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Weather and Auto Accidents – Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

Can the weather cause an accident? If you're injured in an accident, the answer matters

So, what happens if you’re injured in an accident during, or caused by, severe weather conditions? For a skilled analysis, we’ve asked James Scott Farrin shareholder and litigation attorney Hoyt Tessener for his perspective. His answers may surprise you.

The Weather, the Road and Personal Injury

Can the weather be at fault for an accident while I’m driving?

Yes. The weather can be at fault for a wreck but only under unusual circumstances. For example, the road could be poorly constructed. The weather can also be a contributing factor if for example the vehicle goes into a defective guard rail. 

If another driver is involved, how important is it to determine fault, and how is it determined?

It is very important to determine fault. Initially, fault is determined from the crash report that is prepared by the investigating law enforcement officer. It is always important to call the police whenever there is a wreck. However, the law enforcement officers may make a mistake or enter the wrong codes. Fault is ultimately determined in a negligence case by what a jury of twelve people decide.

Can’t it even be the weather’s fault?

If the weather is at fault, it is an accident.

Does it matter if there are severe weather warnings? Does that make me more responsible for my choice to drive in that weather or does it matter?

If you are driving during severe weather, you may be contributory negligent. If the weather comes upon you suddenly or upon somebody else suddenly, then it can be what is described as a sudden emergency. A sudden emergency is a heightened standard of care. Basically we all have an obligation to drive and operate a vehicle as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. If you are hit with sudden adverse weather, the standard becomes driving as a reasonable person would in those same or similar circumstances – the adverse weather.

Let’s say a storm knocks out power to an intersection and the traffic signals are out. What happens if I get hit and injured while going through that intersection?

The rules of the road always apply. If traffic signals are out, then you have to follow the rules of the road as if there is an intersection with no traffic lights and all roads have stop signs. Everyone is expected to come to a complete stop at the intersection. The vehicle that arrives first goes first and then you circle around counterclockwise. A vehicle turning yields to a vehicle going straight.

What happens if my child is on a school bus during severe weather and is injured in an accident?

A child on a school bus is injured due to severe weather, it is an accident. However, if the bus driver and/or another person is at fault, for example for running a stop light, and your child was injured as a result of the collision, then your child would have a claim. 

The Takeaways: While storms can contribute to an accident, injury caused directly from weather conditions is an act of God. And you can’t sure God. If your actions or reactions cause an accident, you are likely to be at fault just as in normal weather. If someone else’s action or reactions cause you injury, you may have a claim. And, in certain cases, a weather-related accident may be worsened by a defect, such as a bad road or a faulty guardrail. In those case, you may have a claim.

Contributory Negligence Defined
Contributory negligence: n. a doctrine of common law that if a person was injured in part due to his/her own negligence (his/her negligence “contributed” to the accident), the injured party would not be entitled to collect any damages (money) from another party who supposedly caused the accident. Under this rule, a badly injured person who was only slightly negligent could not win in court against a very negligent defendant. NOTE: Some exceptions or exclusions can apply, which is why it is always advisable to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Storms, Wind and Who Pays if You Get Hurt

I’ll get a bit more specific. What if I’m hurt by an actual tornado while driving? They’re freak storms, after all.

If you are driving during a tornado and injured as a result, you would not be entitled to any recovery.

What if a tree from a yard along the street gets blown over and hits my car, injuring me. Does that homeowner have to pay for my injuries?

A tree that is blown over by a storm would only create liability if the tree owner knew the tree was weak or damaged and should have been removed or replaced.

What if that tree is already in the road when I hit it and get injured?

If you hit a tree in the road and are injured, you have no recovery unless someone was chopping down the tree expecting it to fall in a different direction and instead it fell on you as you were driving by.

Let’s say I’m driving on the highway and high winds blow a tractor trailer over, causing me to crash. That’s not my fault, right?

Right. 

When a Storm Blows Over… a Truck
The University of Kansas Department of Engineering performed a study in 2009 to determine the effects of wind on motorists. Full tractor trailers were found vulnerable to being blown off the road in winds of 60mph or more. Empty tractor trailers, on the other hand, were adversely affected in crosswinds of just 15-20mph.

The Takeaways: Storms that have high winds pose numerous risks, but the vast majority of their effects are acts of God. There is little chance that someone is going to be at fault – other than you. The lesson here is not to drive during wind storms. Got off the road!

