Anybody who is involved in a truck accident is going to suffer some sort of injury. However, aside from motorcycle accidents, truck accidents are the most serious kind. People who are involved in a tractor-trailer accident often end up in the hospital. Many of them need surgery. This is why Greenville truck accident attorneys meet with so many truck accident victims every year.
One of the things that make truck accidents different from regular motor vehicle accidents has to do with liability. Commercial truckers are held to a much higher standard than regular drivers. If they crash into your car or SUV, they should be held accountable. The best way to make sure this happens is to hire a skilled personal injury attorney in Greenville, South Carolina.
Here, we’ll talk about how your attorney can prove liability in a South Carolina truck accident. We’ll also briefly discuss the federal regulations these drivers are required to follow. If they violate any of these standards, they can be found liable for your truck accident. If you still have questions after reading this short article, just call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation.
Your Greenville Truck Accident Attorney Will Still Need to Prove Negligence
Regardless of the type of accident you’re involved in, your Greenville truck accident attorney will have to prove negligence. That’s the only way to prove liability. According to the American Bar Association, you must prove four elements if you want to prove the defendant was negligent. These elements are as follows:
Duty of Care
You first have to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care – In a truck accident case, this is easy to do. All motorists owe a duty of care to other people on the road. This is even more true of commercial truck drivers. They drive a truck for a living. They owe you a special duty of care. They should know better than anyone else how important it is that they be careful.
Breach of Duty
Your Greenville truck accident attorney must show that the trucker breached their duty of care – This is when things get tricky. It’s not enough to show that you were involved in a truck accident. You actually have to prove that the defendant didn’t behave the way any other truck driver would have in the circumstances. One way to do this is by showing that the defendant violated a traffic law. However, you can also demonstrate that they violated the federal guidelines set forth for commercial drivers.
You must prove that you were injured – As mentioned above, it’s not enough that you were in a truck accident. If you can’t show that you suffered some sort of injury, you won’t have a case. Usually, plaintiffs simply submit a copy of their medical records. This helps your Greenville truck accident attorney prove that you were physically hurt. You can also submit proof that your car or SUV was damaged or destroyed.
Your Greenville truck accident attorney also has to prove the defendant caused your injuries – You’ll have to specifically show that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach. For example, if you can show that you were in perfectly fine health prior to the crash, this will help prove causation. The same is true if you have a video of the crash on your dashcam. When the jury or judge sees what happened, they’ll likely be able to tell who was at fault.
Once your attorney proves these four things, you’ll have a good chance of receiving damages. Unless the truck driver can prove that you caused the crash, there’s a good chance your case will settle.
It Helps if You Can Prove the Trucker Violated One of the Federal Regulations
Unlike regular drivers, commercial drivers are required to follow certain federal regulations. These regulations are imposed and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These rules dictate how many hours a truck driver is allowed to drive before they take a break. The same is true for days off. If a driver has already worked 60 hours in a week (and their company is only open 6 days a week), they must take the 7th day off.
One other rule that is often the subject of a truck accident case has to do with the driver’s duty to maintain logs. Commercial truck drivers have to track their hours. They also have to track the maintenance and service done to their truck. If they don’t have these logs, the police are going to give them a citation. This can be used in your lawsuit to prove liability.
What Kind of Damages Can You Demand in Your Truck Accident Lawsuit?
If your personal injury attorney in Greenville, South Carolina is able to prove fault, you will be able to collect damages. In most truck accident cases, the plaintiff is entitled to the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Keep in mind – punitive damages are awarded in very rare cases. The point of awarding punitive damages is to send a message about the defendant’s behavior. It’s also meant to punish the defendant. If it was a true accident, there’s no point in levying punitive damages against the defendant. However, if their behavior was reckless or is considered gross negligence, you may have a chance of receiving these special damages.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Greenville, South Carolina
Nobody ever thinks they’ll be the one to get injured in a truck accident. Most people try to avoid tractor-trailers at all costs when they’re out driving. This is because the idea of getting into an accident with one of these humongous machines is downright scary. However, no matter how careful you are, there’s still the chance that you can be injured in a truck accident. If that’s the case, you need to call one of our personal injury attorneys in Greenville, South Carolina.
If you’re worried about cost, you don’t have to worry. We offer all of our potential clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with an experienced attorney who can answer your questions. They can also let you know how strong your case is. The good news is that you don’t have to pay a dime until your case settles or is resolved in court.