A motor vehicle accident can turn your life around in an instant. Truck accidents can be particularly devastating. If you were involved in an accident with a drunk truck driver, you can file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer to seek compensation. In some situations, you can also sue for damages. Our team can assign a South Carolina truck accident lawyer serving drunk driving victims to your case.
Hammack Law Firm is ready to help you fight for compensation in your truck accident involving a drunk driver. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and medication is against the law, and we believe in holding liable parties in such accidents accountable for their actions. We will take your case to court, if necessary, to get what’s due to you. In addition, we offer an evaluation in which we review your legal options for free.
DUI Accidents Injure Thousands of People a Year
About 28 people die in drunk-driving accidents every day, which averages out to one person dying every 52 minutes, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the agency, these accidents dropped to their lowest percentage since 1982 in 2019. However, even in that year, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in these preventable crashes.
Here in South Carolina, 28,235 DUI-related accidents happened between 2013 and 2017, according to data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS).
Deadly DUI accidents sometimes involve large commercial tractor-trailers, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – 20 to 30 times more than a passenger car. Operating these vehicles, or any vehicles, under the influence of mind-altering and mood-altering substances is a deadly mix that can lead to loss of life, catastrophic injuries, and other problems.
Commercial Truck Drivers Are Subject to Atricter DUI Laws
In South Carolina, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or above, as the SCDPS says. However, under federal law, commercial truck drivers are legally drunk if their BAC is 0.04% or higher. If it is determined that a truck driver in your accident was operating their vehicle while impaired, we will take action against them and possibly other parties for your damages and losses.
DUI charges are big trouble for commercial truck drivers. If the driver has a state-issued commercial driver’s license (CDL), by law, they agree to take a blood alcohol test at a law enforcement officer’s request. If they are found with a BAC of 0.04% or higher, it results in license suspension. Their license can also be suspended if they refuse to take the blood alcohol test.
Our Team Serves Victims of Intoxicated Truck Drivers
Our lawyer who handles drunk driving truck accidents in the South Carolina area will help victims who have been in the following with any kind of truck:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Tire blowout accidents
We will do everything we can to protect your rights and help you recover awards from the liable parties who caused your accident and injuries, from head trauma to internal organ damage.
Recovering Damages for a Drunk Truck Driving Accident in South Carolina
You can include any damages or losses that are linked to the accident in your insurance claim. This right is given to you under Title 56, Chapter 1, Article 1 of South Carolina’s Code of Laws. The dollar value of these losses and damages represents your claim’s value.
Examples of damages that you could seek compensation for in your claim include:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Loss of future income
- Property damage
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and distress
The amount you could receive in compensation will depend on the quality of the evidence you present in favor of your claims, how vigorously you negotiate with the insurer, and whether you meet all of the evidentiary and statutory filing requirements. This is where our team can help.
Wrongful Death Actions
Sometimes, traffic accidents cause injuries that are fatal. If you lost your loved one in a DUI-related truck accident, please accept our sincere condolences. We are sorry for your loss. We want to help your family recover damages on the decedent’s behalf.
We will help you review who is eligible to file a wrongful death action in your family. If your case is successful, you could recover awards that can help you take care of final expenses the decedent had as well as ones you took on after their passing, such as their funeral and burial arrangements.
We Will Prove Who Is Liable for Your Accident
Personal injury cases must identify and prove who is at fault in an accident and why. When it comes to truck accidents, that task is not as simple as it may sound. These collisions could have more than one person responsible for the victims’ injuries. If this is the case in your drunk driving accident, we will get to the bottom of it and find out who you should seek financial damages from.
Depending on the circumstances of the collision, liable parties in a DUI trucking accident can include:
- The driver’s employer (through vicarious liability)
- The maintenance and repair company that services the truck
- The company that made the truck
- The company that made the truck parts that failed (e.g., brakes, horn)
- The government agency responsible for maintaining the roadway where the crash occurred
While the truck driver’s intoxication may make them the main liable party, we will hold any of the above parties responsible if they also contributed to the collision in some way. For example, in some cases, the trucking company may be at fault if poor hiring practices led to the hiring of an unqualified driver – or one who had a documented history of drinking and driving.
