Tractor-trailers accidents tend to be catastrophic for everyone involved, but particularly for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. Commercial trucks are massive in size and weight, and passenger vehicles like cars or motorcycles simply cannot compete in the event of a crash. The resulting amount of property damage and injuries from a collision with a truck can make it much more difficult for a victim to secure fair compensation than for a conventional car wreck claim.
This is why it is crucial to work with an attorney who understands how truck accident claims work. Even though an insurance rep might tell you that a truck injury claim is no different than a car crash claim, this is not true. Collisions with tractor-trailers bring a variety of other considerations that don’t factor in to car crash claims.
A passenger vehicle is not going to come out unscathed in a wreck with an 18-wheeler. Further, injuries from truck accidents can be severe and catastrophic, which means victims may need lifetime health care. In the worst possible cases, victims can be killed, and their families may need to file a wrongful death claim in order to compensate for the loss of their loved one. These financial losses can be devastating, and trucking companies will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out on these claims.
With a typical car crash, one party usually files a claim against the at-fault driver, and the claim goes through the driver’s insurance company. Truck crash claims are much more complicated. The truck driver may not be the only person at fault. Other negligent parties could include the driver’s employer, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer or even an inspection and maintenance facility. On top of that, each of these parties has their own insurance company, and it’s not uncommon for them all to make cross-claims against each other. Only an experienced South Carolina truck accident attorney can keep track of these types of complex cases.
Different types of documentation and proof
All personal injury claims provide some kind of documentation and proof of the crash and resulting injuries, like police reports, medical records, or photographs of the scene. Truck wrecks, on the other hand, can be so destructive with such severe injuries that some evidence may be destroyed. More investigation may be necessary, like working with accident reconstruction experts, securing black box data, and reviewing toxicology tests and personnel records from the trucking company.
Knowledge of federal and state law
Truckers must adhere to federal regulations regarding commercial vehicles, and our attorneys understand both South Carolina and federal trucking law. The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates truck drivers take regular sleep and rest breaks, as well as drug tests. Truckers are also subject to lower BAC for drunk driving charges.
If you were injured after a collision with a tractor-trailer, talk to attorneys who understand the trucking industry and its complexities. At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, we defend the rights of injury victims and work to secure them maximum compensation for their injuries. To schedule your free consultation with one of our South Carolina attorneys, call 803-327-7800, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page.
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
Read more about S. Randall Hood