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I40 Automobile Crash Lawyers | Johnston County Wreck Lawyers


Interstate 40 in North Carolina can be a dangerous place for drivers. Given the number of heavy vehicles such as tractor-trailers traveling at high rates of speed, deadly crashes on I-40 can happen in an instant. Even what starts as a minor wreck can lead to a more serious one if the other vehicle traveling behind the drivers involved in the wreck do not properly come to a stop or slow down. That appears to have been a potential a cause of a triple fatality tractor-trailer crash near McGee’s Crossroads in Johnston County on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. According to North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers who performed an initial investigation, one car may have crashed or had to pull over into the median. As vehicles behind it tried to slow down, apparently one or more did not properly apply their brakes, leading to a deadly collision involving a 10-wheeled lumber truck, an eighteen wheeler and several other vehicles. The end result of this tragic collision was that three individuals lost their life.

Unfortunately, the accident near McGee’s Crossroads is not so out of the ordinary for the stretch of I-40 in Johnston County. Even if no one is killed, there are life changing crashes on Interstate 40 in North Carolina every month. Highway wrecks like the ones that happen on I-40 can cause bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, burns, spinal cord injuries, and other life changing consequences. Under North Carolina law, a victim of a serious motor vehicle collision who suffers injuries can recover certain types of compensation due to the negligence the other driver(s). That compensation is typically paid by the negligent person’s automobile insurance carrier but can sometimes also be partially paid by the victim’s own “Underinsured Motorist” coverage. Compensation can be recovered for: (1) past and future medical expenses, (2) past and future lost wages, (3) past and future physical pain and mental suffering, (4) permanent injury, and (5) permanent scarring.

If the facts involve a wrongful death such as in the McGee’s Crossroads crash, the wrongful death compensation structure is very different. It is controlled by North Carolina’s Wrongful Death Statute, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 28A-18-2. As reflected in the statute, the “beneficiaries” of the wrongful death claim can recover:

(1)        Expenses for care, treatment and hospitalization incident to the injury resulting in death;

(2)        Compensation for pain and suffering of the decedent;

(3)        The reasonable funeral expenses of the decedent;

(4)        The present monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive the damages recovered, including but not limited to compensation for the loss of the reasonably expected;

  1. Net income of the decedent,
  2. Services, protection, care and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damages recovered,
  3. Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the decedent to the persons entitled to the damages recovered;

The challenge in any case such as the one near McGee’s Crossroads is establishing the exact sequence of the crash. The truth is that many of the witnesses will have some bias. For instance, if the person interviewed was one of the at-fault drivers who failed to properly come to a stop, they may not want to admit that and may blame the crash on someone else. It can become difficult for the State Highway Patrol to properly determine who was at-fault with multiple individuals either intentionally not telling the truth or who simply do not remember given that the wreck happened in an instant. Sometimes it requires looking at the actual physical evidence and, hopefully, having some neutral eye witnesses who do not have any bias. One thing that is commonly done in cases such as the McGee’s Crossroads case is that each side hires an “accident reconstruction engineer” who evaluates the physical evidence and the testimony of different witnesses and tries to recreate how the crash might have taken place. The use of such experts can make a big difference in the outcome of a highway crash case – particularly in a case where a tractor-trailer company is involved. They almost always deny liability and hire experts to fight the case. The victim or family of the victim may be forced to do the same.

The North Carolina attorneys at Maginnis Law are experienced in representing people in serious highway crashes such as those on Interstate 40 in Johnston County, including those involving heavy vehicles such as 18 wheelers. We can help the victims, or their families, recover reasonable compensation from the insurance company of the negligent driver(s) who caused the collision. We are also experienced in multiple fatality cases. In 2018, we recovered over $2,900,000 for one of three victims of a crash near I-85 in Hillsborough. We offer free consultations and will travel to meet with you to discuss your case. If we are able to help, we do so on a contingency fee basis – meaning you owe no attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recovery for your injuries or wrongful death claim. Please visit our contact page to submit a confidential case inquiry, send an email to info@maginnislaw.com or contact our lead personal injury and wrongful death attorney, T. Shawn Howard, at 919.480.8526.

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