Unfortunately, truck and tractor-trailer accidents happen every day in South Carolina. If you’re involved in an accident with a truck, you might need to take time away from work (depending on the severity of your injuries), which means you’ll need financial compensation to help while you recover. It’s also possible that you might need to switch to a job that’s less physically demanding or even stop working for the foreseeable future.
That’s why it’s crucial to understand your rights after a truck accident. Below we’ll discuss some of the most common causes of truck accidents in South Carolina and how to get compensation if you or a loved one has been injured.
Our Clients Love Us
“Chappell Smith & Arden made my case absolutely painless. They were professional, diligent, compassionate and extremely attentive. Mark Chappell and his team went above and way beyond to make sure I was compensated for someone else’s wrongdoing.”
“They are absolutely AMAZING! It’s very rare to not only ﬁnd great customer service, but genuine people who care about their clients. They truly go above and beyond to help, even after they’ve helped with your claim.”
“Chappell Smith & Arden were our attorneys for our car accident case. They were very reassuring and patient with us during a long and stressful negotiation with the drivers Insurance company and were highly successful in arranging a deserved ﬁnancial settlement. We recommend Chappell Smith & Arden for whatever legal representation is needed.”
“Chappell Smith represented me in a workers comp case they did a wonderful job. Kind courteous and they actually care about their clients. They understand the stress these cases bring, especially for someone like me that suffers from PTSD. They actually take time and listen and are genuine when they ask if they can help you.”
“One of the “BEST” Law Firms. They treat you like family. They are always available when you need them. They work hard to get what you need and deserve. If you are looking for excellent representation, look no further. Chappell, Smith and Arden are here for YOU!”
Accident Statistics: Fatal Crashes Involving Large Trucks
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,965 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2020 alone. This number was a slight decrease from the 5,032 large-truck accident fatalities in 2019.
Additionally, about 40 percent of people killed in large-truck accidents were truck drivers, while the other 60 percent were occupants of other vehicles. The NHTSA also reported that 76 percent of fatal large-truck crashes happened during the week from 6 a.m. on Monday through 6 p.m. on Friday.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
Even when truck drivers follow all of the recommended safety precautions and procedures, accidents can still occur. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Drowsy Driving. Truck drivers often travel for long periods of time and are prone to accidents if they don’t stop to rest. Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of car and truck crashes in the U.S.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving, such as looking at your phone, is dangerous for any driver, but it can be especially dangerous when the driver is transporting a large truck or heavy load.
- Cars in blind spots. A large tractor-trailer typically has 4 blind spots, known in the industry as “no-zones.” These blind spots are especially troublesome when a truck changes lanes or makes right- or left-hand turns.
- Tire blowouts. Even though trucks are often inspected by the driver and regulators, blowouts happen on our roadways every day. By law, the truck driver is responsible for making certain all the rig’s tires are properly inflated. Over- or under-inflated tires are more likely to blow out, which can cause a driver to lose control of their truck. These blowouts also create obstacles in the road that other drivers must swerve to avoid.
Additional Dangers Of Accidents Involving a Truck
Due to their large size and heavy weight, trucks can cause severe damage and injury during an accident. Some of the most catastrophic truck accidents in Charleston, SC, include:
- Hazardous material accidents. Trucks carrying hazardous materials can be especially dangerous if they’re involved in a crash. These trucks often carry substances that can be flammable, corrosive, toxic or explosive. Crashes involving hazardous loads can be deadly, not just for the truck driver and other motorists involved but also for first responders and cleanup crews.
- Head-on or rear-end accidents. These types of accidents usually occur when a truck driver doesn’t utilize their brakes in time and are often attributed to poor road conditions (slick or icy) or distracted or drowsy driving. Head-on and rear-end crashes are the most deadly type of truck crashes, accounting for about 73 percent of all fatal tractor-trailer crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Jackknife accidents. Jackknifing occurs when a truck driver applies their brakes too sharply or loses traction, which causes the trailer or bed to slide 90 degrees toward its cab. When this occurs, a truck can often take up several lanes of traffic, and this blockage can cause a multiple-vehicle accident.
- Rollover accidents. Trucks have a high center of gravity that can become unstable under poor weather conditions or when taking a turn too sharply or failing to navigate a steep incline or decline. An incorrectly loaded trailer can also make a truck “topsy-turvy.” Properly loaded and balanced cargo and quality training can substantially reduce the chance of a rollover.
- Underride accidents. Underride crashes can occur when a vehicle becomes wedged into the rear of the truck or underneath the trailer. This type of accident can cause catastrophic injuries and severe damage to vehicles.
Why Hire A Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer?
At Chappell, Smith & Arden, P.A., our Charleston injury attorneys understand how to determine liability in truck crashes, and we know the rules and regulations that surround the trucking industry across the U.S. We’ll put our negotiating skills and experience to work for you to craft an effective winning legal strategy. Your initial consultation is always free, so contact us today and let us take care of your claim so you can focus on healing.
Holding Negligent Parties Accountable
$1.2 million Multiple vehicle tractor-trailer wreck
$1.1 million Dump truck accident
$800 thousand Head-on truck collision
$600 thousand Catastrophic car accident
$550 thousand T-bone collision with 18-wheeler
$500 thousand Logging truck accident
This list is not a description or characterization of the quality of the ﬁrm’s representation and is in no way a guarantee of a speciﬁc result for your case. Every case is diﬀerent, and our South Carolina injury lawyers and the court will evaluate each case on its own merit.
Compensation After a Truck Accident In Charleston, SC
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash, you could be entitled to compensation for both monetary losses caused by the accident (such as property damage, medical expenses and lost wages) as well as pain and suffering.
South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying damages. You can recover damages as long as a judge finds that you weren’t more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, although your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your assigned fault.
That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident so they can investigate your case, preserve evidence and work to reduce your liability.