Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer

Charleston Truck Accident Lawyer

Experienced South Carolina semi-truck accident attorneys help accident victims hold truck drivers and trucking companies responsible for negligence

Every day, thousands of large trucks pass through the Charleston area on I-26, I-526, and several other state highways and local roads. Drivers of large trucks have a responsibility to share the roads safely with other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Similarly, trucking companies are responsible for ensuring trucks are properly maintained so that a sudden equipment failure does not cause a crash. 

When anyone involved with putting a truck on the road fails in their safety responsibilities, a serious crash may result. When a large truck collides with a smaller vehicle, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian, the consequences can be devastating. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a South Carolina truck crash, don’t wait. Talk to the experienced Charleston truck accident lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm today. 

Charleston, South Carolina Truck Accident Statistics

Large truck accidents are a nationwide problem. In 2020, 4,588 large truck and bus crashes claimed 5,125 lives in the United States, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Put another way, approximately 14 people died each day in a large truck or bus crash in the US in 2020. 

In 2020, South Carolina recorded 86 deaths in tractor-trailer collisions and 39 deaths in crashes involving other types of trucks. In 2021, these numbers rose to 99 tractor-trailer crash deaths and 44 other truck crash deaths – an increase of 15.1 percent and 12.8 percent, respectively. 

Driver error remains one of the top initiating causes of both passenger vehicle and large truck crashes in South Carolina, according to the State Department of Public Safety (SCDPS). Yet other factors can also result in a truck crash that causes injury to others. For example, in 2021:

  • Cargo falling from a truck or shifting inside a truck initiated 26 collisions in which at least one person was injured. 
  • Jackknifing trucks caused one fatal collision and seven injury-causing collisions. 
  • Striking an overhead structure like a bridge resulted in six injury-causing collisions in 2021, in which a total of seven people were harmed. Hitting an overhead sign support caused an additional five injuries in 2021. 

In 2021, Charleston County was among the top three counties for total traffic collisions per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Greenville and Horry Counties also ranked in the top three. Charleston County did not rank in the top three counties for vehicle crash deaths, however, indicating that those who suffered collisions in Charleston and surrounding areas were more likely to suffer non-fatal injuries. 

Both I-26 and I-536 were major sites of vehicle crashes in 2021, however. On I-26, 46 people lost their lives, and over 1,400 suffered injuries. On I-526, one death and 237 injuries occurred in crashes. The SCPDS did not specify how many of these accidents involved large trucks. 

While large truck drivers are statistically less likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash, they are not immune. In 2021, 16 large truck drivers died in a crash, or 1 percent of all traffic deaths in the state that year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Common Injuries in Charleston Truck Wrecks

When a large truck hits a passenger vehicle, the forces generated by the crash can cause catastrophic injuries to those in the smaller vehicle. 

Common injuries sustained in Charleston truck wrecks include the following:

  • Head, neck, and back injuries, including herniated discs or nerve damage.
  • Brain and spinal cord injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or paralysis. 
  • Broken bones may require surgery to treat and cause ongoing issues with mobility and pain management. 
  • Muscle and nerve damage can occur if body parts such as knees, legs, arms, and wrists are crushed or pinned during a crash. 
  • Organ damage from blunt force trauma inflicted from the truck crash. 
  • Amputation can happen if body parts are severed during a crash or must be removed to save a person’s life. 
  • Burn injuries caused by exposure to a vehicle fire, caustic chemicals leaking from a damaged engine, or exposed electrical wiring. 
  • Mental and emotional injuries, including traumatic flashbacks, depression, and anxiety.

Due to the massive forces generated in many truck accidents, it’s common for victims of these crashes to suffer more than one type of injury. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment. In some cases, a survivor may require lifelong care. 

Establishing Liability in a Charleston Truck Accident

When most people think of a truck crash, they assume that either the driver of the truck or the driver of another vehicle was responsible for the collision. However, determining who is at fault can be challenging. 

Generally speaking, most Charleston truck accident claims challenge the person bringing the claim to prove four things:

  • The other driver or another party had a duty to use reasonable care to prevent the crash.
  • The other driver or another party breached or failed in that duty.
  • This breach of duty was both the cause in fact (actual cause) of the person’s injuries and a proximate cause, or foreseeable cause, of those injuries. 
  • The injured person has the type of losses a court can address through damages. 

Different truck accident claims face different challenges in addressing these four points. In one crash, a driver’s negligence may be an obvious cause, but the parties may argue over the proper amount of damages. In another, damages may be clear, but it may be tough to tell exactly whose fault caused the crash and the resulting injuries. 