Water Hazards, From Above and Below

Water is dangerous as well, especially over the road. Let’s say I drive into water that’s covering the road and get hurt. Does it make any difference if there’s a flash flood watch?

If water pools on the road due to a defective road design or maintenance, you may have a claim. If you just drive into standing water, you are responsible for your own actions and would not have a claim. If you have decided to drive during a flash flood watch and you are in an area that is known to flood, you would have no claim.

What if I hit someone trying to avoid the water? Or they hit me trying to avoid it?

If you hit someone while driving, regardless of the reason, it is likely that you are going to be at fault. The same applies for them.

Half a Million Injuries a Year Occur on Wet Roads
According to the U.S Department of Transportation, the seemingly innocuous wet road is one of the most dangerous places to drive. Each year, about 75% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on wet roads, and nearly half occur while it’s raining. Wet road crashes account for more than 5,000 fatalities and more than 540,000 injuries. Roadway flooding was said to be the greatest source of fatalities.

The Takeaways: Water on the road is a tricky issue. If you choose to drive during heavy rain when there are flood watches and warnings, you could be seen as contributing to the accident – contributory negligence. If the flooding happens due to poor road design, you may have a claim. As always, you are responsible for your choices and actions. A court and a jury will hold you to the standard of what a reasonable person would do in your specific circumstance. And reasonable people do not often drive during flood warnings!

North Carolina is one of the few states left known as a contributory negligence state. In insurance terms, that means that, aside from a few exceptions, if you are at fault for an accident or injury – even partially at fault – they may not have to compensate you for your injuries or damages. And you may even have to pay for damages caused from the accident or injury. So be careful what you say to your insurance adjuster as you may accidentally give yourself contributory negligence without realizing it.

What Does Contributory Negligence Mean?

Contributory negligence means you were partially at fault for the accident. How much is partially at fault? Even as little as 1% at fault could mean you get nothing in North Carolina. Some insurance companies have a field day with this outdated (and one-sided) law and that is one of the first things they may try to prove in an effort to try to avoid paying you damages.

You need to know something about contributory negligence. But I’m going to warn you. You’re not going to like it.

You probably engage in contributory negligence almost every day without realizing it.

Have you ridden in someone else’s car that you knew was not necessarily in the best operating condition? Have you ever ridden “just a few blocks” without your seatbelt? Have you ever interfered with a driver’s ability to operate the car?

If you were injured in an accident and found to be contributory, in many cases the insurance company could theoretically deny you any claim for damages.

That is where an experienced North Carolina accident attorney may be able to help you. Contributory negligence, as you can imagine, is a very gray area, and it may take an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer to argue a contributory negligence case with the insurance company.

Our state is one of only three states and the District of Columbia that still has these laws on the books.

Simply put, contributory negligence laws can sometimes unfairly favor those who caused harm while punishing victims. If you’re just a fraction at fault, you could get zero.

It is what it is. Yet we continue to fight against contributory negligence claims on a daily basis. What we have learned is that many of our clients who are accused of contributory negligence by the insurance company simply had no idea that they may have been contributing to their injuries.

How to Minimize Your Own Contributory Negligence

Here are some things to beware of to help minimize insurance company accusations that you contributed to your injuries.

Pay attention to your surroundings. If you are a pedestrian and you cross the street in front of a bus or truck without looking and you are struck by an oncoming vehicle, the insurance company may claim you did not look and therefore you are partially at fault.

Don’t ride in a car with a driver that you know has been drinking, is reckless, or sleepy.

When your Check Engine light comes on, have the engine checked ASAP. How long do you drive your car after the “check engine” light comes on? (Be truthful.) The mechanic who makes a report to the insurance company will note this, giving fodder to the insurance company to possibly try to deny your injury claim.

Don’t distract the driver.

If you are a motorcyclist or bicyclist, don’t filter through traffic. These vehicles are difficult enough to see normally. And make sure you wear a helmet. It’s the law in NC.

