Myrtle Beach Employer Negligence Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck or 18-wheeler, you might think that the driver was responsible for your injuries, and that may be partially true. However, you may quickly discover that the driver does not have enough insurance coverage to pay the full extent of damages that you sustained in the accident. When this occurs, you may be able to turn to other sources of compensation, including the driver’s employer. If the employer was negligent in the hiring, training, supervision, or another element of employment that contributed to your crash, they could also be held liable for your injuries and may owe you significant compensation.
A lawyer will be an essential resource for investigating your case and identifying all possible sources of compensation. If your accident occurred in Myrtle Beach, turn to the Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyers of Law Office of William J. Luse for help. We are highly respected personal injury lawyers with years of experience advocating for the rights of injured victims. To learn more about how we can help you after a truck accident caused by a truck company’s negligence, contact us at (843) 839-4795 to schedule a consultation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
There are many reasons that you should consult with an attorney after you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a collision with a commercial truck. An attorney will provide you with information on who can be held liable for your injuries.
With negligence claims, a common defense used by a party looking to deny liability is comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence, the allegedly negligent party will try and prove that a claimant was partially or fully at fault for their injuries. If the defendant is successful, the claimant’s recovery will be reduced.
South Carolina is a state which operates under a “modified” comparative negligence rule. Here, a claimant will recover only if they are 50% or less at fault for an accident. If the claimant is more than 50% at fault, then recovery will be barred. Even if a plaintiff does partially recover compensation for the injuries, they will only recover in the amount proportionate to fault. (e.g., A claimant who is 30% at fault will recover 70% of the damages).
Negligence cases can be complicated, especially when employer liability for an employee’s actions becomes a question. It may be challenging to understand the civil court system and the complications involved with this kind of case. A personal injury attorney will conduct thorough investigations, collect and preserve evidence, and find out the best strategy to ensure you are put in a position that allows you to get back to your life.
Many times, insurance companies will attempt to settle for less than what’s necessary to so that you can make a full recovery. A skilled personal injury attorney will talk to the insurance companies, who often try to take advantage of victims, on your behalf so that you can focus on what’s important – getting back to your life.
Why Choose Law Office of William J. Luse?
At Law Office of William J. Luse, we know the devastating trauma that can result after a collision with an 18-wheeler. From expensive medical costs and lost wages to disabilities and long-term mental anguish, we understand that these cannot wait. That’s why we provide aggressive representation and make it a priority to treat our clients with dignity and respect.
When you’ve been injured in Myrtle Beach because of a commercial truck accident, the entire team at William J. Luse will be there for you to protect your rights, and work to get you the recovery you deserve.
While a majority of cases settle, we will always be prepared to take your case to court. We are committed to providing you and your loved ones with competent representation while remaining a compassionate shoulder to lean on.
At Law Office of William J. Luse, your initial case evaluation is to provide you with the best route for handling your case, and you owe us nothing unless we win for you.
Types of Accidents Caused by Employer Negligence
Here are a few ways in which trucking companies can fail to uphold these standards, leading to accidents:
Failure to provide background checks or vet drivers during the hiring process: When companies hire truck drivers, they are required to run a background check of the driver’s criminal and driving records to determine that they are fit to drive a truck. If a company fails to perform this check, or overlooks questionable aspects of their driving/criminal record, including ones that would disqualify them from employment, they can be held liable if their driver causes an accident.
Failure to train drivers on proper safety and driving procedures: As part of a driver’s training, they should know both the rules of the road as well as their rights and responsibilities while operating a truck. If a company does not brief their employees regarding their truck or driving, this can create a significant safety risk when they are out on the road. Knowing the proper safety measures for drivers to be safe on the road will go a long way in preventing an accident.
