Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys On Your Side
Sorting through everything that happens after a car accident can be overwhelming, but it pales in comparison to dealing with the aftermath of a trucking accident. These complicated claims demand an experienced hand that knows how to handle the many different entities involved, research ever-changing truck accident laws, and negotiate with insurance companies that are often not willing to give a dime to the people they insure.
Hammack Law Firm excels at delivering justice for victims of trucking accidents, securing maximum monetary compensation for those who have sustained injury or loss. With more than 20 years of extensive legal experience in righting the wrongs committed by negligent, malicious, or fraudulent trucking companies, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Greenville, call 864-326-3333
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.
Greenville Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 864-326-3333
Recent Truck Injury Case Victories
For a client injured by a truck driver who was tail gating and lost control of his tractor-trailer, causing the need for a total hip replacement
For a passenger in a vehicle who sustained severe injuries to her legs, including an acute ankle dislocation, caused by a truck driver that jack-knifed into oncoming traffic
For a client who had soft tissue neck and shoulder injuries resulting from a truck that struck our client’s vehicle in the rear
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
Fatalities in crashes involving large trucks in South Carolina
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.
Because your health and livelihood are at stake. Accidents involving tractor-trailers, buses, or commercial motor vehicles involve legal issues unique to transportation law, so it is critical to retain legal counsel with experience in this specialized area. Any injury lawyer can handle a truck accident, right? Not if you want to extract the highest value from your case. To get the most out of your case, your truck law attorney must know the federal regulations on vehicle maintenance, driver fatigue, hours-of-service violations, and know where to look to find the hidden evidence. Paul Hammack at Hammack Law Firm has more than 19 years’ experience handling truck accident claims. Paul defended large trucking companies for over a decade, so he knows the industry and knows how to get the most out of every case.
Your success is our success Truck Accident Blog
Have you been injured in a Truck Accident? Let’s go get your money!
Paul Hammack has spent nearly 20 years fighting trucking companies and the insurance companies that play legal tricks to protect them. As a Greenville truck wreck attorney, Paul represents people who have been injured or killed due to the negligence of truck drivers. Paul and his team will put their trucking industry legal experience to work for you; and fight hard for your legal right to compensation.
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The following diagram illustrates the issue:
1. The tractor begins to skid
2. The Driver steers into the skid, corrects it and drivers on.
3. If however, the skid is not corrected in time, the trailer will push
the tractor around until the cab hits the trailer.
Trailer slew or Trailer swing (This is not to be confused with jackknifing)
1. The trailer skids while braking on a slippery surface.
2. The driver releases the brakes and continues to drive forwards pulling the
trailer back into line . (This is not normally dangerous but if the driver doesn’t
release the brakers, the trailer could slide into a ditch, collide with parked
cars or oncoming traffic.)
A Greenville Truck Accident Lawyer with an Insurance Insider’s Perspective
Attorney Paul Hammack knows how insurance companies approach commercial trucking operations and accident litigation. After all, he worked on their side for many years. Today, he uses his talents to only represent injured plaintiffs, always taking aggressive action to beat the insurance company at its own game. Trucking company lawyers are intimidating. Paul has experience actually trying cases, so he is not intimidated, and knows how to fight back. In short, Paul knows what it takes to position your case to get you the money you deserve.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
We have found that most truck accidents occur because of:
- Driver Error – Maneuvering into the wrong lane, illegal U-turns, and not checking blind spots are all trademarks of a negligent truck driver. Couple that with distracted driving—such as texting or using other equipment or devices—and other drivers on the road are put at risk of an accident.
- Equipment Failure – It is common for truck accidents to occur because of equipment failure. Some of the most common equipment failures involve tire blowouts, malfunctioning brakes, or broken tandem or coupling.
- Poor Truck Maintenance –Trucking companies must stick to strict maintenance schedules. They risk real-world danger by forgoing this crucial process and placing these hulking machines on the road without maintaining them can have devastating consequences. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that these trucking companies follow rigorous maintenance standards in order to make sure that inspectors, truck drivers, and passenger vehicle drivers on the road are all safe.
- Improper Cargo Weight Distribution – Cargo that isn’t secured or loaded properly can cause a multitude of problems while in transit. If the cargo inside the trailer is too heavy or not secured properly, it can affect the truck’s ability to remain balanced. An imbalanced 18-wheeler is more susceptible to rollovers, which can cause fatal accidents.
- Tailgating – The front end of a large truck is the most dangerous place to be when driving down the expressway. If a large truck is tailgating you and the need for a sudden stop on your end arises, the 18-wheeler can plow right into your car. A tractor trailer like that needs plenty of space between your car and itself to make a safe and complete stop, and if a commercial truck driver is driving in this manner, it is negligence.
