About 400,000 commercial trucks are involved in accidents across the United States every year, according to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Almost 70,000 of these accidents are classified as a rear-end truck crash. A truck rear-end collision happens when either the truck strikes the rear of another vehicle of vice versa, when a passenger vehicle hits the rear of a truck. Injuries tend to be much more severe in the latter.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a North Carolina rear-end truck crash, you may be able to recover compensation for losses related to the accident. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering and other damages related to the wreck.
To begin exploring your legal options, contact our truck accident attorneys today by completing the Free Case Review form to the left.
Common Causes of Rear-End Truck Crashes
The FMCSA conducted a study on truck rear-end collisions and found some common contributing factors. These factors included:
- Trucks with malfunctioning brakes
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This could be on behalf of the driver of the passenger vehicle or of the truck.
- Poor lighting conditions on the road
- Trucks with improperly working headlights or turn signals.
Out of all the rear-end collisions that resulted in a traffic fatality, almost half of them happened when a truck was hit by another vehicle on roads with dark driving conditions.
If you lost a loved one in a North Carolina rear-end truck crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim in order to keep your family financially stable during this tragic time. Contact one of our truck accident lawyers at Mike Lewis Attorneys to learn more about your options for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Underride Guard Failure
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 423 people occupying passenger vehicles are killed each year due to a rear-end crash involving a large truck. Additionally, another 5,000 passenger vehicle occupants suffer an injury in these types of truck accidents.
Although there have been advances to vehicle design, passenger vehicles still do not provide adequate protection in a truck rear-end collision.
The bottom of a trailer of a semi-truck is about the same height as the average passenger vehicle’s windshield. When a car hits the rear of an 18-wheeler, the windshield and roof pillars are the only things protecting vehicle occupants.
A car can slide underneath a tractor-trailer, even at low speeds, causing the roof of the smaller vehicle to shear off until the car hits the truck’s back tires. This type of rear-end collision is called an underride accident. Underride accidents have the highest fatality rate among all other types of car vs. truck accidents.
Most large trucks are equipped with an underride guard in order to prevent this type of wreck; however it is not uncommon for these guards to fail in stopping a car from sliding underneath the trailer.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has petitioned for the NHTSA to strengthen the standards for underride guards. They believe that all commercial trucks should be required to have guard rails. Although underride protection was first mandated in the 1950’s, research has shown that the minimum requirements recently passed laws fail to adequately protect passengers. The trucking industry continues turns a blind eye to these dangerous situations.
Contact an Experienced North Carolina Rear-End Truck Crash Lawyer Today
Our attorneys understand the complexities involved in a commercial vehicle accident claim. There are many people or entities that could be at-fault for a North Carolina truck accident, so it is important to consult with a lawyer who has the skills and resources necessary to recreate the scene of the accident to find the exact cause of the crash and hold the accountable parties responsible for any damages that result.
With offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, we are committed to fighting for the rights of any North Carolina resident who has been harmed by the actions of another, whether through negligence or malicious intent.
If you are unsure if you have reason to file a truck rear-end crash claim, do not hesitate to contact our firm to schedule a free, initial case evaluation. During an evaluation, a member of our legal team will assess the merits of your claim and offer guidance on how to best purse financial and legal recourse for your losses.
We believe that our judicial system works best when personal injury victims have access to legal counsel, regardless of their financial status. To ensure this, our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you choose to hire our firm, there is never any cost to you until we obtain a favorable outcome for your claim.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to North Carolina rear-end truck crash victims and their families or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with one of attorneys, please complete the Free Case Review form on this page.