Every year, thousands of people suffer severe and life-threatening injuries in truck accidents in South Carolina and across the U.S. If you were injured in a Summerville truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to seek significant compensation.
At Joye Law Firm, our have been helping South Carolinians rebuild their lives after severe injury accidents for more than 50 years. During that time, we’ve squared off against some of the largest trucking companies in the country on behalf of injured victims. We have the skills and resources necessary to successfully take on the trucking companies and their insurers and hold them accountable. We know what it takes to win, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you seek justice.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation with a Summerville truck accident lawyer who can review your case and help you understand your legal options.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Summerville, SC
If you were involved in a Summerville truck accident, you should take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not all truck accident injuries are immediately obvious. You should seek prompt medical care after a truck accident to determine the extent of your injuries, obtain the treatment you need, and establish a formal record of your condition.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment orders. Make sure you heed your doctor’s orders and attend all follow-up appointments to expedite your recovery. Keeping appointments demonstrates that you are taking your health seriously.
- Gather as much evidence as you can. Collect the truck driver’s contact and insurance information, names and contact info for eyewitnesses, photos of the scene, and police accident reports. Keep copies of medical bills, repair invoices, pay stubs, and other proof of your accident-related financial losses.
- Refuse to provide a recorded statement. If the truck driver’s insurance provider or attorney requests a written or recorded statement, politely decline and redirect them to your lawyer. You are under no obligation to give the truck driver’s insurance company a statement.
- Avoid social media activity. Avoid sharing any photos, videos, text, or comments about the accident on social media. Don’t accept any new friends or followers from accounts you don’t recognize. An insurance company could use anything you post on social media to call into question the seriousness of your injuries – even vacation photos.
- Contact a knowledgeable attorney. A Summerville truck accident lawyer at Joye Law Firm can evaluate your case to help you understand the options you have to seek compensation for your losses. The consultation is free.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident Case
Determining who was at fault is one of the most important aspects of your truck accident case. Because many parties are involved in the operation and maintenance of a commercial tractor-trailer or semi-truck, any of the following could bear liability in a truck accident case:
- The truck driver – The driver may be at fault if he or she was distracted, impaired, reckless, or otherwise acting negligently when the crash occurred. A truck driver could also be liable if the driver neglected to inspect or maintain their vehicle and that resulted in an accident.
- The trucking company – The trucking company may be liable if it knowingly hired unqualified drivers, failed to maintain trucks under its control, or encouraged drivers to engage in unsafe driving practices. If the driver was an employee, the trucking company would be vicariously liable for the trucker’s negligence.
- The cargo loading company – The company or team that loaded cargo into the truck’s trailer may be liable if it overloaded the truck or failed to balance or secure the cargo properly.
- A truck repair facility – A truck repair facility or technician may bear responsibility if the garage failed to inspect, maintain, or repair the truck as needed.
- A truck parts manufacturer – A manufacturer may be liable if it was negligent in the design, manufacturing, labeling, or distribution of a truck part that later failed and caused an accident.
- Another road user – If another motorist or road user forced the truck driver into a collision, you may have grounds for a claim against the at-fault road user.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Commercial trucks are much heavier than passenger vehicles. When tractor-trailers collide with cars, the occupants of the smaller vehicles tend to sustain the brunt of the impact and injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Dislocated, broken, or shattered bones
- Traumatic or surgical amputations
- Facial injuries and dental trauma
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
- Knee, elbow, and joint injuries
- Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Wrongful death
Causes of Truck Crashes in Summerville, SC
At Joye Law Firm, our Summerville personal injury attorneys frequently handle truck crash cases involving the following common causes:
- Distracted driving – When drivers are distracted, they are more likely to be slow to recognize important changes in traffic flow, leading to accidents.
- Driving under the influence – Truck drivers who are driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs tend to have difficulty with judgment, depth perception, and slowed reactions to avoid hazardous traffic situations.
- Driver fatigue – Many truckers work erratic schedules with long hours behind the wheel. Driver fatigue is common. Extreme drowsiness can be just as dangerous as drunkenness behind the wheel in impairing judgment and reactions.
- Reckless driving – Reckless drivers who speed, tailgate, and make unsafe lane changes often fail to leave themselves enough time and space to react to avoid collisions.
- Driving errors – Traffic violations such as failure to yield the right of way, failure to use turn signals, and running red lights often contribute to truck accidents.
- Defective truck parts – Defective tires, brakes, or steering systems may fail and cause truck drivers to lose control and crash.
- Poor road conditions – Unsafe road conditions such as large potholes, inadequate drainage, or missing signage can contribute to loss-of-control wrecks.
Factors Involved in a Truck Accident
Truck accidents involve many different factors. It can be difficult to determine where to start an investigation. When attorneys look for evidence in a truck accident case, they typically evaluate factors such as:
- Police accident reports
- Toxicology test results
- Photos of vehicle damage and skid marks at the accident scene
- Video footage of the accident from traffic cameras and dashcams
- Statements of eyewitnesses who saw the truck accident
- Testimony from experts like accident reconstruction specialists
- Data from electronic logging devices (ELDs) and “black box” event recorders
- Truck driver cell phone records
- Trucking company screening, hiring, and training records
- Truck inspection, maintenance, and repair history
- Cargo loading manifests and records
Compensation You May Seek After a Summerville, SC, Truck Accident
After a Summerville, SC, truck accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation, also known as damages, for your losses. The types of damages you may seek include compensation for losses such as:
- Medical bills – Past and future costs of reasonable and necessary medical care you need to treat your injuries
- Lost wages – The value of any wage losses you suffer from accident-related injuries that force you to miss days at work
- Lost earning potential – The projected value of long-term losses in your future earning capacity from accident-related disabilities that prevent you from returning to your former job or career path
- Pain and suffering – The subjective value of the pain, suffering, and losses in the quality of life you endure as a result of the accident and your injuries
- Incidental costs – Out-of-pocket costs you incur related to the accident such as the costs of transportation needed for medical appointments
- Repair expenses – Repair or replacement expenses for your vehicle and any personal property that was damaged as a result of the accident
Reasons to Seek Representation for a Truck Accident Case in Summerville
It’s important to remember that truck accident cases are much more complicated than standard car accident cases. You can benefit from experienced legal representation after a Summerville truck accident by selecting a lawyer with specific experience handling truck accident cases. An experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer will
- Know the state and federal trucking laws that apply to your case
- Have the resources needed to conduct an investigation and gather and analyze the large amounts of evidence that truck accident cases involve
- Determine all possible sources of insurance available to pay your claim
- Deal with the insurance companies and negotiate on your behalf
- Represent you in court if it’s necessary to take your case to trial
What a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
At Joye Law Firm, we take a personalized approach to every truck accident case we accept. When you hire us to represent you, our Summerville truck accident attorneys can help you by:
- Explaining your options for seeking compensation
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the truck accident to determine who was at fault
- Communicating with trucking industry representatives, insurance companies, and other attorneys on your behalf
- Negotiating aggressively to maximize your compensation during settlement talk
- Representing you at trial if you must sue in court for fair compensation
Talk to a Summerville Truck Accident Attorney Today
When you’re ready to talk to a Summerville attorney about your truck accident case, contact Joye Law Firm for a free case review. We can discuss the details of your injury claim and help you take your first steps toward recovery.