Commercial vehicle accidents are quite common in North Carolina. Commercial Vehicles are the cause of 10 injuries or deaths a month in our state. The drivers of these vehicles have jobs; and with these jobs comes a schedule that their pay depends upon. Commercial vehicle drivers have to make deliveries on time and in unfortunate situations, this may lead to fatigue, stress, or putting the delivery time over the safety of other drivers or pedestrians. The laws protecting drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are different. This article focuses on passengers or drivers in a car accident. If you were injured as a pedestrian, you can read more about pedestrian accidents on our site.
Trucks vs. Cars
There is a wide range of Commercial Vehicles. For instance, some companies need an eighteen-wheeler, while others accomplish their corporate job with a normal passenger vehicle. If you are involved in an accident with an eighteen-wheeler then the results are typically much more dire than those resulting from an accident with a passenger vehicle in the same circumstances.
These vehicles carry heavy industrial items which, when reaching impact with another vehicle at high speeds, cause dramatic and often traumatic injuries and damage. Additionally, Commercial Vehicles are multiple times larger than the average private vehicle, leading to quite different results in the event of an accident. We’ve all driven past a tractor-trailer accident on a highway—sometimes displaying the frightening results of these accidents, including an overturned vehicle, a crushed passenger vehicle, or worse.
Insurance In A Commercial Vehicle Accident
A common question that comes from clients who have been in these accidents is: Whose insurance is going to pay for the property damage and the bodily injury? Depending upon the specific facts of the accident, the answer may vary. If the driver is employed by the company, we typically look to the corporate insurance policy. If it is determined that the driver is an independent contractor, your personal injury lawyer will help you decide which insurance provider to pursue, if not both.
Additionally, factual questions must be answered, in an attempt to predict the response from the at-fault driver. Sometimes these inquiries lead to a discovery that the driver may have done something with the vehicle that had nothing to do with the job for which they were hired. If a UPS truck driven by a UPS employee suddenly hits you or your vehicle while carrying out a delivery, then the company is liable, but if the driver drives the truck to their daughter’s birthday party in the course of that ‘errand’ causes an accident, the argument can be made that the driver was doing something for which the company was not liable. Additionally, intentional acts outside the scope of employment may lead to different outcomes.
Police reports associated with the Commercial Vehicle accident can assist in supporting your claim that the other driver was at fault. It is always recommended to call the police and insist on not only exchanging driver information but also insist on the generation of a police report. If you were hit by another driver but there is absolutely no evidence of that other than your account, you will have a much harder time establishing fault and liability. Police reports are important because they also establish the location, time, and identification of all parties and of the accident. If you were in an accident and have not obtained your police report, we are happy to do it for you at no charge. Just call us and we’ll ask a few questions to help us identify the report online and download it. Or, if you’d like to do it yourself, you can do so HERE for a small fee from the County. You’ll need your driver exchange crash form or enough information about the accident to help their automated system identify the report.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are injured in an accident, it’s advisable to seek medical attention immediately. Immediate medical attention can prevent further health complications which can develop quickly on the heels of an accident. Internal bleeding and other injuries are sometimes not detectable or noticeable just after an accident—only a medical professional can assure you that you are not injured, or treat the injuries you do have. Additionally, an insurance company will hold it against you if you wait to seek medical attention. They quite often argue that if you were injured in the accident you would have sought medical attention immediately. Alternatively, they argue that if you waited to seek medical attention, perhaps your injury actually occurred sometime between the accident and the time you sought medical attention. Either claim by an insurance company can lead to a lowered value in your case.
Call A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been struck by a Commercial Vehicle, please call us to find out your rights. We are more than happy to hear your story and give you a complimentary assessment of your case or claim. If we can not take your case for some reason, we will help to refer you to another lawyer that we trust, who can assist you. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call 704.749.7747 or click HERE to send us a request for a phone consultation. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.