Semi-trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the roads. If a truck collides with your car or SUV, you can suffer a serious injury. At this point, a Charleston personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation from the at-fault trucker.
At the Shelly Leeke Law Firm, we encourage you to pursue damages from anyone responsible for your trucking crash. Our Charleston truck accident lawyer is available to review your claim and help you decide if now is the right time to submit a personal injury claim. For more information, please reach out to us.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Charleston
Over 500,000 trucking crashes are reported in the United States annually, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These crashes cause both injuries and fatalities. They occur for many reasons, such as:
A trucker can lose focus behind the wheel due to the fact that they are focused on something other than safe driving. If a trucker is driving while distracted, they can cause an accident. The truck driver can injure or kill other motorists or pedestrians in the crash and be held accountable for their negligence.
Truck drivers can face tight deadlines. Even though they are cargo heavy cargo, truckers may choose to drive faster than the posted speed limit. If a trucker speeds, they may not be able to stop quickly enough to prevent a collision.
A truck driver may spend a long time traveling from point A to point B. It is a trucker’s responsibility to take breaks and make sure that they are well-equipped to drive safely. If a truck driver feels exhausted, they may be prone to errors, which can lead to a crash.
It is illegal for any motorist to drive while intoxicated. If a trucker decides to operate their vehicle while drunk, they can cause serious harm. An intoxicated trucker can get into an accident and face criminal and civil penalties for their actions.
Improperly Loaded Truck
Vendors and distributors must load the vehicle correctly. If a truck is overloaded or too much weight is on one side of it, the trailer can tip or roll over when a trucker turns. When a tractor-trailer tips or rolls over, it can crash into other vehicles or pedestrians.
Causation and the severity of your injuries are important factors in determining your settlement award if you were hurt in a truck crash. A truck accident attorney can fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. They will learn about the cause of your trucking collision and help you determine how much your personal injury claim is worth.
How Much a Charleston Trucking Accident Claim Is Worth
There are many variables that impact how much money the plaintiff in a truck accident claim can receive in compensation. It is impossible to tell how much your truck accident settlement is worth without thoroughly assessing your case. The total you can get depends on several factors, such as:
- Your age and health
- The extent or severity of your injury
- Medical treatment needed following the accident
- The duration of treatment or therapy required
- How likely you are to recover from your injury
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- How your injury impacts your quality of life
- If you are partly responsible for your injury
There is no standard payout set for truck accident claims. However, the factors listed here can be used to calculate the amount of your settlement. Following your collision, a Charleston truck accident attorney can review your claim and estimate how much your case is worth before you file a claim for compensation.
How to Strengthen Your Trucking Accident Claim
After a trucking collision, there are steps you can take to strengthen your claim. By following these steps, you can improve your case against an at-fault truck driver and boost your chances of getting a fair amount of compensation from them. Here are steps for you to follow to solidify your case:
Move your car to a safe spot away from traffic and contact 911 to report your trucking crash. Medical professionals will come to the accident scene to treat you and anyone else who has suffered an injury. In addition, police officers will arrive at the scene, collect information from you and others involved in the collision, and prepare an accident report.
Get Medical Treatment
If you forgo medical treatment, you may miss out on an opportunity to identify and treat a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or another trucking accident injury that will affect you long into the future. Do not try to “tough it out” in the moments following your trucking crash. Go to a doctor, undergo any evaluations that they request, and follow their treatment instructions.
Take pictures and videos of the accident scene. You can capture photos and videos of any damage to your car, your injuries, and any other evidence from the scene. Each piece of evidence that you collect can be used to compel a judge or jury to rule in your favor if you file a personal injury claim.
Avoid Social Media Posts
You may be tempted to publish content on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and other social media platforms about your trucking crash. Resist the urge to do so. Otherwise, any content that you share on social media may be used against you if you submit a truck collision claim.
Do Not Accept Responsibility for the Crash
You are not responsible for your crash, and you should not be held accountable for it. As such, do not say you may even be partly responsible for your collision. If you do, you could compromise your argument against a negligent trucker.
Consult with a Truck Accident Lawyer in Charleston
Schedule a consultation with a truck accident attorney in Charleston who can take a look at your case. Choose a lawyer who has an outstanding track record in trucking collision cases. By partnering with an attorney who has helped past clients get their desired case results, you can boost your chances of securing the maximum amount of damages.
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm has a wealth of experience in trucking crash cases. Our Charleston trucking accident lawyer can help you file your lawsuit and prepare a compelling argument against a negligent trucker. To learn more, please get in touch with us.