NC Personal Injury Lawyers Offer FREE Case Evaluation

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5X more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own.3

This can ring particularly true for instances in which the insurance company is crying contributory negligence. If you have been injured in a car crash, contact us for a free case evaluation to see if we can try to help you recover damages for your injuries, or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

 

3 Insurance Research Council 1999

5 Things You Should Not Say to a Car Insurance Adjuster

When you’re involved in a car wreck, are injured, or make a claim for property damage, the insurance company you make a claim against will put you in the capable hands of an insurance adjuster.

Not necessarily “good hands.” But very capable hands. Capable of doing everything the insurance company has trained them to do in their efforts to pay out as little money to you as possible.

Generally within a few days, you will get a call from a friendly-sounding voice wanting to “just get a bit of information…” or “hear your side of the story.”

Insurance companies need to make sure your story sounds plausible. And for good reason.

Why Is the Insurance Adjuster Calling You?

You can have more than one adjuster to deal with. Many insurance companies have specialty adjusters. Some adjusters only investigate. Some deal with injury. Others specialize in negotiating and speaking with attorneys. You may also deal with property damage adjusters who only handle vehicle damages. These types of adjusters may be further specialized. One could be the estimating adjuster and another might be the one who pays you for damages.

But all adjusters have one thing in common.

Adjusters work for the insurance company, and their job is to try to pay out as little as they can to keep their employer happy.

Listening Between the Lines

In the interest of full disclosure, I rarely, if ever, advise my clients to speak with an insurance adjuster for a recorded statement. I have found that, for the most part, these recorded statements have not been in the best interest of my clients – but have more to do with obtaining information that the insurance company could potentially use later to try to minimize payment or deny a claim altogether. All cases and facts are different, so it is important you talk with an experienced personal injury attorney before giving information to the insurance company.

But if you do happen to speak with a car insurance adjuster, you can be assured they are trained in active listening. It is important that what you say to them is true, factual, succinct, and not editorialized. Here are five things you shouldn’t say to an insurance adjuster:

1. “He came out of nowhere.”

We have former insurance adjusters on our staff who worked for insurance companies for many years before they came to us. They tell us the inside joke among adjusters is they want to know where Nowhere is. Claiming someone “came out of nowhere” may lead an adjuster to wonder if you were paying attention.

2. “He had to have been speeding.”

Another editorialized comment our former adjusters often heard “almost on a daily basis” was, “They had to have been speeding.” Usually this is in reference to pulling out from a stop sign or a green light. Those active listening skills kick in, causing the adjuster to question: if the other guy was speeding and they got so close to you, then why did you pull out? That screams you were not paying attention. The adjuster is taking detailed “notes to self” while you are offering damaging information without realizing it. Later, when negotiation time comes, these off-hand comments could come back to haunt you.

3. “The next thing you know they hit me.”

Different state laws also play a role in certain cases. If your state has contributory negligence laws, then if someone is able to show you are even 1% at fault, you may not get compensation. Let’s say the police report showed a clear cut liability issue with the other driver. Don’t inadvertently say something that might give the adjuster an opportunity to twist your words. “Well, I saw him in the intersection and the next thing you know he hit me.” You may have had the right of way, but if you saw the other car, you should have had time to stop or react. The police report may say you’re not at fault, but you likely just gave yourself contributory negligence by admitting to the adjuster that you were partially at fault. The adjuster can then deny liability and not pay your claim based on your statement.

4. “My light turned green so I just pulled off.”

Did you look left? Did you look right? That adjuster may very well deny your case because, without realizing it, you seemingly admitted you did not look before entering into the intersection. You may have had the last clear chance to avoid the collision.

5. “I was coming from a friend’s house.”

Seriously? There are a whole lot of “friends” who seem to enjoy having company until 4 a.m., judging from the number of times adjusters have heard that one. Don’t tell an insurance adjuster you were coming from a friend’s house, or any other place, if you were not actually coming from there.

First of all, when you speak with an adjuster or any insurance representative, you want to be credible and honest in all your answers. Not only is it the right thing to do, but your credibility can be a powerful weapon in your defense – especially if you have to go to court.

Adjusters have ways of getting at the truth when they think you are not being truthful. They may follow up with more questions: “How long were you at your friend’s house? What were you doing? Had you been drinking? How many beers did you have?” These are just for starters. What do insurance adjusters look for when asking these questions? Possible proof you were partially negligent for the car accident injury you suffered.

We Can Help You Give Your Statement to the Adjuster

As I said, I almost always advise my clients against giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster because I have found it can do more harm to the client.

