I-26 Truck Accident Attorneys
Semi Crash Injury Lawyers Serving Orangeburg, Dorchester, and Charleston Counties
Certain South Carolina highways are notorious for dangerous and deadly crashes. State statistics demonstrate that often, these reputations are justified.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, in 2020, 27 crashes on I-26 caused a total of 33 deaths, and 828 crashes on I-26 caused a total of 1,173 injuries. Interstate 26 is one of these notorious highways found in South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety Fact Book identifies I-26 as one of the most dangerous freeways in South Carolina.
I-26 is a major corridor for truck traffic. Large truck accidents that occur here can cause serious injuries and deaths. If you’ve been injured, reach out to the experienced I-26 truck accident attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm to discuss your case.
I-26 Truck Accident Statistics for South Carolina
Large trucks typically fall in the category of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). In 2020, 91 commercial motor vehicles were involved in fatal traffic crashes in South Carolina. They accounted for 9.4 percent of all fatal traffic collisions that year.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety Fact Book also reveals that out-of-state drivers account for a large share of CMV traffic crashes in South Carolina. In 2020, 45.1 percent of CMV collisions involved an out-of-state driver. Nearly 60 percent of these drivers were from one of three neighboring states: North Carolina, Georgia, or Florida.
Out-of-state CMV drivers are more likely to be traveling on interstates, like I-26, as they transport cargo through South Carolina. Since they may be unfamiliar with I-26, they are placed at a higher risk of being involved in a truck crash.
Types of Truck Crash Injuries on I-26
In a truck accident, the forces generated by a collision can cause injuries, including the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries, including closed head injuries and concussions.
- Spinal cord injuries, which may result in permanent paralysis.
- Back and neck injuries, including herniated or bulging discs.
- Broken bones.
- Muscle, nerve, and soft tissue damage.
- Burn injuries.
A person involved in a truck crash may suffer more than one type of injury which is why it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately. A medical examination can determine the extent of your injuries and allow for the creation of a proper treatment plan.
When and Where Do Truck Accidents Happen on I-26?
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety recorded seven fatal truck crashes on I-26 between January 2018 and April 2023. These records include both tractor-trailer crashes and accidents involving smaller commercial trucks such as box trucks, although only semi trucks appear in the fatal crash statistics.
I-26 Truck Crashes by Time of Day
Between January 2018 and April 2023, all seven recorded fatal truck accidents on I-26 occurred during the morning hours:
- Two accidents (29 percent) occurred between 4:00 am and 5:00 am.
- Three accidents (43 percent) occurred between 7:00 am and 8:00 am.
- One accident occurred just before 10:00 am.
- One accident occurred near 11:40 am.
Mornings can be a challenging time for truck drivers. During the early morning hours, the body’s sleep cycle can make it more difficult for drivers to stay alert, even if they are accustomed to driving in the pre-dawn darkness. Sunrises can obscure drivers’ vision, and increasing traffic during the morning rush hour can pose challenges as well.
Certain locations on I-26 appear to be more dangerous for truck crashes as well. Between January 2018 and April 2023, four of the seven recorded fatal semi-truck accidents on I-26 occurred in Orangeburg County. The remaining crashes were recorded in Dorchester County, Spartanburg County, and Calhoun County.
Single-Vehicle Truck Crashes on I-26 and Risks to Other Drivers
A truck that does not collide with another vehicle can still pose risks to other drivers, including the following:
- If a truck accident just occurred, other drivers may have delayed reaction times, which may result in another collision occurring.
- During a truck accident, tires, equipment, or cargo that comes loose from the truck may injure others on the road.
- A stopped truck can pose a hazard to oncoming traffic, in which other drivers may fail to see an unmarked crash site, making it too late to avoid harm.
- Trucks that catch fire or leak hazardous substances can pose dangers to surrounding traffic and people in the vicinity.
