Protecting the Rights of Injured Clients

Raleigh Truck Accident Attorneys

Semi-Truck & Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Wake County

Large truck accidents often lead to devastating injuries, extensive emotional harm, and serious financial hardships for victims and their loved ones. If you or someone you love was recently involved in a collision with a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or big rig, we understand what you are going through—and we want to help.

At Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, we represent clients who have been catastrophically injured in large truck accidents seek the fair compensation they are owed. We also represent families who have lost loved ones in fatal truck accidents file wrongful death claims against liable parties. If you believe you may have a case, reach out to our team right away to request a free consultation with one of our Raleigh truck accident lawyers. 

Contact us online or by phone at (919) 891-8361 today to get started. Hablamos español.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

A truck accident refers to any collision or incident involving a truck, which can result in property damage, injuries, or fatalities. Trucks are large vehicles typically used for transporting goods, and they come in various sizes and configurations, including semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, dump trucks, and more. Due to their size and weight, truck accidents can be particularly severe, often causing significant damage and injuries.

Common types of truck accidents include:

  • Jackknife accidents: This occurs when the trailer of a truck swings out to form a 90-degree angle with the cab, resembling the shape of a folding knife. Jackknife accidents are often caused by sudden braking or poor road conditions.
  • Rollovers: When a truck tips over onto its side or roof. Rollovers can happen due to factors such as speeding, sharp turns, overloading, or adverse weather conditions.
  • Rear-end collisions: When a truck collides with the vehicle in front of it. This can happen due to factors like speeding, distracted driving, or sudden stops.
  • Underride accidents: This type of accident occurs when a smaller vehicle gets trapped underneath the rear or side of a truck. Underride accidents are especially dangerous for occupants of the smaller vehicle, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Blind spot accidents: Trucks have large blind spots where the driver's visibility is limited. Accidents can occur when vehicles linger in these blind spots and are not seen by the truck driver during lane changes or turns.
  • Wide-turn accidents: Trucks require a significant amount of space to make turns, often swinging wide into adjacent lanes. Accidents can happen when other vehicles are in the truck's path during a turn.
  • Tire blowouts: When a tire on the truck fails suddenly, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Tire blowouts can result from factors such as overloading, improper maintenance, or road hazards.
  • Mechanical failures: Issues with the truck's brakes, steering, or other critical components can lead to accidents. Poor maintenance or manufacturing defects may contribute to mechanical failures.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents 

Like most car accidents, large truck accidents tend to stem from negligence. Sometimes, truck drivers fail to follow the rules of the road or make mistakes that jeopardize the safety of other motorists. In other cases, trucking companies engage in negligent practices that indirectly put innocent people at risk. 

Specifically, some of the most common causes of truck accidents include: 

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Traffic violations
  • Driver errors
  • Hours-of-service violations
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Inadequate truck maintenance
  • Negligent or illegal trucking company practices
  • Negligent hiring of truck drivers
  • Truck defects
  • Poorly maintained or defective roadways

Our team works alongside accident reconstructionist to identify how the crash occurred. This allows us to correctly identify the liable party and use important evidence from the accident to build powerful claims on behalf of our clients.

Federal Trucking Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a regulatory agency within the United States Department of Transportation responsible for regulating and overseeing commercial motor vehicles, including trucks. FMCSA regulations ensure the safety of truck operations and reduce the risk of accidents.

Here are several FMCSA regulations related to truck accidents:

  • Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations: FMCSA sets limits on the number of hours commercial truck drivers can operate their vehicles without taking mandatory rest breaks. These regulations aim to prevent driver fatigue, which is a leading cause of truck accidents. Violations of HOS regulations can result in fines and penalties for both drivers and their employers.
  • Vehicle Maintenance Standards: FMCSA mandates that commercial trucks must undergo regular inspections and maintenance to ensure they are in safe operating condition. Failure to maintain trucks properly can lead to mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, increasing the risk of accidents. FMCSA regulations specify standards for maintenance, inspections, and repair procedures.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing: FMCSA requires commercial truck drivers to undergo drug and alcohol testing as part of the pre-employment screening process, as well as randomly throughout their employment. Drug and alcohol use impair driving abilities and increase the likelihood of accidents. FMCSA regulations establish strict testing protocols and consequences for drivers who test positive.
  • Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Requirements: FMCSA establishes the qualifications and requirements for obtaining a CDL, which is necessary for operating commercial motor vehicles, including trucks. CDL holders must demonstrate knowledge of safe driving practices and pass skills tests to obtain their license. FMCSA regulations also set standards for driver training and certification programs.
  • Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate: FMCSA requires commercial truck drivers to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record their hours of service electronically. ELDs help ensure compliance with HOS regulations by accurately tracking driving and rest periods. This mandate reduces the risk of falsified logbooks, which could conceal driver fatigue and contribute to accidents.
  • Cargo Securement Rules: FMCSA regulates the securement of cargo on commercial trucks to prevent shifting, falling, or spilling during transit. Improperly secured cargo can cause accidents by shifting the truck's center of gravity or creating hazards for other vehicles on the road. FMCSA regulations specify requirements for cargo loading, securing methods, and weight distribution.
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation: FMCSA establishes regulations for the transportation of hazardous materials by commercial trucks. These regulations govern the packaging, labeling, placarding, and handling of hazardous materials to minimize the risk of accidents, spills, or leaks that could endanger public safety and the environment.

How Truck Accident Cases Differ from Regular Car Accident Claims

Although truck accidents and car accidents are both types of motor vehicle accidents, these claims are very different from one another. Specifically, truck accident cases tend to be much more complex than regular car accident claims due to the wide variety of complicating factors.

Some of these factors include: 

  • Injuries: Because of their immense size and weight, large trucks tend to cause massive damage when they collide with other, smaller vehicles. As a result, truck accident victims often sustain catastrophic bodily injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, multiple fractures, organ damage, and more.
  • Damages: Truck accident cases tend to involve more extensive (and expensive) damages than other motor vehicle accident claims. This is largely due to the violent nature of these crashes, the severity of victims’ injuries, and the overall costs associated with recovery. As a result, truck accident cases tend to be higher in value than other auto accident claims.
  • Liability: It is often much more difficult to determine liability in a truck accident case than in a regular car accident claim. This is because, unlike in most car accident cases, the truck driver (i.e., the one who actually caused the crash) may not be legally responsible for your damages. Instead, their employer (the trucking company) could be liable, as the driver was operating the vehicle for their employer’s benefit. Additionally, other third parties could be partially liable. This includes truck and truck parts manufacturers, third-party maintenance and repair professionals, entities that load and unload cargo, and more.
  • Federal Laws and Regulations: In addition to various state laws, trucking companies are beholden to certain federal laws and regulations, such as federal hours-of-service laws, which govern the number of hours a driver may operate a truck, as well as the number of breaks they must take. These laws can significantly complicate truck accident claims.

These and other factors—such as extensive investigations and discovery, multiple-party liability, and aggressive pushback from insurance companies—can significantly impact the complexity of your case. We strongly encourage you to reach out to an experienced truck accident attorney, like ours at Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, for help with your case. 

How the Truck Accident Team at Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC Can Help 

We represent clients throughout Wake County who have been involved in all types of large truck accidents, including those involving intoxicated truck drivers, hours-of-service violations, fatigued driving, trucking company negligence, head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, vehicle defects, hazardous material spills, and more. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience and have helped thousands of clients successfully navigate the legal process. To date, we have recovered more than $40 million in settlements and jury verdicts. 

As your legal team, we will fight for you. Our goal is to secure the maximum compensation you are owed so that you can get back on your feet. We fight to recover settlements that meet our clients’ current and future needs, but we are also ready to go to trial whenever necessary. 

For a free consultation with our Raleigh truck accident attorneys, call (919) 891-8361 or submit an online contact form today.

Nuestros Resultados

Ayuda Legal Con Experiencia De Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC Desde 1999
  • Over 7000 Cases Handled We have represented thousands of personal injury clients since 1999.
  • “Llegué a Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC después de un accidente automovilístico. El Sr. Padilla trabajó muy duro en mi caso. Su principal preocupación es el bienestar de sus clientes. Fue cariñoso, profesional,” - Toni B.
  • “Muy contenta y genial con los resultados. Gracias por ayudar a la comunidad hispana muy feliz con los resultados bendiciones. Andrea y Stefani hicieron un gran trabajo.” - Jazmin B.

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