Any motor vehicle accident can be terrifying and has the potential to cause serious injuries to those involved. Vehicle accidents involving a commercial truck can have especially devastating consequences for smaller vehicles and others on the road. Commercial trucks have significant size, power, and weight. Damages in truck accidents are more severe, and fatalities are much more likely.
Commercial truck drivers provide an essential service, and most take their duty of care on the road seriously. Truck accidents can be caused by several issues, including defective truck components, unrealistic scheduling and expected deadlines from commercial truck companies, and improper maintenance on commercial trucks. Unfortunately, they can also be caused by truck drivers who are not as responsible. Determining fault in a truck accident can be more complex.
Truck accidents involve more parties, making personal injury or wrongful death claims much more complicated. South Carolina is an at-fault state, meaning that injured parties would file with the at-fault driver’s insurance. Filing insurance claims becomes more complex when commercial trucking companies are involved. Because property damage and injuries are likely to be more serious, the standard insurance coverage may not be enough. In that case, injured parties will also need to file a truck accident personal injury claim with the negligent party to cover additional medical bills or lost income.
If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, it’s in your interests to begin working with a South Carolina truck accident lawyer. As you recover, they can take care of insurance claims and legal deadlines while working to maximize the compensation that you receive from either claim.
If you were involved in a vehicle accident with a commercial truck in South Carolina, it is in your interests to work with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer. Insurance providers protect their bottom line, and they do not want to give you the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Property damage costs and medical bills are going to build up, and you are likely losing income. You need an accurate calculation of your present and future damages, and you need someone who can negotiate with the providers to get those damages covered.
At the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, we can fight for your rights to compensation. While you recover, we can determine your damages, negotiate with insurance providers, and file personal injury claims if necessary. Our firm has more than 20 years of experience in litigation. We have worked for years on complicated truck accident claims and want to use that experience to benefit your case. We can represent clients from communities all across South Carolina, and our firm wants to work diligently for your rights and interests.
Truck wrecks cause significantly more serious injuries and are more likely to be fatal to those involved. According to reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013, nearly 4,000 people died from truck accidents in the country. 65 of those deaths were in South Carolina. As a result, truck accidents are much more expensive for those involved, thanks to severe injuries and extreme property damage. This makes it harder to obtain a fair amount of insurance provider compensation.
Truck accident claims are also complex because more than one party may be at fault for the accident. This means that there are more insurance providers involved, more negotiations, and more attorneys. All parties will be trying to determine who can be held liable for damages.
These claims are also complicated because of state and federal regulations that apply to truck drivers and the commercial trucking industry. Under federal laws, truck drivers have to be limited to a certain number of working and driving hours. These and other regulations are there to keep truck drivers and others on the road safe. If these regulations were violated, this can impact liability in a claim. Determining regulatory violations can be incredibly complex without an experienced attorney.
Truck accidents can be caused by many factors. Some of the most common include:
To determine the at-fault party for the accident, an attorney can help investigate the cause of the accident and whether any parties were negligent.
South Carolina operates under at-fault car accident rules. This means that, when an accident happens, those who are injured or who suffered property damages can file for compensation with the insurance provider of the driver or party who was responsible.
Like any personal injury claim, insurance claims and truck accident claims rest on the idea of negligence. This means that some party, whether that be a driver, a manufacturer, or a third party on the road, acted recklessly or otherwise failed to uphold their duty of care. Because of these reckless, negligent, or malicious actions, the accident occurred. In a truck accident, it’s more common for multiple parties to be responsible. Determining liability in any accident is complex, and it can be even harder in a commercial truck accident. Your attorney can help review important information and evidence to determine the liable party or parties.
Every truck accident will have unique circumstances. To file an insurance claim or personal injury claim, the at-fault party or parties need to be determined. Commonly responsible parties in trucking accidents include:
Because truck drivers are usually on the clock while driving, their employers may be liable for their actions if a driver behaved negligently. The employer or the company responsible for the truck may also be liable for:
When the trucking company is involved for any reason, truck accident claims can become much more complicated. Claims may be filed against the driver and the employer, but handling multiple insurance negotiations is not easy. Insurance providers do not want to pay you for the damages that you should receive. Providers for trucking companies are going to be especially hard to negotiate with. During these complicated discussions, you’re likely dealing with significant injuries. This process will be easier if you work with an attorney who can negotiate on your behalf.
