Was Your Truck Accident Caused by Another’s Neglectful Action?


In a vehicle crash, smaller vehicles are no match for a big truck like an 18-wheeler, and the consequences can be major injuries such as head, back, neck, and brain injuries, spinal cord damage, paralysis, amputations, broken bones, and even death. Large trucks are difficult to maneuver, and when loaded with freight, they may take 20 to 40 percent longer to stop than a small vehicle like a car, so drivers have to be particularly vigilant and skillful to avoid a crash. If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died due to the negligence or fault of a truck driver or other liable party, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you received through insurance or a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

North Carolina laws regarding vehicle accidents are complex, and insurance companies and trucking companies have high-powered lawyers on their side to try to get you to settle for as little as possible. Fortunately, there is help available from the Charlotte truck accident lawyers at Sumwalt Anderson.

We have extensive experience representing injured people over many decades and know the problems victims of truck accidents face trying to recover from a traumatic truck accident at a time when bills are mounting and you may not be able to work. We will represent your interests with integrity and compassion, always fighting for the settlement amount that you deserve to receive. Call our Charlotte truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation at (704) 377-3770.


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How Our Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You


Truck accidents not only cause catastrophic and life-changing injuries, but they involve complications that make it essential to know what you are doing in negotiating a fair settlement. There may be multiple liable parties in addition to the truck driver that we need to find, as they may all have insurance and assets. When you hire our truck accident attorneys, we get to work immediately to help you win your case and get optimum compensation. We will:

  • Evaluate the circumstances of your case and determine what it may be worth and who the liable parties may be.
  • Gather all records pertaining to your claim, such as medical bills and documentation that shows the extent of your injuries, and police and first responder reports about the accident.
  • Fight to ensure you receive all the medical care you need, both now and in the future.
  • Investigate the accident scene to obtain and preserve evidence such as traffic camera videos and the truck’s “black box” that can document what happened in the moments before the crash.
  • Send notice to the trucking company to ensure that they legally retain records of evidence pertinent to the case and not destroy it.
  • Interview witnesses.
  • Examine driver logs, cargo information, trucking company maintenance records, hiring and training records, and reports of previous violations and accidents.
  • Hire expert witnesses to reconstruct the accident and testify as to what happened and how your damages will negatively impact your life.
  • Present the facts in the case to the insurance company to show why you deserve a large settlement and negotiate accordingly.
  • Take your case to trial and argue on your behalf in front of a judge or jury if necessary.
  • Be there for you throughout the entire process and answer your questions and concerns.

The sooner we get to work for you, the better, as we need time to build your case and North Carolina has a statute of limitations, a deadline for filing a lawsuit. This is generally a three-year period following the date of the accident. If you do not file on time, the courts will probably refuse to hear your case.


Our team functions more like a family than a group of coworkers. We carry our firm’s philosophy of always trying to pay it forward into our representation of our clients. We will always strive to treat you with compassion and integrity. Our thorough attention to your case will allow you to focus on your healing while we fight for every penny you deserve in a settlement.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Charlotte Can Help Determine a Fair Settlement Award


There is a wide range of settlement awards possible in vehicle crashes, from the thousands to millions of dollars, and truck accident settlements tend to be high due to the severity of damages trucks can cause. Our attorneys will evaluate the circumstances of your individual case to have a good idea of what a fair settlement would be, depending on the circumstances.

