NHTSA Proposes Stronger Truck Guards to Reduce Rear-impact Deaths

NHTSA Proposes Stronger Truck Guards to Reduce Rear-impact Deaths

NHTSA Proposes Stronger Truck Guards to Reduce Rear-impact Deaths

After receiving petitions from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition, the National Transportation Safety Board, and from a North Carolina mother who lost two daughters in a 2013 truck crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed that trucking companies be required to install stronger guards on their trailers to reduce deaths caused when cars rear-end tractor trailers. According to the NHTSA, the stronger guards will prevent between and three serious injuries and one fatality a year.

Rear-Impact Truck Accidents

For decades, tractor-trailers have installed underride guards that hang down from the back ends of box trailers. These guards are currently built to protect passengers in crashes of up to 30 miles per hour. According to NHTSA, increasing its rating to be able to protect passengers in crashes of up to 35 miles per hour can significantly reduce the risk of death or injury to vehicle occupants in the event of a crash into the rear of a tractor-trailer.

In the event that a car rear-ends a tractor-trailer, it can go under the truck and cause severe head damage or even decapitation. One of the advocates of the new standard, Marianne Karth from Rocky Mountain, North Carolina, was involved in a truck accident in May 2013 when she was driving in heavy rain with three of her children. A tractor-trailer rear-ended her car and hurled it under another truck. That truck’s underride guard failed so her car went right under it, instantly killing her 17-year old daughter. Her 13-year old daughter died a few days later. NHTSA estimates that there are about 400 deaths from cars colliding with the backs of trucks each year,  with about 125 of them resulting from severe injuries from objects intruding into the passenger compartments.

Most Trucks are Already Compliant

NHTSA estimates that the trucking industry would need to spend a total of $13 million to meet the new trailer standards, and that about 93% of the tractor-trailers currently sold in the U.S. are already compliant. The American Trucking Associations has stated that underride guards envisioned by NHTSA in its proposal have already been manufactured and in use in the U.S. for some time.

In 2001, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted crash tests on trucks compliant with the current standards, and the underride guards in those tests buckled or broke, and trailers often broke through the windshields. The current federal standard is based on Canadian regulations and, therefore, many manufacturers are already designing stronger guards.  

Tractor-trailer crashes are dangerous accidents that often cause serious injury or even death. Seeking compensation for injuries incurred in a tractor-trailer crash, or for wrongful death, can be an onerous process that requires extensive expertise, investigation, and analysis. If you or a loved one has been injured in a multi-vehicle accident, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you pursue your case to recover damages for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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FMCSA’s Collision Fatalities Study Finds Trucks and Buses “Overrepresented”

FMCSA’s Collision Fatalities Study Finds Trucks and Buses “Overrepresented”

Fort Mill, SC Lawyer

In early November, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a webinar discussing its findings from its latest collision fatalities study. The webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets, which calls on city leaders to advance roadway safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. FMCSA’s study analyzes the details surrounding crash fatalities to help inform cities working to make roadways safer.

Upward Trend for Truck Crashes

FMCSA’s study, which looks at data up through 2013, reveals that commercial vehicles are overrepresented in the total number of crashes. Heavy trucks and buses are involved in about 4% of registered vehicles and 9% of total miles driven, but were involved in 13% of accidents and 13% of overall traffic fatalities. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,806 crashes in 2013 across the United States involving a large truck or bus killed 4,251 people. Of those fatalities, only 739 deaths, or 17%, were occupants of the truck or bus involved. However, 3,512 of the crash fatalities were people in passenger vehicles or motorcyclists, including 338 pedestrians and 78 bicyclists. Additionally, FMCSA Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenburg indicated that crashes with fatalities were concentrated in ten states, including North Carolina, and account for 50% of the fatal crashes in the country.

In the aggregate, there was a 30% increase in pedestrian fatalities in large truck crashes from 2009 to 2013, and a 39% increase in bicyclist fatalities in large truck crashes over the same period. Truck drivers were also cited as being distracted or inattentive in over 14% of the fatal crashes.

Inattentive Driving

Inattentive driving, which may involve reading, talking on the phone, or fatigue, ranks first in a list of 26 unsafe driving acts in North Carolina, ahead of merging improperly into traffic, failure to stop for a stop sign or light, failure to slow down in a construction zone, unsafe speed, and following too closely. Distractions include anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road (visual), the mind off the road (cognitive), or a driver’s hands off the wheel (manual distraction).  In a recent study by NHTSA, 65% of truck drivers surveyed agreed that distraction was a current problem for commercial truck drivers. Access to technology was one of the main concerns found, and the increasing variety and availability of in-cab technologies was believed to contribute to driving distractions.