For this reason, no two Charleston truck wreck cases end the same way. While your friends or family may be able to provide essential emotional support, they cannot predict exactly how your case will end, even if they have been through a truck crash before. Speak to an experienced attorney to understand how South Carolina law applies to the unique facts of your case. 

Damages in Charleston Truck Crash Cases

Most truck crash lawsuits seek to obtain compensation in the form of monetary damages. This compensation is intended to pay you back for losses you wouldn’t have had if the crash had never happened. 

Damages in Charleston tractor-trailer crash claims typically fall into one of two categories. Courts call these categories “economic” and “non-economic” damages.

Economic damages include direct financial losses related to the crash. Examples of economic losses include medical bills, lost wages, repair or replacement costs for your vehicle, and the cost of hiring in-home medical care, housecleaning, or lawn care you would otherwise have done. 

Non-economic damages seek to compensate you for losses that are real but that don’t often come with a receipt or a bill attached. Pain and suffering are common forms of non-economic damages included in many truck accident cases. Loss of the enjoyment of activities you can no longer do may also be included, along with scarring or disfigurement if the crash or required medical treatment left permanent marks on your body. 

Just as the facts of every Charleston truck collision are different, so are the exact types and amounts of damages your case will seek. Talk to an experienced attorney to learn more about compensation. 

What Makes a Charleston Truck Crash Case Complicated?

In some Charleston truck crashes, a truck driver’s action or failure to act is a clear cause of the crash. The following are a few examples of why truck crashes may occur: 

  • A truck’s cargo was improperly loaded, causing it to shift or come loose during transport and result in a crash. 
  • Improper maintenance on the truck causes an essential part to fail, resulting in a collision. 
  • Failure to properly train or screen drivers results in a driver who doesn’t have the skills they need to respond appropriately in a tough situation. Instead, a crash occurs. 
  • Failure to detect a defect on the truck. This defect causes the part to fail at a critical moment, leading to a collision. 
  • A road construction contractor fails to account for a truck’s size or turning radius in setting up construction barriers and lanes. When a truck tries to navigate the area, a crash can occur. 

Many people and companies are typically involved in large truck travel on major roads. All of these parties have to meet their duty to use reasonable care to prevent accidents. When they fail in their duty, this failure may cause a serious accident – and the parties that failed to use due care may be held responsible for their negligence. 

Accounting for all the parties who may be responsible for a truck crash makes many truck claims complicated. Another reason these cases become complex is that most or all of the involved parties may have their own insurance coverage for truck crashes. 

It’s tempting to assume that more insurance coverage means more help for injured people. In many Charleston truck crash claims, however, more insurance company involvement means more delay and confusion. Insurers attempt to pass responsibility to one another, each arguing they should not be the ones to pay out on your claim. Meanwhile, bills pile and so does your stress level. 

A dedicated Charleston truck collision lawyer can help you navigate these complex claims. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf, sort out who is responsible, and hold the proper parties accountable. Meanwhile, you can focus on healing from your injuries and rebuilding your life after a crash. 

Contact the Steinberg Law Firm Today for Help With Your Charleston Truck Accident Case

For many crash survivors, a truck collision is the first time they have had to work with an attorney or the South Carolina court system. Doing so can feel daunting, especially when you’re already working so hard to recover from your injuries. 

When you look for an attorney to take your case, keep the following tips in mind. 

  • Look for lawyers and law firms with experience handling Charleston truck crash cases. Experience with truck claims and in Charleston courts provides the knowledge and perspective an attorney needs to represent you effectively. 
  • Always speak to an attorney before you agree to work with them. Make sure the attorney answers your questions in a way you understand. If you’re uncomfortable working with a particular attorney, ask if there’s someone else at the firm you can talk to, or continue your search. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions – including questions about payment. Make sure you understand how your attorney will be paid. Our experienced truck accident lawyers offer contingency fee agreements, meaning they only get paid if they secure financial compensation for you.

A truck accident can change your life in an instant. After a crash, everyday tasks may be a struggle. You may spend months or even years recovering from serious injuries. You may worry about how you’ll care for your family or keep your household going if you cannot work. You may fear you’ll never be able to do your favorite hobbies or other activities ever again.

If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone and help is available. Talk to an experienced Charleston truck accident attorney at the Steinberg Law Firm today. We’ll do our best to answer your questions and give you the information you need to make an informed choice for your future. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with one of our dedicated Charleston truck crash lawyers.

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