Cargo trucks can be found on roads and highways all over Greenville and the state of South Carolina. Our state and national economies are highly dependent on truck drivers and cargo trucks to transport and deliver goods, but these massive vehicles can also cause serious harm or fatal injuries if they are involved in an accident. In recent years, heavy trucks like cargo trucks were responsible for 6.5 percent of fatal accidents across the state with 75 percent of victims occupying the smaller passenger vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a cargo truck because of unsecured cargo or driver error, the Greenville truck accident lawyers at Hammack Law Firm want you to know that you have legal options and may be eligible for financial compensation.
In 2017, South Carolina once again had the highest fatality rate per mile traveled (1.88 deaths per 100 million miles), which was almost double the national average. With over 300 traffic-related deaths in Greenville County alone in the last four years, drivers in this part of the state are at serious risk anytime they get behind the wheel.
This risk is elevated when cargo trucks are improperly loaded, or drivers are allowed to operate these vehicles without adequate training. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks are responsible for nine percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes across the country.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a cargo truck, know that you’re not alone. You could be owed significant compensation if the truck driver, trucking company, or another party was responsible for your crash.
You need a knowledgeable attorney who has specific experience handling truck accident cases on your side. Attorney Paul Hammack has over 20 years of experience with truck accident litigation, including more than a decade of experience with trucking insurance defense. His specific experience working for the insurance companies gives him unique insight into how they will handle your case, and how he can fight back to ensure that you get the fair compensation you deserve.
To learn more about your legal rights and options moving forward, contact the Greenville cargo truck accident lawyers today by calling (864) 326-3333 to schedule a no-cost consultation.
Why You Need a Cargo Truck Accident Lawyer
The days and weeks following a truck accident can be some of the most difficult you’ve ever had to endure. All car accidents can be horrific experiences for victims, but when that accident involves a cargo truck, the physical, emotional, and financial stress and strain can be even more difficult to cope with.
Accident victims may be eligible for financial compensation that will cover a wide range of costs they’re facing including medical bills, long-term care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But this compensation isn’t just automatically awarded just because you deserve it.
Even if you think you have a strong case and the other driver was clearly at fault, you’re unlikely to get the full amount you deserve without an experienced and aggressive cargo truck accident lawyer by your side.
When you make the decision to hire a cargo truck accident lawyer to handle your case, you are taking control of your future and giving yourself the best chance possible at holding reckless truck drivers or trucking companies liable.
Cargo truck accidents are unique compared to other traffic accidents in that multiple parties can be held liable. Along with the truck driver, this includes the driver’s employer, truck owner or manufacturer, government entities, and the company that loaded cargo into the trailer.
A skilled cargo truck accident lawyer can investigate every detail of your case and take legal action against all responsible parties, negotiating with multiple legal teams or insurance companies every step of the way.
Cargo truck accident cases can also be incredibly complex with a number of laws and regulations governing when and how long truck drivers can operate their vehicles. An experienced cargo truck accident attorney has detailed knowledge of these laws and can determine if a driver was driving longer than the legally-mandated number of hours or didn’t receive proper training before getting behind the wheel.
From investigating every detail of your accident to consulting with experts and negotiating a fair settlement, a knowledgeable truck accident attorney can handle every step of this complex process while you focus on your health and recovery.
Why Choose Hammack Law Firm?
If handling your cargo truck accident case without the guidance and authority of an attorney is your first potential mistake after the accident, the second potential mistake is choosing the wrong law firm. You need a seasoned attorney who treats you and your family with the care and respect you deserve and who values a hands-on approach in and out of the courtroom.
The Greenville truck accident lawyers at Hammack Law Firm don’t treat you like a name on a list. We treat you like a fellow member of the Greenville community, taking the time to get to know you and your case so that we can build the strongest case possible and win.
Hammack Law Firm has served the people of this community for two decades, offering hope to those who’ve been hurt through no fault of their own. We’re committed to standing up for truck accident victims like you, and we’ll do everything in our power to get justice and fair compensation for you.