Injuries can result from these hazards even if the truck did not collide with another vehicle during the accident.
Multi-Vehicle Truck Accidents on I-26
In 2020, South Carolina saw a total of 2,092 multi-vehicle accidents involving a truck and another vehicle. These included 74 fatal accidents, 91 accidents resulting in serious injuries, 1,020 accidents resulting in mild or moderate injuries, and 920 accidents that caused only property damage.
The 2020 Fact Book estimated that in these multi-vehicle crashes, CMVs contributed to a collision in 9 of the fatal accidents (12.2 percent), 29 of the serious injury accidents (31.9 percent), 416 of the other injury collisions (40.8 percent), and 354 of the property damage only collisions (39.0 percent).
I-26 has had a long history of higher-than-average rates of multi-vehicle collisions, including collisions involving large trucks. Between 2006 and 2009, for instance, 42 percent of all deaths on I-26 occurred on I-26 between Orangeburg and Charleston. Several of these deaths occurred in multi-vehicle truck accidents.
Multi-vehicle accidents compound the risks to those involved in them. Each vehicle that collides with another puts more people at risk. A collision where multiple parties are involved can also increase their risk of being exposed to fire or hazardous cargo such as chemicals or other potentially hazardous materials.
Determining who is at fault for such events and injuries related to an I-26 crash can be challenging. An experienced Charleston personal injury lawyer can help you make sense of the information available and seek compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries.
What to Do After an I-26 Truck Accident
When a truck crash occurs on I-26, it is vital to take steps to protect your life and health, as well as to preserve evidence and safeguard your legal rights.
If a crash occurs:
- Call 911 or the local sheriff’s department. Call for emergency help immediately. First responders can treat injuries, address fire and other risks, and make a record of the scene.
- Gather as much information as you can. Try to get the names and addresses of those involved in the crash and of any witnesses. Take photos or draw a diagram of the scene. Write down what you remember while it’s fresh in your mind.
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible. Whether you visit the emergency room or your primary care provider, see a doctor as soon as you can after the accident. Some injuries aren’t obvious immediately after a crash. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you will receive appropriate medical treatment for your injuries.
- When speaking to insurance, stick to the facts. Give only necessary information when filing a claim like the date, time, and location of the crash. Avoid statements of opinion, like “I could have been paying more attention,” even if you strongly believe they are true. If you don’t have certain facts or don’t remember them, say so.
- Save all paperwork related to the crash. Keep this paperwork in one place. If you’re missing items, like a treatment summary from a doctor’s visit, call the office and ask for a new copy.
- Speak to an experienced Charleston I-26 truck accident attorney. A lawyer can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights after a crash.
Avoid placing blame on anyone, including yourself. It can be difficult to know exactly who was at fault for a truck crash. Instead, work with a lawyer who can fully investigate your accident, determine exactly what happened, and hold the right parties accountable.
When to Contact an Attorney After a Truck Crash on I-26
Talk to an attorney as soon as possible after an I-26 truck crash. Having an attorney on your side can increase your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
No matter how long you have known your insurance agent or adjuster, the fact remains: Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, not for you. They have a responsibility to settle claims in a way that saves money for the insurer, even if that means offering you less than your claim is worth.
An experienced attorney can give you a better sense of your actual damages, help you determine who was at fault, and negotiate a settlement offer on your behalf. Armed with this information, you can make better decisions for yourself and your family.
Your personal injury lawyer can also prepare for the possibility of a trial. While most truck crash claims don’t go to trial, filing a lawsuit is a legal right and a powerful tool in insurance settlement negotiations.
If you’ve been injured in a truck crash on I-26, talk to an experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer today. At the Steinberg Law Firm, our dedicated Charleston personal injury attorneys have helped clients recover compensation for their accident-related losses, so they can focus on healing and rebuilding their lives. To learn more and to schedule a free, confidential consultation, call 843-720-2800 or reach out to us through our online contact form.
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Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.
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