When a truck accident causes injuries or death in South Carolina, victims often suffer significant financial and psychological damages.
There may be a number of parties who share responsibility for the truck accident and may be held liable for the losses they have caused.
At Joye Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers can investigate the circumstances surrounding your case, help you determine who is financially responsible for your accident.
Some of the parties you could potentially take action against after a South Carolina truck accident include the following:
- The truck driver – Truckers are bound by state safety laws as well as by regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Commercial truck drivers are expected to drive safely, obey all of the rules of the road, such as speed limits and drunk driving laws, and obey all special rules that apply to truckers on the state or federal level. If a trucker violates a safety rule or is negligent behind the wheel and causes a crash, he or she may be held legally responsible for the related injuries or death.
- Trucking companies – When a trucking company employs a driver, the driver is considered an agent of the company. Actions the driver takes when on duty are seen as the legal equivalent of actions taken by the company itself. This means if a driver is negligent on the job, the trucking company may also be considered legally liable for injuries arising from the negligence.
Trucking companies may also be negligent in their own right, rather than through the actions of the driver. For example, if a trucking company fails to have reasonable policies in place for maintenance, driver training or driver safety, the company may be considered negligent. Likewise, if the company hires drivers who are unqualified or doesn’t enforce hours-of-service limits and other safety rules, the trucking company could be held liable for related accidents and resulting injuries.
- Shippers – Companies that ship dangerous goods must alert truck drivers and trucking companies to any risks that the shipped items present. If a shipper fails to live up to its obligations, such as by shipping hazardous materials without taking proper precautions, the shipper or owner of the hazardous cargo may be held responsible for injuries that result.
- Truck manufacturers – When trucks have defective parts, a crash may result in severe injuries. Truck manufacturers, like all manufacturers, are expected to produce products that are reasonably safe and do not cause harm when used as intended. If a defect in the truck or any of its parts was the direct cause of an accident, the manufacturer may be sued by crash victims.
- Truck maintenance and repair shops – If the repair or maintenance work provided by a trucking company is substandard and results in an accident, the truck repair shop may be held liable for the resulting injuries caused by the faulty work.
- Government entities – When poor road design or maintenance causes a crash, a claim may potentially be made against the responsible government entity. These types of claims might arise from roads with unrepaired potholes, uneven and dangerous road shoulders, or roads designed in a way that limits visibility. Suing the government is very complicated because there are rules in place that give the government immunity from certain kinds of claims, and there are also special requirements that must be followed for making a claim against the government. An attorney can help.