Myrtle Beach Truck Accidents Lawyer
In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in South Carolina, an applicant needs to be at least 18 years of age to drive within the state and at least 21 years of age if they intend to drive outside South Carolina. They will also need to pass knowledge and skills tests that include off-road and on-road driving, as well as pre-trip inspections.
Not all commercial trucks drivers in South Carolina are necessarily licensed in the state, as many commercial drivers make cross-country deliveries that take them hundreds of miles from their homes. The long journeys on highways in the United States can exhaust drivers and make them prone to mistakes that may cause crashes.
All commercial drivers also need to comply with strict federal regulations as well as state regulations when driving in South Carolina, and a driver or trucking company’s failure to adhere to these laws is one of the leading causes of devastating truck accidents. Commercial truck crashes are frequently complex, and multiple parties could be liable for damages in these cases.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a commercial truck accident anywhere in the greater Myrtle Beach area, do not wait to retain legal counsel. An experienced lawyer will be able to assist you in navigating the often complicated process of recovery following a commercial truck crash. Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers represents people, not corporations. Our firm is committed to helping clients obtain just compensation for their injuries. Call (843) 839-4795 or fill out an online contact form to have our Myrtle Beach truck accident attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a consultation.
Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
After many commercial truck accidents, the insurance companies representing the trucking companies will act very quickly to try and minimize the potential payouts. In some cases, the insurers or even the trucking companies themselves will send agents to crash scenes and attempt to have victims sign agreements that ultimately restrict their legal rights.
You should not sign any form you are presented without first having it reviewed by an attorney. You should also avoid speaking to any representative for an insurance company until you have legal representation.
Some insurers will offer lump-sum settlements to victims and remind them that they will not have to share those proceeds with a lawyer, but these proposed settlements are usually far less than what victims are actually entitled to. Even when an offer does seem quite generous and is enough to cover current medical bills, a victim needs to keep in mind that they will not be able to obtain any additional compensation for any of their other future costs.
You should hire a lawyer for your accident because they will be able to commence an independent investigation of your crash to determine the actual cause and identify all of the potentially liable parties. The attorney will also be able to negotiate with an insurer for a full and fair settlement to your case.
Why Choose Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers?
William J. Luse has more than a decade of legal experience and has received the 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, was named a Top Ten Personal Injury Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine, and was included among the Best Attorneys of America by Best Attorneys of America, LLC. He is admitted to state courts throughout South Carolina as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers firmly believes that a person’s injuries will not resonate with a jury unless their full story can be told. For this reason, we will place tremendous emphasis on really getting to know you and all of the ways in which your injuries have affected your life.
Our firm will negotiate for a settlement that provides for all of your past, present, and future expenses relating to your injuries. If an insurance company does not present an adequate offer, we will file a lawsuit to try your case in court.
Do not tell yourself that you cannot afford an attorney. Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers represents clients on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing until you obtain a monetary award.
Truck Accident Cases We Handle
No two truck accidents are the same. Every crash involves its own unique factors, but certain types of collisions are more common than others.
Some of the most common kinds of commercial truck accidents include:
- Jackknife Accidents
- No-Zone Accidents
- Overloaded Vehicles
- Wide-Turning Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- T-Bone Collisions
- Head-On Collisions
- Rollover Accidents
- Blocking Accidents
- Underride Accidents
- Override Accidents
- Intersection Accidents
Following many accidents, victims immediately assume a truck driver was somehow at fault. Driver error is indeed a common cause of many commercial truck accidents, but it is far from being the only cause.
Many truck crashes that initially appear to have been caused by truck driver negligence are ultimately determined to have other causes. Some of those possible causes could include, but are not limited to:
- Employer negligence
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Unsecured loads
- Inclement weather
- Driver fatigue
- Inadequate driver training
- Brake failure
- Mechanical defects
- Overloaded trailers
Truck drivers, even when responsible, rarely have the personal automobile insurance limits or assets necessary to pay the types of damages involved in most truck crashes. Fortunately for victims, several other parties could be liable in these cases.
Some of the possible people or entities that could be responsible for a truck accident victim’s injuries include:
- Truck owner
- Maintenance company
- Truck part manufacturer
- Cargo loading company
- Shipping agency
- Governmental entity
- Another motorist
All of these different factors demonstrate how complicated truck accident cases can become. Most people will need help determining how to handle these cases, which is why a lawyer is so important.
Other Types of Large Vehicle Accidents
Over-the-road 18-wheelers are not the only type of large vehicle that can cause accidents on South Carolina roads. Sharing the road with large, cumbersome vehicles like busses or delivery vehicles can sometimes be treacherous at night or in inclement weather and also when truck drivers are not careful. Most large vehicle operators are required to have a commercial driver’s license, but not always.
