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A traffic collision happened every 3.7 minutes on South Carolina’s roads in 2019, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. Commuters moving on any of Charleston’s main roads, including the congested area of Interstate 26 and Highway 17, are at risk of having an accident. In addition, commuters can collide with a truck at any time and suffer serious consequences.

Hammack Law Firm is a strong advocate for road safety, and our lawyers work to hold violators of traffic safety laws accountable. We understand the devastating consequences a truck accident can cause for a family.

A Charleston truck accident lawyer at our firm will fight for the compensation you need to recover from the losses you suffered in a collision. If you are considering taking legal action after a truck accident in the Charleston area, we will review your legal options with you today during a free consultation.

We Will Determine Who Is Liable in Your Charleston Truck Accident

Truck accident cases are complex from the very beginning. Our clients often wonder who the liable party is in their case. It can be confusing to know who to hold accountable.

Our truck accident lawyer serving Charleston will review your truck accident to determine who is responsible. The driver who hit you may not be the only liable party in your collision, so we must investigate to see who else may be at fault. Liable parties could include:

  • The truck driver
  • The company that owns the truck that hit you
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • The company hired to load the truck’s cargo
  • The company responsible for the truck’s maintenance and repairs
  • The manufacturer of the parts that failed on the truck
  • The company that designed or made the truck
  • Road maintenance crews
  • A municipality
  • Other motorists involved in the accident

Clear legal definitions of different parties involved in an accident can be found in the South Carolina Code of Laws. South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means you must file your claim with the insurer of the at-fault party who caused your accident. In most cases, this is the driver of the vehicle that struck you. However, as noted, other parties’ actions or negligence can cause or contribute to an accident.

Filing Your Claim with an Insurance Company

We will identify all the insurance policies that may cover your damages and gather evidence to show your losses. We will also submit a demand letter with the insurer(s) in question. You should file a claim with the insurer of the at-fault party that struck you in the accident as soon as you can.

Failing to file on time can lead to a forfeiture of your right to any compensation and/or damages. We can help you gather the evidence needed to do so. We will also help you quantify your damages and understand your case’s different insurance and legal aspects.

Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident in South Carolina

Truck accidents cause severe injuries, property damage, and more. You may recover economic damages such as:

  • Medical expenses (past, current, and future)
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Lost earning potential
  • Vehicle repair or replacement

You can prove these damages with written documentation, such as a receipt, invoice, or statement.

Under S.C. Ann § 15-32-210, you could also recover non-economic damages, which do not come with a dollar amount. Our lawyer handling truck accident cases in the Charleston area will be able to calculate the extent and severity of your:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Disability and disfigurement, if applicable
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of companionship

Our legal team will look at your damages and calculate your case’s value. The value of your case may be different from how much you can expect to receive in compensation. It is the sum of all your losses. However, what you receive in compensation may be limited to how much coverage the at-fault party has, the strength of your evidence, and the quality of your negotiations with an insurer.

Recoverable Damages Are Available if You Lost a Loved One in an Accident

We offer our sincere condolences if your loved one has passed away due to injuries from a truck accident. We are sorry for your loss and understand this is a sensitive time for you and your family. This process is difficult, but we will do everything we can to take care of your legal matters so that you can recover compensation on your loved one’s behalf. Financial relief awarded in a wrongful death case could help you cover your loved one’s:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses and other unpaid bills
  • Financial contributions to your household income

Damages in a wrongful death case can also compensate surviving relatives for their pain and suffering due to losing their loved one. Our team is ready to help you file your wrongful death action when you are ready.

Causes of Truck Accidents in South Carolina

A commercial truck accident can occur when the driver of a large vehicle is negligent and does not fulfill their obligation to operate safely on the road. These individuals are typically required to hold a commercial driver’s license and are expected to monitor their load balance and comply with state and federal safety regulations and drive in a manner that avoids accidents and injuring other motorists or pedestrians.

Occasionally, commercial truck drivers make careless mistakes that can cost motorists their lives in an accident. Among the top causes of truck collisions are:

Speeding

Commercial truck drivers who speed are more likely to lose control of their vehicle, roll it, or be incapable of stopping in time to prevent a collision with another vehicle. Accidents related to speeding include accidents where the driver goes over the posted limit or goes too fast for existing conditions, such as in inclement weather.

Driver Fatigue

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 91,000 accidents involved drowsy drivers in 2017. These led to around 50,000 injuries and almost 800 fatalities.

The NHTSA relies on law enforcement and hospital reports to estimate these numbers. However, there is broad agreement across the traffic safety, sleep science, and public health communities that this data underestimates the overall effects of drowsy driving.

Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented hours-of-service laws to mitigate these accidents, commercial truck drivers are still responsible for making the safe choice to stop driving when fatigued.

Insufficient Driver Training

According to Forbes, there is a severe shortage of commercial truck drivers in the U.S. This means some companies may hire drivers who lack adequate experience to operate large vehicles safely.

Distracted Driving

Drivers using a cell phone, sending a text, or using vehicle controls are four times more likely to cause a collision, according to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, research by the NHTSA suggested that an estimated 660,000 drivers out of nearly 212 million licensed drivers used their cell phones at any given daylight moment in the U.S. while driving in 2011.

Moreover, any activity in which a driver looks away from the road may substantially increase the likelihood that a severe commercial truck accident will occur.

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents can occur when a trailer slides out to the side of a tractor, potentially causing severe injury or death to motorists in the path of the affected vehicle.

Under-ride Accidents

Under-ride accidents are among the most dangerous commercial truck crashes. They occur when a car slides underneath a truck’s trailer. S.C. Ann. § 56-5-4070 mandates most large trucks, including tractor-trailers, to use under-ride guards to prevent these deadly types of accidents.

