Being in a truck accident can be scary since trucks may weigh nearly 80,000 pounds. Truck accident victims may suffer severe injuries or even death after collisions. An experienced Greenville truck accident lawyer can offer you sound legal advice regarding your personal injury claim during such instances.
After a truck accident, it’s advisable to consider hiring a truck accident attorney. Dealing with insurance adjusters isn’t some DIY project. You require the legal prowess of lawyers who know how to handle personal injury claims in Greenville, South Carolina.
At Hernandez & Cabra, our truck accident lawyers are knowledgeable in federal and state traffic and personal injury laws. We are aware of the safety codes that trucking companies and drivers are required to follow. Our legal team is ready to look into all pieces of evidence, including cell phone records and toxicology reports, to determine if the truck driver is liable for your accident.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Safety Council, 5,005 people died in 2019 due to large truck collisions. This represents a 36% increase from the 3,686 deaths reported in 2010.
In South Carolina, large truck accidents led to 23 fatalities in 2019. Greeneville County reported 11 and 9 fatalities involving large trucks in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a truck wreck in Greenville, SC, you should remain calm and composed. Don’t panic. Remember, whatever you do after an accident can severely impact your claim. Here’s what the truck accident lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra recommend:
As soon as you’ve been involved in a crash, contact the police. This should be done by the side of the road since another reckless driver may end up colliding with the involved vehicles.
Once the police arrive at the scene, they’ll conduct investigations and question all involved parties. They will produce an incident report that your insurance carrier may require.
If you aren’t hurt after an accident, you should consider helping other parties at the scene. You can offer assistance if anyone is in danger. For example, one may be stuck in a burning car after a collision. During such a situation, you should use your best judgment and help them. Your quick actions may just save someone from being burnt alive after a truck wreck.
After an accident, you should obtain the truck driver’s name, the trucking company name, insurance details, and license plate details. Don’t forget to get details about the type of cargo the driver is ferrying.
Document the Scene and Speak with Witnesses
An experienced Greenville truck accident lawyer can use videos and photos to determine who is responsible for your damages. Make sure you capture evidence such as vehicle damage, visible injuries, road signs, and weather conditions. Photographs of lacerations on your body may help prove the severity of your injuries.
Seek Medical Attention
Never disregard medical attention after an accident. Insurance carriers may use this as a ground to deny your claim. Always visit a physician after an accident for a checkup. They will be able to determine if you require treatment for injuries you may have sustained at the scene of the accident.
Contact an Attorney
A skilled Greenville truck accident lawyer can help you throughout the claims process. You should reach out to Hernandez & Cabra to find out if you have a truck accident claim. Our legal team will look into the facts of your truck collision case and offer you an honest assessment regarding your case.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
The state of South Carolina applies the modified comparative fault rule when determining liability. To recover compensation for damages, you — the plaintiff — must prove that your fault for the truck accident isn’t more than 50%. If your fault for the crash is 51%, you won’t be eligible for any settlement.
Trucking companies and their drivers are required to follow both federal and state laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in charge of federal trucking regulations and policies. The body issues guidelines regarding truck maintenance, driver hours, truck weight, and commercial licensing.
In South Carolina, drivers and trucking companies must follow certain trucking regulations, including:
- Drivers must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Drivers who apply for a CDL should have undergone a medical exam and have a South Carolina driver’s license.
- Trucks should have electronic logging devices showing the number of drive hours.
- Trucking companies should also have hazmat endorsements to transport hazardous commodities.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Trucking laws are complicated. It’s improbable for a plaintiff to comprehend everything about such laws in one sitting. For this reason, you require the help of a truck accident lawyer near Greenville to protect your rights and interests.
At Hernandez & Cabra, our Greenville truck accident attorneys can help you with your truck accident claim through:
Hernandez & Cabra is ready to look into your truck accident case. Our lawyers will look into all the facts of your case and establish if the defendant broke any laws. We will probe surveillance feeds, maintenance logs, and dashcam footage to establish fault. Our legal team will determine whether or not the driver was well rested before the trip.
Filing a Claim
Our attorneys will conduct a conclusive investigation and file your claim before any deadlines. We will notify the insurance carrier on time to ensure you don’t lose the right to file a claim. Hernandez & Cabra will guide you throughout this process to make sure you don’t miss any step and end up jeopardizing your Greenville truck accident claim.
Our personal injury lawyers will aggressively negotiate with claims adjusters to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries. We will determine how much your truck accident claim is worth and then push for the best settlement. Hernandez & Cabra won’t rest until justice is served.
