North Carolina Highway Accident Attorneys
Legal Help for Victims of Big Rig Accidents
I-40 running through central North Carolina is the main thoroughfare for truck traffic along the Raleigh-Wilmington corridor. Thousands of trucks, delivery vans, and commercial vehicles each day carry tons of material and product between the two major metropolitan regions. Unfortunately, many of the truckers behind the wheel are overtired, undertrained, distracted by their cellphones, or intoxicated, resulting in accidents with serious injuries or death every year.
Types of Highway Accidents Involving Big Rigs
There are many types of accidents occurring on highways, and most could happen to a tractor-trailers as well as a passenger vehicle. Of course, injuries and the aftermath are always much worse when large commercial trucks are involved.
- Head-on collisions. This typically happens when a driver is tired, distracted, or intoxicated and crosses the line separating two lanes. This move into oncoming traffic rarely gives that traffic enough time to stop; a collision is likely to occur. Head-on collisions cause some of the worst highway accidents.
- Rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions are the most common highway tractor-trailers accidents. Trucks are much heavier and larger than other vehicles so it takes them longer to come to a full stop. When they fail to do so in time, they crash into the vehicles in front of them.
- Sideswipes. Sideswipes are most likely to happen to commercial trucks due to the fact that these trucks have very large blind spots on either side of them. When a smaller vehicle is in this blind spot and the truck driver fails to see it, he could start to move into the other lane, effectively sideswiping the other vehicle. Sideswipes can also occur when the trailer portion of a truck drifts into a lane that another vehicle is in.
- Running off-road. Trucks and other vehicles run off the road while on highways for a number of reasons. They may be trying to avoid a collision, or they may be distracted or driving under extreme fatigue. These can be multi-vehicle accidents or single-vehicle accidents.
- Jackknifing. When a tractor-trailer jackknifes, the trailer portion of the truck swings out quickly so that it ends up being at an angle to the cab instead of behind it. This can occur when a driver slams on the brakes very quickly or when the driver loses control of the truck.
- Rollovers. Rollovers are when a tractor-trailer falls on its side, involving either just the trailer portion of the truck or the whole thing. Rollovers happen when truck drivers need to stop quickly, if the load they’re carrying shifts, or if the truck driver loses control of the vehicle.
- Underride accidents. Underride accidents can be some of the scariest and deadliest for those in passenger cars. This is when a portion of a passenger vehicle gets trapped under the trailer portion of a large commercial truck. Those in passenger vehicles don’t often survive these types of accidents.
Because of their size, when transport trucks get into accidents on the highway, they’re rarely the only vehicles involved. Because people travel on highways at high speeds, things happen very quickly. Once the tractor-trailer gets into an accident, it can be difficult for other cars to stop in time before they crash too. This is how most pileups happen on highways.
Joel Rhine is recognized as one of the leading trial lawyers in Wilmington, with more than three decades of knowledge and experience in all areas of motor vehicle accidents. His successful case record includes significant settlements and jury verdicts against the state's largest trucking and commercial delivery companies.
Negligence on the Road
Most truck accidents occur due to negligence on the part of the truck driver. This negligence can be:
- Overtired truck drivers
- Truck driver drinking and driving
- Truckers speeding or reckless driving in a construction zone
- Unsafe trailers or cabs
- Overloaded trucks
While there are some restrictions in place for North Carolina’s highways and the truck drivers who use them, some feel that these are not enough to keep other drivers safe. There are still thousands of exhausted truck drivers on the road trying to meet tight deadlines.
There is currently a fight to install speed limiters on trucks. When trucks speed, there is a better likelihood of an accident occurring and the damage from those accidents can be even greater.
National Practice with a Local Presence
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Won
Over 30 Years of Experience
Experienced, Thorough & Dedicated Attorneys
Spanish-Speaking Services Available
Evening & Weekend Appointments Available Upon Request
Truck Accident Experience
I-40 truck accident cases often involve intensive research and investigation to determine whether there may be multiple parties that share liability for your damages. Truck company policies may contribute to the wreck, as can driver error, road construction, and even the manufacturer of the products loaded onto the trailer. Knowing how to seek full compensation requires time and vigorous effort. Rhine Law Firm, P.C., is successful in these cases because we don't give up when the legal issues get too involved.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with a semi-truck or commercial vehicle along the I-40 corridor, call to schedule a free consultation with Wilmington truck accident attorney Joel Rhine of Rhine Law Firm, P.C.
“Joel Rhine and his staff did everything possible to help us in a very dark period of our lives.”- John
“We were blessed to have them fighting for us and never giving up.”- Stewart
“Joel and Chris were there for us in every need.”- Mary
“Rhine Law Firm has a friendly, caring, professional staff and they worked hard for me.”- Becky
“We were very pleased with the outcome of working with Rhine Law Firm.”- Former Client