Unbalanced Loads

When a commercial truck is improperly loaded or a driver neglects to balance a load, this can raise the risk of an accident. Rollover-related accidents are prevalent when trucks are improperly loaded or under-secured freight shifts during transit.

Mechanical Failure or Vehicle Defects

Companies should maintain commercial vehicles according to federal safety rules. Large trucks have many parts, including air brakes, that are susceptible to failure unless adequately maintained.

Blind Spots

It’s common knowledge that big commercial trucks have large blind spots, and drivers must account for these. Vehicle operators must check carefully for other motorists nearby before changing lanes or turning.

We Will Fight for Just Compensation in Your Case

As you recover from your Charleston truck accident, our lawyer’s goal is to build a case that will win in a trial and effectively secure the compensation you are entitled to receive. We know this money can help you start to put your life back together. We will:

  • Quantify your losses: This is the sum of your economic and non-economic damages, which may be higher than you think. According to data from the National Safety Council and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (with 1,006 fatalities in the state at a per-death cost of $11.88 million), all traffic collisions led to an estimated $11,951,280,000 in damages in South Carolina in 2019 alone.
  • Gather important evidence to prove your case: We must prove the at-fault party caused an accident and you were harmed as a result. We can use dashcam footage, police reports, and witness statements to do so. We will also file a letter of spoliation to preserve any evidence in the trucking company’s possession. This includes the truck’s maintenance records, an event data recorder, the truck driver’s work history, logbooks, and more.
  • File your claim or lawsuit on time: We will submit a demand letter to the liable party’s insurer, demanding payment for your damages. We will also ensure you meet all filing deadlines and other key deadlines in your case. Our team takes care of all essential paperwork and handles all communications with other parties, leaving you to focus on your recovery.

We Will Take on the Insurance Company for You

Insurance companies have teams of lawyers whose sole job is to limit how much the insurer pays in claims. While they will try to minimize your compensation payout – or outrightly deny a claim – we will strive to reach a fair settlement.

To do this, we will gather evidence and testimony from medical and economics experts to show you have lost a certain amount because of the accident and should therefore be compensated for that amount. Many people give in too easily and accept the first offer from an insurer. But an insurer’s job is to make a profit, not pay you what your case is actually worth.

We strongly discourage accepting a too-low settlement from an insurance company. Instead, we encourage you to go through all the formal steps of filing your evidence-based claim and arguing your case based on the insurance policies and driving laws that apply.

We Will File Your Truck Accident Lawsuit by South Carolina’s Deadline

If you are considering taking legal action in your truck accident case, you will want our lawyer serving Charleston to start as soon as they can. Per S.C. Ann § 15-3-530, you have three years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If you try to file your case after the deadline expires, the court will likely dismiss your case.

First, get the medical care you need for your injuries. As soon as you begin to feel better, you can explore your legal options with an attorney from our firm. We urge that you start as early as possible because it takes time to gather evidence and build a case.

Insurance Companies Could Stall Out Your Claim

Insurers can also take time to review your evidence and come to a decision regarding compensation. Sometimes, they take a long time on purpose to stall negotiations, hoping to run out the clock on your claim. Failing to gather key evidence and file on time can give the at-fault party’s insurer grounds to reject your claim or lower your compensation payout on the basis that you were not seriously injured enough to file immediately.

Furthermore, while you wait for your case to settle, you may be unable to work, which can put you behind on paying your bills. You may have other expenses that you must pay as soon as possible, such as treatment, rehabilitation, or incidental expenses related to your accident. These costs can add up. Filing early can help get things underway and potentially help you secure financial recovery sooner rather than later.

We Put Our Clients First and Treat Them Like Family

Hammack Law Firm offers compassionate legal services. We care about our clients and their needs. Our founder, Attorney Paul Hammack, has been helping clients with their personal injury cases in South Carolina for more than 20 years. For years, he represented some of North America’s largest insurance companies, so he understands the tactics they use to avoid compensating injured truck accident victims fairly.

Our clients have benefited from Paul and his legal team’s experience. We are not afraid to take on the big insurance companies or take them to trial to fight for the awards that compensate our clients for their injuries. The testimonials below highlight how our compassionate and empathetic team of attorneys can help you handle a truck accident case.

  • “This was by far the best experience I’ve ever encountered with a law firm. [They] made the process a breeze. I was thoroughly pleased with the firm that treated me like one of their own. Thank you… I appreciate you and I’ll recommend your firm to all my family and friends.” – Gray Rogers
  • “I cannot express how pleased I am with Hammack Law Firm! They really do treat you like family here. Not even 8 months after my car accident I received my settlement. Not only were all the bills taken care of, but I also had money in my pocket!” – Ms. Summer
  • “Mr. Paul and his team have been great to work with. They make you feel like you’re a part of the family. I can honestly say that they care about you and your wellbeing and getting your case settled. Thank you guys for everything that you did for me!” – Tiffany’s Sweet Treats, LLC, a corporate client

Our Lawyer Will Represent You on Contingency

Hammack Law Firm provides free case evaluations and consultations. We collect only if you win your case against the party or parties that caused your truck accident in Charleston.

We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means we will handle your case from start to finish until you are awarded a settlement or receive a compensation payout. Your success is our success, and you can rest assured that we will work diligently to secure just compensation for you.

Call Us Today to Get Started on Your Case

Hammack Law Firm is just a call away. We will work closely with you to help you understand what you need to do as we pursue your case and strive to win compensation on your behalf.

You can reach us at (864) 326-3333(864) 326-3333 for a free consultation. Do not hesitate to call us today.

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