Getting goods from point A to B takes time. When an employer puts pressure on their drivers to beat a tight deadline, some truck drivers resort to speeding. Speeding is not just illegal. It’s aggressive driving behavior that endangers other motorists. The consequences of a speeding 80,000-pound truck barreling into a passenger vehicle can be catastrophic.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident with a speeding truck driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At DeMayo Law Offices, we are committed to helping victims hold speeding drivers accountable for their reckless actions. Before an insurance agent tries to bully you into signing away your rights to compensation, contact the experienced legal team at DeMayo Law Offices for help with your case.
We offer a no-obligation, free consultation to help you get started and explore your legal options. Call our Charlotte truck accident law office at (704) 333-1000 to schedule your initial consultation.
What Does a Speeding Truck Accident Investigation Look Like?
Any type of truck accident investigation will be inherently complicated — much more than your typical car accident. This is due, in part, to the complex nature of the trucking industry.
Most large or commercial trucking outfits employ teams of lawyers and insurers to work on their behalf, protecting the company, their profits, their reputation, and business interests. Some companies will use any means necessary to discredit claims against them and pay out as little as possible when a driver is involved in an accident.
Often, a trucking company has consulted with their legal team and crafted a defense strategy before law enforcement even arrives on the scene. With North Carolina’s contributory negligence regulation, the company only has to prove that the victim had an ounce of fault in causing the accident. If they succeed, they can avoid having to pay the victim any damages.
Hiring your own attorney is the best way to fight back against the tactics used by insurance companies to evade paying compensation to victims. An experienced truck accident attorney will conduct a full and independent investigation into the circumstances of the accident. Often, a police report simply isn’t enough to counter the aggressive arguments of a skilled trucking company lawyer, even if the officer cites speeding as a cause.
An independent investigation will bring together all the puzzle pieces to form a complete and accurate picture of the accident, which can then be used to build a strong case for claiming compensation for you.
Some of the most common elements of a truck accident investigation can include:
- Issuing legal paperwork that requires the driver and trucking company to preserve vital evidence. (If anyone is caught destroying or tampering with evidence in violation of a court order, there can be serious repercussions.)
- Gathering all law enforcement reports on the accident
- Obtaining witness statements
- Collecting and analyzing digital evidence including the Electronic Control Module (a truck’s black box), video surveillance, dashboard camera footage, GPS data, and even cellular phone records from the time of the accident
- Collecting pertinent driving and training records about the driver of the speeding truck
- Collecting the safety inspection reports of the vehicle
- Collecting the weigh station inspection reports
- Gathering cargo loading information
- Gathering the employment records of the driver involved, which could also include gathering information on the trucking company’s hiring and training practices
- Securing an independent accident reconstruction expert
A complete investigation may take time, but it is essential to establish liability for the accident and build a solid case that the trucking company’s attorneys can’t refute.
An investigation is an integral part of the process of securing a victim’s rights and giving them the best opportunity to recover the compensation they deserve and not a “token” payment that won’t even cover the cost of their medical bills.
Most Common Causes of Speeding Accidents
We are a fast-paced society that expects to have everything delivered quickly. Truck drivers are an integral part of getting the goods we need to the places where we want them. However, drivers or trucking companies that value speed over safety may be putting lives at risk — speed can kill.
Strict deadlines are one of the main reasons truck drivers feel the need to speed toward their destination. The turnaround for some jobs can be razor-thin. With the added pressure from an employer to stay on schedule, some drivers may resort to speeding to make up time and keep their boss happy.
Other common reasons for speed-related accidents include:
- Traffic — According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic is the number one reason cite for speeding. Being caught in traffic can significantly impact a truck driver’s timeline, and they may speed to avoid getting caught in unfavorable traffic conditions or to make up time.
- Distracted driving —When a driver is distracted by a phone, video, GPS unit, or even eating and drinking on the road, they may be so focused on the side task that they aren’t aware of their increasing speed while driving. Being distracted means your brain isn’t focusing on the task of driving and everything that driving entails.
- Rural settings — Truck drivers may take advantage of quiet rural roads, speeding down them because law enforcement tends to be less present. They may also speed along rural roads because the lack of heavy traffic offers a false sense of security. Since these roads tend to have fewer cars, they may feel that they are not endangering anyone by recklessly speeding. Numbers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show that in 2018, 57% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on rural roadways.
- Anonymity — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also cites anonymity as a common cause of speeding. Shielded from the outside world, a driver may feel like this aggressive driving behavior is acceptable. No one knows who they are. Given that many truck drivers log hundreds if not thousands of miles, they know there’s a high likelihood no one will see them again.
Common Injuries Suffered in Speeding Accidents With Trucks
Speeding is illegal. However, many drivers think that speeding is a victimless crime. That’s a dangerous driving mentality, especially for truck drivers.
Speeding accidents can be some of the most serious accidents, with life-altering consequences for the victims caught in the path of the speeding vehicle. It all comes back to what you learned in your high-school physics class. The faster an object is moving, the longer it takes to stop. If a truck’s speed doubles, it can take about four times the distance for that truck to come to a stop, or even longer depending on the size, weight, and load that the truck is carrying. An increase in speed also exponentially increases the energy of an impact. This means that a speeding 80,000-pound truck loaded with cargo is essentially a battering ram on wheels.
In 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that 82% of the fatalities in large truck accidents were occupants in the other vehicles — not the occupants of the large truck. For those that survive an encounter with a speeding truck, they may find their lives completely changed. Injuries are often severe and life-changing.
Some of the most common injuries in speeding accidents with trucks include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Other head, neck, and spine injuries
- Chest and rib injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Fractured bones
- Wrongful death
Contact an Experienced North Carolina Truck Accident Law Firm
A collision with a speeding truck can leave you feeling vulnerable. The future seems uncertain and filled with questions. When are your injuries going to heal? When are these bills going to get paid? When is this nightmare going to end?
At DeMayo Law Offices, we know how stressful it can be to navigate your way through the aftermath of a serious accident. This is especially true when a major trucking company, insurers, or lawyers start fighting against your claim for compensation. They will often try to take advantage of you because you’re feeling vulnerable and unsure of how to proceed.
You need the advice and protection that only your own attorney can provide. That’s where the team at DeMayo Law Offices comes in.
At DeMayo Law Offices, we have the skills and the experience to take trucking companies head-on to get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve after an accident with a speeding truck driver.
We will protect your rights and aggressively negotiate for a compensation package that addresses your needs. It can be overwhelming trying to deal with a trucking company on your own — put the burden on our shoulders instead. Contact our office at (704) 333-1000 to schedule your free initial consultation today.
We will review your case and give you advice on your best course of action for your case.