A flatbed truck is a commercial vehicle that carries cargo on a large flat surface, rather than a closed or covered trailer. Often, flatbed trucks carry logs, construction materials, oversized loads and construction equipment, which are all items that cannot fit inside closed-in trailers. As with any type of commercial vehicle, flatbed trailers are at times extremely dangerous because heavy cargo can break loose in a collision, and because the oversized loads they carry change braking and handling dynamics making the trucks very hard to operate. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in an accident involving a flatbed truck, North Carolina truck accident attorney Carl Nagle is prepared to prove your case and maximize your rights of compensation. Through a personal injury claim, we can help victims and their family members collect the money that they need to alleviate the impact of a devastating crash. Before he committed to only represent collision victims throughout North Carolina, attorney Carl Nagle worked in the insurance industry both as an insurance claims adjuster and also as an insurance defense lawyer. His extensive experience as a defense attorney and claims adjuster provides a valuable perspective on the strategies that are often employed by the other side. The team at Nagle & Associates only handles serious roadway collision cases and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of victims throughout the state, including in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Asheville, and Wilmington.Pursue Legal Action After Suffering Injuries in a Flatbed Accident
Trucking companies and truck drivers can be held legally responsible for all expenses and losses arising from accidents caused by carelessness in loading a flatbed or securing the cargo, as well as the driver’s failure to safely operate the truck. All commercial vehicles that carry cargo must have the load properly secured, preventing loose materials from causing an accident. Heavy loads that include building materials, concrete beams, and motors must be tied down to the flatbed and secured thoroughly. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations provide detailed legal requirements for loading and operating flatbed trucks, and these federal safety laws also mandate that drivers stop and check the load periodically to ensure that the cargo remains secure throughout the journey. Accidents may take place when drivers fail to adequately secure the load or comply with these regulations. All trucking companies are required to train employees and truck drivers who load and unload cargo onto flatbed trucks.
In addition to following truck safety rules and regulations, drivers must maintain vigilance on the road, adjusting their speed accordingly and maintaining a proper stopping distance at all times. Failing to exercise caution while operating a flatbed truck may be deemed negligent, which is a legal term which equates to carelessness. If the driver’s negligent conduct, such as speeding or driving while distracted, led directly to a collision, the flatbed driver should be held fully responsible for all damages arising from the collision.
Following a flatbed accident, it is important to assess the potential for liability not only for the driver but also for the trucking company. Victims of flatbed accidents may suffer life-threatening injuries, and once a company, a driver, or both have been deemed legally responsible, monetary damages can be collected from the negligent parties and their insurance carriers. Because of the heavy cargo associated with flatbed trucks, the injuries in these types of accidents are often quite severe. Since truck drivers and trucking companies typically carry commercial insurance policies with high coverage limits, care should be taken to build all medical evidence and to prove all medical costs, income loss, pain, suffering, disability and future damages. Insurance companies will not help the victim build the case, and they are only working to minimize victims’ payments. To ensure that you secure the highest possible settlement or trial verdict, focus on all evidence which serves to prove the full nature and extent of all injuries and economic losses flowing from your truck accident.
Victims of flatbed accidents should also stand ready to prove that they did nothing wrong! To recover personal injury compensation under North Carolina law, the victim cannot be found even slightly at fault for causing the accident. Even if the victim’s error was minor, it may still prevent compensation for a plaintiff if it is determined to have contributed to the accident. This doctrine, known as contributory negligence, may become relevant in a flatbed accident case if the truck driver contends that the victim was speeding at the time of the crash, for example. If the jury determines that the plaintiff was even 1% at fault for the accident, they will not recover any compensation for their injuries.
Medical evidence is critical in truck accident lawsuits, in which victims may collect damages for past and future medical treatments, as well as the future effects of their injuries and physical limitations. Past and future lost earnings that directly result from an accident-related physical disability may also be recovered, as may less quantitative costs, such as a loss of quality of life. Proper records and evidence showing the full extent of the injuries may motivate defendant truck companies and insurers to offer significant settlement amounts in order to avoid a trial and potentially greater costs.Contact a North Carolina Attorney After a Truck Accident to Protect Your Legal Rights
Our reduced legal fees set Nagle & Associates apart from other law firms, since we charge only 25% of any settlement that is accepted by a client. North Carolina truck accident lawyer Carl Nagle collaborates with a team of trucking experts and accident reconstruction engineers, building a strong case for compensation from truck drivers and trucking companies. Call our office at (800) 411-1583 or complete our online form to discuss your case free of charge with a tractor-trailer crash attorney. We have offices throughout North Carolina and have helped people in Asheville, Raleigh, Wilmington, Greensboro, Hickory, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and other cities throughout the state.