While truck accidents are less common than car accidents, they’re also much more severe. In 2019 alone, 67 fatal accidents in South Carolina involved trucks. Trucks are also more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents, which have a higher risk of fatality.
In addition to the increased risk, commercial drivers often work for trucking companies with their own legal teams. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you need a Spartanburg truck accident lawyer on your side. You can depend on Hernandez & Cabra to protect your rights and secure compensation for you. Call our auto accident lawyers at 864-501-4384 today for a free consultation.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you should stop at the scene of the accident and remove yourself from harm’s way. Leaving the scene of an accident could put you at risk for hit-and-run charges. Once you’re in a safe, location, you should:
Call for Help
If you or anyone else has been injured in the accident, you should call 911. Otherwise, you should call the non-emergency police number so that the accident can be reported.
Assist Others and Exchange Information
Check to see if anyone at the scene of the accident needs help or assistance. Collect contact and insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident. You’ll need this information when you report the accident to your insurance company.
Document the Scene
Use your phone to take photos of the accident scene. Try to capture images from as many angles as possible. These pictures can help to recreate the accident later on.
Speak With Witnesses
Talk to anyone that may have witnessed the accident and request their contact information. A witness may be able to support your version of events later on.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured, it’s important to get medical attention. Many injuries, including internal bleeding, aren’t immediately noticeable. Medical records can also be valuable evidence later on.
Contact an Attorney
After an accident, it’s best to reach out to an experienced Spartanburg truck accident lawyer right away. Hernandez & Cabra can negotiate with insurance companies and will fight to collect all the compensation you’re entitled to.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
Truck accidents can be more damaging than other types of accidents, and because of that, truck drivers are required to carry more liability. At a minimum, a commercial truck driver must carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance. Truckers may be required to carry additional coverage based on the type of freight they’re transporting. For example, private drivers transporting hazardous materials may need to carry a minimum of $5,000,000 in coverage.
In South Carolina, you can recover damages even if you are partially responsible for the accident. As long as you are determined to be no more than 50% at fault, you can sue the truck driver for your damages. However, the percentage of damages you can collect will be reduced by the percentage of fault you hold. If you are 10% at fault, you are only entitled to 90% of damages.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
While it’s always smart to contact an attorney after an accident, it’s especially important to contact a lawyer after a truck accident. Truck drivers often work for large companies that have significant legal representation. You’ll need your own representation to ensure that your rights are protected. A Spartanburg truck accident lawyer can handle:
Attorneys will investigate your accident and will collect evidence that supports your claim. The investigation process could include speaking with witnesses, collecting GPS data from both vehicles, and examining the scene of the accident. If necessary, a lawyer may work with professionals like expert witnesses.
Filing a Claim
A lawyer can make sure that your claim is filed quickly and correctly. Even if your case is fairly complex, an attorney will work to resolve the claim as swiftly as possible. Entrusting your claim to a lawyer will allow you to focus on your recovery.
Insurance companies frequently use high-pressure tactics to convince accident victims to accept a settlement that’s far less than what a claim is worth. An attorney can handle all negotiations, which means you won’t have to deal with insurance adjusters.
Insurance companies want to avoid going to trial, which is why most accident claims are settled out of court. However, if your case does go to trial, you can count on your lawyer to provide you with excellent representation. By working with an experienced attorney, you can increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you’re entitled to compensation for your damages. Since South Carolina uses a modified comparative fault system for accidents, you can even recover damages if you’re partially at fault for the accident. The types of compensation you can recover are:
Economic damages are designed to compensate you for financial losses directly related to your accident. Damages you can claim include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Cost of car repairs
- Loss of use of property
- Additional monetary losses
Non-economic damages provide compensation for non-financial hardships you’ve experienced because of the accident. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Fear of loss, illness, or injury
While other types of damages are designed to compensate accident victims for their losses, punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party. Punitive damages are not awarded in every truck accident claim and are awarded on a case-by-case basis. These types of damages are typically applied in cases that involve serious negligence or wrongdoing.
How Much is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
The total value of a truck accident claim can vary significantly based on the specifics of the case. Many factors need to be considered when determining what a claim is worth, including the facts of the case, insurance policy limits, and the severity of any injuries.
Hernandez & Cabra can assess your claim and help you determine what it’s actually worth. We’ll make sure that you receive compensation that reflects the true value of your claim.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
Accident claims must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. The statute of limitation in South Carolina is fairly strict, and exceptions to this deadline are rare. It’s best to contact an attorney and file a claim as soon as possible.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
Many factors need to be considered when determining fault in a truck accident. While one driver could be fully responsible for the accident, it’s also possible that the drivers are both partially at fault. In addition to the truck driver, there are other parties that could bear some fault, including the trucking company and the vehicle manufacturer.
To determine fault, it’s necessary to collect evidence that helps to reconstruct the accident. This could include photos, video footage, and witness testimony. You can use that evidence to show that the other driver was negligent and is liable for the accident.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver Was Negligent?
Under South Carolina law, there are three types of negligence that may apply in a truck accident case. They are:
- Negligence: The driver failed to take reasonable action, which lead to harm
- Per Se Negligence: The driver violated a statute, ordinance, or other regulation
- Modified Comparative Negligence: If you are partially responsible for the accident, but are not more than 50% at fault, you can receive reduced damages.
All drivers are expected to be careful when on the road, and commercial truck drivers are held to a particularly high standard. We can prove negligence by showing that the other driver failed to show reasonable caution, and establishing that their actions lead to the accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Because a commercial truck driver is working for an employer, there are many other parties that could be held liable for an accident. Potentially liable parties include:
- Trucking companies
- Vehicle manufacturers
- The company responsible for loading the truck
Hernandez & Cabra will identify all liable parties and hold them responsible. We conduct detailed investigations of every claim that we handle. Because of that, we’re able to build strong cases against any party that showed negligence.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Trucks are far more dangerous than other vehicles on the road. Even minor mistakes can have devastating consequences. Some of the more common causes of accidents include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Poor training
- Overloaded or improperly secured cargo
- Equipment malfunctions
- Drug use
- Adverse weather or road conditions
Call Our Spartanburg Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Hernandez & Cabra has extensive experience with car and truck accident cases. We’ve helped many accident victims in the Spartanburg area and have a strong track record of success. Our team is dedicated to what we do and will fight hard to deliver the results that you deserve.
Truck accidents are much more complex than car accidents and often have more serious consequences. In many cases, it’s necessary to take legal action against multiple parties, which makes proper representation important. At Hernandez & Cabra, we work on contingency, which means you won’t owe anything until we recover damages for you. If you want the best attorneys on your side, call us today at 864-501-4384.