Raleigh Truck Accident Attorney

Justice for Victims of 18-Wheeler Accidents in North Carolina

Sharing the road with other cars can be nerve-wracking. Sharing it with tractor-trailer trucks—subject to large blind spots, tired drivers, runaway behavior, and swerving—can be downright terrifying. Against the momentum of an 80,000-pound semi-truck, your vehicle barely stands a chance. In just one small maneuver, you can get catapulted off the road or worse.

If the accident is not your fault, you and your passengers deserve compensation for any injuries you sustain. The Raleigh truck accident lawyers at Thorp law are devoted to helping victims of injury get all that they are entitled to for injuries sustained in tractor-trailer truck wrecks.

Thorp Law offers a reduced attorney fee on catastrophic injury cases. Start discussing your case with a proven lawyer at no cost and with no obligation. Contact Thorp Law today.

Hours of Service Regulations for Truck Drivers

It’s no secret that truck accidents are some of the most dangerous accident types a motorist can suffer through. Because of this the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) heavily regulates truck drivers and their trucks in order to help reduce the number of accidents on the road.

The hours of service regulations are one of these important regulations. Since tired drivers are much more likely to cause an accident either by falling asleep at the wheel or driving more carelessly than they would have if they had been fully awake, these regulations regulate when a truck driver must rest and take breaks in order to make sure drivers are properly rested.

The hours of service regulations state the following:

  • Truck drivers can work up to 14-hour in one day, however, only 11 hours can be spent actually driving. The remaining three hours must be spent on meal or rest breaks.
  • When the workday ends, drivers must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours before returning to work.
  • Additionally, drivers must take days off work at regular intervals. If a trucking company is open seven days a week a driver is only allowed to work 70 hours in an eight-day period before taking at least 34 consecutive hours off. If a trucking company is open less than seven days a week than a driver is only allowed to work 60 hours in a seven-day period before taking 34 hours off.

All too often truckers are caught breaking these rules, putting others needlessly at risk. In rarer circumstances, the hours of service regulations are modified in times of national emergencies, such as in the recent COVID-19 crisis. This is done to help get supplies to where they need to go faster. Whatever the cause our firm can help you pursue the compensation and justice you deserve after an accident.

Truck Accidents Require Extensive Investigation

To build a strong case, you need more than eyewitness testimony. Accidents happen quickly, often at night or when it’s raining. Witnesses rarely get the complete picture of how an accident happened.

You need unbiased investigators to thoroughly and efficiently gather physical evidence from the scene and to carefully inspect the vehicles that were involved in the accident. Skid marks need to be photographed and carefully measured before heavy rains cause them to fade.

The Importance of "Black Box" Evidence

The most crucial piece of evidence is often a tractor-trailer’s “black box,” an instrument that records precise data about a vehicle’s speed and direction, and what its driver did in the seconds leading up to impact. This information can be overridden – accidentally or otherwise – if it isn’t downloaded and preserved before the truck goes back into service.

“Black box” evidence can often establish key facts about what the truck driver was doing in the final seconds before a wreck occurs:

  • How fast he was driving
  • Whether he was accelerating
  • Slowing down
  • Or slamming on the brakes

If this evidence isn’t collected and preserved, critical information about how the wreck happened may be permanently lost. Trucking company investigators often get to the scene an hour or so after a serious accident occurs.

It is unrealistic to expect that you will be able to get an investigator there as quickly as they can. Yet acting quickly can make the difference between a weak case and a strong one. If notified and retained early enough, we can return to the scene of the accident and gather evidence.

We have a systematic approach to accident investigation, which is designed to quickly preserve critical evidence for our clients. Thorp Law can access our statewide network of forensic experts to reconstruct the mechanics of the truck accident and download crucial evidence from the truck’s “black box” computer.

Details like this are very important in a truck accident case as the damage to the victims can be extensive and there may be several parties involved who will be fighting to limit their liability.

Commercial Truck Driving Regulations

Trucks are subject to both federal and state laws that regulate commercial truck driving. Unfortunately, many truck drivers are pressured to break these rules in order to meet deadlines. As a result, people are put in harm’s way in the interest of corporate productivity.

A truck driver or trucking company that violated federal trucking regulations can be essential to your case. While investigating your case, we attempt to find out:

  • If the truck driver took the required breaks
  • If the truck’s cargo was over the maximum weight limit
  • If the truck driver received and passed the required physical exam in the last two years
  • If the truck driver consumed alcohol or another substance that impairs driving within 8 hours before getting behind the wheel
  • How many days in a row the truck driver had been driving without adequate rest

How to Determine Liability After a Truck Accident

Determining liability in a truck accident can get complicated as there are many possible liable parties. Fortunately, our team of truck accident lawyers in Raleigh is experienced in investigating truck accidents and determining the liable party or parties. Among the possible accountable individuals, two parties are found to be responsible for a truck accident most often. These parties are the truck driver and the company the trucker drives for.

A truck driver is usually held responsible if their behavior or negligence led to the accident, such as drinking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving while distracted. In some cases, the driver is held accountable if they own the truck that caused the accident.

However, often, the trucking company is found liable for an accident. Companies are often caught encouraging their drivers to break trucking rules and regulations in order to help save their company money. When this happens, these companies can be held accountable for their negligence.

Why Do I Need A Truck Accident Lawyer?

Recovering the compensation you deserve after suffering injuries in a truck accident can be difficult unless you have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. More often than not, trucking companies are backed by top-tier law firms who are hired to protect their company’s assets.

Their job is, essentially, to keep you from recovering compensation. The experienced truck accident lawyers at Thorp Law know what to expect during the entire claims process and will fight for your best interest every step along the way. Learn more about how we can help you today.

We Fight for Everything You Deserve

We take the time to build a comprehensive argument for a client’s case so we can fight for everything they deserve. If you hire our firm, we will meet with your doctors so that we fully understand the extent of your injuries and/or disabilities.

Ultimately, our goal is to compellingly present the story of your accident, supporting it with solid facts, helpful testimony, and all of the other elements of a successful truck accident case. Serving clients from Wilson County, Cumberland County, Durham County and Orange County.

The sooner your hire our Raleigh truck accident lawyers, the sooner we can start gathering evidence on your behalf. Call us at (919) 373-3390 today for a free initial consultation.

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