Yet some come to us after they have already given a statement. There are so many ways we’ve seen innocent car wreck victims hurt their case by talking to an insurance adjuster without realizing how some of their statements may be misinterpreted.

We can help you prepare to speak truthfully about your car accident, but in ways that will not inadvertently harm your case. If we feel a recorded statement is in your best interest, we can be on the call with you to try to make sure the adjuster does not take advantage or twist your words. If a written statement about the events of your car wreck is the best option, we can coordinate with you to come up with something that helps protect your rights.

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From Our Car Wreck Attorneys

If you or someone you care about was injured in a car wreck and an adjuster wants to “just get a bit more information,” contact an experienced car wreck lawyer before giving any statement. You don’t want to say anything that may damage your case before getting a professional evaluation.

Contact us now for a free case evaluation to see if we can help or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

10 Safety Tips for Driving Near Big-Rigs (Some May Surprise You)

A colleague was having dinner with a truck driver recently who shared an alarming story. He recounted the time he had driven more than 18 hours in order to make a deadline. He was so tired that he began to hallucinate while driving on the highway! The truck driver thought that was funny. My colleague did not.

It’s clear the truck driver has never been in a North Carolina courtroom representing an extended family whose lives changed in an instant when some of the family members were killed as a fatigued big-rig driver slammed into their vehicle.

I have a great deal of respect for most truck drivers. Having handled my share of big-rig cases, I can tell you from experience that fatigued drivers are almost always an issue. A big one.

Fatigued Truckers a Major Factor in Accidents

A U.S. Department of Transportation study states that 41% of serious tractor-trailer crashes in the country were caused by fatigued truck drivers, as reported by WNCN.com.

You might remember the two 18-wheeler crashes near the Triangle almost back to back last fall. A tractor-trailer flipped over on I-85 near Hillsboro spewing a load of bananas across the highway. Driver fatigue was the cause. A bridge on I-95 near Smithfield was closed for two weeks when a tractor-trailer rammed into the bridge’s support columns ripping the truck apart and throwing frozen chickens all over the highway. Fatigue, again a factor.

To compound the issue, a U.S. Department of Transportation article suggests that among the most dangerous elements of fatigue is its ability to sneak up on any driver, not just truck drivers. They evaluated research that showed that truck drivers (like any driver) often can’t assess their own fatigue levels accurately and are unaware of their failing performance behind the wheel, such as drifting between lanes. A driver who drifts off to sleep for just three seconds traveling 65 miles an hour will travel the length of a football field.

Many truckers, themselves, are frustrated by the fatigue issue, blaming it on an industry where 60- to 80-hour workweeks are the norm and even expected. One trucker cited rules written by “a pencil pushing college graduate [who has] never even been in a truck” and trucking industry lobbyists for refusing to adequately address the issues of driver fatigue.

So what can we do to help ourselves try to stay safe around big rigs?

“One of the hardest parts of being a professional driver, is trying to guess what the guy in the car is going to do next,” offers truck driver and author of a safety article on smart-trucking.com. Here, excerpted from that article, is some simple common sense safety advice on how to share the road more safely with tractor-trailers.