An inattentive commercial truck driver can cause dangerous accidents that often cause serious injury or even death if he or she becomes involved in a crash. Filing suit in court for compensation for injuries incurred in a tractor-trailer crash or for wrongful death requires careful investigation and a thorough understanding of the law. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you pursue your case to recover damages for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

 

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Man Injured in Team-Building Kickball Game Entitled to Workers’ Compensation

Man Injured in Team-Building Kickball Game Entitled to Workers’ Compensation

Fort Mill, SC Personal Injury Lawyer

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of providing an injured worker with workers’ compensation coverage for injuries he suffered in a company kickball game. The worker was employed by a marketing and public relations firm. During one of his meetings with his managers, they indicated the importance of team-building events, and the worker suggested a kickball game. His supervisor approved the idea and authorized company funds for the event. During the game, the worker shattered his tibia and fibula and had to be taken away in an ambulance. The worker will have a knee replacement, according to the court’s decision.

Compensable Work Injury

Generally, South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation scheme will provide compensation to workers who suffer from injuries arising out of and in the course of their employment. This also includes those who develop illnesses related to their occupation resulting from exposure to the workplace environment. A showing of fault is not required — employees must only show that the injury or illness took place in the workplace or bore a relation to the work being performed. Compensation may include payments for medical care, compensation for lost wages, and compensation for permanent disabilities.

Non-compensable Workplace  Injuries

There are certain types of injuries that are excluded from workers’ compensation. If an employee either refused to wear safety equipment, was intoxicated, or intentionally injured himself or herself, then no compensation may be payable. Additionally, stress that causes mental injury may not be compensable if an employee fails to prove that the stressful employment conditions that caused the mental injury were unusual as compared with the normal conditions of the workplace and the stress was not the result of something incidental to the normal course of employer-employee relations. This includes events such as disciplinary actions, work evaluation, transfers, promotions, or termination. Additionally, a mental injury may also be compensable if it was induced by physical injuries in the workplace.

A heart attack, cerebral bleeding, or other injury to the blood vessels may be compensable if the event was induced by unexpected strain or overexertion in the performance of an employee’s duties or by workplace conditions that are out of the ordinary. If the event was caused by ordinary work exertion that is normally required without any other unusual events, then it may not be compensable.

In this case, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the worker’s kickball injury was a compensable injury. Testimony was given at trial that showed his supervisor considered it required for the employee to attend the game as a team-building activity. As such, his injury arose during the course of his employment and, therefore, it was compensable.
Determining whether an injury is compensable as an employment-related injury under South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation statute is a fact-intensive, complex process. if you believe you should be entitled to workers’ compensation, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you pursue your claim. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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South Carolina Daycare Sued for Wrongful Death

South Carolina Daycare Sued for Wrongful Death

Rock Hill, SC Lawyer

The parents of a deceased 2-year-old boy have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a daycare provider in Greenwood, South Carolina, alleging that the facility was negligent in caring for their child. The toddler passed away due to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that resulted from an E. Coli infection. The state health department confirmed that there were seven cases of E.Coli at the daycare, The Learning Vine, LLC, and the facility decided to voluntarily close to cooperate with the investigation.

Negligence in Handling Illness

The lawsuit against The Learning Vine alleges that the daycare was negligent in responding to the first confirmed infection of E. Coli in the school — a preschool teacher. The teacher apparently returned to work at the center prematurely, and that several of the children began showing signs of infection shortly thereafter, including the deceased toddler. The suit states that the deceased child experienced recurring diarrhea for a couple of weeks. His parents brought him to the doctor initially when his condition showed no signs of improvement, but was sent home without treatment. They later took him to the emergency room, and four days after he was admitted, he was put on dialysis and a ventilator and eventually died.

According to the lawsuit, the school failed to notify the health department regarding the sick teacher until after the children showed infection symptoms and failed to inform parents regarding the teacher’s illness. The suit alleges that The Learning Vine failed to follow health guidelines and did not adequately disclose knowledge of the outbreak. The school’s negligence and lack of care, according to the suit, caused the child’s death.

The South Carolina health department conducted an on-site review of the facility and issued citations for twelve violations.The daycare apparently has a C rating in the state’s voluntary rating and improvement program, which meant that the facility met basic requirements, but garnered the lowest possible passing score.

