Recently, a concrete truck driven by a 43-year-old man from Charlotte crushed a van in a North Carolina truck accident, trapping four people inside at the intersection of N.C. 49 and Zion Church Road at around 8:30 a.m.
The concrete truck was fully loaded and driving north on N.C. 49. When the driver turned right, he went too fast and lost control of the vehicle. He crashed into the van, which was stopped in the left turn lane of the road. There were three 13-year-olds and one 44-year-old adult woman in the van at the time. The Fire Department responded to rescue the victims. A crane and two heavy-duty wreckers were used.
Two of the victims were able to be rescued and taken to the hospital quickly. Rescue workers needed to get the concrete truck lifted off the van in order to remove the other two victims. It took an hour and 15 minutes to free them. Over 25 firemen helped with the rescue. A 13-year-old was airlifted to the hospital.
After the accident, the street was covered in liquid and debris and needed to be cleaned up. The North Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the accident, but troopers stated they believed the truck driver would be charged with speeding.
It can be very challenging to operate a concrete truck. Truck drivers must take particular care when making turns, since a truck that tips over while carrying concrete can cause catastrophic injuries or a wrongful death. It is also important for truck drivers to understand that they need to abide by speed limits and other rules that have been put in place for safety reasons.
To recover damages from a truck driver after a concrete truck accident, in most cases, an accident victim will need to prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. The victim will need to show: (1) the truck driver’s duty, (2) a breach of duty, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. A jury is likely to find that a truck driver who speeds or takes turns too fast has breached his duty to use reasonable care while driving. If this results in serious injuries to another person, that person may be able to recover damages.
Often, there are multiple victims in a truck accident, making it important to retain an attorney who understands how to investigate and pursue damages after a truck accident. In some cases, a driver’s employer can be held indirectly liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability.
However, the entity that hired the driver also has an obligation to the public to make sure that the truck drivers it puts on the road are safe drivers, and if that obligation is not met, it can be held directly responsible for the accident. When hiring a truck driver, for example, a trucking company should make sure that the driver has a clean driving record and that there are no red flags, such as DUIs or a drug abuse problem. While the truck driver is employed, the trucking company should make sure that the driver abides by hours of service rules and keeps an honest, accurate logbook. A trucking company can be directly liable under a theory of negligent hiring, supervision, or training.
In some cases, an accident victim may also have a claim against the manufacturer of a concrete truck or a component of the concrete truck, if defects in either the truck or a truck component cause an accident.
If you lost a loved one due to the wrongful conduct or negligence of another party, the experienced Charlotte truck accident attorneys at Maurer Law may be able to help you recover compensation. We represent clients in the Charlotte, NC metro area and also Greensboro, NC and Winston-Salem, NC. Contact us at 919-229-8359 or via our online form.
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