Trucking accidents in SC result in far too many deaths each year. And, for the most part, it’s not the truck drivers dying – most of the deaths and serious injuries are the drivers or passengers of other vehicles.
Just this month, the driver of an SUV was killed after a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer in Edgefield County near the Midlands area.
In another trucking crash this month, a tractor-trailer crashed on I-95 near the Colleton/Hampton County line after striking a guard rail on the Combahee River Bridge, overturning and spilling diesel fuel into a nearby swamp.
Below, we will look at trucking accidents in SC, including:
- Trucking accident statistics in SC,
- Trucking accidents vs. vehicle accidents,
- Types of large truck accidents, and
- Trucking accident personal injury claims.
Special Concerns in Trucking Accidents
In one recent year, 5292 truck crashes in SC resulted in 62 deaths and 1184 injuries. Most of the deaths were passenger car drivers or passengers, and the leading cause of the fatalities was truck driver error.
These cases often result in major damages to those who get hurt due to high medical bills, extensive injuries, and great property damage.
Keep reading to find out more about trucking accident statistics and how these accidents happen.
Trucking Accident Statistics in SC
Nationwide, large trucks were involved in nine percent of all fatal crashes and three percent of all crashes that resulted in injury or property damage only.
What does that statistic mean?
When you collide with an eighteen-wheeler, it is more likely to result in catastrophic damage and someone’s death.
This is why trucking companies and truck drivers must follow state and federal laws and regulations, ensure that the drivers get enough sleep, ensure that the drivers are familiar with the area they are traveling in, ensure that cargos are properly secured, and not take shortcuts with vehicle inspections and maintenance.
Trucking Accidents vs. Vehicle Accidents
If you are involved in a collision with a heavy truck, you are facing a higher likelihood of serious injuries, death, and serious property damage than you would have if you were in an accident with another passenger vehicle.
Because of the catastrophic nature of these crashes, the insurance companies and defense lawyers for trucking companies and truck drivers move quickly to gather evidence that 1) you were liable for the crash and 2) they are not liable for your injuries.
The insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying full and fair compensation, leaving you to pick up the pieces. If they see a possible defense, they will refuse to pay. If they can get you to give them a recorded statement, and you make admissions they can use against you, they will refuse to pay.
If they see that you do not have an attorney, and they think that you don’t know 1) the damages you are entitled to or 2) the law regarding liability as it applies to your case, they will refuse to pay or they will attempt to pay far less than full and fair compensation.
This is why it is critical that you contact an experienced trucking accident lawyer in SC as soon as possible after the crash – before you talk to the trucking company or their insurance company.
Causes of Heavy Truck Accidents
How can we prevent accidents involving big trucks? Although some trucking accidents are caused by other motorists, proper training and compliance with state and federal regulations would prevent many eighteen-wheeler crashes and the resulting deaths.
Some of the more common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Lack of driver training and experience,
- Faulty equipment on the tractor-trailer,
- Following too closely,
- Loss of control of the truck caused by shifting cargo, driving too fast for conditions, or roadway hazards,
- Intoxication, and
- Inattentiveness or not keeping a proper lookout.
Types of Trucking Accidents
Many different types of large truck accidents can result in severe injuries, property damage, and hazardous material spills, including:
- Rollovers – big trucks are more likely to roll over because of their height and weight distribution, and this is made worse by improperly secured cargo,
- Jack-knifing – when the truck’s cab goes one way and the trailer goes another, the tractor-trailer will double up in a V-shape like a folding pocket knife,
- Rear-end crashes – trucks take much longer to stop than smaller vehicles, and they are more likely to crash into another vehicle’s rear if they do not keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them,
- Underride crashes – smaller vehicles can slide underneath big trucks, crushing the car’s occupants, and
- Cargo accidents – when an eighteen-wheeler crashes, chemicals, oil, or other hazardous substances can spill into the roadway, and other cargo can fall onto vehicles increasing the potential for damage and injuries.
Truck Accident Claims
Depending on the facts of the trucking crash, truck drivers, trucking companies, third-party contractors, and parts manufacturers may be liable based on:
- The driver’s negligence,
- Violations of federal and state laws and regulations like hours-of-service regulations,
- Failure to inspect the vehicle,
- Failure to maintain the vehicle,
- Overloading the vehicle,
- Improperly securing the cargo, or
- Failure to properly train the driver.
Your SC trucking accident lawyer will investigate the crash, interview witnesses, get the driver’s and company’s records to prove whether they complied with federal and state regulations, review the inspection records, review the maintenance records, and inspect the truck’s “black box” (Event Data Recorder or EDR).
Questions About Trucking Accidents in SC?
If you have been injured in a trucking accident in SC, call the Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas, P.A. at 803-369-3968 or contact us through our website for a free consultation.
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