Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents (including semi-truck or tractor-trailer accidents) may occur for a variety of different reasons, just like any motor vehicle accident. Negligence on part of the driver, commercial truck company, mechanic, shipping company and/or manufacturer may all contribute to a crash.
Generally, the cause of the crash will determine the liability in a truck accident.
Due to the complexity of these cases, victims of these accidents are encouraged to contact an experienced truck accident attorney at Riddle & Brantley for a free and no-obligation consultation.
There is no obligation, and you won’t pay a dime in attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in North Carolina
Some of the more common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver negligence or error — This may include drunk driving and recklessness as well as failing to look before changing lines, failing to adjust speeds on hilly or winding roads and more.
- Driver fatigue — Federal law limits the amount of time a driver may spend behind the wheel to prevent drowsy driving. However, drivers may ignore these limits, sometimes falsifying their logbooks in order to make deadlines. In some cases, negligent “rogue” trucking companies pressure drivers to stay on the road longer than legally allowable.
- Speeding — Truck drivers may face unrealistic delivery deadlines and other expectations, increasing the likelihood of speeding accidents.
- Improper maintenance — Large trucks and tractor-trailers require regular maintenance to keep them in safe working order. Otherwise, mechanical failure may cause a serious truck crash.
- Cargo imbalance — If a semi-trailer is not properly loaded, then the cargo may shift, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Poor hiring practices — Some companies do not conduct background checks on the drivers and fail to provide adequate training before sending drivers on long hauls. This increases the risk of trucking accidents.
- Truck defects — As with any motor vehicle, defects in the design or manufacturing process of any semi-truck part can cause a serious accident. This includes brake and tire failure.
Whatever the cause of your crash, a truck accident attorney at Riddle & Brantley can help.
We can gather evidence to support your claim and work to identify all liable parties.
At Riddle & Brantley, we even have experienced accident investigators on staff to lead comprehensive truck accident investigations. These retired law enforcement officers know how to determine liability, and can collect and preserve evidence, identify and interview witnesses, obtain police reports, secure surveillance footage, etc.
We don’t get paid unless you do. If we don’t secure compensation for you in your case, you won’t pay any attorney fees.
Who is Responsible for Injuries and Damages After a Truck Accident?
Depending on the cause of your truck accident, many different parties may be to blame for your injuries and damages.
Liable parties may include:
- The trucking company — In most cases, the trucking company will be at least partially liable for the injuries and damages that result from a crash since the company owns the vehicle and employs the driver. Federal laws require such companies to have insurance for all vehicles. These policies generally cover damages caused by driver error as well, since truck drivers are employees.
- Shipping and/or loading companies — When unstable cargo causes a truck crash, the company responsible for loading the trailer can be liable.
- The truck manufacturer — If truck defects cause or contribute to a crash, the manufacturing company is typically liable for the damages that result. This may include the company that sells the truck as well as the individual parts manufacturer(s).
- Repair and maintenance companies — In some cases, mechanical failure may result from poor repair or maintenance, causing a wreck. If a separate company is responsible for these services, that company may be liable for the trucking accident.
- The driver — The truck driver can be personally liable for an accident, particularly if he or she owns and operates the truck independently.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, call the experienced personal injury lawyers at Riddle & Brantley today.
Free consultations are available by phone, email, text, and video conference, and we can even come to you if you prefer. However, no in-person meeting is required to get started on your case.
“Riddle & Brantley found me all the available money from the insurance companies.”
–David H., Riddle & Brantley client
Results for Truck Accident Victims in North Carolina
Since 1985, our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injury victims, including over $600 million since 2000 alone (see disclaimer below).
Recent results include:
- $9,450,000 — Our attorneys secured $9.45 million in compensation for the surviving relatives of a family of four who were killed in a terrible tractor-trailer crash. We led a thorough investigation and even subpoenaed traffic data from Google Maps in order to prove liability.
- $2,250,000 — Attorney Gene Riddle represented the surviving family of a young woman who was killed when a truck ran over the center line and hit her head-on. We partnered with attorney David Kirby of Kirby Edwards law firm in Raleigh in order to prove liability in the case.
- $1,800,000 — We represented a truck driver who suffered severe injuries, including the loss of his left leg below the knee, when another truck hit him while on the job.
*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.
Talk with a North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Injured in a truck accident? Our truck accident attorneys handle cases across the entire state from our convenient office locations.
We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront costs and no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.
We also have workers’ comp lawyers available to help with injuries suffered while on the job, and disability attorneys ready to fight for your right to benefits if you’ve suffered long-term disability as a result of your truck accident.
In the most heartbreaking cases, our wrongful death lawyers can help surviving loved ones fight for justice, as well.