How to Drive Near 18-Wheelers

  1. Do not travel close to a big rig if at all possible. They require a lot of time and distance to stop safely simply due to their size and weight.
  2. Stay out of blind spots. Truckers have a lot of them. Directly in front of the truck (because of the long hood). Directly behind the truck. And especially on the right side of the truck. Truck drivers can see you best when you’re on the driver’s side of the truck.
  3. Do not pass a truck on the right side if possible. The driver is not expecting this. And try not to drive along the right side of the truck because of the large blind spot.
  4. Don’t travel too closely behind a truck. The driver cannot see cars that are directly behind them. You’ve probably seen cars “drafting” behind trucks. Never do this. Ever. If the truck stops, you’re probably going right underneath that truck in what is known as an underride. Underrides often lead to decapitation.
  5. Do not pass a truck, pull directly in front of it, and then immediately slow down. It is difficult for the trucker to see cars over its long hood. This could result in what is known as an override. An override occurs when the truck is unable to slow down fast enough and it is forced on top of the car in front.
  6. Stay away from trucks when they are turning, especially when they are making a right turn. As the trailer follows the truck around a corner, the trailer closes in and will crush anything that gets in the way. There’s a great deal of weight and momentum, which could cause the trailer to track over anything in its path.
  7. If it’s necessary to pass a tractor trailer, pass on the left. Pass the rig quickly, maintaining a consistent speed, and move away from it. The closer you are to the truck, the more potential there is for risk.
  8. In general, try to avoid driving close to large tractor trailers period.
  9. Avoid making sudden moves in the vicinity of trucks. Move slowly and be predictable with your actions. If you need to change lanes or turn, signal well in advance. Change lanes or make your turn when you are away from the truck, where the driver can see you, and clearly see what your intentions are. Signal well in advance of a move, so the truck driver isn’t trying to guess what your next move is.
  10. I would add to this writer/trucker’s list to be courteous. Having represented many individuals involved in trucking accidents, I have met many truck drivers who are diligent and hard-working people working in an industry that can be very hard on you physically and mentally. These are service industry workers who ship fresh produce from farm to table. They are the mail carriers and gas carriers and carriers of merchandise. They work long hours and are away from their families, sometimes for long periods.

NC Truck Accident Lawyers Offer Free Case Evaluation

If you were injured in a big-rig accident or know someone who was, contact us immediately or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation by an experienced trucking accident lawyer.

 

How to Stay Safe on NC’s Roads Memorial Day Weekend

Here at James Scott Farrin, we are proud to have among us many U.S. military veterans who have bravely fought for our freedoms. We are honored they chose our firm as a career step after serving in the U.S. armed forces.
—James S. Farrin,
Founder and President, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin

 

Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Pools open. Neighborhood barbecues.  Parades that honor our nation’s military veterans. And it’s a welcomed long weekend.

Last year, spurred largely by cheaper gas prices, AAA estimated that more than 38 million hit the highways Memorial Day weekend – the highest number since 2005. The downside?

Memorial Day is considered one of the most dangerous weekends to be on the roads and marks the beginning of what AAA has coined the “100 deadliest days for teens.”3

44% of Memorial Day Traffic Fatalities Involve Booze

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says 13% more people die during a typical Memorial Day weekend than on a non-holiday weekend. You can probably guess what they report is a contributing factor.

Booze contributes to 44% of Memorial Day traffic fatalities.
That’s a substantial factor you want to keep out of your travel equation. Even if you are driving stone cold sober, obviously many others are not.

Here are some safety tips from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to help you travel NC’s roads more safely over Memorial Day weekend:

  • Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible.
  • Stay alert, especially in construction zones. Even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zones.
  • Be patient and obey the posted speed limit.
  • Use alternative routes when possible to avoid traffic congestion.
  • Stay informed. Real-time travel information is available online and over the phone by dialing 511.
  • Don’t drive if you are drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks.
  • Avoid distracted driving. When drivers stop focusing on the road ahead, they react more slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Give yourself a buffer by not following other cars too closely.

If you do enjoy an adult beverage or two, there are many driving services today across North Carolina that take you and your car home including the ones in this guide.

“100 Deadliest Days” Begins Memorial Day

According to AAA, the 100 days between Memorial Day through Labor Day are the “100 deadliest days” for teens. That’s partly because teens are out of school and more of them are behind the wheel. The other reason is that many are driving distracted. Texting, talking, or generally not paying attention. And they’re inexperienced.

Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explains, “Every day during the summer driving season, an average of 10 people die as a result of injuries from a crash involving a teen driver.” Research shows that distraction continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers.

You Can Help Curb Distracted Driving

Cars.com reports that half of all teen drivers will be involved in a crash before graduating from high school.

Distracted driving among teens is your problem. It’s my problem. It’s everyone’s problem. Here are some things each of us can do to help try to encourage teens to break this deadly habit.

  • Practice what you preach. Don’t drive distracted yourself.
  • Start discussions early on, well before teens reach driving age.
  • Take advantage of some of the latest apps (some are free) and tech gadgets that can help make it easier for teens (and all of us) to avoid using phones while behind the wheel.
  • Visit the Enddd.org (End Distracted Driving), a non-profit organization started by the father of a 21-year-old daughter who was killed by a distracted driver. And print and display their YES! I WILL family pledge and safe driving agreement.
  • Visit aaa.com/NC for safety resources for your teen drivers.

