Truck drivers and truck owners in any state must follow a series of federal and state laws related to the safe operation of a commercial vehicle. Should the driver or owner be found in violation of any of these rules after causing a crash with injuries to other people, those parties could be found negligent in a personal injury lawsuit.
Once you hire a truck accident lawyer from our team in Spartanburg to represent you, we can begin working on your case immediately and at no upfront cost. We start by offering all potential clients a complimentary case review, in which you can learn all about our services and contingency fee structure at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC. We’re here to discuss your possible right to compensation.
In This Article
- Damages That May Be Recoverable in a Truck Crash Case
- How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help with Your Case
- Working with Our Spartanburg Personal Injury Team
- Factors That Could Prove Negligence in Your South Carolina Case
- Common Causes of Truck Collisions
- Let Us Help You Seek Compensation from the Liable Party
Damages That May Be Recoverable in a Truck Crash Case
With the extreme size and weight of trucks, significant injuries often occur any time one of these vehicles strikes a passenger car. Because each case is different, the compensation you can seek when a truck driver or owner was at fault can vary.
In general, there are quite a few damages you may be able to recover after the crash, including:
- Hospital bills
- Ongoing treatment expenses
- Surgery costs
- Costs for physical therapy
- Wages lost during your recovery period
- Estimated wages that you will lose in the future because you cannot work as you did before the crash, called diminished earning capacity
- Physical and mental disabilities that appear after the crash
- Permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
Possible Damages for a Fatal Truck Accident
If the truck accident resulted in your loved one’s death, damages for their medical care, funeral and burial services, and loss of household support could be recoverable. Under S.C. Ann § 15-51-20, it may be possible to hold the at-fault parties responsible for your loved one’s death and the emotional and financial strain your family experienced as a result.
Our firm represents both truck accident victims and surviving family members seeking compensation. We can help you understand more about your rights and the options you have for pursuing justice and compensation during a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
For a legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Spartanburg, call 828.286.3866
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help with Your Case
When you hire Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, for representation in Spartanburg, you hand your legal responsibilities over to us. Doing so means that all communications regarding the case will come through our team. Our team will talk to the insurers, liable parties, and others involved in the case for you and ensure you understand any offers or requests they have.
We will also submit documents when the time comes, negotiate with insurance adjusters, issue statements on your behalf, and present the case in court if necessary. You can count on having your lawyer by your side fighting for your best interests until we get a settlement, win a court award, or get another outcome in your case.
Throughout the process, one of our attorneys will serve as your guide, offering advice and updates so that you can make informed decisions when the time comes. We’ve outlined two of the most vital steps our firm handles below.
Compiling Evidence to Construct a Case Against the Liable Party
Investigating the accident will help us pinpoint who to hold liable for your damages and build a solid claim or lawsuit for your financial recovery. One of the most crucial steps in a truck accident case is often sending a spoliation letter to the trucking company. This document demands the preservation and delivery of certain evidence, such as black box data, dashcam footage, and driver logs.
Depending on the needs and circumstances of your case, our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, may also:
- Interview eyewitnesses to the collision
- Review the police report for any indication of the truck driver’s fault
- Obtain video of the accident site
- Hire an accident reconstruction expert
- Gather your medical records and any relevant statements from your doctor
We aim to build the strongest possible case on your behalf before filing it with the insurance company or heading to court so that there is no question of your right to damages.
Calculating Your Case’s Value
Determining the exact amount to request in a truck accident settlement requires an in-depth review of your injuries and any other consequences you faced due to the wreck. This process will involve:
- Adding up bills you have already paid or accrued for vehicle damage and medical treatment
- Estimating your loss of income and benefits based on previous paychecks
- Reaching out to your employer about the accident’s effects on your job
- Speaking with medical professionals and rehabilitation specialists about your recovery and potentially permanent effects of your injuries
- Assigning a value to your non-economic damages based on industry standards and your economic losses
Our team will study your current damages and those you may experience in the future if your injuries have lasting effects. Using all of this information, we will calculate a range for what a fair settlement offer might look like. This can help inform our negotiations and make it easier to decide when to accept an offer from the insurers or the trucking company.
