When a large truck like an 18-wheeler is involved in an accident, the aftermath can be devastating. Not only are injuries often catastrophic, but legal complexities abound in seeking accountability and fair compensation. A Charleston 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer is critical for victims and families to successfully overcome daunting physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
Truck crash cases demand an intricate legal response to navigate state and federal commercial transport regulations, properly preserve evidence, and quantify both economic and non-economic damages. With compassionate legal guidance, justice and compensation can potentially help you move forward. Working with a Charleston truck accident lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm can provide some guidance so you know the next step to take.
Possible Damages to Claim in a Truck Accident
Claimants may be eligible to pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages refer to quantifiable monetary losses like medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings capacity, and property damage. Non-economic damages are more subjective, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
The injuries from truck crashes often require extensive medical treatment over a long recovery period. Reconstructive surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation are common needs. The medical costs from a truck accident can quickly exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lost income during recovery and reduced ability to work in the future must also be accounted for.
South Carolina law allows for non-economic damages as well. The pain, emotional distress, and impact on your quality of life that can result from severe injuries merit significant compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Charleston can help claimants pursue the full scope of damages they may be entitled to.
How a Lawyer Investigates the Case
The lawyer will collect police reports, statements from witnesses, photographs of property damage, medical reports, and bills. Vital evidence like ELD (electronic logging device) truck data, maintenance records, and driver log books that could be destroyed must be obtained fast. Pictures of injuries while still new are also important.
The 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer in Charleston at Shelly Leeke Law Firm will spend significant time researching the trucking company’s and driver’s safety records. If there were violations of federal trucking regulations like hours of service rules before the crash, it would establish negligence. All insurance policies would be gathered as well to determine the applicable coverage and options for compensation.
Building a convincing case requires legal experience along with extensive resources devoted to uncovering every detail. By demonstrating negligence clearly caused the accident and injuries, maximum recovery can be demanded. While there is no guarantee on how much compensation or any at all; however, having all of the evidence together can provide more potential.
Proving the Liability
Potentially successfully winning compensation after a truck accident depends on proving liability. Truck drivers must adhere to strict limits on their driving time between rest breaks to avoid fatigued operations. Failing to properly inspect and maintain vehicles as required makes carriers liable as well.
If trucking companies do not adequately train drivers or enforce safety protocols, they breach their duty of care. Typical examples of unsafe behaviors like speeding, distraction, impairment, or aggressive driving would show negligence as well. By demonstrating improper conduct by either the truck driver or trucking company directly causing the crash, fault can be assigned.
When multiple parties may be liable, as with the truck driver and carrier, an attorney will identify all avenues for claiming damages. Securing evidence supporting liability is the essential first step toward ultimately recovering the compensation their client deserves. Attorneys devote substantial effort to building a strong liability case.
When It’s a State or Government Truck Involved
When a government-owned vehicle like a state DOT truck or city public works truck causes an accident, special legal considerations apply. Injured parties must file written notice and detailed documentation to support their losses with the agency quickly, often within just days or weeks. An attorney knows the correct individual and office the notice should go to.
Strict compliance with all procedural rules is essential to preserve the ability to eventually file a lawsuit. Caps are also often placed on categories or total amounts of damages that can be recovered from state and local authorities. Economic losses may also be compensated differently than non-economic claims.
Navigating the complexity requires an attorney intimately familiar with the provisions outlined under South Carolina tort law. With intricate requirements and limitations, having skilled legal guidance is critical after an accident with a government truck. Their expertise preserves the window for taking action and obtaining fair compensation despite immunity hurdles.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of a Loved One
When truck accidents result in a wrongful death, families suffer emotionally and often financially. South Carolina law allows specified surviving relatives to pursue legal action to hold negligent parties accountable. Successful claims can recover damages meant to compensate for both their tangible and intangible losses.
Eligible family members, such as spouses, children, or parents of the deceased, must open an estate with the probate court within three years. An attorney then files a wrongful death lawsuit on the estate’s behalf seeking damages. Compensation can include lost income and benefits, funeral costs, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering damages.
The complex calculations used to quantify wrongful death claims require expert analysis by legal professionals. Ongoing living expenses, future lost earnings and benefits, and calculating the intangible losses all have specific methodologies. Navigating the litigation process further warrants guidance only an experienced attorney can provide.
Contact a Charleston 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accident cases demand the highest level of legal skill, resources, and determination in order to potentially get the compensation you are looking for. The attorneys at Shelly Leeke Law Firm have extensive experience taking on trucking companies and winning results for those who experience injuries and grieving families. Contact us for a free consultation to see how we can possibly help you make the next move in your case.