Dozens of people are killed every year and thousands more are injured in collisions with semi-trucks on South Carolina roads and highways. In the majority of these crashes, the driver of the tractor-trailer is to blame. Trucking companies and their insurers nevertheless may fight hard to shift the responsibility away from their driver and onto the injured driver of the automobile. Truck accidents may cause serious injuries or wrongful death, which can be costly to the insurer, and a poor safety record can damage the trucking company’s bottom line and threaten their ability to stay in business. Yet regardless of how hard the trucking companies defend the negligence of their driver, the attorneys at Peake & Fowler provide skilled and tenacious representation to help make sure our clients are adequately compensated for their injuries.
Truck Accident Cases are Serious and Complex
A collision on the highway with an 18-wheeler can cause serious personal injuries or wrongful death to the occupants of the smaller, lighter vehicle. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 40 tons, with a force multiplied by the speed of the vehicles at the time of impact. Even an empty semi can weigh 15 tons or more!
There are many factors which can cause or contribute to a truck accident, including truck driver fatigue, speeding or aggressive driving, and problems with the truck due to improper maintenance. Federal regulations dictate how many hours a trucker can drive in a day or week and regulate many aspects of the big rigs, including loading; height, width and weight limits; tire and brake inspections; safety features and more. These regulations require that detailed records and logbooks be kept, but it is not at all uncommon for drivers to falsify logbooks to appear in compliance when they are not.