Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are a particularly terrifying type of personal injury accident due to the massive size and weight of these vehicles. Although there are laws that govern how trucking operations must run, including routine safety inspections and careful hiring of qualified drivers, accidents still happen. As dedicated Charlotte truck accident lawyers, the attorneys at Maurer Law are ready to help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation following a preventable truck accident situation.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a truck accident case involving the improper loading of freight. The case involved a truck driver who worked for a trucking company. He drove the truck to a loading facility to pick up cargo that was packed onto pallets. The driver instructed the facility on how to load the cargo including instructing them to rearrange the items. he then drove the cargo to a plant. The plant was closed so he returned the next day. Before he left, he checked the cargo and tightened some of the straps. Another driver eventually took over the delivery of the shipment. While driving on the highway, he observed sparks in his side-view mirror and pulled over to determine that one of the items had fallen off the truck.

The decedent in the lawsuit was riding on the back of a motorcycle driving the opposite direction as the truck. The driver saw the sparks and attempted to dodge debris in the road but was unable to. The collision ejected decedent from the motorcycle and an oncoming truck then struck her, causing her to sustain serious injuries. She died later that evening as a result.

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Earlier this month (January 2018), there was an accident involving a sanitation truck and utility van. The North Carolina truck accident resulted in the death of a 45-year-old man. The driver of the van was helicoptered to a hospital. The sanitation truck driver was taken to the Outer Banks Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He was charged with misdemeanor death by a motor vehicle.

Criminal proceedings brought against a truck driver believed to be at fault for an accident that causes death to another driver are entirely separate from a civil lawsuit that may be brought in connection with the same accident. The criminal case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is an extremely high standard. Additionally, the criminal case is brought by the prosecutor on behalf of the state. Financial restitution is not always awarded even if the prosecution proves its case.

After losing a family member in a truck accident, surviving family members may face huge changes to their lives, and their only recourse to address their financial and emotional losses may be a civil wrongful death action. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, there are practical considerations, such as the loss of contribution of income by the decedent and the difficulties of losing someone who did a significant portion of the work around a household.

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Recently, a concrete truck driven by a 43-year-old man from Charlotte crushed a van in a North Carolina truck accident, trapping four people inside at the intersection of N.C. 49 and Zion Church Road at around 8:30 a.m.

The concrete truck was fully loaded and driving north on N.C. 49. When the driver turned right, he went too fast and lost control of the vehicle. He crashed into the van, which was stopped in the left turn lane of the road. There were three 13-year-olds and one 44-year-old adult woman in the van at the time. The Fire Department responded to rescue the victims. A crane and two heavy-duty wreckers were used.

Two of the victims were able to be rescued and taken to the hospital quickly. Rescue workers needed to get the concrete truck lifted off the van in order to remove the other two victims. It took an hour and 15 minutes to free them. Over 25 firemen helped with the rescue. A 13-year-old was airlifted to the hospital.

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In a recent North Carolina appellate case, a woman appealed from an order in favor of several defendants, including a contractor and a seafood company. A driver of a rollback commercial truck had delivered a propeller in Virginia on his way to a newspaper company. On the same day, a driver of a pickup truck who was employed by a seafood company drove for his employer to the newspaper company. The driver of the rollback met up with him for the purpose of taking possession of a scallop dredge and getting a crane to load it onto the commercial truck.

Neither the driver of the rollback nor the driver of the pickup operated the crane. Once the crane left the dredge and was put on the commercial truck, the dredge was strapped down by the defendant and the driver of the rollback. The two decided the rollback driver would drive the pickup truck back, and the defendant would drive the commercial truck with the dredge.

About five minutes later, the defendant began backing out of the gate and felt the dredge shift. He pulled over. The rollback driver got out of the pickup and went over to his truck. They made sure the straps were fastened, but when the defendant got next to him, the dredge crushed the rollback driver, killing him.

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In a recent unpublished North Carolina appellate decision, the plaintiff appealed the dismissal of an insurer in his motorcycle accident case. The case arose while he was operating the motorcycle on a state road, and a large truck going too fast around a curve in the road swerved and dumped gravel around him. The spray of debris hit the plaintiff, who lost control of the vehicle and crashed it. The truck didn’t stop, and they couldn’t identify either the driver or the truck’s owner. The plaintiff was injured.