Personal injury cases are often settled without the need for litigation. However, there are instances when plaintiffs and defendants can’t reach amicable agreements. If out-of-court talks don’t bear fruit, our reputable personal injury law firm near Greenville is ready to help you secure a favorable ruling in court.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
If you have been hurt in a truck collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. An experienced Greenville truck accident attorney can help you secure the settlement you deserve after an accident. Here are the damages that you may be eligible to receive in a truck accident claim:
These are out-of-pocket expenses that have definite dollar amounts. They are easily calculable, including:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Vehicle damage
- Lost income and benefits
- Lost earning capacity
It is nearly impossible to assign precise monetary values to these damages. They are highly subjective, and they include:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of reputation
Judges and jurors award these damages to punish defendants for their extremely reckless actions. They are meant to deter them from repeating similar actions in the future. In South Carolina, these damages are capped at $500,000.
How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Every accident in South Carolina is different. The amount of compensation you may receive for your truck accident claim mainly depends on the facts of your case. Lawyers, insurance adjusters, judges, and jurors will consider the specific facts of your case when determining the value of your claim.
The severity of your injuries is a huge factor when determining the value of your claim. Flesh wounds won’t have the same value as permanent brain damage or paralysis. Your claim will be more valuable if you suffer catastrophic injuries.
Liability and insurance policy limits also have to be considered when determining the value of your case. If a truck driver was drunk during the time of your accident, you may receive more compensation for your damages. Policy limits determine the maximum amount an insurer may payout as per their standard operating procedures.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
South Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims. This time limit applies from the date of accident or death. If you don’t file your truck accident claim in Greenville, SC, during the allotted time, the state will bar you forever from filing a personal injury claim.
However, if the government is to blame for your damages after an accident, you have two years to file your claim.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
To determine fault after a truck wreck, a reputable Greenville truck accident lawyer should objectively look into all the facts of your case. At Hernandez & Cabra, our attorneys will review logbooks, truck maintenance data, cargo information, dashcam footage, black box data, police reports, and eyewitness statements to establish liability. Our legal team is also prepared to consult professionals like doctors and accident reconstruction experts to determine who is responsible for your accident.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver was Negligent?
The personal injury lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra can prove the truck driver’s negligence using these four elements:
- Duty of care: Did the defendant have a legal obligation to offer reasonable care?
- Breach of that duty: Did the driver’s action amount to a breach of the duty of care?
- Causation: Did their recklessness cause the accident?
- Damages: Did the plaintiff suffer damages due to the defendant’s negligence?
Who Can be Held Liable?
After a truck accident, victims may wonder who is to blame for their accident. A seasoned Greenville truck accident attorney can conduct an extensive investigation to determine who is liable for your truck accident. In some instances, you may be able to sue more than one party for your accident.
In most trucking accidents, the truck driver bears the blame. Investigations often reveal their negligent actions, like distracted driving, speeding, or failing to yield the way, that resulted in an accident.
Other parties that may be at fault for your truck wreck in Greenville include:
- The trucking company
- The company that loaded the truck
- Vehicle or part manufacturers
- Local governments or contractors
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck drivers that don’t observe traffic rules in South Carolina risk causing traffic accidents. Some of the common causes of truck wrecks in Greenville, SC, include:
- Driver fatigue: Driving without resting due to demanding schedules may result in accidents.
- Distracted driving: Actions like talking to passengers, texting, reading social media posts, or adjusting the GPS can cause truck wrecks.
- Reckless driving: Aggressive driving and speeding are careless actions that can lead to collisions.
- Drug use: Alcohol and drugs can impair one’s judgment, resulting in an accident.
- Oversized or improperly secured freight: Both of these actions can interfere with the center of gravity of a truck, making it harder for a driver to control their commercial truck.
- Poorly trained or inexperienced drivers: Drivers operating big rigs should be qualified and experienced, ensuring all road users are safe.
- Lack of truck maintenance: Truck parts like brakes, suspensions, engines, and tires should be properly maintained to prevent avoidable accidents.
- Equipment malfunction: Defective vehicle parts such as brakes may force a driver to lose control, injuring other road users.
- Poor road conditions: Potholes, road cracks, road debris, icy roads, and missing road signs are issues that can lead to truck collisions in Greenville, SC.
Schedule Your Free Case Review Today With a Greenville Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident can have catastrophic effects. You may sustain severe injuries that can completely turn your life upside down. A seasoned lawyer can help you understand your options after an accident, guiding you throughout the claims process.
The personal injury lawyers at Hernandez & Cabra are located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our reliable law firm also serves other counties within the state, including Lexington, Cherokee, Pickens, and Laurens. We handle various types of personal injury cases like auto accidents, product liability cases, and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis.
Contact us today to book your free case review. Let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve before it’s too late.