Truck Accident Lawyers in North Carolina

Recovery From Collisions With 18-Wheeler Vehicles

If you think of a large truck/tractor-trailer accident as something that happens on congested northeastern highways and not here in North Carolina, you are misinformed. Commercial truck accidents cause injuries and deaths on urban and rural highways across North Carolina at a rate of more than 10 deaths every month and nearly eight injuries every day of the year.

Injuries from a truck accident are severe and require a serious response. Take action by calling (800) 351-3008 and scheduling a free consultation with a Hickory, Charlotte or Columbia truck accident attorney.

Commercial Truck Accident

Nationally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that 4,186 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes in 2013 represented a three percent increase from the previous year.

The FMCSA, in its 2015 annual report about commercial trucks and buses in the U.S., says that of those who died in large truck accidents in 2013:

  • 56 percent were drivers of another motor vehicle in the crash
  • 4 percent were passengers in other vehicles
  • 1 percent were truck drivers
  • 5 percent were pedestrians
  • 3 percent were passengers in the truck
  • 2 percent were bicyclists.

According to FMCSA, of the 600 truck drivers killed in crashes in 2013, more than half were in single-vehicle accidents.

As the figures show, if you are driving a passenger car or truck and you collide with a large truck, it is most likely you who will be injured or killed instead of the trucker.

North Carolina Truck Accidents

The NC DOT, in its crash statistics for 2013, reports the figures for various types of commercial trucks in separate categories:

Truck

All Crashes

Fatal Crashes

Injury Crashes

Single Unit Truck (2-axle, 6-tire)

2,957

26

870

Single Unit Truck (3 or more axles)

1,198

19

350

Truck/Trailer

1,881

18

489

Truck/Tractor

203

5

56

Tractor/Semi-Trailer

3,462

53

1,029

Tractor/Doubles

74

1

25

Unknown Heavy Truck

209

0

61

TOTALS

9,984

122

2,880

Here are some 2013 North Carolina truck accident figures for selected Western North Carolina counties (the NC DOT report, which we link to below, has all 100 counties):

County

Single Unit Truck (2-axle, 6-tire)

Single Unit Truck (3 or more axles)

Tractor Trailer Truck Crashes

Alexander (Taylorsville)

Total: 6 Injury: 3 Fatal: 0

Total: 0 Injury: 0 Fatal: 0

Total: 7 Injury: 4 Fatal: 0

Burke (Morganton)

Total: 24 Injury: 5 Fatal: 0

Total: 8 Injury: 3 Fatal: 0

Total: 62 Injury: 14 Fatal: 1

Caldwell (Lenoir)

Total: 24 Injury: 6 Fatal: 1

Total: 8 Injury: 3 Fatal: 0

Total: 31 Injury: 7 Fatal: 1

Catawba (Hickory)

Total: 76 Injury: 20 Fatal: 0

Total: 23 Injury: 3 Fatal: 0

Total: 141 Injury: 24Fatal: 1

Cleveland (Shelby)

Total: 25 Injury: 5 Fatal: 0

Total: 13 Injury: 4 Fatal: 1

Total: 76 Injury 25 Fatal: 1

Gaston (Gastonia)

Total: 58 Injury: 12 Fatal: 0

Total: 22 Injury: 3 Fatal: 1

Total: 177 Injury: 40 Fatal: 1

Iredell (Statesville)

Total: 71 Injury: 14 Fatal: 0

Total: 24 Injury: 6 Fatal: 1

Total: 202 Injury: 42 Fatal: 2

Lincoln (Lincolnton)

Total: 17 Injury: 4 Fatal: 0

Total: 17 Injury: 3 Fatal: 2

Total: 16 Injury: 0 Fatal: 0

Mecklenburg (Charlotte)

Total: 508 Injury: 132 Fatal: 2

Total: 240 Injury: 46 Fatal: 2

Total: 1,005 Injury: 213 Fatal: 4

Statewide

Total: 3,501 Injury: 870 Fatal: 26

Total: 1,467 Injury: 350 Fatal: 19

Total: 6,748 Injury: 1,604 Fatal: 72

(A crash may have involved more than one truck type. If so, the crash was counted in more than one category.)

These counties in Western North Carolina are served by Interstate and U.S. highways, including I-40, I-77, I-85, U.S. 321, and U.S. 64, as well as numerous state highways. However, the FMCSA says almost two-thirds of all fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2013 occurred on rural roads, and 25 percent occurred on rural or urban Interstate highways.

A truck accident can occur wherever large commercial trucks travel.

Among large truck crashes from 2011 to 2013, as reported by the FMCSA, the top 10 driver-related causes of accidents were:

  • Speeding of any kind
  • Distraction/inattention (cell phone, lost in thought)
  • Vision obscured (by weather, roadway design, vehicles)
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Failure to keep in proper lane
  • Impairment (fatigue, alcohol, illness)
  • Careless driving
  • Failure to obey actual traffic signs, traffic control devices, traffic officers, or safety zone traffic laws
  • Ice, water, snow, slush, sand, dirt, oil, wet leaves on road
  • Following too closely.
Accidents From Truck Defects

Sometimes it’s not either driver’s fault. Many crashes are caused by vehicle parts or systems failing due to lack of maintenance or faulty manufacturing or design. In such cases, it may be that the owner of the truck is responsible for the breakdown and therefore the accident.

The truck’s owner is usually a trucking company, but sometimes the driver is an independent trucker who owns his or her rig. Sometimes, the manufacturer or distributor of a faulty vehicle part or system can be held liable for an accident.

The top truck-related factors in fatal large truck crashes from 2011 to 2013 as reported by the FMCSA in 2015 were:

  • Tires
  • Brake system
  • Other lights (not headlights)
  • Power train
  • Truck coupling/safety hitch/safety chains
  • Reconstructed/altered vehicle.
Our North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers can Help

The numbers make it clear: if you have been in a commercial truck accident in North Carolina, you have probably been injured and in many cases, the truck driver or the condition of the tractor-trailer was at fault. If so, you deserve compensation for the costs of your injuries, property damage and other losses, as well as for your pain and suffering.

If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, do not hesitate to call The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor at (800) 351-3008. We are here to help trucking accident victims throughout North Carolina.

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