Tractor Trailer Accidents
The tractor trailer accident attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson have established a reputation for excellence in personal injury law. Our seasoned lawyers dedicate themselves to fighting for the rights of victims harmed by the negligence of others. We provide superior legal representation to accident victims in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Gaffney and other areas of South Carolina.
Tractor-trailers and the cargo they transport are indispensable to South Carolina’s rural and urban economy. In fact, they are essential to the flow of interstate commerce throughout the United States. From feed, grains, and livestock to factory-made goods, tractor-trailer rigs transport products through South Carolina’s borders and beyond. Sadly, their enormous mass and awkward mobility also cause the most devastating accidents on the road. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that tractor-trailers account for nearly 500,000 collisions a year. With some 18-wheelers weighing up to 80,000 pounds, tractor-trailer accidents are likely to cause much more serious injuries and fatalities than those involving smaller cars. The majority of these crashes are caused by negligence. Truck drivers are supposed to be trained professionals and avoid accidents, but some exceed the safe number of hours driving and misstate their time on their logs.
Negligent driving of a truck or tractor-trailer may involve:
- Driver fatigue
- Cargo, load spills
- Unhitched trailers
- Rollovers, defective parts
- Speeding, lack of attention
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Inadequate training, screening
- Violation of federal regulations
- Missing under-ride “DOT” bars
Federal and state laws regulate the tractor-trailer industry in South Carolina. Caught in the intersection between multiple parties and two types of rules, tractor-trailer accidents can be much more complicated than regular auto collisions. First, drivers must undergo rigorous testing and training to receive their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Second, they must submit to further drug tests, vehicle maintenance standards, and maintain a detailed log of driving hours to keep their CDL. Finally, tractor-trailer accidents implicate not only the negligent driver, but also the employer or business responsible for the driver’s conduct. This involves different sources of liability within the specific businesses or company that constitutes the commercial carrier, as well as their insurers.
Allocation of fault in tractor-trailer accidents can be messy. South Carolina statutes and federal law each require that commercial carriers have an insurance policy sufficient to cover liability for personal injury or death in case of a crash. However, getting these insurers to accept blame and pay fair compensation is not an easy task. From fraudulent driving logs and maintenance records to the hiring and training of drivers, employers and business often have little incentive to pay for your harm. This is why it is imperative to consult an attorney experienced in this type of accident case to ensure that you receive full compensation from all liable parties. An acceptable award should include compensation for the value of your damaged vehicle, medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, as well as other long-term costs. If the accident resulted in wrongful death, the victim’s family is also entitled to damages for funeral expenses, loss of consortium, companionship, and care.
If you were injured by a tractor-trailer, the experienced accident lawyers at Grimes Teich Anderson can help. Since 1979, we have successfully handled truck and tractor trailer accident cases, recovering fair settlements for clients in Spartanburg, Greenville and other areas of South Carolina. Our experienced lawyers and highly trained staff work hard to thoroughly evaluate your claim and investigate the accident with no up-front attorney fees or costs to you. We untangle the web of liable parties and deal with insurance carriers on your behalf. Above all, we protect your best interests and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Our offices in Greenville and Gaffney are dedicated to providing the highest quality legal representation to injured victims and families across South Carolina. When necessary, we will come to your home or visit in the hospital. Call 800.533.6845 today for a free consultation, or contact us online.