Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer
In 2015, 74 deadly accidents involved large commercial semi-trucks in the state of South Carolina, killing a total of 88 people. In addition, there were 1,074 people injured in collisions involving tractor trailers. Big rig drivers contributed to 20 out of the 74 fatal truck tractor accidents the same year.
The Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC can help if you or someone you love has suffered in a recent Charleston truck accident. Our Charleston injury lawyers understand the state and federal laws surrounding these cases and can help you learn your rights.
Why You Should Choose Max Sparwasser for Your Truck Accident Case
- If we don’t win your truck accident case, we won’t charge you. All of our cases are handled on a contingency-fee basis.
- We have collected over $3.5 million for our clients in settlements and verdicts.
- Our attorneys have experience working with large trucking corporations. We will not allow them to treat your case unfairly. If they do, we will not hesitate to take them to court.
- We will not accept a settlement for less than your case is worth.
- We have the skills and resources to properly investigate and litigate the most complex truck wreck cases.
How Can a Charleston Attorney Help Truck Accident Victims?
Truck accidents are becoming more and more common and passenger vehicles are at a disadvantage when compared to the size and weight of 18-wheeler trucks. Historically, more passenger vehicle occupants die in crashes involving large trucks. In 2016, 2,642 motorists and 637 occupants died in big rig accidents.
These major trucking companies have legal teams that are experienced in negotiating settlements that benefit them, often offering less than the victims deserve. Don’t get stuck with high medical bills and lost wages that won’t be supplemented in your settlement. Hire a competent Charleston truck accident lawyer to help you fight for what’s fair.
With an experienced Charleston 18 wheeler accident attorney by your side during insurance settlement negotiations or a jury trial, you can feel confident and enjoy peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about the pile of paperwork required to bring a claim in South Carolina or the burden of proving the defendant’s negligence. We’ll identify the proper defendant(s), file your lawsuit well before the deadline, compile evidence and documentation of your accident, create a solid litigation strategy, and go up against major truck companies and their insurers on your behalf.
Our team works hard so our clients can relax, take care of themselves and their families, and plan for a brighter future after a serious semi-truck accident. We understand how daunting the legal process can feel, especially for those also tending to catastrophic or disabling injuries. Before you agree to a fast settlement offer from an insurance company, however, realize that you could be eligible for a much larger award. Help from a Charleston truck accident attorney can make a world of difference in the amount you receive for your medical costs, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost wages.
The insurance claims adjuster that contacts you shortly after a big rig accident does not have your best interests at heart. He or she works for the insurance company and not for you. It is the adjuster’s job to convince you to settle for as little as possible and as quickly as possible, to save the insurer money. The adjuster often does not know all the details of your case or your injuries. It’s up to you to negotiate a better settlement or bring your case to trial for a fair judgment award, if necessary. Our Charleston semi-truck accident lawyers can help you every step of the way.
Truck Accident Resources
- Who is Liable in a Truck Accident
- South Carolina Truck Laws
- The Different Types of Truck Accident That Occur
- South Carolina Truck Accident Statistics
- Infographic: The State of Truck Accidents in South Carolina
Who is Responsible for A Big Rig Accident?
After experiencing a truck accident, you might immediately think that 18 wheeler driver is responsible for the crash. However, that is not always true. Assigning liability in a truck accident crash is more complicated than a normal car crash. The driver could be a fault for the accident, but they may not be the only ones to blame. Here are the possible parties that may be responsible for your Charleston truck accident:
- The Driver. Many big rig drivers are independent contractors. If the trucker that hit you is contracted, they are solely liable for the damages if the crash was a result of driver error. Examples of driver error would be drinking and driving or falling asleep at the wheel. As previously mentioned, Charleston truck drivers are held to stricter road law than other drivers and must follow a driving schedule. Failure to comply with these rules could result in fatigue, drowsiness, and more behind the wheel.
- The Trucking Company. The 18 wheeler company could be liable for the damages if the driver was poorly trained, didn’t have the right requirements to be hired, or was managed poorly. An example of this would be a manager that sets unrealistic goals, requiring them to reach a specific destination in a minimal amount of time. This could result in drivers pushing themselves to work longer hours, even when they are tired and drowsy. The company could also be held liable if their trucks weren’t inspected enough.
- The Truck Owner. If the trucking company rents their fleet from a third party company in Charleston, the truck owners could be at fault. If an issue with the big rig caused the accident, a Charleston truck accident attorney will look to see if they failed to repair and upkeep the 18 wheeler when needed.
- A Negligent Manufacturer. The company responsible for the accident could also be one that manufacturers parts on the big rig itself. For example, if the part that connected the truck to its cargo was defective and caused the cargo to break off, the part manufacturer could be liable.
It is not always easy determining the defendant in an 18 wheeler accident. You will need to look at the cause of the crash, the driver’s employment situation, and much more. A Charleston trucking accident lawyer can help you investigate your crash and find who is at fault before filing a claim.
Federal and South Carolina Trucking Laws
18-wheeler accidents are unique in that commercial truck drivers and companies must obey state and federal laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the national big rig industry and imposes hundreds of laws to improve the safety of motor carriers. Some of the FMCSA laws semi-truckers must follow include not driving past the hours-of-service regulations, recording their activities in an electronic logging device, and never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
On top of federal laws, truck drivers must also know about South Carolina specific laws. These include general rules of traffic such as obeying speed limits, as well as the state’s drunk driving and cell phone statutes. Breaking any of the rules and causing an accident is negligent and could lead to a lawsuit against not only the driver but the semi-trucking company, as well. 18-wheeler companies are vicariously liable for the actions of their drivers, even if the driver is an independent contractor.
Types of 18 Wheeler Accidents That Occur in Charleston
Big rigs are very important for our economy as they help transfer goods from one place to another. However, they are also seen as a safety hazard to other drivers. Due to their large size, truck accidents could be extremely dangerous and deadly. Here are the different types of semi-truck accidents that can occur:
- Jackknife. A jackknife accident occurs when a driver breaks fast and hard, causing the trailer to slide outward, forming a 90-degree angle. The trailer could then hit other motorists around it.
- Big Rig Rollovers. If a driver isn’t careful and loses control of the truck, it can cause it to roll over to its side. This could also take down the motorists that are around.
- Tire Blowout. Much like a regular 4-door car, it is very dangerous when a tire explodes. This causes the vehicle to lose balance and stall.
- Wide Turn. Also known as a “swinging turn,” this happens when a driver attempts to turn right. It is possible for the truck to crash into the cars on its right.
- Under Ride. If a big rig suddenly stops, it is possible for the small cars behind them to get lodged under the semi truck’s trailer. This is one of the most deadly truck accidents that can occur.
Number of South Carolina Truck Accidents That Resulted in Injuries
[Source: South Carolina Department of Public Safety]
This is a visual representation of the total number of 18-wheeler crashes which resulted in injuries in South Carolina in the past 5 years. These crashes have steadily increased since 2012, with the highest number being in 2016 at 1,111.
Speak to A Truck Wreck Lawyer Today
The Charleston truck accident lawyers at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC can investigate your crash and help you understand which party or parties could be at fault. Trust us to get more out of your insurance settlement negotiations or court trial. Call (843) 864-6444 or submit our online contact form so we can learn more about your case.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, speak to a Charleston car accident attorney instead.
Infographic: The State of Truck Accidents in South Carolina