Why Choose Hammack Law Firm To Handle My Case?
Hammack Law Firm provides a Client Bill of Rights that offers a 30-day unconditional satisfaction guarantee. We are a bilingual law firm that speaks both English and Spanish.
Attorney Paul Hammack is actively licensed in both Georgia and South Carolina. He handles cases in state courts in South Carolina and Georgia as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Mr. Hammack received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, denoting the highest level of professional excellence. He is a member of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys and the Truck accident Litigation Group with the American Association of Justice (AAJ).
Because we believe that you deserve the highest-quality representation if you’re hurt in a truck crash and should never worry about how to pay your accident attorney, Hammack Law Firm will handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t have to pay us a single penny until we win your case.
First and foremost, we care about you and take a true personal interest in your life. We get to know you on an intimate level, share meals with you, and invest time getting to know you and your family. Our commitment is to come alongside you during a time of great pain, stress, turmoil, suffering, grief and sadness. Only when we truly know you on a human level can we effectively communicate your personal struggles through a severe injury or death. We firmly believe that we cannot expect to convince anyone of why they should value what is priceless unless we personally know your value as a human. Ultimately, when we share with you the triumphs that come on the other side of tragedy, your human story becomes our story too.
Our devotion to you personally is only matched by our devotion to your case. We have meticulously developed a proven litigation strategy to make the most of your truck accident case. We have over 20 years’ experience handling truck accident litigation.
“One of the biggest mistakes a client can make is hiring an attorney that treats their case like a typical car wreck. The laws of insurance governing truck drivers, commercial motor carriers, shippers, and brokers are extremely complex. Successful truck accident litigation requires a familiarity with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the vast body of federal and state laws. Early investigation is crucial. Securing the Event Data Recorder download, uncovering safety violations of the driver and trucking company, and strategic planning are keys to maximizing the value of your case. The right partner can make the difference between a good result and a life changing future.”
|Every truck accident case requires a dedicated truck accident attorney||Most |
Member of the Transportation Lawyers Association, the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, and the American Association for Justice’s Trucking Litigation Group
Over 20 years of combined experience on both sides of the courtroom handling truck accident litigation
Knowledge and resources to handle any trucking case
Take on cases on behalf of other attorneys
Licensed in both South Carolina and Georgia
After spending eight years with large law firms in Georgia and South Carolina, attorney Paul Hammack founded Hammack Law Firm LLC in 2008.
South Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial trucks are often the largest vehicles on roads in South Carolina, and any time they collide with a passenger vehicle, the occupants are at risk of suffering severe or possibly fatal injuries. Tractor-trailer crashes often have the potential to involve multiple vehicles and determining liability for the injuries and extensive property damage can be a daunting task.
People who have been involved in 18-wheeler accidents will usually require immediate medical attention. Many victims, unfortunately, will also need lengthy terms of additional treatment and rehabilitation for more serious injuries. To make matters worse, some victims will be permanently incapable of working again because of their injuries.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a semi-truck accident in South Carolina, make sure to hire an attorney with the right experience and resources to handle your case correctly.
For two decades, the attorneys at Hammack Law Firm have fought for truck accident victims and won. We secured a $1.6 million-dollar settlement for a husband and wife who were injured in a head-on truck crash, and we’ll be ready to put our extensive experience to work for you.
Our firm can provide an honest evaluation of your case as soon as you call (864) 326-3333 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Truck Accidents in South Carolina
18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles are a common sight on the roads and highways across South Carolina. Along with transporting goods and materials to the towns and cities here, trucks often travel through the Palmetto State on their way to other destinations in the U.S. With so much traffic crisscrossing the roads here, accidents can and do happen.
According to Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2017 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 90 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks in South Carolina in 2017. This was the lowest total since the 63 fatalities in 2014, and the highest total of 114 was recorded the year after that in 2015.
Unfortunately, collisions involving 18-wheelers often prove to be fatal. South Carolina had 83 fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2017, the lowest total since the 50 in 2014. Both 2015 and 2016 tied for the highest number of fatal crashes with 95 each. The state had 62 fatal multiple-vehicle crashes involving large trucks in 2017, the lowest total since the 48 in 2014. The highest number of fatal multiple-vehicle crashes was recorded in 2015 with 79.
The 2017 Traffic Collision Fact Book from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported that there were 62 fatal collisions, 1,184 injury collisions, and 4,046 property damage only (PDO) collisions involving trucks in 2017.
