Charlotte Truck Accident Lawyer

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Charlotte Truck Accident Attorney

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), most truck accidents are caused by excessive speeding, drifting across lanes and running off the road. Driver fatigue is another common factor that leads to truck accidents. Driving is perhaps the most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis. The chances of getting in an accident are ever-present. A Charlotte truck accident lawyer is a necessary resource to have on your side in case you are involved in a truck accident.

At the law office of DeVore, Acton Stafford, P.A., in Charlotte, our lawyers work with experts in accident reconstruction in determining the cause of a truck accident. We analyze data from a semi truck’s onboard black box recorder, measure skid marks, interview witnesses and review the driver’s logbook. We also review the maintenance manifest of a vehicle and the driver’s drug test results and driving record, as well as the conditions of the road where the accident happened.

We understand the trucking industry and won’t be misled or deterred by tactics used by drivers and their employers to deflect blame. To schedule an appointment and discuss your case, contact truck accident attorneys at the law office of DeVore, Acton Stafford, P.A. today.

Causes Of Truck Accidents

The law office of DeVore, Acton Stafford, P.A. represents clients injured in truck accidents due to:

  • Lane drift
  • Excessive speed
  • Lack of a rear guard to prevent underriding
  • Wide turn
  • Driver fatigue
  • Drunk driving
  • Load shift
  • Tire blowout
  • Trucks improperly pulled off the shoulder
  • Improper reflective markings on truck
  • Inadequate truck maintenance

The Economic Impact Of A Truck Accident

Truck accidents usually involve serious head trauma, spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns. Many of these kinds of injuries result in long-term disability and a need for continued, ongoing medical treatment and care. To provide accurate, thorough cost projections of our client’s past and future needs, our lawyers consult economists, health care planners and medical specialists. We also demand compensation for our clients’ pain and suffering, creating day-in-the-life videos that portray the daily challenges and struggles facing our clients as the result of truck drivers’ negligence.

Weight Limit Requirements

In North Carolina, there are weight limit requirements each commercial truck must meet. These are based on federal bridge law and guidelines set forth by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).

  • Standard weight limits. The standard single-axle weight limit is 20,000 pounds. The limit is increased to 34,000 pounds for tandem axles. Per federal regulations, the maximum gross vehicle weight rating cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.
  • Specific axle weight limits. The steer axle weight limit is 20,000 pounds, and for tandem and tridem axles, the limit is 50,000 pounds and 60,000 pounds, respectively.
  • Overweight permits. For vehicles carrying overweight items, they can qualify for a permit to carry up to 90,000 pounds. Specifications, including exact origin, precise route, and final destination, are required for any weights that exceed 90,000 pounds.

CDL Requirements

Truck drivers are responsible for obtaining their commercial driver’s license (CDL) in North Carolina. The regulations mirror those set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which include the following:

  • License requirements. Drivers must have a valid North Carolina driver’s license before they can obtain a CDL. They must pass the skills and knowledge tests for the kind of commercial vehicle they wish to drive.
  • Age requirements. Drivers must be at least 21 years old to drive across state lines. They need to be at least 18 years old to drive only within North Carolina.
  • Endorsement requirements. Additional endorsements are required to drive certain vehicle types, such as double or triple trailers.
  • Hazmat transportation requirements. To transport hazardous materials, they must pass a hazmat knowledge test, submit to a federal security threat background check, and obtain an endorsement on their CDL.

What You Should Do After an Accident

The North Carolina Department of Insurance has an accident checklist you should follow if you are ever in an auto accident. The first thing you should do is stay in your vehicle, pull over to safety if you can, and remain calm. Call 911 and wait for the police to arrive. If you have suffered injuries, you should immediately go to the hospital. Even if you feel fine, you should get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries take time to show symptoms.

It is not uncommon for accident victims to feel fine immediately after an accident, only to start experiencing injury symptoms several days later. This is common with whiplash injury. It is important to get checked out by a medical professional because it could affect your settlement amount. Medical bills and expenses are some of the greatest economic damages recoverable in truck accident settlements.

If you can, you should take photos and videos of the scene. This can serve as evidence of the crash. Make sure a police report is filled out. Get the name, contact information, and insurance information from the truck driver. Also, get the name and contact information of any witnesses on the scene. You should never admit fault for the accident while on the scene, and even if there are no evident damages or injuries, you should not agree to forget about the accident altogether.

When Punitive Damages Are Awarded

You could be awarded punitive damages if your case qualifies for it. If there was any willful conduct, malice, negligence, or recklessness on the part of the truck driver, punitive damages could be awarded.

