South Carolina Truck Accident Attorney
Collisions involving large commercial trucks often result in catastrophic injuries with devastating long-term effects. If you got hurt in a truck accident due to another party’s bad behavior, you need an advocate with experience holding trucking companies accountable and maximizing injury settlements.
At Joe Cunningham Law, clients always come first. Former U.S. Congressman Joe Cunningham takes a people-focused approach to injury law by providing personalized attention and straightforward advice to South Carolinians in need of legal help. When you come to Joe for help, he can thoroughly investigate your situation, build a strong case on your behalf, and take uncooperative parties to court if necessary. In addition, Joe never charges any upfront or out-of-pocket costs, and you pay nothing unless he wins money for your truck accident claim.
Don’t go it alone against the trucking industry. Let Joe stand up for your rights. Reach out today for a free consultation and case review with a South Carolina truck accident lawyer.
What Is Considered a Truck in South Carolina?
According to South Carolina law, a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is defined as any motor vehicle designed or utilized to transport passengers or property that fulfills one or more of the following criteria:
- The Vehicle Has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 Pounds or More– This includes large vehicles like semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other heavy freight carriers.
- The Vehicle is Designed to Transport 16 or More Individuals, Including the Driver– This category includes certain types of buses and larger passenger vans.
- The Vehicle is Involved in the Transportation of Hazardous Materials– Vehicles fitting this category include those that must adhere to federal placarding regulations.
Common Commercial Truck Accidents in South Carolina
Truck accidents are a major concern on South Carolina roadways, given the potential for serious accidents and injuries associated with big commercial vehicles. Common examples of commercial truck accidents that occur in the Palmetto State include:
- Jackknife Accidents – These occur when a truck’s trailer folds in toward its cab, much like a closing pocketknife. This can happen if the driver brakes too hard or turns too sharply, causing the rear of the trailer to overtake the cab.
- Rollovers – Trucks, especially tall ones carrying heavy loads, have higher centers of gravity than smaller cars. Abrupt turns, high speeds, or uneven road surfaces can contribute to rollover accidents by causing these large vehicles to tip and fall.
- Underride Accidents – This type of accident happens when a smaller vehicle slides under the back or side of a truck, often resulting in severe damage and injury.
- Override Accidents – An override wreck occurs when a truck runs over a smaller vehicle in front of it, often due to brake failure, distraction, impairment, or reduced visibility.
- Blind Spot Accidents – Large trucks have massive blind spots (also called “no-zones”) on all four sides. Accidents can occur when truckers fail to monitor these no-zones for other road users.
- Rear-End Collisions – Given their size and weight, big trucks don’t stop as quickly as smaller vehicles, increasing their risk of causing rear-end crashes in heavy or high-speed traffic.
- Lost Load Accidents – If a truck’s cargo is not properly balanced or secured, it can fall off or spill during transit, sometimes damaging other vehicles on the road and causing secondary collisions.
- Head-On Collisions – These collisions often result from negligent truck drivers crossing centerlines to face oncoming traffic, possibly due to driver fatigue, distraction, or intoxication.
- Wide Turn Accidents – Trucks make wide turns, whether going right or left. If a truck driver miscalculates how much space they need, they can hit other vehicles or road users.
- T-Bone Accidents – Also known as side-impact collisions, these occur when a truck hits the side of another vehicle or vice versa, usually due to failure to yield at intersections.
- Runaway Truck Accidents – These occur when a truck descends a steep grade, and the driver loses control, often due to brake failure or improper shifting.
- Mechanical Defect Accidents – Dangerous product design, poor manufacturing quality, or inadequate maintenance can all lead to mechanical failures that cause truck accidents.
Typical Injuries Someone Could Sustain in a South Carolina Truck Accident
Truck accidents can lead to a broad range of severe injuries due to the considerable differences in size and weight of the vehicles involved. Typical injuries from a collision with an 18-wheeler, semi-truck, big rig, or other type of commercial truck include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Crush injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Rib and torso injuries
- Skull fractures
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Vision loss
- Nerve damage
- Hearing loss
- Herniated discs
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other psychological injuries
In addition, if injuries from a South Carolina truck accident end up being fatal, the victim’s family could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Damages Can I Expect to Recover in a South Carolina Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Truck accidents frequently result in catastrophic injuries and extensive property damage, often leading to significant losses and changes in quality of life. The law allows truck accident survivors to seek money, called “damages,” for the losses and hardship they endure in truck accident injury cases.
Common types of damages sought in truck accident cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage costs
A South Carolina truck accident attorney can assess your case to determine the damages you could seek in a lawsuit.
What If I Am Partly at Fault in a South Carolina Truck Accident?
Even if you are partly at fault for a truck accident in South Carolina, you could still be entitled to compensation from a personal injury case. This is because state law says you can still recover damages as long as you’re not more at fault than another party involved in the accident. However, the more you contributed to the accident, the less money you can get for your case.
Here’s why this rule matters. Suppose you’re involved in a truck accident, and another party claims you’re partially responsible. They might argue that you were speeding, not paying attention, or behaving in some other way that contributed to the accident. If they’re successful, they could effectively reduce the amount of compensation they must pay you.
This is where having a reputable South Carolina truck accident law firm can make a huge difference. Your attorney can work to minimize the degree of fault assigned to you and negotiate aggressively to secure as much compensation as possible.
How a South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Truck accident injury cases can be complex due to the potential severity of the injuries, the involvement of multiple parties with large insurance policies, and the regulations governing commercial trucking. If you were hurt in a South Carolina truck accident, a qualified injury lawyer could employ a range of strategies to protect your rights and demand the compensation you deserve.
Here are some of the ways a truck accident lawyer could help you:
- Investigating the Accident – A lawyer can thoroughly investigate the truck accident to gather all pertinent facts, identify potential causes, and determine liability.
- Calculating the Full Extent of Your Losses – This includes not only current medical bills and lost wages but also future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and other potential losses.
- Identifying All Potential Defendants – In addition to the truck driver, other parties like trucking companies, cargo loaders, maintenance providers, or truck manufacturers could be liable.
- Obtaining and Reviewing Police Reports – Police reports can provide valuable information about the accident and corroborate your claims about what happened.
- Gathering Crash Scene Evidence – This evidence can include photographs from the accident scene, video footage from traffic cameras or dashcams, witness statements, and more.
- Obtaining Driver’s Log and Truck Records – The trucker’s records and data from electronic devices can reveal whether the driver or trucking company violated regulations related to driving hours, maintenance, or cargo loading.
- Identifying Violations of Trucking Regulations – A lawyer can determine whether the driver or trucking company violated federal or state trucking regulations, which could strengthen your case.
- Consulting with Experts – Lawyers often work with experts in fields such as accident reconstruction, mechanical engineering, and medicine to support truck accident cases.
- Filing Necessary Paperwork – Attorneys can handle all case paperwork, ensure everything is prepared and filed correctly, and ascertain that your case meets the prescribed filing deadlines.
- Dealing with Insurance Companies – Your lawyer can handle all communication with the insurance companies to protect your rights and negotiate a fair settlement.
- Preparing for Litigation – If a trucking company or insurance provider won’t agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer can prepare you and your case for trial.
- Presenting Your Case in Court – If your case goes to trial, your attorney can represent you in court and present compelling evidence and arguments to support your claim.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in South Carolina Today
Don’t let a truck accident derail your life. When you work with Joe Cunningham Law, you’ll have a steadfast and experienced advocate on your side. Joe will work to secure the recovery you deserve without any upfront fees.
Take the first step today by scheduling a free, no-obligation case review with a truck accident lawyer in South Carolina.