Common Injuries Caused by a Truck Accident
With over 80,000 pounds of metal, rubber, various other materials, and whatever cargo is loaded into the trailer, a semi-truck can deal serious damage to other passenger cars. To provide some perspective, typically a passenger car weighs in around 3,000 to 4,000 pounds and is significantly smaller.
Because of this, severe injuries are almost guaranteed when a passenger car is involved in an accident with a large truck, and death is all too common.
Some of these severe injuries include:
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Broken Bones
- Torso and Rib Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Amputated Limbs and Extremities
- Wrongful Death
An accident involving a large commercial truck like an 18-wheeler not only causes serious injury, it can alter your life forever. However, if you were injured in a truck accident, you do not have to surrender to these circumstances. Enlist the skilled Greenville truck accident lawyer of Hammack Law Firm to help you get the monetary compensation you deserve.
The Dangers of Garbage Trucks
On a daily basis, garbage trucks travel the city and suburban streets to collect trash, recyclables, and other refuse. Given how sizeable these trucks are, their blind spots, and how narrow the paths they travel through, the chances of an accident increase, making it a difficult situation for all involved.
Now consider the size difference in a passenger vehicle and a sanitation truck. Although these trucks may be traveling at lower speeds, their gargantuan size can cause much damage. Even the smallest of garbage trucks can weigh up to 20 tons.
Because of the sheer weight and power behind a garbage truck, passenger cars are extremely vulnerable to their impact, but that isn’t the only danger that they pose. Garbage trucks carry with them a variety of throwaways, and debris can also fly off and harm an occupant of a passenger car. These accidents do happen, and sometimes negligence plays a role.
Depending on what type of accident occurs and the circumstances of the situation, various parties may be to blame for the injuries and harm inflicted by a garbage truck. The experienced Greenville garbage truck accident attorneys of Hammack Law Firm can help determine who is responsible for your accident and help to hold them liable so that you may recover deserved damages from this incident.
Common Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents
Waste collection vehicles drive throughout town, picking up waste and hauling it off to landfills and/or recycling centers to keep our city clean. In the event that a garbage truck collides with another vehicle or pedestrian, the impact can cause a lot of damage.
The following are common causes of garbage truck accidents:
- Falling debris – Garbage trucks are designed to properly contain and secure the trash that is collected. However, in the event that heavy debris escapes the loader, it can obstruct the path of a vehicle traveling behind the garbage truck causing it to swerve. This flying debris can also strike a nearby pedestrian or cyclist.
- Inattentive drivers – This is the most common cause of garbage truck accidents that occur when the driver is in reverse.
- Negligent driving – Special precautions must be taken when operating the hefty vehicle; however, some employees may fail to act in line with their “duty of care”. Operation of a sanitation truck in a negligent manner such as speeding, driving the wrong way in a one-way, or failing to obey street signs can cost an individual their life as well.
- Equipment failure – The sanitation trucks do require special training to operate the equipment. However, if the brakes, steering wheel, or some other component fails, the extent to which the driver has control over the situation may be limited. In these cases, liability may fall on a party other than the driver.
Depending on the circumstances of the garbage truck accident you are involved in, the party that is liable for your injuries may vary. The U.S. Department of Labor lists operating a garbage truck as a dangerous job given the types of accidents that happen.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends the following procedures to maintain a safe environment:
- Garbage truck operators should wear reflective and protective gear while working their shifts.
A worker must assist the side of the garbage truck when the compactor is on.
- The garbage truck equipment must be shut off when operations are not occurring so that no employee is in danger of injury.
- Trucks may only operate once the workers have made a path clear from pedestrians.
- Garbage truck operators must adhere to the duty of care when using the heavy equipment to ensure the safety of all pedestrians and workers.
Failure to maintain safety procedures or the malfunction of the heavy machinery itself can also endanger the lives of workers. These trucks have the potential to be very dangerous so extra caution and vigilance must be utilized to maintain the duty of care.
Steps To Take After Garbage Truck Accident
If you are involved in an accident with a garbage truck, the following that is listed are some actions you should consider taking to best recover from the situation:
- Seek medical attention – No matter what injuries you think you may or may not have suffered in the accident, seek proper care. In some cases, victims can be stunned by the event and not detect much pain. Get your injuries assessed, as these records will later serve as evidence for your claim.
- Gather contact info of all parties involved – This includes the driver of the sanitation truck and other eye witnesses that may have been present at the scene of the accident. You should also get the name of the police officer, if any assisted at the scene.
- Obtain evidence from the scene – If you are in a well enough condition, you may gather evidence from the scene. For example, take a picture of the scene of the crash, or ask the police where you may obtain a copy of the police report. Evidence of negligence can be determined from these sources to hold others liable.
- Collect Documentation of Losses – Keep a file of medical records from the garbage truck accident treatment, receipts from damage repairs, and pay stubs that show a loss in wages after an inability to attend work due to your injuries. These can be assessed as losses when compensation is being determined.
