No one wants to get into an accident with a big rig
or other large commercial truck. The sheer mass of these trucks tends to make accidents worse and injuries more severe. But if you fall victim to one, it’s important to understand that these types of accidents are often much more complicated than they first appear, requiring a thorough investigation to determine who is truly at fault.
Who was negligent?
North Carolina requires all truck drivers to drive with a reasonable degree of care at all times. When they fail in their duty, and injure you in the process, North Carolina gives you the right to file a personal injury lawsuit within 3 years of the date of the accident. And in the end, filing such a lawsuit against only the truck driver may be your best option.
However, commercial truck accidents frequently involve liability beyond simply the driver themselves. The driver often works for a shipping company, which owns the truck and is responsible for its maintenance. The goods that are being shipped on the truck may belong to yet another company, which could be responsible for safely loading the cargo.
An investigation answers the question
Sometimes, the driver is truly the only one at fault in an accident and this can be revealed by a police investigation. But an investigation conducted on your behalf, in furtherance of your potential lawsuit, can reveal more.
Company records may be the only thing that shows that the brakes were improperly maintained or that the driver worked too many consecutive hours. And if there’s a third party involved, like a distribution company, it will take some digging to discover that and any culpability they may hold.
The point of a personal injury lawsuit is to make you whole again and to recoup any financial losses you suffered. It also holds the responsible party (or parties) accountable for their negligence. Sometimes, a thorough investigation is the only way to accomplish these goals.