Trucks carry large amounts of cargo from place to place. They weigh substantially more than other vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, and SUVs. A truck’s massive size presents many dangers. It makes it difficult to start and stop. It also limits a driver’s ability to see other vehicles around it. All these facts illustrate the risk of a severe accident occurring with a commercial truck or 18-wheeler.
If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck in Charleston, you deserve compensation.
Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney handles all forms of motor vehicle accidents, including often-complex truck crashes. will see to it that you are covered for your damages. Call 843-701-8029 to find out how we can help.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Charleston
Truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons including the following:
- Driver negligence: An accident may occur due to a driver’s negligence. Activities such as distracted driving and failure to obey the rules of the road increase the risk of an accident.
- Fatigue: South Carolina law mandates truck drivers cannot drive for more than 8 hours without taking a 30-minute break. However, many companies and drivers do not pay attention to this law. When drivers operate for long hours, they may grow tired and risk causing an accident.
- Speeding trucks: A truck’s large size means it needs extra time to stop. If a truck is speeding, it can be particularly dangerous as it may make it unable to brake safely in time.
- Insufficient training: Drivers should be extensively trained before driving a truck. However, if a trucking company is short-staffed, they may send a driver onto a road before they are fully qualified to navigate it.
- Mechanical issues: Trucks require regular maintenance and inspections. If they are not well maintained, they may break down on the road causing an accident.
- Improper cargo load: Many large trucks carry cargo that must be loaded properly. An improper loading method can cause a truck to tip over, or it can cause the cargo to spill on the road and result in an accident with another vehicle.
Who is At Fault When a Truck Accident Occurs?
After a truck accident occurs, it requires considerable analysis to determine who’s at fault. Here are the possibilities.
- The truck driver: The truck driver may be at fault if they deliberately broke the rules of the road. But in some cases, the company will take responsibility for the driver’s actions.
- The trucking company: The trucking company will be responsible if they forced the driver to drive excessive hours or failed to properly maintain the vehicle.
- The maintenance or repair company: The repair or maintenance company may be liable for damages if the trucking company did their part in the upkeep of the vehicle but the performed was not up to standards.
- The cargo loader: In some instances, a third-party company may be brought in to load cargo. If the cargo was not loaded correctly and an accident occurred, the cargo loader may be responsible.
- The vehicle manufacturer: The vehicle manufacturer may be responsible if the truck’s faulty parts caused a malfunction that led to the accident.
Your Charleston truck accident lawyer will help you determine who is at fault for the accident, so you know who to target for damages.
What are the Different Types of Truck Accidents?
There are several types of truck accidents that can happen on the road. These include:
- Rollover accidents: Trucks tend to be top heavy. If they are carrying improperly packed cargo, and/or, if the driver drives negligently, it can cause the truck to roll over.
- Rear-end collisions: Because trucks are so big and heavy, they need extra time to stop. If the driver is speeding or not paying attention, they may not stop on time causing them to rear-end the car in front of them.
- Jackknife accidents: Jackknifing accidents happen on trucks that have articulated joints between the tractor and trailer. If drivers brake too hard or take turns too quickly, it causes the trailer to swing around. The truck then curves erratically and the trailer swings.
- Wide turn accidents: Because trucks are so large, they need extra room navigating turns. However, when drivers are driving intoxicated or fatigued, they may not turn properly causing their trailers to swing into other vehicles.
- Underride accidents: Underriding can happen when a car crashes into the side or back of the truck and slides underneath. They are extremely dangerous and can lead to crushing accidents. Fortunately, most trucks are now installed with guards that prevent deadly crashes.
- Sideswipe accidents: Because trucks are so big, it’s easy for drivers not to see cars to the side of them. If a car falls into a truck driver’s blind spot, the driver may try to move over without seeing the car, causing a sideswipe accident.
- Head-on collisions: Head-on collisions happen when truck drivers loose control of their vehicle and drift out of their lane into the flow of oncoming traffic. They can occur due to negligence or recklessness.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Charleston Truck Accident?
The damages you can claim in a Charleston truck accident will vary depending on your personal and professional situation and the extent of your losses. They may include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Current and future lost wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
Your Charleston truck accident lawyer will let you know which damages you are eligible to collect and how much they are worth.
Contact a Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer to Begin Your Case
If you were hurt due to a truck driver or a truck company’s reckless actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Trust Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney to help you obtain justice from a negligent trucker or company. We will get to know you personally and consider the circumstances of your case carefully.
Our team is experienced, knowledgeable and known for winning results. We fight passionately to help you win your case.
Don’t delay, call Trey!