Large trucks and tractor-trailers are essential to our modern society. These vehicles transport food, clothing, fuel, livestock, and other commodities all over the country. In South Carolina, the trucking industry supports the commercial import market in Charleston. Commercial trucks can sometimes snarl traffic nearly all the way up the I-95 corridor—especially when they cause an accident.
Accidents involving large trucks or 18-wheel tractor-trailers often cause significant traffic disruptions, property damage, and serious injuries. The sheer size and weight of these massive vehicles magnify the scope of the damage far beyond ordinary motor vehicle accidents. Lawyers for big trucking companies make an even bigger mess for anyone injured in a trucking accident who pursues the compensation they deserve for their injuries. You need a lawyer who knows the system and how to fight back. The lawyers at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm won’t back down and will fight for your rights against these bully insurance lawyers.
Negligence, Error, and Defects: Causes of South Carolina Truck Accidents
Trucking is a heavily regulated industry. Many federal and state laws dictate driver training, health, and behavior. Drivers must complete regular safety certifications and physical examinations, and they are limited to certain amounts of drive time per day. Other laws require both truck owners and operators to perform and keep detailed records of routine inspections and maintenance. Despite this, accidents occur frequently and often have horrific consequences.
Although accidents can be caused by poor road or weather conditions, many more are caused by driver negligence and mechanical failures. Drivers are responsible for using their experience and judgment to protect the public and other motorists. Many truck accidents are caused by driver mistakes or negligence, including driving while fatigued or impaired, failing to perform appropriate inspections or safety checks, and improperly securing cargo. Drivers who fail to exercise caution and take reasonable measures to ensure public safety should be held accountable when their negligence leads to an accident.
Trucking company negligence can also contribute to roadway disasters. Many companies delay or avoid routine maintenance and inspections to save money or reduce the time their vehicles are off the road. This can lead to avoidable equipment failures or malfunctions that can cause drivers to lose control. Companies often set overly ambitious delivery deadlines, increasing the chances of drivers taking catastrophic risks like driving tired or impaired. When these companies put profits ahead of public safety, they need to be held responsible.
Some accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks are caused by mechanical or structural failure. In a recent report, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration identified brake failure as a causal factor in 30 percent of large-truck accidents. Other mechanical issues also frequently contribute to accidents, including power train failures, broken couplings, and tire separation or failure. Sometimes these issues are the result of inadequate maintenance, where the negligent driver or owner of the truck could be at fault. Other times, these failures are manufacturing or design flaws. In this case, an injured person may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its components.
These cases can be brutal fights against aggressive teams of corporate attorneys who don’t want to admit their vehicle or component is flawed and open the floodgates of liability. If your accident uncovers a defective product, you need a lawyer who will stand their ground against these corporate goons. The lawyers at the Shelly Leek Law Firm have your back, no matter how big your case gets.
18-Wheeler and Large Truck Accident Litigation
Recovering damages after a large truck and tractor-trailer accident can be just as messy and difficult to sort out as the accident itself. Many truck drivers are independent contractors rather than employees of the companies they drive for, and there are often multiple insurance policies and carriers involved. Pursuing negligence or product liability claims can involve companies and insurers in many locations across the country. Insurers will fight hard to avoid paying damages in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, so they don’t open the door for more claims. You need an attorney who will fight through the blizzard of paperwork and misdirection and focus on recovering what you deserve.
It’s often necessary to consult experts to determine an accident’s cause, especially if mechanical failure or structural issues are suspected. Often, multiple factors contribute to an accident, and multiple parties may be responsible for compensating victims for their damages. You need an experienced trucking accident legal team that understands how to negotiate with lawyers and insurance representatives to recover compensation from every responsible party.
Large truck accidents often cause large-scale property damage and severe injuries. Victims can suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussions, broken bones, spinal cord damage, lacerations, damage to internal organs, and other long-term or permanent conditions. Many multi-vehicle truck collisions are fatal. You may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other compensation for your injuries or for losing a loved one. Determining appropriate compensation for multiple victims of serious injury can be complicated and take significant time.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, don’t try to sort it out on your own. You need an attorney who understands these claims inside and out. The truck accident lawyers at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm will investigate and communicate with the insurance companies, attorneys, and experts involved. We will guide you through the process of valuing your losses and recovering what you deserve, from negotiation through litigation if necessary. We fight the insurance companies, so you don’t have to. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.