Elgin Truck Accident Law
Big rigs come with big risks. When a road is shared by standard passenger vehicles and trucks that are 20 times heavier than them, there are bound to be serious accidents. Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in tractor-trailer accidents. On top of that, these collisions often cause substantial property damage in the form of totaled vehicles, flattened medians, and destroyed cargo.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident, don’t wait a moment longer to find out if you are entitled to compensation. Call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 to set up a consultation with our team right now.
Common Causes of Truck Collisions
Why are truck accidents so common and what can be done to stop them? While some of the common accident triggers are the same as those you’ll see in passenger vehicle accidents, some common causes of collisions are unique to commercial trucks. If you look into commercial truck crashes, you will see causes like:
- Improper loading: Trucks must be loaded in a very specific way to maximize safety. A load that is heavily unbalanced can make the truck lean to one side, which makes it very difficult for the driver to control it. When cargo loaders or truck drivers rush through a loading job, accidents may follow.
- Overloading: Trucks have very specific ratings that lay out what they can carry and how much they can carry. When customers or trucking companies try to save money and time by overloading a truck, the truck driver may struggle to keep the truck under control and on the road.
- Failure to check blind spots: While passenger vehicles only have small blind spots to their left and right, trucks have it far worse. Commercial trucks have large blind spots in front, behind, and to both sides. If a truck driver attempts to turn or change lanes without thoroughly checking all blind spots, they may cause a collision.
- Distracted driving: Distracted drivers are a danger to everyone around them, and that is even more true when the driver in question is in charge of a vehicle that weighs several dozen tons. These trucks take more time to stop, so a distracted driver could lose precious seconds if there’s an obstacle on the road.
- Fatigued or impaired driving: Unfortunately, driving while fatigued or impaired is an ongoing issue in the trucking industry. Both fatigue and impairment can cause a driver to have slower reflexes, fall asleep behind the wheel, and make unsafe decisions.
- Speeding: Although most commercial trucks have speed locks that prevent them from going over the speed limit, they can still be guilty of speeding if they are driving too fast for weather and road conditions.
Damage Caused by Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often cause so much damage that emergency personnel are required to shut down multiple lanes while everything is cleaned up. Some of the consequences of a truck accident include:
- Serious injuries: Although truck drivers are sometimes hurt in these collisions, the worst injuries are generally suffered by those in passenger vehicles. Fatalities are unfortunately fairly common; while truck accidents only make up 1% of all collisions in South Carolina, they account for 9.4% of all traffic fatalities. Injured victims may suffer broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, internal damage, soft tissue damage, and amputations.
- Totaled or damaged vehicles: While a truck is unlikely to suffer much damage in collisions, the same cannot be said for passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicles are often totaled in collisions. Those that aren’t completely totaled often need thousands of dollars of repair work.
- Damage to public property: Public property also suffers when a truck goes rogue. A truck accident can damage bridges, the roads themselves, guardrails and medians, signs, and traffic lights.
- Health issues: If a truck is carrying hazardous chemicals at the time of the collision, there may be health concerns in addition to physical injuries. Dangerous liquid and gas chemicals being released could cause fires, explosions, or serious illness.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
In addition to the issues caused by a truck’s size and shape, another issue that contributes to accident rates is driver preparedness. Trucking is an extremely difficult job, and drivers are leaving the industry faster than new drivers are entering it. This means that companies are often resorting to hiring drivers with minimal training and experience.
After providing brief company-specific training, they release these drivers onto the roads in order to keep up with demand. This means that you’re more likely to encounter a driver who does not know how to react under pressure, drive in inclement weather, or navigate challenging roads. As the demand for truck drivers has increased, so have accident rates.
How Peake & Fowler Can Advocate for You
Finding the right attorney for your truck accident claim in Elgin can mean the difference between no settlement and a fair settlement that compensates you for all of your losses. Trucking companies often have sizable legal teams that defend them against accident claims.
Additionally, you may have to seek compensation from the cargo loading company, the owner of the cargo, and other parties involved in these complex claims. This can be very frustrating for accident victims—when they should be focusing on recovering and healing, they instead have to make dozens of phone calls trying to get the compensation they are owed.
Throughout our years of experience, we have discovered how best to hold negligent drivers and trucking companies accountable. By building a strong case that proves the other party’s liability, we put them in a position where they must negotiate in good faith. Whether your case is settled in negotiations or in the courtroom, we’re with you every step of the way.
Choose Peake & Fowler for Your Elgin Truck Accident Claim
The sooner you contact the team at Peake & Fowler, the sooner we can begin building your claim and advocating for you. Set up your free consultation now by sending us a quick message online or calling us at 803-788-4370.