Proving a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death suits are frequently brought by immediate family members on behalf of a deceased individual who died because of negligent or reckless conduct by another. These suits may be brought by a victim’s spouse, children, parents, grandchildren, or siblings. In cases where the deceased is a child, wrongful death suits are usually brought to recover for intangible damages that the parents suffered. These may include lost love and companionship, mental shock and suffering, and wounded feelings, grief and sorrow.

Additionally, punitive damages may be sought. These are not awarded to provide compensation to the family or estate, but are intended to punish the negligent party for the deliberate or reckless conduct that caused the death. In South Carolina, wrongful death suits must be filed within three years of the individual’s death.

If you believe that your loved one died because of another’s negligent or reckless actions, then you may be entitled to compensation. Bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is a complex process, and you should avail yourself of seasoned representation. The attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you bring a wrongful death suit and effectively advocate for your interests. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

 

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Sophisticated Users Under South Carolina Product Liability Law

Sophisticated Users Under South Carolina Product Liability Law

Fort Mill, SC Lawyer

The South Carolina Supreme Court issued a decision regarding a product liability case that addressed the applicability of the so-called “sophisticated user” doctrine in product liability lawsuits. In this case, the plaintiff suffered severe burns over almost half his body when a very flammable chemical caught fire at his job site owned by his employer, Engelhard Corporation. The fire burned 42% of the plaintiff’s skin, including his face, ears, arms, legs, and lungs. The fire left the plaintiff severely disfigured with limited eyesight.

Plaintiff’s Claims

The plaintiff in his case filed a product liability suit against multiple entities in the chain of supply of the dangerous chemical involved, sodium bromate, including the supplier of the chemical and the purchaser of the chemical, which in this case was the plaintiff’s employer, Engelhard. He first claims that the defendants supplied the sodium bromate in bags that were in a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition because they were made of combustible material. Second, the plaintiff asserts that the defendants failed to provide sufficient warning of the chemical’s propensity to ignite spontaneously and explosively when in contact with certain packaging materials.

Sophisticated User

During trial, the court instructed the jury on a concept called the “sophisticated user” doctrine. This concept comes into play when circumstances make it difficult or even impossible for a seller to meet its duty to warn the product’s end user. The “sophisticated user” doctrine requires that, in determining whether a seller of a dangerous product acted with reasonable care in fulfilling its duty to warn the end user of dangers associated with the use of the product, a jury must consider the following:

  • What the purchaser of the dangerous product already knew about its dangers; and
  • Whether, under the circumstances, the seller can reasonably rely on the purchaser to warn its employees and others who might come into contact with the product.

The sophisticated user concept applies when there is evidence that the seller of  a product was aware that an intermediate purchaser understood the dangers of using the product and had the ability to effectively communicate those dangers to the end user, in this case, Engelhard’s employees. In this case, the plaintiff argued that the jury should not be instructed on the “sophisticated user” doctrine because it was not applicable in this case. However, the court found that there was evidence the sellers knew the nature of Engelhard’s business, as well as its understanding regarding the chemical’s dangers and the steps it took to protect employees. The sellers knew that Engelhard used large quantities of the chemical and tested samples before deciding to purchase it. The evidence also shows that the sellers believed Engelhard had a safety program that ensured employees were adequately informed of the dangers of the chemicals in the facility. Therefore, the court decided that the jury was appropriately instructed on the “sophisticated user” doctrine.

Products liability actions involve many complex legal concepts and procedural requirements. The seasoned attorneys at Bice Law, LLC, can help you obtain compensation if you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective product. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Appealing a Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits in North Carolina

Appealing a Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits in North Carolina

Charlotte, NC Lawyer

Individuals with disabilities in North Carolina who are unable to gain employment may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if they meet the federal government’s definition of disabled. Initial applications may be made to a local social security office, and once that office decides that the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements pertaining to income levels or work credits, the application is forwarded to North Carolina’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency. This agency is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for making the initial decisions regarding eligibility.

Eligibility Rules

The Social Security Administration’s criteria for eligibility for disability benefits includes both satisfying its medical disability criteria and non-medical criteria involving work credits. For the purpose of gaining disability benefits, the medical criteria requires that applicants be able to show that they have an impairment, either medical, psychological, or psychiatric in nature, that keeps them from being able to do substantial gainful employment. Additionally, the impairment must be of such a nature that it prevents an applicant from gainful employment for at least twelve months or be expected to prevent the individual from gainful employment for at least twelve months.  