South Carolina operates under comparative negligence laws. This means that, even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still claim some amount of compensation. Your final settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the accident. During a claim, the court will determine how much fault each driver had in causing the accident. For example, if a driver is found to be 10% liable for the accident, their final settlement is reduced by 10%.
However, South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that this percentage must be less than 50%. If the party filing for damages is found to be more than 49% liable, they cannot receive compensation.
When multiple parties are involved in a claim, a party can file for compensation as long as their fault is not greater than the other parties’ or over 49%. Once fault is determined for three or more parties, the at-fault parties pay their percentage of fault in damages.
Comparative negligence laws impact personal injury claims, and they also affect how insurance providers handle claims. Determining percentage fault is not an exact system, and it requires an experienced attorney to argue for your interests and explain who should be most at fault for an accident.
When you file a personal injury claim against a responsible party, you must prove that their negligent behavior led directly to the injuries and damages that you suffered. For negligence claims, you have to prove that the at-fault party failed to take reasonable care. This means that a reasonable person in their situation would have acted differently. You must prove the following for a successful negligence claim:
An attorney is a useful asset in finding evidence to prove each of these aspects.
Truck accidents cause severe damage. Common injuries for parties in a truck accident may include:
These injuries cause pain and suffering, and they also cost victims a lot in medical bills and recovery. In addition, victims are unable to work for the duration of their recovery, and they may even be unable to work in the future, depending on the severity of their injuries. Many people involved in accidents are unaware of how much compensation they are truly entitled to and settle for a much smaller amount. An attorney can calculate the future impact of an injury, such as costs associated with medical complications, and the impact on your earning capacity to ensure that you are fighting for the right amount of compensation.
In a successful insurance or negligence claim, compensation should cover the damages suffered in or as a result of the accident. Any physical, emotional, and economic damages should be compensated. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you can file a wrongful death claim and receive financial reparations for your loss. Damages from a truck accident claim may include:
Calculating the compensation that you’re owed can be complex, particularly when trying to determine future costs and expenses. A truck accident attorney has significant experience with personal injury and wrongful death claims. They can use this experience to help accurately calculate the compensation that you should receive.
A statute of limitations is common in a civil claim and means that there is a time limit that you have to file by. If you don’t file within the statute of limitations, you give up your right to pursue compensation.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims like truck accidents is 3 years. The same statute length applies to property damage claims from car accidents and wrongful death claims. This statute does not apply to insurance claims, only to negligence and court claims. You must file a personal injury claim within 3 years of the date of the accident and a wrongful death claim within 3 years of the person’s death.
Although this may seem like significant time, it’s important to work quickly. Insurance claims often require you to file a claim soon after an accident in a reasonable period of time. Working with an attorney during this process can help you determine if you need to file a personal injury claim.
It’s also better to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim sooner before the statute expires. This is because important evidence can get lost or become useless over time. This may weaken your case to get the compensation that you deserve. The sooner you begin working with an attorney, the better your chances are to get the compensation you need. It also gives them time to investigate, gather evidence, negotiate, and build your claim.
Truck crashes often result in severe damage and injuries. If you were in a truck accident, you may be in significant pain and emotional stress. After such a traumatic experience, you should be focusing on resting and recovering. The last thing you should have to deal with is difficult negotiations with insurance providers who do not want to provide you with the compensation you need to live.
When you work with a personal injury attorney, they can negotiate on your behalf. Not only does this take stress away from you, but it also increases your chances of a fair settlement. An attorney has done this often and knows effective negotiating strategies to give your claim its greatest chance of success.
Many victims of personal injuries and vehicle accidents underestimate the damages they may be awarded. An attorney can keep this from happening and cover the past, present, and future damages you need.
Your attorney can also handle other tasks essential to the success of an insurance or personal injury claim. This includes:
An attorney can negotiate settlements and represent your claim during litigation if necessary.
If you were involved in a truck accident in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach, or any other area in South Carolina, the team at the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, wants to help you.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Each truck accident is unique and comes with its own complications. These accidents can take many forms, including:
At the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, we have years of experience with many forms of complex truck accidents and their claims.
To prove negligence and fault, evidence is needed. Your attorney can gather this, and there is also information that you can gather at the scene if you are able to. Evidence useful in your claim may include:
If you are in an accident, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. If you are able to get photos of the scene and similar evidence, you should, but medical care is your first priority. An attorney can help you get the evidence you need.
Work With an Experienced Attorney in South Carolina
At the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, we want to help you recover and get the compensation you need. We can diligently review your unique case and fight for your rights. Contact our team today.