Truck accidents often cause serious and lasting injuries that can change the course of a victim’s life.
Whether you suffered injuries in a truck crash in South Carolina or lost a close relative in a fatal accident involving a tractor-trailer or other heavy commercial vehicle, you are likely wondering what legal options may be available.
Your options may differ depending on who was responsible for the crash and the extent of your injuries, as well as the insurance coverage available and other specifics of your case.
At Joye Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers can help you explore all of your options for recovering monetary compensation after a truck accident in South Carolina. Call Joye Law Firm now for a free consultation to learn more about:
- What factors affect your legal options after a truck accident?
- What legal options are available after a truck accident?
- Which legal option is the right one for you after a truck accident?
Factors that Affect Your Legal Options After a Truck Accident
The most important factor that affects your legal options after a truck accident is the question of who was responsible for causing the crash.
If another driver or a third party was wholly or partially responsible for your crash, you may be able to make a claim against them. This may include taking action against a truck driver, a trucking company, a truck manufacturer, a shipper, a repair shop, or a government entity responsible for negligent road design or maintenance, among others.
Even if you were partly to blame for the crash, you could still recover compensation under South Carolina’s comparative fault rules. In a partial fault situation, a claimant is able to recover compensation for losses; however, the damages are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the claimant. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault and suffered $100,000 in losses, you could recover up to $80,000.
In addition to the question of who was at fault, other factors affecting your legal options include the severity of your injuries and the amount of insurance coverage carried by the parties responsible for the accident. If the at-fault parties have no insurance or not enough, you may be able to recover compensation through your own auto policy’s underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.
An attorney can fully investigate your situation to determine who may be held responsible for the crash. A lawyer can also seek out all potential sources of insurance coverage.
Legal Options Available to You After a Truck Accident
You have two primary options for taking legal action and pursuing a claim for compensation:
- Settle your case out of court in pretrial negotiations; or
- Pursue a claim in court and let a judge or jury decide who is liable and how much compensation you deserve.
The benefit of settling is that you can avoid court and receive an agreed-upon amount of compensation. However, settling is possible only if the insurance company representing the responsible party will accept fault and make a reasonable offer to compensate you for your losses.
Once you settle, you can no longer pursue your claim in court or seek additional compensation, even if you later discover that your losses were greater than you first thought. It is crucial to get have a lawyer help you negotiate a settlement that takes into account all of your losses. Never agree to a quick settlement offer from an insurance company without the advice of an attorney.
If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, you may take your case to court. It is up to you to show that the truck driver or other responsible party should be held liable because of negligence or wrongdoing. The jury will first decide if the defendant was responsible and will then assess how much you deserve to receive for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.
Choosing the Legal Option that is Right for You
To decide how to pursue your legal options and protect your rights, it is best to have your individual case evaluated by a qualified truck accident lawyer.
At Joye Law Firm, our legal team provides free consultations to truck accident victims in South Carolina. There is no charge for the claim analysis and no obligation. Call Joye Law Firm or fill out our online contact form now to learn more about the legal options available to you.