- Report the incident to your insurance company – You may contact your insurance company about the incident to seek advice, but contact your lawyer prior to making any conversation with the insurance company of the other party.
- Seek guidance from a Greenville attorney – Finally, the best way to find guidance in this difficult situation is to seek a consultation from the accident attorneys at Hammack Law Firm. If you are dealing with physical pain, mental distress, and financial burdens associated with medical treatment and property repairs, our lawyer will assist you every step of the way.
In the event that a sanitation worker demonstrated negligence in their operation of a city vehicle, you can recover damages for the losses you faced in an accident. Incidents involving garbage trucks can be fatal and proper action should be taken to seek justice.
Types of Garbage Truck Accident Cases We Handle
Garbage truck accidents frequently involve other innocent people, but certain kinds of accidents may be single-vehicle crashes or other accidents that injure workers. Garbage trucks could be involved in many different types of automobile accidents, including:
- Blindspot accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Speeding accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Improper or illegal turns
The causes of such accidents can vary, but some of the most common involve driver negligence. Specific causes include, but are not limited to:
- Inclement weather
- Driver fatigue
- Malfunctioning vehicle parts
- Lack of driver training
- Failure to maintain the vehicle
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol
A garbage truck crash could result in potentially life-altering injuries. Common injuries you could sustain in a garbage truck accident include, but are not limited to:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Fractures and broken bones
- Muscle strains
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Burn injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Unfortunately, fatalities in garbage truck accidents are also a possibility. If you’ve lost a loved one in a garbage truck accident, you retain the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact us at 864-326-3333 so we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Garbage Truck Accidents
What should I do if I was involved in a garbage truck accident?
A garbage truck accident can be an exhausting and complicated experience. Your health should take priority. You should always make sure that you visit a hospital immediately after such a crash. Do not wait for symptoms to appear later. Make sure you get medical attention right away, so a medical record is created for that same day. It is also important that you contact the local law enforcement agency so you can have a police report relating to your accident filed.
Another valuable precaution to take at the scene of your accident is to use the camera on your cell phone to photograph everything at the scene of your crash. The more detailed pictures you take, the better your lawyer will be able to understand what happened in your accident. You should also ask people who saw the collision for names and phone numbers in case witnesses are needed to clear up any disputes over liability. Finally, contact a lawyer to walk you through the steps of filing your claim as soon as you’re able.
What kinds of compensation could I be entitled to?
There is a good chance that your injury case will be resolved through a settlement. The insurance company is more than likely going to decide that a settlement is a more economical decision than taking the case to trial. Some cases will make it to court, and people could be awarded different kinds of compensatory damages, depending on the specifics of their injuries. Compensatory damages usually come in the form of economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages cover tangible costs, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Travel expenses for treatment
- Other financial costs
Noneconomic damages are far more subjective and generally do not have a quantifiable value. These awards could be for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are also possible in personal injury cases in South Carolina, but they are incredibly rare because they must be proven by clear and convincing evidence that the harm was the result of a defendant’s willful, wanton, or reckless conduct.
What is the South Carolina Tort Claims Act?
The South Carolina Tort Claims Act is found in Chapter 78 of Title 15 of the South Carolina Code. This act governs the procedure for all situations in which a person is injured because of the state, a political subdivision of the state, or an employee acting within the scope of their official duty for the state. The South Carolina Tort Claims Act places limits of $300,000 for any one individual filing suit over a single act of negligence and $600,000 recoverable for any single occurrence, regardless of the number of claimants.
Garbage Truck Accident Statistics
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) said in an April 18, 2018 press release that 2017 solid waste industry fatality data showed 132 recorded fatalities, which was an 18 percent increase in total fatalities from 2016. The deaths included 94 members of the public and 38 workers on the job, and more than 75 percent of the incidents involved a private sector solid waste company.
Of the 38 worker fatalities in 2017, SWANA reported approximately 60 percent were killed during collection, 21 percent died at a landfill, and the remainder occurred at Material Recovery Facilities, transfer stations, and other locations. Of the 94 third-party fatalities, 57 were occupants of other vehicles, 23 were pedestrians, eight were bicyclists, four were motorcyclists, and two occurred at disposal facilities.
On April 24, 2019, SWANA reported that the 59 solid waste industry workers killed on the job in 2018 in the United States and Canada was an increase of 19 fatalities from the previous year. According to SWANA, struck by incidents were the most common cause of fatalities followed by collisions and rollover incidents, and these accounted for almost 50 percent of all worker deaths.
Truck Accidents We Handle
Hammack Law Firm has extensive experience in fighting for individuals’ right to monetary compensation, and throughout the more than 19 years that we have been practicing law, we have acquired more resources and devised better strategies to cave in the defense.
