Florence Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are a serious threat on our roadways. Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks can cause massive amounts of damage when involved in a crash. A full loaded tractor trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, making it many times heavier than even a large passenger vehicle. When a crash occurs between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, those in the passenger vehicle are far more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Florence, SC, you may be entitled to compensation. However, truck accidents are much more complex than collisions involving two passenger vehicles, so it’s important to talk to an attorney about your options. Schedule a consultation with Peake & Fowler now by calling us at 803-788-4370.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Multiple parties can be liable for truck accidents, but in many cases, accidents are caused by driver error. Because of the size of their vehicle and the loads they carry, truck drivers are supposed to be exceedingly cautious while driving, but they are still prone to misjudgments and errors. Some common causes of truck crashes in Florence, SC include:
- Fatigued driving. This is a huge problem within the trucking industry, one that federal lawmakers have tried to address over and over again. Laws can’t change drivers’ habits or companies’ priorities, though. Some drivers simply overestimate their ability to drive while tired, so they drive on minimal sleep and cause a crash while fatigued or after falling asleep. In other cases, the companies themselves are to blame. They put drivers on impossible deadlines and punish them for taking federally mandated rest breaks.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving, either by a truck driver or passenger vehicle driver, can be deadly. A passenger vehicle driver who is distracted by their phone may not notice that the truck in front of them has stopped until it’s too late. Their vehicle gets jammed under the back of the truck. This type of crash often causes fatalities. However, truck drivers are also prone to distraction, especially during long trips. Just a moment spent looking at a phone or tablet screen can cause a huge collision.
- Unbalanced cargo loads. Trucks must be carefully loaded to stay balanced. An improperly loaded truck is at risk of rolling over or sliding when a driver applies the brakes.
- Poor weather. Even when it might be safer to park the truck for the night and drive again in the morning, many drivers persevere in poor weather. Again, this is often due to heavy workloads and pressure from trucking companies. When roads are slick or visibility is low, it takes even longer for a large tractor-trailer to come to a full stop.
- Blind spot issues. Trucks are known for their large blind spots. If drivers aren’t careful about avoiding a truck’s blind spot, they could end up in the way when a truck driver goes to change lanes.
- Limited training and experience. While the demand for truck drivers has shot up over the years, the availability of truckers has not. As a result, some companies hire drivers with minimal training or a patchy job history. Inexperienced or poorly trained drivers are a major threat on the road.
Determining liability can be extremely difficult in a trucking accident, simply because there are far more parties involved than there would be in a passenger vehicle accident. In a regular passenger vehicle crash, liability generally comes down to the two drivers or the vehicle manufacturers. In a truck crash, liability may be split between:
- The truck driver or the other driver
- The owner of the truck
- The trucking company employing the driver
- The owner of the cargo load
- The manufacturer of the truck or the repair shop that handles maintenance
- The company responsible for properly loading the truck
This is one reason you need an attorney for a truck accident. Trying to determine liability on your own is nearly impossible; everyone is ready to point the finger at someone else, but no one will admit their own role in the accident. Your attorney can figure out who is liable and who you need to seek compensation from.
Compensation for Florence, SC Truck Accidents
Compensation for truck collisions is often very high, due to the significant amount of damage a commercial truck can cause. For this reason, truck drivers tend to have much larger insurance policies. This actually allows accident victims to get the compensation they deserve, rather than being limited by an insurance policy that covers the bare minimum.
Depending on your injuries and the circumstances of the accident, you may seek compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses for serious injuries
- Lost income
- Lost wages if your ability to work is permanently affected
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
How We Can Help
When you’re involved in a truck accident, you are just one of many parties involved in the personal injury claim. Truck accidents often involve several corporations and businesses, all of whom have a vested interest in washing their hands of the accident and avoiding financial responsibility. Because of this, you may have a very difficult time getting compensation on your own.
It’s hard to know which insurance company you should contact, how to prove liability, and how to demonstrate your losses. While insurance companies are often ready to shift the blame to someone else, this just leaves you going in circles.
An attorney cuts this cycle short and helps you get the compensation you are due. Your attorney can help with everything from investigating the accident and gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and taking your case to court. They know the numerous tricks insurance companies use to avoid a fair payout, and they fight on your behalf to get what you deserve.
At Peake & Fowler, we understand how traumatizing a truck accident can be. You may be suffering tremendous pain and possible lifelong injuries, not to mention job insecurity and financial struggles. The last thing you need is to fight on your own against trucking companies, their insurance companies, and their attorneys. We’ll fight for you so you can focus on your recovery. Schedule a time to talk now by reaching out online or giving us a call at 803-788-4370.
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.