Evidence to Support Your Financial Recovery After a Truck Collision
We will review the details of your accident to determine how the driver owed you a duty of care and violated it, causing your injuries and losses. We also know that trucking companies often have critical evidence in their possession that could make or break a case. We will send a spoliation letter to ensure that such evidence is preserved as we investigate to determine liability in your case. We will request any or all of the following:
- Truck maintenance records
- Data from the truck’s black box (event data recorder)
- Dashcam video footage
- Driver’s training and work history
- Results from any blood-alcohol tests that were given
You deserve to have every piece of evidence reviewed and considered to make a stronger case for your financial recovery, and we are determined to do just that for you and your family. If you are ready to review your legal options during a free case evaluation, we are ready to talk with you now.
Filing a Claim Against an At-Fault Party
For most drunk truck driver accidents, the at-fault party will be the drunk driver in question, and you must file your claim with their insurer. The driver may be insured by their employer, on top of having an individual insurance policy and other forms of coverage that could provide compensation. These include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and bodily injury liability.
Benefits of Our Customer-Focused Legal Services
Our team of compassionate and empathetic attorneys combines a true small-firm feel with big-firm experience. We are warm, supportive, and helpful, and our client testimonials – included below – attest to this fact.
Our team can help you:
- Identify the specific damages that can be included in your case
- Quantify the value of each damage category
- Gather the evidence required to build a sound case for compensatory damages
- Understand which insurance policies apply to damages of specific types
- Calculate non-economic damages, if applicable
- Compose a demand letter for issuance to the at-fault party’s insurer
- Negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurer on your behalf
- Take your case to court if insurers fail to settle
When calculating damages, we can obtain the testimony of expert witnesses – such as medical experts and economic evaluation experts – to arrive at an accurate dollar figure for how much your case is worth. We will include intangible damages in this calculation as well, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Our aim is to have you compensated for your losses.
Our Client Reviews Describe Our Compassionate Approach
Two client reviews shared below succinctly illustrate our personalized approach to providing accident victims with the legal guidance and representation they need and deserve.
One client, commenting on our professionalism, quality, responsiveness, and value, said the following:
“Absolutely a great group of people to work with. I don’t think I could have chosen a better firm to handle my case. Everyone is friendly and informative. If I ever have anymore legal issues I will be going back!” – Bob
Another client had the following to say:
“I have been very pleased with the Hammack Law Firm. This firm has been helpful in all ways of settling a dispute. If one ever needs an attorney, Hammack Law Firm is the best! Everyone that works here is most helpful, courteous and very professional!” – Tiffany Mcgill
You Should Not Have to Worry About Legal Fees
Many accident victims worry about paying legal fees on top of handling all of the other losses and expenses that arise in the aftermath of an accident.
We provide free, no-commitment consultations. We also represent clients on a contingency fee basis and only collect if you win your case. If you do not win, you do not pay. It’s as simple as that. If paying legal fees is a concern, do not worry. We will handle your case for you and will only collect once your case is decided and you are awarded a settlement or compensation payout.
South Carolina Filing Deadlines
You must file a claim as soon as you can. You typically have between 30 and 60 days to submit a demand letter to the insurer of an at-fault party.
If you wish to sue for damages, you must do so within three years. This is the personal injury and wrongful death statute of limitations in South Carolina, as per S.C. Ann § 15-3-530.
Contact Our Legal Team Today
Losses and expenses after a collision can quickly add up. If you suffered injuries in an accident involving a drunk truck driver, we want to hear from you. Our team will help you learn more about recovering the losses and damages that you were unfairly made to suffer as you try to recover.
You can reach our firm at (864) 326-3333. Call today for a free, confidential consultation.