As to non-medical criteria, an applicant must earn less than a certain amount of money each month so as to not be considered able to do gainful employment, have paid FICA taxes for a requisite number of years to the Social Security Administration, and satisfy certain citizenship or lawful residency requirements. For the income requirements, federal regulations use the national average wage index to set the income limits each year. However, this only limits employment income and does not include income from investments, interest, or a spouse’s income.

Appeals

If a disability benefits application is denied, an applicant only has sixty days from the day of the denial to appeal the decision. The first step in appealing is known as requesting reconsideration. Once the request is submitted, the social security office will forward the request to DDS in Raleigh. A DDS officer who was not involved in the original denial will review the request and make a determination. If the decision is to uphold the denial, then the applicant may request a disability hearing. At the hearing. the applicant may present evidence and ask witnesses to testify. The hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge of the Social Security Administration, and it may take over a year before a hearing is scheduled. Once the claim is approved, an applicant may pursue retroactive benefits from the time the original claim should have been approved.

If the administrative law judge decides to affirm the denial, applicants may request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council, which may either decide to review the case or return it to an administrative law judge for further review. Applicants may then file a lawsuit in federal district court, if they have exhausted the administrative process.

There are extensive procedural requirements involved in applying for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration. The attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you navigate the maze of procedures involved in obtaining social security disability benefits. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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When You are Injured by a Public Employee

When You are Injured by a Public Employee

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

In a typical personal injury lawsuit, the defendant – the person or entity accused of negligently injuring another – is generally a private individual or business. But consider the recent story of Columbia Police Department investigator Tyrone Pugh. In the early morning hours of January 19, video footage emerged that appeared to show Pugh punching an unidentified male who had been lying face-down on the ground. Undoubtedly, the unidentified man suffered injuries as a result of the altercation. But as a police officer, Pugh is a public employee. Suppose the unidentified man wanted to bring a personal injury lawsuit against Pugh for the injuries he suffered; can the man do so?

The Importance of State Tort Claims Acts

Ancient legal principles that generally held that the government and those that act on behalf of the government could not be sued. This principle – referred to as “sovereign immunity” – meant that the government could not be sued unless it specifically consented to be sued. In modern times, states like South Carolina have enacted statutes (called the “South Carolina Tort Claims Act” ) that specifically allow tort claims like personal injury suits to be brought against government agencies and their employees.

Although the existence of these tort claims acts means those like the unidentified man can old governments and government employees liable for the injuries they cause,  these acts usually contain specific instructions about how these claims must be brought. A violation of these instructions can mean the dismissal of your case.

How Do I Bring a Suit Against the Government in South Carolina?

Although a personal injury attorney is not required, it is very helpful to have the assistance of an attorney familiar with bringing cases under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act if you intend to sue the state, a county government, a city government, or a government employee. The basic steps are as follows:

First, a claim must be filed with the agency or entity that committed the wrong. In the case of the unidentified man, his claim would be filed with the City of Columbia government since Pugh was an officer and employee of the city. This claim is usually filed on an official form and is submitted directly to the agency or entity. The person who was injured has one year from the date of the injury to file this claim. If the person waits too long to file the claim, he or she may be barred from obtaining any sort of compensation or recovery from the government entity.

Next, the agency or entity has 180 days to either approve or deny the claim. During this time the injured party must wait until the agency acts. Finally, if the claim is denied or no response is received within 180 days, the injured party can bring a suit in court.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Approval of Wrongful Death Settlement Sought in Walter Scott Case

 

Approval of Wrongful Death Settlement Sought in Walter Scott Case

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

After reaching an agreement with the City of North Charleston to settle a wrongful death claim stemming from Walter Scott’s deadly shooting by a North Charleston police officer, the family has formally asked a South Carolina state court to approve the proposed settlement agreement. The wrongful death settlement amounts to $6.5 million, with $3 million going to Scott’s estate and $2.4 million for attorneys’ fees and costs. $17,000 will pay for back child support.

Shooting Garners National Media Attention

The now-infamous video that shows a former South Carolina police officer shooting Scott to death in the back after he started running away from a traffic stop in April garnered national attention and resulted in an immediate murder charge. The video shows that the former officer initially chased Scott, and both individuals wrestled on the ground before Scott got up and resumed running. Moments later, the officer shot Scott in the back. He was indicted and is awaiting trial.