At the time of the accident, the motorcyclist was insured under an automobile policy with Progressive and another one with USAA General. He sued both insurers, seeking uninsured motorist coverage. The claims were denied. Progressive claimed that uninsured motorist coverage wasn’t triggered because there was no physical contact between the plaintiff and the uninsured vehicle or the dump truck and the plaintiff. The insurer claimed that the object that hit the plaintiff had to be part of the equipment on the hit and run vehicle in order for uninsured motorist coverage to be triggered.

The plaintiff sued Progressive and USAA General, asserting numerous claims, including breach of contract and bad faith. He submitted an eyewitness’ affidavit, stating that she saw the debris from the dump truck make direct contact with the plaintiff and his motorcycle, which would other wise not have crashed. She also stated that it appeared there was nothing the plaintiff could have done to avoid the accident.

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In February of 2017, a man was killed in an accident involving two tractor-trailers and a car on North Carolina 11 between Pink Hill and Deep Run. The accident happened just after 1:00 pm. Investigators determined that a tractor-trailer driver tried to enter the highway when he hit another tractor-trailer traveling north on 11. The trailer that was hit drove off the road and hit a passenger car that was stopped on a nearby road. The car spun out, and the trailer overturned onto it.

A 68-year-old man sitting as a passenger inside the car was killed while the car’s driver was injured and taken to a medical center. The drivers of the tractor-trailers were also taken to the hospital. The tractor-trailer driver who caused the accident was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

The criminal charges brought against a tractor-trailer driver who causes an accident are independent of any civil charges that may be brought by the accident victim or his family if he dies. There is a higher burden of proof for criminal cases. Guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal cases, while liability must be established by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil suit. Liability in the civil suit is expressed through money, whereas guilt in a criminal case can subject the defendant to imprisonment, fines, or other penalties.

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A fatal wreck happened recently on I-40. A 53-year-old man was driving a Nissan Altima when he ran into the back of a commercial box truck and was killed. At around the same time, the police were working on a different wreck in the same area on the interstate highway, resulting in backed up traffic. The box truck was probably slowing to a stop because of this traffic, and the decedent was unable to stop in time and ran under the truck. It is believed that speed and distractedness were factors in the truck accident.

Underride collisions happen when a passenger vehicle runs into the back of a truck or trailer and runs under the truck, which sometimes takes the roof off the car and kills the occupants. Sometimes the collision is the result of a car driver’s inattention. However, it could also be the result of a lack of a safety guard, a poorly designed safety guard, missing reflective tape, or obscured reflectors.

The FMCSA requires guards for trucks and trailers that were made after 1998, but those made before that date need not be fitted with a guard. When an underride collision doesn’t cause death, it may cause catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury.

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In North Carolina truck accident cases, a plaintiff may be able to hold the driver directly liable, and they may also have a claim for vicarious liability, which is an indirect form of liability, against the driver’s employer. However, vicarious liability is derivative, which means that the plaintiff can only recover damages from the employer if the employee driver is found negligent.

Harris Boling v. Greer is a North Carolina case that arose when the defendant was driving a tractor-trailer owned by his employer and crashed into the plaintiff’s truck on Interstate 40. The defendant died as a result of his injuries. However, three years afterward, the plaintiff sued him and his employer on the grounds that the decedent was negligent, that the plaintiff had suffered a head injury as a result, and that the decedent’s negligence was imputed to his employer.

The plaintiff served a summons and complaint addressed to the defendant, which reached his widow. It also served the employer by certified mail. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, to which they attached the DMV’s report of the accident and paperwork showing the decedent’s date of death. They also attached the widow’s affidavit, explaining that her husband had died as a result of the crash and that she was the administrator of his estate.

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Carrazana v. Western Express, Inc. concerned a trucking accident that happened in 2013 in North Carolina. Michael Carter, a truck driver employed by Western Express, stopped his tractor-trailer in the emergency lane of I-95. The plaintiff was driving in the right lane. Another truck driver (Tyndall) was driving a tractor-trailer northbound on I-95.

The plaintiff later alleged that Carter negligently pulled in front of him without yielding the right of way and that he crashed into Carter, and Tyndall was also negligent such that he couldn’t move into the left lane to avoid the collision. Carter was cited for an unsafe movement, but Tyndall wasn’t cited.

The plaintiff also alleged that the trucking companies that employed Carter and Tyndall were vicariously liable for their negligence. He also claimed that Western Express had negligently hired, trained, supervised, and retained Carter and that he’d suffered catastrophic injuries due to the accident.

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