The questions on this page were answered by our team of lawyers. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car wrecks, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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My vehicle was struck by a tractor trailer and it was his fault, and I got the police form that shows the driver's name. Whose insurance applies, the driver's or the company he works for?
Both insurances apply, that is if the driver has his own policy covering his commercial activities, that policy applies coverage. If he is working for a trucking company as their driver, moving their load, then the trucking company's insurance will apply under federal regulations governing interstate trucking business. Sometimes, the insurance covering the trailer, even if the trailer was not struck, can also provide additional insurance.
Do commercial trucks like 18-wheelers and tractor-trailershave a right-of-way superior to that of a car when travelling on NCpublic roads?
No. Commercial trucks and tractor trailers must obey the same, and sometimes more extensive traffic laws than an average passenger vehicle. All too often, some truck drivers take the "I'm bigger, so you must move out of my way" approach to driving, but you have an equal right to travel on the same roads that they do. Of course you should always be mindful of your safety when encountering large commercial vehicles like big rigs and tractor-trailers on the road.
A rock fell off of a dump truck and caused me to crash my truck, do I have a personalinjury case?
If you suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a truck driver, yes, you may have a potential case. Truck drivers and operators are responsible for securing their loads, and if they are negligent in doing so, then you have rights as an injured person. If you are hit while behind a truck that is carrying a load that appears to be unsafe and can't move over to another lane, make sure you remember enough information about the truck or the company so that you can identify the responsible party in case of an accident.
How much time does it take to resolve a truck accident case? Do most cases settle or go to trial?
The amount of time required to resolve your truck accident case depends primarily on the circumstances of your specific case. Some truck wreck cases take a few months to resolve, while others take a year or longer.
Due to the extensive amount of damages involved in a typical truck crash case, the truck company insurers are more likely to authorize a time-consuming, all-out vigorous defense. This usually means truck accident cases take longer to resolve than typical car accident cases.
Are the rules of the road different for drivers of large commercial trucks than for cars?
Yes, the drivers and operators of tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles are required to not only obey the regular rules of the road that apply to all motor vehicles but also certain special federal regulations that apply to trucking. These rules, found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR §§350 through 399), set forth these special laws that govern any semi's and large passenger vehicles used in interstate traffic. Most states, including North Carolina, incorporate by reference most of the federal regulations that apply to 18-wheelers and other big trucks. Some of these rules involve special qualifications for CDL drivers, hours of service for drivers, and the inspection and repair of trucks. There are also special rules about drug testing and other information which must be gathered when there is a serious injury or death involving one of these big rigs.
Is the law applying to a car and truck wreck case different from a car injury case and how?
There are many parts that are the same, but evidence law applying to interstate trucking is vastly more complicated. For example, federal motor carrier safety laws apply to trucking. There are many insurance regulations governing trucking. The law of statutes of limitations usually, not always, is governed by state laws. Please review our practice area (trucking injury) for extensive discussions of car/truck accidents/collisions. Our firm has handled major injury cases involving trucks and tractor trailer crashes, for example review our case result section on this website.
About the editors: The motto at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburnlaw firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.