviving family members typically include spouses, children, and parents.
The losses you can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the deceased’s guidance, assistance, protection, companionship, comfort, and services
- Medical bills associated with the fatal injury
There’s a statute of limitations you must comply with if you want to sue the truck driver or trucking company for compensation. This is a strict deadline, and if it passes, you could lose your right to seek legal action. The statute in North Carolina is two years. That means you have two years from the date your family member died to file suit.
Injured In A Truck Accident? Contact DeMayo Law Offices Today
DeMayo Law Offices has a team of established and dedicated lawyers who are ready to advocate for your rights. We have over 150 years of combined experience in personal injury, giving us the knowledge and skills to get the job done. We will help you fight for justice and pursue the maximum financial compensation you need to heal your physical and emotional injuries.
If you were involved in an accident with a truck driver who was speeding or driving too fast for road conditions, contact DeMayo Law Offices for a free consultation by calling (877) 333-1000 or complete our contact form.