Get a FREE Evaluation From NC Car Wreck Attorneys

If you or someone you care about was injured in a car wreck during Memorial Day or any other day, contact an experienced car wreck lawyer.

Contact us now for a free case evaluation to see if we can help or call us at 1-866-900-7078.

3According to Yahoo, other deadly days to drive are Black Friday, NFL game days, the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Truck Accidents Are on the Rise – Do You Know What to Do if a Trucker Hits You?

Accident on the road involving black car and yellow truckIt is everyone’s worst accident scenario: colliding with a massive tractor-trailer. The unequal match in weight and power causes these accidents to frequently result in very serious injuries or fatalities.

And they are happening more often. If you have been injured, please contact a Truck Accident Attorney in NC.

The fortunate

Earlier this year, a North Carolina deputy released a statement of gratefulness to a police officer from Virginia who saved his life. The deputy accidentally drove his cruiser underneath a tractor-trailer loaded with plywood while responding to an emergency call.  The Virginia officer was off duty but nevertheless used the deputy’s radio to call for help and, with the help of another man, pulled the deputy from his patrol car just as it began to catch fire.

The deputy escaped with a broken left hip and right knee from an accident that could have been much, much worse.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The DOT recently reported an increase in the number of deaths after tractor-trailers collisions.

The unfortunate

In a recent tragic example of what can happen in a tractor-trailer accident, a chartered school bus and FedEx truck burst into flames after colliding, killing 10 people. The FedEx truck also jumped an interstate divider, injuring 30 more people. Both the bus and truck driver were killed, along with five students and three chaperones, Reuters reported.

According to the LA Times, three lawsuits have been filed against FedEx –  two wrongful death suits by parents of students who died, and one personal injury lawsuit.

FedEx truck and bus collide and burst into flames in California
The FedEx truck and school charter bus from the tragic accident in California. Source: LA Times

While this example is tragic, it also shows the devastating potential of large trucks.

In even more alarming news, according to recently released DOT statistics (2012) there has been a 4% increase in fatalities from accidents involving large trucks over the prior year. In 2012 alone, 3,921 people were killed and 104,000 injured in collisions with large trucks.

There is no clear explanation for the increase in tractor-trailer accidents, but the possibility for tragic injuries and fatalities is more likely when these large vehicles are involved.

It is hard to protect yourself on the road from tractor-trailers, but finding representation after an accident with a tractor trailer can help ensure that your rights are protected.

Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney in North Carolina?

Due to the grave nature of trucking accidents and their complexity regarding insurance coverage, it is important to take action quickly and proceed with caution. Seeking representation immediately can be beneficial in many ways.

  1. Multiple insurance policies – First, you can learn how to speak with the insurance company in such a way that you will not run the risk of losing rights to any compensation. Trucks are often covered under multiple insurance policies, but if you say or do the wrong thing, you could lose out on some potential compensation.
  2. Out-of-state – Because tractor-trailers often operate across state lines, it’s possible their insurance policy was not issued in the same state in which the accident occurred. Since different states have different laws regarding accidents and insurance coverage, it is important to know which laws will apply to your situation.  A lawyer can help to make sure you are properly protected.
  3. Violations – Since trucks are so dangerous, there are many state and federal rules truckers and trucking companies must follow — such as a limit on consecutive hours of driving, intended to prevent fatigue. A personal injury attorney with experience in tractor-trailer accidents is trained to look for potential violations of these rules by the driver or trucking company. The rules have been designed to keep you and your families safe. Disregarding them may be the cause of the accident or have contributed to its severity.
  4. Evidence – Ideally, an experienced law firm should review the facts and circumstances of a collision as soon as possible after the incident, including an examination of physical evidence. Thorough review can uncover many factors that may have contributed to the collision or resulting injuries. For example, take the recent North Carolina trucking accident referenced above involving the trooper and the plywood truck. While it might seem like an open and shut case to the untrained eye, the fact that the deputy’s cruiser was somehow able to get underneath the trailer could be indicative of missing or faulty under-ride guards, which are put in place to prevent an incident, such as the one resulting in serious injuries to the deputy. However, if an investigation is not conducted early enough, the wreckage might be discarded and evidence of missing or faulty guards might be lost.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online right now for a free case evaluation.