According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), more than 5,000 collisions on South Carolina roads involved truck trailers in 2016, including almost 1,200 crashes that resulted in serious injuries and 76 that involved fatalities. SCDPS defines a truck trailer to include large and heavy trucks, such as semis, tankers, flatbeds, auto transport trucks, and more. Drivers of truck trailers caused more than half of all South Carolina automobile accidents in 2016, making truck accidents a serious risk in Greenville and throughout the entire state.
Truck accidents create larger challenges than other accidents for each party involved due to the increased regulations surrounding truck trailers and the likelihood of more severe injuries and property damage. If you have sustained an injury in a truck accident, you need a seasoned attorney who understands how to deal with the complexity and large insurance policies involved in truck accident cases. Call one of the skilled attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 to discuss the details of your Greenville, South Carolina, truck accident case.
Our Results in Truck Accident Cases
The legal team at the Hughey Law Firm has many years of combined experience negotiating settlements and litigating truck accident cases. Some of our recent results include a settlement for $750,000 for a truck driver who sustained an injury due to a defect in the highway, a $2,000,000 settlement for a motorcyclist after a truck hit and injured him, and a $5,425,000 settlement for a client who was paralyzed after a truck collided with his vehicle. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your specific case, we can promise to diligently pursue the best outcome given your circumstances.
What Types of Injuries Might Occur From a Truck Accident?
Injuries sustained in truck accidents aren’t much different than those sustained in other types of motor vehicle accidents, but the weight and force of a truck generally makes the injuries far more severe. Truck accidents are often more likely to be fatal, as well. The most common truck accident injuries include:
- Broken and crushed bones
- Deep lacerations and other minor cuts and scrapes
- Road rash for those that get ejected from a vehicle
- Head injuries that many times lead to traumatic brain injuries because of the impact
- Neck injuries including whiplash
- Back and spinal cord injuries that might lead to temporary or permanent paralysis
- Organ damage and severe internal bleeding
- Burns that might include severe scarring and disfigurement
Liable Parties in South Carolina Truck Accidents
Truck accident cases generally involve layers of complexities due to the large number of parties that can be involved in such lawsuits. South Carolina is a tort liability state, which means insurance companies and the court will calculate each party’s percentage of fault following an accident. Liability might fall solely on the truck driver, especially if he violated traffic regulations, such as drinking and driving or using a cell phone while driving. Other times, poor truck maintenance or a manufacturing defect in the truck might have led to the accident, making the trucking company or another third party liable. Finally, in some cases, multiple parties might share liability. For example, if a trucking company forces a driver to drive more hours per day than permitted under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations or to drive a truck that the company knows needs to be serviced, the driver and the trucking company might share responsibility.
Seeking Compensation in South Carolina Truck Accident Cases
If you have been injured in a truck accident, South Carolina law might entitle you to seek compensation for losses directly related to the accident. Settlements and awards by the court depend on the specific circumstances of each individual case, but some of the most common damages involved in truck accident cases are:
- Medical treatment, including ambulance and emergency services, hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, x-rays, medication, and more
- Lost wages for time away from your job as a result of your injuries
- Lost earning capacity in the event that you cannot return to your job or need to change careers
- Future medical expenses, including costs of long-term health care if you sustain a permanent disability
- Rehabilitation costs, such as physical therapy and assistive devices like wheelchairs
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of consortium
Comparative Negligence in South Carolina Trucking Accidents
When insurance carriers and trucking companies are named defendants in personal injury lawsuits, they generally use every tool in their arsenal to avoid paying a claim or reduce the value of a claim. Insurance companies may downplay injuries and deny claims altogether. In truck accident cases, insurance companies and trucking companies may also try to distance themselves from the at-fault truck driver. South Carolina’s comparative negligence laws provide defendants with extra incentive to attempt to shift liability.
South Carolina courts apply a modified comparative negligence rule in most personal injury cases. This means that once a court determines that a defendant was negligent, it assigns a percentage fault to each party to the case. The court then reduces any award to the plaintiff by his or her percentage of fault. For example, if a court determines that a plaintiff suffered $1,000,000 in damages but also was 20 percent at fault for the accident, the court would reduce the damages award to $800,000. In the event that plaintiffs are 50 percent or more at-fault for their own injuries, South Carolina law bars them from collecting any compensation.
A seasoned truck accident attorney who understands South Carolina’s doctrine of modified comparative negligence in personal injury cases will anticipate the defense’s strategies and advocate for you throughout the entire legal process.
Hire a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident, this is most likely a difficult time for you and your family. The severity of truck accidents often leads to life-altering injuries that create layers of physical, emotional, and financial stress for victims. Focus on your recovery and let an experienced attorney handle the legal complexities of your personal injury case. Call the Hughey Law Firm’s office at (843) 881-8644, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation and discuss the details of your Greenville truck accident case with a member of our legal team.