According to the United States Supreme Court, a police officer may not shoot at a fleeing individual unless he or she reasonably believes that the person poses a threat of substantial physical danger to the officer or to others in the community. Officers must take other non-lethal actions during pursuit unless the fleeing individual risks the safety of the community.

Wrongful Death Settlement Approval in South Carolina

Under South Carolina statute, a South Carolina state probate court, circuit court, or federal district court must approve any settlement of a wrongful death suit. When the personal representative of the estate files a petition for approval of a proposed settlement, the petition has to provide:

  • The facts surrounding the death of the decedent;
  • The relevant facts that establish liability;
  • The amount of insurance that is available to compensate for damages;
  • The specific terms of the proposed settlement;
  • The statutory beneficiaries of the wrongful death suit;
  • The decedent’s heirs at law or appropriate devisees of the estate;
  • Any existing creditors;
  • The amount of the claims;
  • The personal representative’s legal counsel, if any; and
  • Terms with respect to attorneys’ fees and costs.

If the personal representative is represented by an attorney, that attorney has to certify to the court that the settlement is fair and reasonable and is in the best interests of the statutory beneficiaries and the estate of the decedent. Then the court will schedule a hearing and consider the facts necessary to evaluate the settlement. Once the court approves a settlement agreement, the person or entity paying the settlement proceeds and all those on whose behalf the payment is made are relieved from further liability and have no obligation to ensure the proper distribution of the settlement proceeds among the wrongful death beneficiaries or any others entitled to the proceeds. The distribution must be ensured by the personal representative receiving the funds.
A wrongful death suit is a complicated process – even settlements are fraught with procedural hurdles. The counsel of an experienced wrongful death attorney is crucial at every step from the outset. The attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you recover compensation on behalf of a deceased loved one. Do not hesitate to contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Fatal Dump Truck Crash in North Carolina

Fatal Dump Truck Crash in North Carolina

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

According to a news report, a dump truck overturned onto a vehicle in Wake County, killing its driver. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol indicated that the vehicle, a red Nissan sedan, crossed the center line of the road as the dump truck was running in the opposite direction. The dump truck driver apparently saw the vehicle move into his lane and attempted to make an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting the other vehicle head-on. However, the red sedan sideswiped the dump truck, which swerved as its driver overcorrected and caused the truck to overturn. At that time, another vehicle was traveling in the same lane as the dump truck and was crushed when the truck overturned, resulting in the driver’s death.

Common Causes of Large Truck Rollovers

The risk of a large truck rolling over is much higher as compared to a normal vehicle. The weight and size of a commercial truck requires drivers to have the requisite alertness and ability to respond appropriately to hazardous driving conditions – otherwise, fatal rollovers can occur.

Rollover accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons:

  • Failure to reduce speed at a curve;
  • Distracted or fatigued driving;
  • Underestimating the height and weight of a truck;
  • Improperly-balanced cargo;
  • A variety of control errors such as oversteering, understeering, and over-correcting for errors; or
  • Lack of necessary truck maintenance.

According to a study of truck rollovers, speed remains the biggest contributor to rollover crashes. Rollovers take place when a truck’s front wheels are turning the truck at a rate that is faster than the cargo that it is carrying – therefore, the faster the truck’s speed, the greater the difference. This is why speed is a major contributing factor.

In this case, the police reported that the dump truck driver overcorrected, which occurs when a driver turns too much in one direction followed by corrective turns that exceed the stability of the truck. The same effect occurs when a truck travels at a curve at very high speeds. Other possible control errors include oversteering during lane changes, maintaining inadequate following distances, or reckless maneuvering.

Liability in Large Truck Rollover Accidents

When a commercial truck rolls over and causes injuries, the injured parties may be able to obtain compensation if they can show that either the driver, the trucking company, or a third-party truck maintenance contractor was negligent. If the accident was caused by distracted or fatigued driving, excessive speed, or control errors, then injured parties may be able to recover for injuries from the driver. However, if the accident involved conditions such as poor maintenance, an improperly-loaded or overweight truck, or truck company policies that forced drivers to take risks, then injured parties may be able to obtain compensation from the trucking company, a third-party maintenance contractor, or a loading/unloading contractor.

If you find yourself in an accident with a commercial truck, you should seek the counsel of a seasoned personal injury attorney who has expertise in commercial truck accident cases. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you craft the best strategy for obtaining compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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