Our truck accident lawyer has spent decades perfecting the way we win truck accident claims involving:
- Big rigs, semi-trucks, tractor trailers, or 18-wheelers
- Moving vans, specifically minivans or box trucks
- Delivery vans
- Flatbed trucks loaded with cargo
- Tanker trucks carrying hazardous chemicals, gases, and materials
- Fuel truck tankers
- Commercial work trucks like cement mixers, dump trucks, etc.
- Coal, log, and refrigerator trucks
- Tow trucks
- Cargo trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Emergency response vehicles like firetrucks
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident Claim
The hardest part of being involved in a truck accident claim, other than recovering from grievous injury, is finding experienced legal representation that can effectively help you in your fight for monetary compensation.
To do this, we must secure strong evidence that proves the other party is responsible for the truck accident that caused your injuries. The evidence our law firm looks for to prove liability and strengthen your case mostly lies in:
- Your Vehicle – Your vehicle must stay in the condition it was after the accident occurred. If you choose to repair it afterward, you are harming your chances at winning your claim, as you are essentially throwing away your strongest evidence.
- Inspection Reports – Commercial trucks must pass an inspection. An inspection verifies that the trucking company approved the commercial truck for use. If this important step is missed, the trucking company is considered negligent.
- Maintenance Logs – All of the information as to what maintenance was performed before the truck went out on the road is kept in a maintenance log. If these records show that the truck was in poor condition before transit, your chances of winning your claim increase.
- Cargo Logs – Important information regarding what the truck hauled while it was in transit is kept in a cargo log. Commercial vehicles hauling heavy cargo that exceeds the gross vehicle weight rating will eventually damage the brake system, leading to brake failure.
- Alcohol and Drug Testing Results – Trucking companies employ the use of random alcohol and drug tests to make sure that their drivers are sober when operating commercial trucks. Commercial truck drivers that have been involved in a truck accident are also tested afterward to see if it was the cause of the incident.
- Other Important Information – Information regarding the driver, the trucking company, protocols and procedures enforced by the company, and/or additional information that is of use about the accident itself can also be used to strengthen your truck accident claim.
Hammack Law Firm has the legal experience you need to win your truck accident claim. Contact us at 864-326-3333 to set up a legal consultation with our best truck accident attorney. We have the skills necessary to maximize your settlement or verdict.
Truck Accident Compensation Awarded to Victims
The truck accident attorneys of Hammack Law Firm is geared up to win maximum monetary compensation for individuals that have been injured in a truck accident. If this resonates with your experience, our Greenville truck accident lawyer can help you fight for:
- Past and ongoing medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Financial damages
- Economic damages
- Punitive damages
If, however, the victim of the truck accident has passed away, your family may be able to recover any funeral expenses under a wrongful death claim. The surviving members of the family can also file for a recovery of lost companionship and loss of consortium.
Before you sign any documentation or accept a settlement from the insurance or trucking company, speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer first. By accepting such offers, you may be waiving your right to seek compensation, releasing the responsible party from its liability.
Why You Need Hammack Law Firm to Handle Your Truck Accident Claim
What makes Hammack Law Firm different from other truck accident lawyers and law firms is the rare insider information we have regarding trucking company defense. Before we represented the true victims of these types of accidents, we defended trucking companies for 15 years. During that time, we saw just how badly these kind of accidents affected everyday people, giving us an eye-opening experience that was enough to compel us to change the focus of our practice. Nineteen years later, we are still defending the people, the true victims, that are hurt or lost because of negligent, malicious, or fraudulent trucking companies.
Large truck accidents are completely different from car accidents. Notably, these trucks are 20 to 30 times heavier and three to four times bigger than regular passenger cars. Because of this fact, large trucks such as 18-wheelers or other types of commercial vehicles can easily inflict disabling injuries to anyone involved in an accident with them.
It may be easy to think that these types of accidents are straightforward since it involves one victim and one entity, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Causation, multiple parties, and complex insurance policies often complicate the entire process.
That’s why you need the skilled representation in your truck accident claim that the injury attorneys at Hammack Law Firm provides. We have navigated complex laws and insurance policies in the past, helping a family that was involved in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer win $1.6 million. The husband was able to take away $900,000 in compensation for being involved in an accident where a truck was tailgating. The compensation helped pay for a total hip replacement.
With Hammack Law Firm, getting the monetary compensation you need is a reality.
Hammack Law Firm, truck accident attorneys you can trust.
The experienced Greenville truck accident lawyers with Hammack Law Firm have what it takes to win the maximum monetary compensation you need to recuperate. We have fought tooth and nail for individuals who have endured debilitating injuries and other losses due to truck accidents caused by negligent, malicious, or fraudulent trucking companies.
- Right to our respect, courtesy, compassion and empathy
- Right to talk with us within 24 hours of your call
- Right to timely updates on your case progress