  • Aggressive driving. Accidents that are caused by tailgating, racing, speeding, road rage, unsafe merging, or other aggressive driving behaviors that result in a crash could cause punitive damages to be awarded. If you can prove that the driver intentionally engaged in any of these behaviors, which put other drivers on the road at risk, it can help your case.
  • Impaired driving. The risks of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are evident. Drivers are fully responsible for their own actions if they drive under the influence. This dangerous behavior could necessitate punitive damages.

When determining if punitive damages are necessary, there are other factors the court will examine, including:

  • If the driver was aware of the consequences of their actions and the risk they were imposing on everyone else, it could give insight into their motivations and culpability.
  • The amount of time the driver was engaged in the reckless behavior is important. If the driver was displaying this behavior for an extended period of time it makes the likelihood of punitive damages stronger.
  • Ability to pay. The ability for the defendant to pay punitive damages will also be considered. The monetary punishment imposed on them should be realistic depending on their financial position.
  • If the driver attempted to consciously hide their actions to evade responsibility, it could increase the likelihood of punitive damages. It shows the driver knew what they were doing was wrong and tried to get away with it.

When to Contact an Attorney

After you have completed all of the above, the next step is to contact an accident attorney experienced in North Carolina truck accident claims. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Remember, you should never take fault for the accident, and speak with an attorney before talking about the accident with the police, other parties involved, and especially insurance companies.

Insurance agents and adjusters are professionally trained to pay out the least amount of compensation possible. They will attempt to get you to admit fault. They may call you and try to speak with you about the accident. Refrain from saying anything other than “speak with my attorney.” They may try to encourage you to accept fault.

Under North Carolina law, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. This means you have three years to bring forth a legal claim against the responsible party. If the three-year period expires, you may lose your legal right to receive compensation. Engaging an attorney as early as possible is key to ensuring you get the justice and fair compensation you deserve. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the sooner they can start the legal work.


Q: What Are the Trucking Laws in North Carolina?

A: Trucking laws in North Carolina mostly follow the regulations imposed at the federal level. There are specific weight limits, size requirements, CDL requirements, load securement rules, and insurance requirements for trucks. Some states impose specific speed limits for trucks depending on their weight, size, cargo type, etc., but North Carolina isn’t one of them. Commercial trucks are subject to the same speed limits as other vehicles on the road.

An experienced truck accident attorney can help you understand trucking laws in the state if you have questions.

Q: How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?

A: The amount of a truck accident settlement depends on the specific circumstances of each case. The severity of the injuries sustained will play a large role in the settlement determination. Truck accident settlements can have a wide range, with some reaching millions of dollars. These accidents tend to lead to devastating injuries and damages, leading to larger settlements than those seen in a standard automobile accident.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, speaking with an attorney can give you a good idea of how much your settlement could be worth.

Q: What Are the Punitive Damages for a Car Accident in North Carolina?

A: Punitive damages in a car accident in North Carolina are awarded to punish and condemn the defendants’ actions. They are a way to discourage future negligent behaviors. Punitive damages could be awarded on top of compensatory damages. Unlike compensatory damages that reimburse a victim for their damages, punitive damages punish the defendant and make clear that their actions are not tolerated.

These damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages, not to exceed $250,000.

Q: What Makes Trucking Accidents More Complicated Than Car Accidents?

A: Trucking accidents are more complicated than car accidents due to a combination of factors such as the size and weight of the trucks compared to the passenger of a car, the involvement of multiple parties, the complexity of federal regulations and state laws, and the severity of the damages and injuries sustained.

There is also the added layer of insurance companies. Insurance agents are trained to attempt to pay out the least amount of compensation possible, so it is important that you speak with an attorney before any insurance adjuster.

Q: How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Truck Accident in North Carolina?

A: Pain and suffering in a truck accident in North Carolina is usually worth more than typical vehicle accidents because of the injuries suffered. Truck accidents have a higher probability of serious injury, and individuals are more likely to suffer long-term pain, disability, or disfigurement. Along with the serious emotional and psychological impact, this can lead to higher pain and suffering damages.

There is no cap on this type of compensation awarded in personal injury cases under North Carolina law.

Prepared To Negotiate And Litigate Your Truck Accident Case

While our attorneys are prepared to negotiate a settlement according to the wishes of our client, we prepare each case for litigation. We understand how insurance companies work, the shortcomings of the “Colossus” claims software they use to estimate damages, and how to expose state and federal violations on the part of truck companies that play a role in truck accidents.

Negligent truck drivers endanger everyone — we won’t let them simply walk away from an accident or their responsibility. To request a free consultation, contact the truck driving accident lawyers at DeVore, Acton Stafford, P.A. today.


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