Of the truck accidents in South Carolina:
Fatalities in Crashes in 2017 in SC
Multiple Vehicle Fatal Crash in 2017 in SC
Deadly Truck Accidents in 2017 in SC
The South Carolina Truck Association reported that between 1980 and 2014, the number of truck-involved fatal crashes declined 32 percent and the large truck involved fatal crash rate per 100 million miles decreased 74 percent.
When looking at the numbers, it is easy to see that truck accidents can have a devastating impact on the lives of those involved. When a large truck collides with a passenger vehicle, motorcycle, bike, or pedestrian, those who are hurt have the right to take legal action to recover full and fair compensation.
Do I Need A Truck Accident Lawyer?
Your first concern after any commercial motor vehicle accident always needs to be medical care, and this is true regardless of whether you think you were hurt or whether you think you can afford it. When you are unable to afford the medical treatment you need, an attorney can help you get a medical lien that will allow you to continue to receive care and pay later out of your settlement or jury award.
You can do other things to help yourself, like taking as many pictures as possible of your big rig crash scene and also looking for any possible witnesses and getting their names and phone numbers. You are going to want a lawyer as soon as you are contacted by an insurance company for one of the negligent parties.
An agent for the trucking company’s insurer may act friendly and express genuine concern about your well-being, but do not be fooled. Insurers are never on your side, and their only goal will be to minimize what they pay you or find a reason to avoid paying you anything at all.
A lawyer’s oath to the South Carolina Bar pledges faithfulness, competence, diligence, good judgment, and prompt communication. An attorney has a duty to represent your best interests, and they will be motivated to make sure that you are appropriately compensated for all of your harm.
Types of Truck Accident Cases We Handle
Hammack Law Firm handles a wide variety of commercial truck accident cases. Some of the most common include, but are not limited to:
● Trucking Company Negligence — While tractor-trailer drivers are often presumed to be at fault for many truck accidents, the actual fault often lies with the trucking companies. In some cases, companies require or force drivers to commit Hours of Service violations that greatly increase the likelihood of crashes stemming from driver fatigue. Other companies may fail to adequately screen drivers and allow dangerous drivers to operate commercial trucks. One of the most common examples of trucking company negligence is simple failure to maintain vehicles, which as a very common cause of many truck accidents.
● Driver Error — 18-wheeler drivers must have commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), but even the most experienced drivers can still commit mistakes that cause devastating accidents. Some common examples of driver error include failure to check blind spots, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted driving, speeding, tailgating, and unsafe driving for weather conditions.
● No-Zone Accidents — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that one-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in no-zones, which refers to four large areas on each side of a commercial truck that represents a potential blind spot for a driver. Motorists should avoid traveling in these no-zones, but drivers also have a responsibility to be aware of when vehicles enter the no-zones.
● Jack-Knife Accidents— A jackknife accident refers to a crash in which the trailer of a semi-truck swings out at a 90-degree angle, similar to that of a jackknife. These types of commercial motor vehicle accidents have the potential to involve multiple other motor vehicles, and the damages can often be extreme. The causes of jackknife crashes can often be complex, as drivers could cause the accidents because of some form of negligence. Many other cases, however, involve some kind of mechanical issue with a truck, possibly caused by lack of maintenance or maybe a defective part.
● Drunk Truck Driver Accident — Big rig drivers have a far lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, as federal law stipulates that a truck driver commits a drunk driving offense when they have a BAC of only 0.04. Cases involving drunk truck drivers will often involve the arrest of the truck driver, but it is important to keep in mind that a criminal case is completely separate from a civil one. This means that even if a truck driver is not convicted of drunk driving, they can still be held civilly liable. The burden of proof is much higher in a criminal case, so the inability to convict does not necessarily mean that you cannot still prove that driver was negligent.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) outline minimum standards for the operation of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce, and regulations become applicable to many kinds of vehicles, not just tractor-trailers. Any vehicle that weighs 10,001 pounds or more will be subject to the FMCSR.
One of the most commonly cited provisions of the FMSCR is Hours of Service rules, which dictate how long truck drivers can be behind the wheel. Drivers who are carrying property cannot drive for more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty and cannot driver more than 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days, while drivers carrying passengers cannot drive for more than 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty and cannot driver more than 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days.
Types of Trucking Accident Cases
Truck accidents in South Carolina can be caused by a number of different factors. Each truck accident case is unique and needs to be handled as such. Learn more about the different types of accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Truck Accidents
Were you hurt in an accident with a large truck in South Carolina? Want to know more about these crashes and your rights? Read more here, and contact an experienced truck accident attorney at (864) 326-3333.