Our legal team isn’t afraid to take on even the most challenging truck accident cases. As a former trucking insurance defense lawyer, attorney Paul Hammack gained firsthand experience working for the other side, giving him valuable insight into how they approach accident claims.
As an injury lawyer, he has been able to use his extensive knowledge to build the strongest case possible for his clients. When the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you can count on Paul Hammack and his team to fight aggressively for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Accidents Caused by Falling Cargo
Driving behind or next to a cargo truck the moment cargo shifts and falls onto the roadway can be a horrifying experience as you try to outmaneuver the falling items while also avoiding other vehicles.
Despite regulations from the United States Department of Transportation on how items are to be placed and secured on commercial trucks, one of the most common causes of cargo truck accidents is cargo or other materials shifting or unintentionally falling onto roadways. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, cargo falling onto roadways causes more than 25,000 crashes a year resulting in 80 to 90 fatalities.
Truck drivers are compensated per mile they drive; similarly, truck companies charge customers per mile. This pay structure incentivizes getting drivers and trucks out on the road quickly and for as long as possible. When crews spend time loading and securing cargo to ensure it won’t shift or fall, drivers and companies are quite literally losing money.
This rush to put drivers and cargo trucks on the road to maximize profit also means drivers aren’t always trained properly or they don’t have a lot of experience and time on the open road. This dangerous combination of inadequately trained drivers and the urgency to load trucks faster so they can start moving materials can be a dangerous combination.
Three of the most common scenarios we repeatedly see at Hammack Law Firm that can lead to cargo truck accidents include the following:
- Falling Cargo – When cargo falls off a vehicle traveling at 70 miles per hour down the highway, chaos follows. This type of fiasco can occur with open and closed trailers alike if items aren’t properly tied down and secured. If the back door isn’t properly locked or the force of shifting cargo is immense, it can literally burst through the door.
- Shifting Cargo – As a truck accelerates, decelerates, and turns, the motion will naturally exert force on the cargo. If any of the items aren’t completely secured, the shifting weight can cause a truck to sway and potentially overturn putting surrounding vehicles in danger. This is especially dangerous if the truck is carrying a flammable liquid like gasoline.
- Unsecured or Faulty Tie-Downs – In many cases, the loading crew uses bungees or other tethers to secure cargo. If these tie-downs fail due to extended use or long exposure to severe weather and the elements, they can fail, and cargo may be released.
Injuries from Cargo Truck Accidents
Fatalities from collisions with cargo trucks and other tractor-trailer trucks are trending upward. Between 2012 and 2016, truck accident deaths increased 10.1 percent, and, with some of the most dangerous roads in the nation, South Carolina drivers are at risk every time they get near a cargo truck or other commercial vehicle.
Because of their weight, cargo truck accidents can result in much more serious injuries and significant property damage compared to collisions between passenger vehicles. Many of the injuries require lengthy rehabilitation periods before victims can move around or return to work. Some of the most common injuries we see at Hammack Law Firm include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Contusions and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Burns on the arms, legs, and torso
Recovering from any of the above injuries can be a lengthy process with many victims needing multiple surgeries and months of rehabilitation. In severe accidents, the resulting injuries could prove to be catastrophic. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and others could have a permanent impact on the life of the victim and their family members. Many catastrophic injury victims may forever be unable to work or support themselves and their loved ones, or enjoy life the way they once did.
Contact Hammack Law Firm Today
Proving fault after a cargo truck accident can be challenging, especially if multiple parties were responsible. Whether your accident was caused by improperly loaded and secured cargo or a negligent cargo truck driver’s actions on the road, the Greenville cargo truck accident lawyers at Hammack Law Firm will thoroughly investigate every detail of your case to determine who was at fault.
To learn more about your rights and how we can get you the financial compensation you are entitled, contact us now at (864) 326-3333 to schedule a free consultation.