In a successful truck accident case, we will help you receive compensation for both your economic damages, or monetary losses, and your less-tangible non-economic damages that do not have a specific dollar amount, that cover the following:

  • Medical Bills Associated with Your Injuries. This includes medical costs for emergency care and ongoing costs for treatment, rehabilitation, health care equipment, medications, and continuing care. When your injuries are severe, such as brain injuries or spinal cord damage, these costs can be very high.
  • Lost Wages When Injuries Keep You from Working. This includes income loss while you are recovering from the truck accident and into the future if you cannot work again or can only work in a lesser capacity.
  • Property Damage for Your Lost Property. This includes costs of repairing and replacing your vehicle and costs of other property destroyed in the truck crash.
  • Pain and Suffering and Other Non-economic Damages. After a truck accident, you may have significant physical pain, as well as emotional distress and mental anguish. Your family life and relationships may be negatively affected, and you may have loss of consortium and enjoyment and quality of life.
  • Punitive Damages. In some rare situations, North Carolina law allows the injured party to recover additional punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish egregiously wrongful acts and serve to deter such acts from happening again. In North Carolina, punitive damages cannot exceed the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages or $250,000.
  • Wrongful Death Damages. In the case of a wrongful death of a loved one, you may receive a damage award that includes:
    • Costs of care, treatment and hospitalization before death
    • Compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering before death
    • Funeral expenses 
    • The present and expected monetary value of the deceased person, including net income, services, protection, care and assistance, society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice 
    • Punitive damages for wrongfully causing the death through malice or willful or wanton conduct, as defined in S. 1D-5

In all cases, our truck accident attorneys will fight to win you the largest settlement possible that covers all your damages.

Common Questions Our Truck Accident Attorneys Are Asked


The following are questions our personal injury lawyers often get asked about truck accidents:

  • What are the most common causes of truck accidents?

    Driver error and fault such as driving while impaired, distracted, or drowsy are common. Truck drivers can be under tremendous pressure to make time and reach mileage goals to increase profit and may speed or drive recklessly. Other causes include improperly maintained trucks, defective vehicle parts, improper supervision and training of drivers, improperly loaded cargo, and faulty or improperly maintained roads. Any party who contributed to causing the truck accident is a potential defendant in your case.

  • Is North Carolina an at-fault state?

    North Carolina is a “fault state” which means the party or parties found to be at-fault in an accident are responsible for paying for any property damage and personal injuries. The at-fault party’s liability insurance may cover these damages, and you may go beyond insurance and pursue additional compensation by going after the at-fault parties’ assets.

  • Who are potential defendants in a truck accident?

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, (FMCSA) strictly regulates the trucking industry. Maneuvering a large truck requires drivers to follow regulations and utilize skill, alertness, and concentration. Trucking company owners need to train and supervise their drivers, keep trucks in good repair, and make sure drivers follow requirements by the FMCSA as to strict rest, break, and sleep schedules. Trucks need to be maintained properly, and cargo companies must make sure cargo is loaded and balanced properly; if this doesn’t happen, responsible parties may be held liable, including:

    • The truck driver
    • The trucking company or owner
    • The manufacturer of a defective or failed truck or parts
    • The cargo company.
  • What if I did something to contribute to the accident?

    North Carolina is one of the only states that operates under the contributory negligence doctrine. According to statute chapter 1 article 15, section 1-139, if you are even one percent responsible for the accident you will not be eligible to recover compensation for damages. Since a defendant using this doctrine has the burden of proof, our truck accident attorneys will anticipate this defense and use the facts in the case to show that you are not responsible and the defendant was completely at fault.

Our Truck Accident Attorney in Charlotte Must Prove Negligence in Your Case


To win your lawsuit, our Charlotte truck accident lawyers must prove the defendants in the case were negligent and therefore liable for your damages. We do this by showing the following elements of a case:

  • Duty – The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • Breach – The defendant breached that duty through some action or failure to act with reasonable care.
  • Cause – This breach caused a crash that led to your injuries.
  • Damages – You suffered damages as a result.

Because large commercial trucks are so potentially dangerous, there are many state and federal laws and standards that drivers and companies must adhere to. If truck accidents can be linked to the failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, these violations can be used to determine negligence or fault.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service regulations (HOS) which govern truck maintenance, cargo loading, and how many hours commercial truck drivers can drive before they must stop, and these breaks are automatically documented by mandated electronic logging devices. Also, many heavy trucks have data recorders similar to the “black boxes” used in airline crash investigations. These data recorders may contain vital information about the truck, such as speed at the time of the crash and whether brakes were applied.