The first thing you need to do after any truck accident is seek medical attention. This is true even when people do not think that they were hurt. It is important to get medical records created as soon as possible after crashes, and some injuries have delayed symptoms. Other important steps you can take at the scene of your accident include:
- Call Police — Contact the local law enforcement agency so you can get a police report completed and filed.
- Take Pictures — You probably have a camera on your cell phone, so use it to take as many photographs as you can of everything involved in your crash, from the vehicles to the people to all other notable factors, such as obscured road signs or tire skid marks.
- Look for Witnesses — If other individuals saw your accident, ask these people for their names and phone numbers, as they could serve as very valuable witnesses if liability is disputed
You will undoubtedly be contacted by an insurance company soon after your crash and remember to never provide a recorded statement to a claims adjuster. Call a lawyer and let them deal with an insurer for you.
According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks were assigned the critical reason for 55 percent of all accidents and 44 percent of two-vehicle crashes between trucks and other motor vehicles. In 87 percent of these cases, the driver was the critical reason with:
- 30,000 cases (38 percent) related to decision issues such as driving too fast for conditions, misjudging the speed of other vehicles, or following other vehicles too closely
- 22,000 cases (28 percent) relating to recognition issues such as inattentive drivers, distracted drivers, or failure to observe situations adequately for some other reason
- 9,000 cases (12 percent) of driver error relating to non-performance issues such as falling asleep, becoming disabled by a heart attack or seizure, or becoming physically impaired for another reason
- 7,000 cases (9 percent) related to performance issues such as panicking, overcompensation, or poor directional control
In 8,000 cases (10 percent), the vehicle was identified as the critical factor, with brake problems being listed as the most common associated risk factor in truck accidents. Another 2,000 cases (3 percent) listed the environment as the critical factor.
Insurance companies are well aware that many truck accident victims are facing tremendous financial stress, so they can be quick to try to buy people off and you need to understand the full consequences of accepting a settlement. While certain offers may sound sizable, they rarely account for the full lifetime of care that will be required.
If you accept a lump sum settlement, you will not be able to obtain any further compensation from the liable party when that settlement has been exhausted. This will mean that you alone are responsible for paying all of your future bills. You should let an experienced attorney handle all settlement negotiations on your behalf, as they can file a lawsuit when an insurance company refuses to make an acceptable offer.
South Carolina is considered a modified comparative fault state, which means that a person can only file a lawsuit against a negligent party when their own negligence was less than that of a defendant’s. Comparative fault also means that your award will be reduced in proportion to your negligence, such that a person awarded $100,000 in a truck accident for which they were found to have been 35 percent at fault will have their award reduced by $35,000 and ultimately receive $65,000.
Most commercial truck accident cases are resolved through settlements because insurance companies are rarely willing to pay to take cases to trial. For this reason, many settlements are reached right before trials are set to begin. When a case does go to trial and a person is able to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, they can be awarded compensatory damages that are usually some combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages relate to tangible costs such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages from time missed from work
- Loss of future earnings if disabled
- Damage to property, including repairs to your vehicle and other personal items
Noneconomic damages are for more subjective kinds of harm such as:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Some cases could also result in punitive damages awards, but these kinds of damages are quite rare and are intended more to punish defendants than compensate plaintiffs. Drunk driving could be one basis for a punitive damages award.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in South Carolina
Were you hurt in a collision with an 18-wheeler or another commercial vehicle in South Carolina? Don’t trust the insurance companies to do the right thing and pay you what you’re rightfully owed, and don’t try to handle your case without an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. During this challenging time, you need a legal advocate more than ever, and Hammack Law Firm is ready to stand up and fight for what you and your family are rightfully owed. We know that all that matters are results, and we’re committed to delivering for you. Make sure that you contact Hammack Law Firm as soon as you are able. Call (864) 326-3333, chat with us live, or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Truck Accidents Blogs
Truck Accident Fatalities on the Rise
Tractor-trailer collisions cause can cause major disruptions in people lives. We may call them ‘accidents,’ but the better term would be a “preventable collisions”, because the individual must still bear responsibility for their role in causing the collision.
Safe Roads Act of 2019: Key Truck Safety Legislation Introduced to Make America’s Roads Safer
The Safe Roads Act of 2019 (H.R. 3773) would require all new commercial motor vehicles to be equipped with an automatic emergency braking system.
How to Avoid a Truck Driver’s Blind Spots?
A Greenville Truck Accident Attorney Explains Aside from the difficulties truck drivers experience maneuvering large vehicles hauling heavy loads, they also have to safely navigate the traffic around them. Another struggle they deal with is that they cannot see certain areas...
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