Feeling confident that you understand the potential value of your case is essential to ensuring you get justice by recovering sufficient compensation to cover the losses and expenses you incurred. If you are not sure how to uncover, document, and value each loss you experienced due to your wreck, you may want to work with an attorney to make sure you know how much your case might be worth.
Spartanburg Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
Working with Our Spartanburg Personal Injury Team
You can rest assured that our lawyer will work hard on your behalf, representing your interests in negotiations with the insurance company and in a court trial, should your truck accident case reach that point.
Moreover, you do not have to worry about affording our services—we represent all personal injury clients on a contingency basis. To recover our attorney’s fees, we must secure compensation for you, or you owe nothing. If we are successful in your case, our firm takes a percentage of the award, which we thoroughly discuss before you hire us.
Reaching out as soon as possible can help you make the most of our services. It will also help you avoid letting South Carolina’s filing deadline go by and thus losing your chance at compensation. S.C. Ann § 15-3-530 generally gives you only three years to act in a personal injury case. Note that deadlines could be different in wrongful death claims.
Factors That Could Prove Negligence in Your South Carolina Case
Several parties could be liable in your truck accident case. In fact, we may be able to name multiple parties in your claim or lawsuit, depending on how the collision happened. Most states follow a common law doctrine known as respondeat superior. This doctrine creates vicarious liability for the employer of a party who acts negligently and causes injuries on the job.
This applies in most truck collision cases when:
- The truck driver caused the crash.
- They were behind the wheel of the commercial vehicle when the wreck happened.
- The trucker was on the clock or working for their employer when the wreck occurred.
According to the South Carolina Judicial Branch, respondeat superior is in effect because of case law in the state. This means the South Carolina Supreme Court has addressed questions about these cases, and vicarious liability is well-established and commonly used in truck collision claims.
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Common Causes of Truck Collisions
There are many reasons why a commercial vehicle wreck might occur, and any of them that involved truck maintenance, loading, or driver negligence may result in a claim or lawsuit against the trucking company. Our attorneys know how to determine what happened to cause a wreck and how to prove it. Our investigators can prove negligence and liability in your case, building a claim that proves you were not responsible for your injuries. Below are a few common causes cited in truck accident cases:
Overloaded Vehicles and Shifting Cargo
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), trucks operating in South Carolina cannot exceed 80,000 pounds of gross weight when operating on interstate highways. Loading up a truck beyond the allowable weight can risk the load shifting or becoming unsecured, both of which can cause an accident. Whoever loaded or delegated the process of loading the truck could be liable, namely the trucking company, an employee, or the owner of the cargo.
Lack of Proper Licensing and Training
All truck drivers must hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a truck legally in South Carolina. If a driver was not holding a valid CDL at the time of an injury accident, this key piece of evidence could place liability on them for not carrying the proper credentials.
If the employer should have known or did know about this, the trucking company or truck owner also could be found liable for failing to verify their driver’s qualifications.
Truck Driver Errors
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), in 2017 alone, accidents involving semi-trucks resulted in 65 fatalities and 1,637 injuries. Truck drivers can end up causing accidents for various reasons, including:
- Distracted driving: If the truck driver was talking on a smartphone, texting, eating, or performing another task while driving, it could have distracted their focus from the road.
- Drunk driving: According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV), every truck driver must be willing to submit specimens for drug and alcohol testing to stay in compliance with CDL requirements.
- Fatigued driving: If the driver was on the road for too many hours, fatigue could cause them to fall asleep at the wheel or otherwise lose control of the vehicle.
An improper truck repair could lead to faulty brakes or another mechanical error, leading to a crash. In this case, a maintenance team may be responsible for failing to make the necessary repairs or replacements or performing them improperly.
A trucking company could also be liable for failure to keep up with regular maintenance. Finally, a parts manufacturer may have played a role if it issued faulty truck parts, which then malfunctioned and caused a collision.
Let Us Help You Seek Compensation from the Liable Party
Count on a lawyer from our firm to protect your rights in a Spartanburg truck accident case. At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, our team knows that insurance companies in truck collision cases do not always treat the victim fairly. We can work to counteract the techniques insurers often use, helping you move toward the fairest possible settlement in your case.
Call us at (864) 582-1310 today. We are ready to review your case for free.