For example, FedEx and UPS do not require a CDL for their standard delivery drivers, which means they do not have the additional safety and driver’s education that comes with a CDL. Luckily, Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you with any or all of the following types of large vehicle accidents:
- Garbage Trucks: Garbage trucks stop and start frequently and are ever-present on neighborhood streets, but they can be even more dangerous on main roads or highways due to their slow speed poor visibility. Their loads are difficult to control, and when they come loose, they can litter the roadway with trash, leaving obstacles and hazards for other drivers.
- Delivery Trucks: Delivery vehicles from Amazon, UPS, and FedEx are growing in number, and employers often require less training for a driver of these types of trucks than they do for a tractor-trailer driver. Drivers are often wearing headphones or concentrating on their next stop instead of focusing on the road ahead.
- Construction Vehicles: Large construction vehicles like graders or front-end loaders are not designed for safe operation in traffic. They regularly occupy two lanes on main roads and can be even heavier than trucks, some weighing upwards of 150,000 pounds.
- Tow Trucks: Tow truck drivers will often drive recklessly to get to an accident scene, causing additional accidents. They are known to drive as aggressively as emergency vehicles as their business requires them to get to accidents as soon as possible after they occur.
- Tanker Trucks: Carrying liquid cargo like petrochemicals or pressurized gases can increase danger on the road if proper safety protocols are not followed. A tanker truck carrying corrosives or flammable liquids can cause more damage in an accident than a truck carrying consumer goods if the tank itself is breached.
- Emergency Vehicles: Vehicles like fire engines and ambulances appear quickly and often navigate through heavy traffic. Their drivers routinely travel faster than posted speed limits and maneuver aggressively to get to accident sites quickly.
- Busses: Moving around a bus in traffic can be dangerous. Like trucks, they have no rear visibility. They can weigh upwards of 40,000 pounds, almost ten times the weight of a standard passenger car.
If you’re injured in an accident with a truck or any other type of large vehicle, Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you get compensation for your injuries. Make sure you contact us before you attempt to file an injury claim on your own so we can help estimate damages and get you just compensation for all your injuries, not just the ones you can see.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents in South Carolina
The aftermath of a truck accident in South Carolina can be overwhelming. To try to ease some stress at this time, we have included the answers to some of the questions we hear most below.
What should I do if I was involved in a truck accident in South Carolina?
Regardless of whether you think you are hurt, you should always make sure that you receive medical attention after a truck accident. A hospital visit will serve two purposes. First, you will ensure that you did not suffer an injury that involves delayed symptoms. Just as important, you create a medical record immediately after the accident, so there are no questions about the severity or cause of your injuries. When possible, you should try to take several pictures of your crash scene from different angles and distances and get the names and phone numbers of any people who witnessed your accident. If you cannot do this, try to have a friend or family member do it for you. Finally, make sure to contact Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers before you speak to any insurance company.
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for my truck accident?
Yes. In South Carolina, plaintiffs involved in negligent actions could recover damages if their negligence is not greater than that of the defendant. The amount of recovery would be reduced in proportion to the amount of the plaintiff’s negligence. In other words, you can recover compensation in a truck accident case as long as you were not more than 50 percent at fault. However, your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, a person who is awarded $100,000 in a commercial truck accident case but is found to have been 35 percent at fault will have their award reduced by $35,000 and ultimately receive $65,000.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for my truck accident?
South Carolina Code § 15-3-530 establishes a statute of limitations of three years to commence an action for injury to a person. This time limit also applies to wrongful death cases in fatal truck accidents, but the dates that the limitations periods begin are different. In a personal injury case, the limitations period begins on the date of the accident, but the limitations periods for a wrongful death claim begins on the date of a person’s death, which could be several days, weeks, or even months after the crash.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the 2016 South Carolina Traffic Collision Fact Book from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), there were 76 fatalities from collisions involving truck tractors and 30 involving other trucks. The Fact Book reported that truck tractors were involved in 1,179 injury collisions and 3,874 property damage only (PDO) collisions, while other trucks accounted for 541 injury collisions and 1,894 PDO collisions.
Between 2012 and 2016, there were 291 fatal collisions involving truck tractors, 4,567 injury collisions, and 14,649 PDO collisions. These crashes resulted in 329 fatalities and 6,540 injuries.
According to the Fact Book, the most common type of vehicle attachment involved in truck tractor collisions in 2016 was the semi-trailer, which was involved in 66.2 percent of accidents. Semi-trailers were involved in 53 of the 73 fatal collisions, 814 of the 1,179 injury collisions, and 2,527 of the 3,874 PDO collisions.
The second-most common attachment was actually no attachment, with 18.7 of cases. Flatbeds accounted for 4.5 percent, petroleum tankers accounted for 2.0 percent, and 2.5 percent were classified as other.
Contact a Myrtle Beach Truck Accident Attorney Today
Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in a commercial truck crash in Myrtle Beach? You will want to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Law Office of William J. Luse, Inc. Accident & Injury Lawyers represents clients in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Socastee, Conway, Little River, and many other communities in Horry County, Georgetown County, and Marion County. You can have our attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (843) 839-4795 or contact us online to receive a consultation.