Truck drivers, trucking companies, insurance carriers, or any other party named as a defendant in a truck accident injury suit will often go the extra mile to avoid paying damages. Insurance companies will deny claims on technicalities, downplay injuries, or claim that victims didn’t sustain their injuries in the truck accident. South Carolina applies a comparative negligence rule to personal injury cases, including those that involve truck accident. Comparative negligence, sometimes calledcomparative fault, is the notion of shared liability; if the court determines that the defendant was negligent, they assess the extent to which the plaintiff might have been at fault for the accident and their injuries by assigning a percentage blame to each party in the suit. The court reduces the plaintiff’s award by that percentage.
For example, you sue a famous cartoon coyote’s Acme Trucking Company for $500,000. The court finds that speeding in a truck carrying large amounts of TNT explosives is not only violating the law, but negligent too. Yet, you had a couple of cocktails at happy hour that caused you to hit the legal limit for a DUI. This might cause the court to rule that you were 50 percent at fault for the accident, so they will reduce the award to $250,000. A seasoned truck accident attorney can defend against counterclaims from the defense and seek the best outcome for your case.
For example, we are not content simply gathering existing medical records, negotiating with applicable insurers and settling your case. We track down witnesses, obtain security tapes and police records, depose law enforcement officials, and work with investigators and other professionals to recreate accident scenes and locate involved parties. This is the level of dedication and detail you can expect and deserve when working with Hughey Law Firm and our personal injury attorneys. We can also help uninsured clients locate health care providers who will provide ongoing treatment and defer payment until the legal case is resolved.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you have most likely experienced different types of loss on a grand scale. South Carolina law gives you the right to recover these damages in civil court. Specific damages vary based on circumstances, but these are some of the most common damages awarded by the court:
- Medical costs including ambulance and emergency services, surgery, radiology, follow-up visits, medication, and more;
- Future medical costs for severe injuries that require extensive recovery, multiple surgeries, and/or lifelong health care because of a permanent disability;
- Recovery and rehabilitation costs including physical therapy and assistive devices such as wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, canes, and more;
- Lost wages for missing work due to injury;
- Future lost wages when a truck accident injury prevents a victim from returning to work;
- Modifications that a victim must make to make their home more accessible such as ramps, handrails, and more; and
- Non-economic losses including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, scarring and disfigurement, and any other loss that might apply to your situation.
Our personal injury lawyers in Charleston, South Carolina, represent clients in all types of truck accident injury and wrongful death claims, including:
- Drunk truck driver and DUI accidents
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) violations
- Untrained, unlicensed truck drivers
- Improper truck maintenance
- Unsafe loads
- Jackknife accidents
Truck accident injuries don’t differ greatly from injuries that one might sustain in any other type of motor vehicle accident, except for their severity. The heavy weight and massive size of tractor trailers often result in catastrophic and severe injuries that are usually worse than car accident injuries. Truck accident injuries are also more likely to lead to death. The most common types of truck accident injuries include:
- Fractured, broken, and crushed bones
- Deep lacerations and cuts that might leave permanent scars
- Road rash if drivers or passengers are thrown from a motor vehicle
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries that might lead to temporary or permanent paralysis
- Head injuries which might include blunt force trauma or sudden jarring that leads to traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Organ damage and severe internal bleeding, often caused by broken ribs or vehicle parts that puncture an organ
- Severe burns if a fire or explosion occurs
The most recent data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) estimates that trucks were involved in more than 5,000 collisions in 2017, including more than 60 fatalities and almost 1,200 crashes resulting in injury. SCDPS includes semis, petroleum tankers, flatbed trucks, and auto-transport trucks in the truck tractor category. Truck drivers contributed to the collisions about half of the time.