Newberry Truck Accident Lawyers
There are roughly two million tractor-trailers in operation in the United States. They stock our grocery store shelves, provide raw parts for construction, and otherwise keep the company running. However, there are obvious risks that come with having 40-ton vehicles on the nation’s highways. When they are involved in vehicle accidents, the outcome is far more likely to be severe or even fatal.
If you have been injured in a Newberry, SC truck accident, it’s time to talk to a lawyer and find out if you are entitled to compensation. Get started now and call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 to schedule a consultation.
The Dangers of Truck Accidents
A fully loaded tractor-trailer is about 40 tons, making it roughly 16 times heavier than the standard passenger vehicle. In addition to its much larger weight, the long, boxy structure of a tractor-trailer makes it prone to certain types of accidents that often lead to fatalities. When a tractor-trailer hits a car, SUV, or van, those in the passenger vehicle are at an increased risk of dying or suffering catastrophic injuries.
On top of that, truck accidents have increased in recent years. The trucking industry has grown rapidly, but the number of available truck drivers has not. This means that a shrinking pool of truck drivers has taken on an ever-growing workload, pushing those drivers to burnout and exhaustion. Drivers putting in 12-hour or longer days are at risk of driving while fatigued or distracted, significantly boosting the chances of a collision.
In addition to the threats posed to people in the other vehicle, those in the surrounding area are also in danger after a truck accident. A truck carrying hazardous materials could tip over and spill chemicals all over the road, warranting a shutdown of the highway and leading to explosions. Even a truck that isn’t carrying hazardous chemicals can cause a highway to shut down for hours if it tips over. All in all, truck accidents can easily cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Newberry, SC?
Determining the cause of a collision is an important part in figuring out if you are owed compensation. If your attorney can determine what caused your crash, they can figure out who is liable for your injuries and how much you may be owed. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue. Today’s truck drivers are at high risk of driving while fatigued. Companies are demanding more and more of their drivers, often forcing them to drive without breaks or even expecting them to break federal law to deliver a load on time. Tired drivers are unsafe drivers, and a surprising amount of truck accidents are caused by fatigued truck drivers.
- Driving while distracted. Truck drivers may develop a false sense of security when driving long distances, especially if they have no history of accidents. If they believe they can drive safely while texting, changing the radio, or otherwise engaging in other activities, they may do so on a regular basis. It only takes a second for an accident to happen.
- Following too closely. Whether a truck or passenger vehicle is following too closely, this is a very common cause of accidents. Trucks need much longer to stop than a passenger vehicle, so drivers of both types of vehicles should leave plenty of space for safe stops.
- Driving too fast for conditions. Inclement weather significantly increases the average stopping time. Speeding through rain, snow, or fog makes accidents much more likely.
- Substance abuse. Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are likely to make unsafe driving choices that lead to preventable collisions.
- Truck conditions. Truck owners and companies are expected to follow a strict maintenance schedule for their vehicles. Some companies delay these appointments, either due to cost or because they don’t want to take a truck out of the lineup and risk late deliveries. When a part malfunctions, the results can be tragic.
- Inexperienced drivers. In order to keep up with the demand for truck drivers, some companies have been pushing minimally trained or inexperienced drivers onto the road before they are ready. When these drivers face unexpected challenges or obstacles, they are likely to panic and make the wrong choice. Accidents are essentially inevitable.
- Improperly loaded cargo. Cargo that overloads the truck or is improperly balanced increases the risk of a turnover.
Fighting for Compensation
If you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation is often provided for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses for serious injuries
- Lost wages
- Lost future income for those unable to work because of their injuries
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disability and disfigurement
How Peake & Fowler Can Help
To get full and fair compensation for your losses, you’ll need an attorney you can trust. Truck accidents are complicated because there are so many involved parties. It’s not just you and the driver. Other involved parties include the truck driver’s employer, the owner of the truck, insurance companies each individual, and the owner of the cargo load. All of these parties have a vested interest in proving that they are not liable for the crash. You need someone who has your best interests in mind and is willing to figure out who is liable for your injuries.
There are many types of evidence available in truck accidents. The truck driver’s log should include information on maintenance, scheduled breaks, and unexpected stops. This can help your attorney determine whether the truck driver or their company violated state or federal law by driving for too long. Your attorney can also pull information from the vehicle’s black box, which will reveal any hard brakes, swerves, or other unsafe driving behavior.
Once your attorney has uncovered the truth, they’ll head into negotiations to fight for the compensation you are owed. The insurance companies involved in the crash don’t want to pay you what your accident is truly worth, but your attorney will come armed with evidence to hold them accountable.
We’re Here for You—Contact Us Today
A truck accident can be financially and physically devastating. Don’t try to take on the insurance companies alone during this difficult time—let us help. Call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 or reach out to us online to schedule a meeting now.
Peake & Fowler Law Firm, P.A., is located in Columbia, SC and serves clients in and around Newberry, Lexington, Sumter, Allendale, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Bishopville, Florence, Blythewood, State Park, Eastover, Columbia, Elgin, Irmo, Hopkins, Ridgeway, Lugoff, Ballentine, West Columbia, Kershaw, Camden, Dusty Bend, and Richland County, Lexington County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Fairfield County, Lee County, Clarendon County and Florence County.