Charleston Truck Accident Lawyers
Pursuing Justice After 18-Wheeler Crashes in South Carolina
An accident involving a tractor-trailer can cause a lot of damage and harm. Because of the large size of these vehicles, when they collide with a passenger car, the individuals in the smaller vehicle often sustain serious injuries or even death. The results of an 18-wheeler crash can affect a person for the rest of their lives, causing them to suffer not just physical injury but also mental and financial harm. If you or a loved one were a victim of a truck accident in Charleston, South Carolina, you might have the right to pursue compensation for damages. But taking care of the paperwork and other legal tasks involved in submitting a claim or a lawsuit can be difficult during this challenging time. That is why it may be in your best interests to retain the services of a Charleston personal injury attorney to help with the process.
At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., our skilled and compassionate lawyers are here to provide the counsel and guidance you need throughout your case. Pursuing compensation after a truck accident can be extremely complicated, as the causes of the collision may vary, and one or more parties may be liable. Our Charleston truck accident attorneys will work quickly to preserve evidence and build a unique legal strategy for you. We are ready to fight for just financial recovery on your behalf.
Schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team by calling us at (843) 790-0083 or contacting us online today.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Several factors can contribute to a tractor-trailer accident in South Carolina.
Some of the more common causes include, but are not limited to:
Negligence: Negligence refers to a driver failing to take the same amount of care
a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances. It might be
apparent in a truck accident if the driver were engaging in behaviors such as:
- Texting while driving
- Drunk driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Failing to obey the laws of the road (e.g., improper lane changes, willfully ignoring traffic signals)
- Speeding: It goes without saying that 18-wheelers are huge. Because of their large size, they are difficult to maneuver, even under normal circumstances. If the driver was going above the speed limit or driving at a speed that was unsafe for the given road conditions, they could have trouble stopping, controlling their vehicle, or avoiding hazards.
- Insufficient training: Drivers of large trucks must receive extensive training before operating these vehicles. If the trucking or training company did not adequately prepare the driver for various conditions, the individual might not know how to respond when encountering obstacles.
- Mechanical issues: 18-wheelers must be inspected regularly. If the truck were not properly maintained or reported issues were not fixed, a mechanical failure could compromise the safety of others on the road.
- Defective parts: If the component parts on the vehicle were not designed or manufactured correctly, they could break or malfunction, making it difficult or impossible for the driver to control the truck.
- Improper cargo load: Various rules and regulations exist concerning how a truck should be loaded. If the individuals responsible for loading the vehicle put too much weight on it or did not secure the cargo correctly, maneuverability may be decreased. The driver could have trouble steering the truck or breaking when encountering a hazardous situation.
The different causes of truck accidents make these cases complicated. Because so many things can contribute to the collision, various entities could be liable.
The parties that could be at fault for an 18-wheeler collision include:
- The truck driver,
- The trucking company,
- The cargo loader, and/or
- The parts or vehicle manufacturer.
When pursuing a claim after a tractor-trailer crash, to prove liability, you must show that the responsible party owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, and the breach led to an accident that caused your injuries/compensable damages. Meeting this burden requires presenting evidence supporting your assertions. At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., our truck accident lawyers in Charleston, SC, will take care of all the details to prepare for your case.
Our team will, among other things:
- Review photos and videos of the accident scene
- Obtain driving logs and other records from the trucking company
- Get police reports
- Speak with witnesses
- Collect and preserve all other relevant evidence pertaining to your case
We are thorough in our preparation and will leave no stone unturned as we pursue just compensation on your behalf.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Being involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler can be an overwhelming experience. Because your emotions are high, it might be difficult to fully process what is going on. This reaction is understandable, but it is also important to take certain actions immediately after the crash to ensure that you get the medical care you need to treat your injuries and have the details necessary to pursue a claim.
Below are some of the things you should do after your truck accident:
- Ensure the safety of yourself and others: If you are able to, move to the side of the road and check on any other people involved. Also, call emergency services right away.
- Give an accurate account of what happened to responding officers: Be detailed about what happened, as this information will go into the officer's report. Still, be cautious of what you say to others, as something you say might be construed as your admitting fault.
- Exchange information with the driver: Be sure to get the driver's name, phone number, and insurance information.
- Get contact information from witnesses: If anyone else saw the accident, get their name and phone number. Witnesses may be able to provide an objective account of what happened and corroborate your story.
- Make notes of the scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene. Get more than just the damage to your vehicle. Get shots of the surrounding areas – what might seem like an insignificant detail can play a large part in building your case. Additionally, jot down what the weather and road conditions were like and any other pertinent information that may have contributed to the collision.
- Get medical care as soon as possible: Have a doctor assess your injuries even if you do not think the harm you suffered was serious. Also, maintain a record of the treatment you have received and may need in the future.
- Speak with a personal injury lawyer: Begin the insurance claims process right away. Depending on the severity of the accident, your case might require a lengthy investigation and take long to pursue a settlement with the insurance company. Note that in South Carolina, you have only 3 years after an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit (South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-3-530). Thus, if you wait to initiate a claim and you can't settle the matter out of court, you run the risk of missing the lawsuit deadline and forfeit your right to seek compensation.
Our Charleston truck accident attorneys are ready to jump into action right away and ensure all paperwork is timely filed.
Damages that Can Be Pursued in a South Carolina Truck Accident
If you were injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you might have sustained harm requiring medical treatment. You might have also missed work while you were recovering, which means your income may have suffered. If the crash was not your fault, you should not be stuck with the associated financial burdens.
By pursuing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, you can seek to recover compensation for damages such as:
- Current and future medical expenses,
- Current and future lost wages,
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation,
- Pain and suffering, and/or
- Emotional distress.
The amount you may be able to recover depends on the facts of your case. At Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A., we will evaluate your case and assess damages to calculate a just compensation amount.
Reach Out to a Charleston, SC, Truck Accident Lawyer Today
When pursuing a claim or lawsuit after a tractor-trailer accident in South Carolina, you must go up against the liable party's insurance company or present your case in front of a judge or jury. The experience can be intimidating and frustrating. Our team is prepared to stand up for you during every stage of your case.
To get started with a free consultation, contact our Charleston truck accident attorneys at (843) 790-0083 today.