Failure to maintain vehicles or perform routine maintenance: If a trucking company fails to maintain their vehicles, such as replacing broken parts, engine components or brake fluid, they run the risk of causing an accident. Furthermore, routine maintenance such as ensuring the tires are properly inflated will help to prevent tire blowouts, which can often be accidents for anybody in their path. If it is suspected that the truck involved in the accident caused the accident because it was poorly maintained, there could be a case that the trucking company’s negligence caused the accident.
Failure to ensure that the load is properly secured: It is the responsibility of the trucking company to ensure that any cargo loaded onto the truck is properly secured. Failure to secure this load properly can lead to it falling off or out of the truck, or could cause an uneven weight distribution that would be an accident far more likely. Lost load accidents can often be deadly due to the debris that falls from the truck. Additionally, trucks can overturn if the weight distribution is not appropriate.
What Is an Employer’s Liability?
Vicarious liability places fault on a non-actor for the wrongdoer’s negligent or intentional conduct. In other words, the employer does not have to act negligently or intentionally to be held responsible for some accident. The law allows an employer to be held accountable for the actions of its employees. This will not apply where the “employee” is an independent contractor or of some other status.
For an employer to be held liable for the tortious conduct of his or her employees, the employee must have been acting within the scope of his job, or he must have been acting on behalf of the employer.
South Carolina uses the “purpose” test to determine whether the employee was on acting on behalf of the employer. If it is reasonable to assume that the primary purpose of an employee’s actions is to further the interests of the employer, then they will be found to have acted within the scope of his employment.
Rarely, an employer will be held for those intentional employee actions taken outside the scope of the job. The crucial factor to prove is that the deliberate conduct happened within employment’s scope as opposed to happening due to an employee’s personal reasons.
When an employee appears to be acting on behalf of his employer, and a reasonable person would believe the employee has that authority, then an employer might be held liable for the tortious conduct. However, this is an unusual situation, and most South Carolina courts won’t hold the employer responsible absent that primary purpose of furthering the employer’s interest.
More About Negligent Hiring, Training, and Supervision
There is another instance when an employer can be held liable for an employee’s intentional conduct outside the scope of his employment. When an employee’s actions cause injury to others, the employee might be found to have negligently hired, trained, or supervised the employee. The requirements for proving negligent hiring, training, or supervision are:
- The employee is on or using the employer’s property
- The employer knows or should know that it can control the employee
- The employer knows or should know of the necessity and opportunity to control its employee
This type of claim will hold an employer more directly liable for your injuries resulting from a collision with an 18-wheeler.
What Compensation Can I Recover For My Injuries?
When you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a commercial truck, you may different types of recovery. The compensation you may be entitled to might include:
- Current and Future Medical Costs. This type of recovery will assist you with medical bills related to your injury and any current or future treatment costs. It is necessary to keep any medical records, medical bills, and documents related to your treatment in case it is to be used as evidence later on.
- Loss of income and loss of future earning capacity. Accidents that cause injuries that result in missing work may cause you to be entitled to damages related to your loss of income. In more severe cases, injuries can result in disabilities, whether permanent or temporary, that affect your future ability to work.
- Loss of services, companionship, and enjoyment of life. Many times, an injured person can recover damages where he or she is unable to provide homemaking services, unable to provide the companionship he or she once could, or unable to enjoy life as he or she could before the accident.
Other damages that can be awarded in this type of personal injury claim include those for pain and suffering, and emotional pain and stress.
Additionally, damages may be awarded to survivors when a family member was killed because of a truck driver’s negligence.
If You’ve Been Injured in an Accident Call Law Office of William J. Luse Today
If you or a loved has been injured in collision with an 18-wheeler, you have the right to protect yourself and seek the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries. It is crucial to act as soon as possible following an accident, as South Carolina allows an injured person to file an injury claim for only three years after the date of the incident that caused your injuries.
Let the experienced team at Law Office of William J. Luse help you to get your life back on track. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney after you’ve been injured. With a case evaluation and a no pay until you win guarantee, you have nothing to lose in speaking with us about your situation. Call us at (843) 839-4795 or contact us.