If you have recently been involved in a truck accident in South Carolina, you may be uncertain what to do next.
The trucking company’s insurance company may be offering you a settlement or pressuring you to sign something.
You may be in the hospital and worried about the mounting medical bills and lost pay. Or you may be mourning the death of a close relative.
In this difficult time after a truck accident, there is one very important thing you should do as soon as possible: contact a lawyer who can protect your rights.
Some of the key reasons why you need to contact a truck accident attorney include:
1. Truck accidents often cause serious injuries.
Trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs just 3,000 to 5,000 pounds. The force of an impact with a truck can be devastating. It is common for people to suffer serious or fatal injuries in a truck collision.
The more serious the injuries, the larger the medical bills and the greater the chance you will be forced to take extended time off work or even be unable to return to work at all. The financial loss could be huge, not to mention the physical and emotional toll the accident takes.
The law says accident victims may be entitled to compensation for all economic and noneconomic damages, but you have the burden of taking action and proving your case. A lawyer can help.
2. Truck accident lawsuits are more complex.
If you suffer significant injuries in a truck accident, the driver who caused the accident may not have enough resources to cover all your damages.
There may be others who could also be held responsible, including the trucking company, the owner of the cargo, the company that maintained the truck, the manufacturer of a defective component and others. There may also be other available sources of insurance, including coverage under your own policy’s underinsured motorist coverage.
You want to ensure that you identify all the parties who may be liable and all the sources of insurance coverage so you can recover the maximum compensation you deserve. A qualified attorney understands the liability laws that apply and can fully investigate your accident and help you pursue a claim against everyone who was responsible for your losses.
3. You have the burden of proving responsibility in a truck accident claim.
To obtain compensation in a South Carolina truck accident, you may be required to prove that the truck driver broke the rules of the road, violated safety regulations or was unreasonably careless. Trucking companies can also be held accountable if the company was negligent in its policies or procedures, or based on the negligence of the company’s employees.
There are many special rules that apply to truckers and trucking companies, including hours-of-service requirements, maintenance rules and training mandates. A truck accident lawyer can help you to obtain the records needed to prove your case. An attorney can also help you find expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists who can show what really happened in the crash.
4. The insurance company may pressure you to settle for less than you deserve.
Trucking companies and insurance companies don’t want to make large payouts. They may use many tactics to avoid providing full compensation after your accident. If you accept a settlement or sign paperwork without being aware of your legal rights, or if you don’t file an injury lawsuit in a timely manner, you could end up not having all of your losses covered.
Having a truck accident attorney enables you to take advantage of all of the legal protections available. A lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement that takes into account all the losses the truck accident will cause you over your life.
Remember, the truck driver’s insurer and the trucking company will have lawyers representing them and fighting for their interests. You need someone on your side.