As a result of this documentation, it is especially important to immediately investigate the facts and circumstances of the accident, before any evidence is destroyed. In addition, our truck accident attorneys work with experts to reconstruct the accident and testify as to how it happened. We also work with experts to testify about the extent, nature, and permanence of your injuries and how your life and earning capacity will be affected into the future.

Our Team Understands How to Handle Work-Related Truck Accident Cases

It may seem that someone driving a truck for work would be far safer in an accident than a driver of a sedan, because of the large size of the truck; however, this is not always the case. Potential injuries from a work-related truck accident could leave the truck driver needing significant medical care or facing long-term health issues. Truck accidents at work can involve falls as well as collisions and impact injuries.

Our workers’ compensation lawyer is ready to help you with your workers’ comp claim after a truck injury at work. As long as the truck accident occurred as you were involved in your typical work duties, you have the option of seeking workers’ compensation in North Carolina.

How to File a Workers’ Comp Case After a Truck Accident

Drivers operating delivery trucks, semi-trucks, moving trucks, and rental trucks for work could receive worker’s comp after an injury accident. You may suffer an injury while driving, loading, unloading, or maintaining a truck in a number of different scenarios, including:

  • Another driver hits your truck
  • An equipment malfunction causes your truck to break down or causes brakes to fail
  • Improper loading of cargo in the trailer, leading to a shifting of cargo and a loss of control while driving
  • A fall while loading or unloading the trailer
  • A piece of equipment from the truck comes loose and hits you.

Understand that when filing a workers’ compensation case in North Carolina, this doesn’t mean your employer has liability for your accident. You cannot sue your employer for a personal injury settlement as part of a workers’ compensation case. If you would like to discuss your options regarding filing under workers’ comp versus starting a personal injury lawsuit, the legal team at Sumwalt Anderson is ready to meet with you. Mark Sumwalt has four decades of experience practicing law in North Carolina. He is ready to apply his experience to your case.


Recovered on behalf of a young woman who sustained a catastrophic brain injury as the result of an automobile collision with a large commercial vehicle. Learn More.


Recovered on behalf of a young woman who sustained catastrophic injuries when she was involved in an automobile accident involving a tractor-trailer truck while she was on the job. Learn More


Recovered on behalf of the gentlemen (plaintiff/client) who was injured when a mislabeled stack of batteries exploded causing significant burns on his entire body. Learn More


Recovered on behalf of a husband and wife who sustained serious injuries in a rollover accident in New Mexico. Learn More


Recovered for a married construction worker who suffered a catastrophic spinal injury due to a crush injury caused by cargo falling from an 18-wheeler. Learn More


Recovered following the death of a young man from Charlotte, NC caused by a rear-ended collision with a tractor trailer that was parked in a travel lane of 1-40 without any lights on. Learn More

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    Charlotte NC Law Firm

    Why Choose a Charlotte Truck Accident Attorney at Sumwalt Anderson

    The legal team at Sumwalt Anderson is aware of how difficult it is to be recovering from serious injuries after a truck accident. We are here to take the burden off you by handling all investigations, dealings and negotiations with insurance companies, and the legal hurdles and requirements involved with getting a settlement, so you can concentrate on getting well and rebuilding your life.

    We strive to provide superior representation tailored to the specific needs of each client, and we always treat our clients, adversaries, and professional peers with dignity and respect. We will be there to answer your questions and concerns throughout the process. We have earned the well-deserved reputation of not settling claims until our client has been paid every penny they are entitled to.

    Our Charlotte truck accident lawyers offer a free consultation, and you do not have to pay anything unless and until we win your case. Call our team today at (704) 377-3770 so we can get started working for you while evidence in your truck accident case is fresh and witnesses can be found.