A tractor-trailer driving down U.S. 74 caused a car to go over the Buffalo Creek bridge on October 2, at about 3 p.m. Miraculously, there were no life-threatening injures reported from the accident.
According to North Carolina Highway Patrol, traffic was backed up in the eastbound lane near the light located at the bridge when the truck came down the hill and slammed into the stopped cars. Witnesses described it as a bulldozer in the movies as the truck drove down the middle, pushing the cars to the sides and forcing one of them over the bridge and into a creek below the bridge. The crash involved a total of seven other vehicles and caused snarled traffic for the next several hours.
No other information, including the cause of the crash, has been released by law enforcement.
There could be several reasons why the truck driver failed to stop and instead plowed through the line of vehicles. Some of these reasons include distracted driving, fatigued driving, or speeding. Another possible reason could be a malfunctioning of brakes.
Because of the massive size and weight of tractor-trailers, they often require a longer stopping time, even when the brakes are in good working order. To get perspective on this, if a fully loaded tractor-trailer is traveling the highway at 65 miles per hour, it can take up to 600 feet in order for the vehicle to come to a complete stop. Now imagine the brakes of the truck are not working properly and that length of the required stopping distance is even longer.
In order to reduce the hazards of failing brakes or other truck equipment, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to inspect and maintain trucks regularly to ensure they are safe for the road. Trucking companies are also required to keep detailed records of inspections, maintenance, and any repairs performed on their vehicles. Truck drivers are also required to ensure their trucks are safe before they get behind the wheel of the vehicle. Unfortunately, despite all these regulations put in place, truck accidents still occur.
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you should seek out medical attention immediately, even if you think you have not sustained any injuries. Document all treatment you receive, as well as any expenses associated with these treatments. You should also seek out the advice of a North Carolina truck accident attorney who will evaluate your case to determine if you are entitled to any financial compensation for the losses you have suffered.
If you do have a case, your attorney will also determine who the liable parties for your losses. Remember, the trucking company and their insurance company will have a team of attorneys who will be working their hardest to minimize or deny your claim of damages. This is why it is critical to have an attorney who has the experience and skill to advocate for you in any negotiations for settlement or in litigation should it be necessary to go to trial.
Contact a Carolinas Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in an N.C. truck accident, Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn can help you obtain the compensation you need for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Call our office to schedule a free consultation with a North Carolina truck accident attorney to find out how we can help.