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rear ended by a company vehicle

Rear Ended By A Company Vehicle

When you are rear ended by a company vehicle, it’s important to understand your rights. Your claim for damages can often be dramatically different when you’re rear ended by a company vehicle. The reason for this is the potential for punitive damages, which increase the value of your personal injury case. Punitive damages are codified by the NC General Statutes in N.C.G.S. sec. 1D.

As a Charlotte personal injury law firm, our firm has experience representing individuals who have been in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Sometimes those clients are pedestrians who have been struck by a work vehicle. Other times, our client was rear ended by a company vehicle while driving their own personal vehicle.

How Your Case Is Different When A Commercial Vehicle Is Involved

In a typical car accident, both drivers are operating their personal vehicles. Ideally, both drivers are insured at the time of the accident. The at fault party can expect to pay damages to the other driver if they were injured in the accident. In these cases, each driver should carry the NC state minimum insurance requirements. In the event the injuries exceed the policy limits of the at fault driver, our firm can typically recover additional funds from our client’s insurance company under the Underinsured Motorist coverage on our client’s policy.

In the commercial setting, if someone is rear ended by a company vehicle, a few things are different. First, the insurance limits covering the company driver will typically be much higher than those carried by most private motorists. Second, as a personal injury law firm, we will investigate the facts surrounding the accident to determine if the company itself is at fault. For example:

Did the company driver have a prior history of accidents?

Did a failure to maintain the company vehicle contribute to the accident?

Does the company have a history of negligent retention of employees?

In the corporate setting, when you are rear ended by a company vehicle, your case may be a good case for additional damages. Juries are often asked to consider punitive damages in these cases. This changes the nature of the jury’s deliberation. Usually, a jury is awarding the injured party an amount of money meant to compensate the injured party for their loss. When punitive damages are considered by a jury, the jury is considering an amount which will discourage the at fault company and all other companies from engaging in similar behavior. This is why a failure to maintain a vehicle, or knowledge surrounding an employee’s prior driving record are relevant.

Negotiating A Claim When Rear Ended By A Company Vehicle

The available insurance coverage, and the public policy to prevent companies from knowingly engaging in negligent behavior changes the negotiation. Your personal injury lawyer will present your case to the insurance adjuster or their attorney in a manner which reflects this. By citing recent case law which supports the damages requested, your lawyer can build the value of your case so that you are adequately compensated.

Ultimately, your personal injury settlement should reflect all circumstances surrounding your accident. Our staff will walk you through the demand package we are submitting to the insurance company to be sure you understand the process as we request settlement from the insurance adjuster.

Investigating The At Fault Company

Another distinguishing factor in rear end collisions involving commercial vehicles is the tendency for the personal injury law firm to employ an investigator to research the company’s history. This investigation will include uncovering past accidents, corporate policies, and finally whether the company complies with state and federal regulations. In cases like these, quite often the case is as much about your injury as it is about the company’s failure to abide by the rules for doing business in the state. If a failure to follow those rules contributed to the accident, it becomes a key factor in achieving full value for your claim.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Most of our clients have never sued another individual. Most of our clients have never been seriously injured in a car accident before. We understand this is all new territory to you, and your primary focus is on recovery from your injuries. In our opinion, it makes sense to partner with a personal injury law firm to be sure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly.

If you’d like to speak with us about your accident, call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out to discuss your case today.

Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving accidents are the cause of completely unnecessary injuries in North Carolina every year. Our firm takes a strong stance when it comes to drunk driving and the injuries caused by it. We’re eager to hear about your case and help you decide whether to pursue legal action against any drunk driver who hit you. Trying to decide? Read our reviews.

Punitive Damages In Drunk Driving Accidents

If you were injured by a drunk driver in North Carolina, your case may be one which entitles you to punitive damages. Punitive damages are distinguishable from compensatory damages in that their intent is to deter the driver and other drivers from the same behavior in the future. Put simply, this means your case or claim will be worth more than a claim based solely on compensatory damages. Compensatory damages will assist with medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Repeat Drunk Drivers

Many people injured in drunk driving accidents find the person who hit them either carries the NC minimum state limits for insurance coverage, or has no insurance at all. In that case, obtaining any compensation for your injuries will be made more difficult. Your case may become an Under insured or Uninsured motorist claim. If so, you will certainly need the assistance of a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to make sure you’re accessing every insurance policy available. Often, insurance coverage for family members living in the same household comes into play, and your lawyer will uncover and pursue those policies.

Under insured Motorist Claims

North Carolina state law requires drivers have $30,000 for bodily injury coverage ($60,000 for total bodily injury to cover all individuals in an accident). Additionally, there is a requirement for $25,000 for property damage liability as well as uninsured motorist coverage. A driver is defined as under insured if the driver’s liability limits are less than YOUR under insured motorist limits, and also less than the amount required to cover the losses of the people to whom the under insured driver caused injury. In other words, once you exhaust the at-fault driver’s insurance cap, you can then proceed with an under insured motorist claim against your own policy. You do so by accessing the under insured motorist coverage you held at the time of the accident.

Punitive Damages And Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In drunk driving accidents, punitive damages are generally not allowed to be pursued against uninsured motorist coverage. The theory is that there is no deterrent if the insurance company paying the punitive damages was not associated with the at-fault driver. Your personal injury attorney can explain this more clearly in a full discussion about insurance coverage.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in a drunk driving accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer today. The call is free and you deserve to know your rights. Phone consultations and in-person consultations are free. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a call. You’ll receive a call from a knowledgeable attorney who can help you sort through your options. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.