In the United States, almost 500,000 truck accidents occur every year, with roughly 5,000 resulting in fatalities. Statistics show that one of every eight traffic fatalities each year are caused by truck accidents. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there were 41 reported fatal crashes involving tractor trailers in 2014, which resulted in 47 deaths.
Truck accidents differ from regular car accidents in that they involve vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. When these massive trucks collide with smaller vehicles or pedestrians on the road, the consequences are catastrophic. In a crash, small passenger vehicles tend to absorb the impact most, crumpling due to the pressure and causing life-threatening injuries and even death.
If you believe your truck accident was the fault of another party, an experienced trucking accident attorney from Kassel McVey can open an investigation, gather evidence, and help build your claim.
In a large commercial vehicle accident it’s vital to call an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible to obtain the best possible outcome of your case and to ensure top compensation for your damages.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA published a Large Truck Crash Causation Study which showed that driver error was the leading cause of truck crashes – citing it as the critical reason for the accident in 87 percent of the recorded crashes. Examples of driver error include falling asleep behind the wheel, driving while inattentive or distracted, speeding, driving too closely, and failing to assess driving conditions. Other reported causes of truck accidents were being unfamiliar with the roads, using alcohol or illegal drugs, and making illegal maneuvers.
Another common cause of truck accidents in South Carolina are vehicle problems. These problems are almost always avoidable, and can take the form of defective tires, faulty brakes, and the improper loading of cargo. Often, vehicle problems result in an accident that the truck driver cannot avoid—even when acting responsibly.
There are times, however, when neither the vehicle nor the driver is responsible for a truck accident. Environmental hazards can also cause a truck accident to occur. Common examples of such hazards are road debris, slippery roadways, incorrect signage, and potholes.
The threat of these accidents can be lessened by well-trained drivers and responsible trucking companies that uphold safety standards. Unfortunately, there are truck operators that continue to pose a threat to other drivers on the road when they show serious lapses in judgment, or continue to drive under dangerous and stressful conditions.
Liability in a Truck Accident
If you were hurt or seriously injured in a 18-wheeler accident, there are a number of parties who may be held liable for your injuries, or who may be required to remit damages and compensation for your personal injuries.
The truck driver, for instance, may be held personally liable if the accident was caused by his or her negligent actions. If the driver was the employee of another at the time the truck accident transpired, then the company that employed the truck driver may also be held accountable. Other parties that may be held accountable are the truck manufacturer who manufactured a defective part, or the repair company that failed to fix a truck defect properly.
Compensation in a Truck Accident
In South Carolina, truck accident victims and their loved ones may be entitled to receive damages for any physical, financial and emotional losses suffered in a personal injury accident. Injured victims may recover damages such as:
Contact Kassel McVey Today
Accidents involving commercial vehicles such as tractor trailers, semi trucks, big rigs, 18 wheelers, dump trucks, tanker trucks, delivery and cargo vans etc… involve unique legal issues. Truck accident claims often involve factors such as hours-of-service violations, driver fatigue, and a complete disregard for public safety. It is crucial, therefore, to work with a legal professional experienced in such a specialized area of the law.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a large commercial vehicle accident due to the negligence of another party, you need committed and knowledgeable legal representation on your side to help you through such a trying time. Our legal team at Kassel McVey possess an extensive knowledge of the law and have years of experience handling accidents cases resulting in personal injury or death.
Call us today at (803) 256-4242 and put our experience to work for you.
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1330 Laurel Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Post Office Box 1476
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Phone: (803) 256-4242
Toll Free: (855) 256-4242
Fax: (803) 256-1952
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