18-wheeler truck drivers are among the most educated and well-prepared drivers. This is for obvious reasons, given the responsibility of safely maneuvering the roads with their bigger size and weight. Any accident with an 18-wheeler becomes consistently more disastrous than a collision with a typical family car, even one that might otherwise be a minor fender bender.
If you are involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler, call a South Carolina truck accident lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law for a case consultation. Our 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer in South Carolina can work on your behalf to negotiate with insurance adjusters and the trucking company lawyer to get you the highest possible compensation so that you can focus on healing from your injuries. This process can be stressful, but we can work together with you to get it handled.
Are 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents More Deadly than Car Accidents?
If you have lost a loved one in a lethal 18-wheeler truck accident and the truck driver is negligent, you may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. This may be used to cover funeral expenses, lost wages of the deceased, and any medical bills that resulted from the accident. In some circumstances, this may also cover grief and anxiety; you can work with one of our attorneys to determine if you are eligible for this.
18-wheeler truck accidents have much more of a chance of being fatal than a typical passenger vehicle. In the most recent reporting year, data from the FMCSA saw an 18% increase in fatalities resulting from big truck and bus accidents. There were 5,149 fatal accidents nationwide, with 127 of them happening in South Carolina.
Truck accidents are disproportionately lethal due to their size and weight. It cannot hurt to reach out for a case consult and see if you may be eligible for compensation. Allow your attorney to negotiate with insurance companies and lawyers so that you can focus on grieving.
Factors in South Carolina 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
18-wheeler truck accidents are caused by a wide range of factors, including driver negligence. However, many causes are due to third-party negligence, such as manufacturers, dock workers, etc. An experienced 18-wheeler truck accident attorney in South Carolina can help allocate fault and identify appropriate avenues for obtaining your compensation.
Some of the many reasons that 18-wheelers must be more cautious on the road include large blind spots, wider turn radius, and being thrown off balance by a poorly secured load. These may or may not be the truck driver’s fault, but an attorney may investigate them. Other factors that may mean a third party is responsible are things like improperly secured cargo loads or vehicle maintenance that falls on the trucking company.
There are many roles in keeping an 18-wheeler safe and functional. This includes people like the truck owner (individual or company) to ensure appropriate maintenance is performed on schedule, manufacturers providing quality parts, and mechanics to install these parts and perform the maintenance appropriately and safely. Failure in any of these roles can result in a lethal or life-changing accident.
A less considered but significant role is the team that loads the trucks. Commercial trucks, including 18-wheelers, can weigh around 120,000 pounds, much of which is cargo. This means that loading cargo improperly can cause a several thousand-pound weight shift that can affect how the truck drives and maneuvers.
Instances that may be the truck driver’s responsibility are related to their performance and requirements. Truck drivers have several requirements placed on them that determine when and how long they can drive. This is meant to ensure they are not overly tired and, therefore, impaired, but they are only sometimes followed appropriately, resulting in mistakes that can devastate and claim lives.
Common Injuries Sustained in 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
Large commercial vehicles often cause catastrophic damage. 18-wheeler truck accidents frequently produce severe and debilitating injuries, including but not limited to the following:
- Crush injuries and crush syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Loss of limb and amputation
- Severe burns
- Broken and fractured bones
In addition to injuries sustained in the crash, victims can suffer injuries due to dangerous and hazardous cargo. Some 18-wheeler trucks carry organic peroxides, explosives, flammable materials, and corrosive chemicals. According to a recent study, hazmat traffic accidents involving big rigs have doubled in the last 10 years.
Potential Damages in a Truck Accident Claim in South Carolina
Damages in an 18-wheeler truck accident can vary considerably. Personal injury claims are unique, and their value depends on the particulars of a case. Possible damages a South Carolina personal injury lawyer may be able to recover include:
- Compensation for medical expenses
- Loss of future income
- Lost wages if you are unable to work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Emotional distress
Financial compensation cannot replace what was lost. However, it may provide resources to help mitigate the damaging consequences of your accident.
How a South Carolina 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
After an accident, you may be unsure of what action to take after a collision with an 18-wheeler. Your top priorities should be seeking a medical evaluation immediately and calling Shelly Leeke Law. This will set the foundation to allow you to focus on healing and recovery while your lawyer can handle negotiations and fight for your right to compensation.
Many people initially think they will not need an attorney or are not injured. However, it can take days for a soft tissue injury to appear. If this is the point that you decide you need a lawyer, it may be too late to recover valuable evidence for your case both medically and at the scene of the accident.
After the initial few days, our attorney may ask you to refrain from speaking much about the accident, keep track of medical evaluations and documents, and take pictures of any injuries as they heal. These will help document your recovery process and identify any potential long-term needs.
Contact a South Carolina 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, make contact with one of our attorneys immediately. We are available 24/7 for a free consultation to determine your eligibility for compensation. Our South Carolina 18-wheeler truck accident attorney can help you sleep better knowing someone is fighting for you.