How Medical Expenses Are Paid After a Truck Accident
Following a truck accident, you have options available regarding payment for medical services. If you have no health insurance, you can elect to pay out of pocket using a payment plan. On the other hand, if you have health insurance, you may choose to pay out of pocket or submit the expenses to your auto coverage’s personal injury protection (PIP) policy for reimbursement if you have it.
If you suffer an injury in a left-turn accident or any other type of collision, you may be able to hold the at-fault trucker responsible. Along with this, if a truck defect contributed to your crash, you may be able to sue the truck driver’s employer. To determine who you should sue, it is beneficial to get help from a Charleston trucking accident attorney.
A trucking accident attorney in Charleston can help you figure out who is responsible for your crash. They will also look at your medical expenses and other losses that you have incurred. Next, they will make sure that you submit your claim in accordance with South Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.
How Much Time You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
In South Carolina, you have up to three years from the date of your truck collision to sue anyone responsible for it, per the statute of limitations. It is in your best interests to file your personal injury claim as soon as you can following your trucking crash. If you choose not to do so, you could lose your opportunity to get compensation from anyone who caused your crash.
A trucking accident lawyer in Charleston can submit your claim before the statute of limitations to do so lapses. Initially, they will ask you questions about your accident and learn as much as they can about your case. Then, they will file your claim and help you build your argument.
It can take months or years to resolve a truck accident lawsuit. Regardless, your attorney remains committed to your case. They help you put together an argument that shows a judge or jury that you deserve the most damages possible.
How Much Money You Can Get in a Trucking Accident Lawsuit
There is no limit on how much money you can get in a trucking accident case. You can ask for any amount of economic and non-economic damages in your lawsuit. Your attorney can help you calculate your damages and craft an argument that shows a judge or jury that you deserve this amount.
Economic damages are awarded based on medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses that you can quantify. Non-economic damages are provided for pain, suffering, and other subjective losses. Your lawyer will encourage you to pursue both economic and non-economic compensation and put you in the best position to secure these damages.
Just because you ask a defendant to pay you damages does not mean that you will receive the full amount that you request. You are still responsible for providing evidence to compel a judge or jury to rule in your favor. The defendant in your lawsuit may be inclined to propose a settlement if you have a strong case against them, too.
What to Do if You Get a Truck Crash Settlement Offer
There can be times when a plaintiff gets a settlement offer before their truck crash personal injury claim goes to trial. If you receive a settlement proposal, you have the option to approve, reject, or counter it. A trucking accident attorney in Charleston can help you decide what to do with a settlement offer.
Your attorney can explain how a personal injury settlement is determined and make sure that you submit a claim for a reasonable amount of damages. If a settlement offer is well short of what you are requesting in damages, your attorney may encourage you to decline it. If you do, you and your lawyer will continue to work together to strengthen your case.
The defendant in your lawsuit may propose multiple settlement offers prior to your truck crash trial. You are not obligated to accept an initial offer. If you receive a settlement proposal that lines up with your expectations, you can approve it, which can close your case.
How Likely It Is that Your Truck Accident Case Will Go to Trial
Most truck accident lawsuits are resolved before trial. The strength of your case, the severity of your injuries, and your attorney’s success in persuading a trucking company and their insurance provider to forgo a trial will all play a role in determining whether a judge or jury will decide your case.
If your lawsuit goes to trial, your attorney will make sure that you are prepared for all that the legal process entails. Your attorney can answer any questions you have about what can happen during your proceedings. They will help you establish realistic expectations for your trial.
During a trial, a judge or jury hears what both your attorney and the defendant’s lawyer have to say. Your attorney will attempt to convince a judge or jury that you deserve full damages, while the defendant’s lawyer will try to dispute any claims against their client. If your lawyer succeeds, you will be awarded 100% of the damages that you originally requested.
What to Look for in a Trucking Crash Lawyer
Not all personal injury lawyers handle truck collision cases. It is paramount to hire an attorney who understands the ins and outs of trucking crash lawsuits. This attorney will advocate for you and make sure that your legal rights are protected throughout your truck crash case.
It is beneficial to read an attorney’s client testimonials. Doing so can give you insights into what it is like to work with a lawyer. If you read through a lawyer’s client testimonials and believe the attorney may be a good choice, set up a date and time to discuss your case with them.
When you meet with a lawyer, share details about your case and listen to what they have to say about it. A lawyer will also provide honest and unbiased feedback about your claim. If an attorney believes you have a strong case, they will let you know.
Get Started with Your Charleston Truck Crash Lawsuit
The Shelly Leeke Law Firm is here to help you with your trucking crash claim. Our team can submit your claim right away. To find out more or request a free case consultation, please contact us today.