Lexington, SC Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents are some of the most severe ones that occur in Lexington. The compensation needed to recover from injuries caused by a truck accident could be extreme.
Fortunately, victims can recover their damages against a negligent trucker by filing a lawsuit. Truckers and trucking companies must follow a host of state and federal guidelines to ensure safety. However, some do not follow these rules in an effort to stay ahead of the competition. This does not mean that you should have to pay for a truck driver or trucking company’s negligent operations.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, our truck accident attorneys can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Call Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers at (803) 859-4784 for a free case consultation.
Regulations that Commercial Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies Must Follow in Lexington, SC
All truckers and trucking companies in Lexington and throughout South Carolina are required to follow not only state trucking guidelines but also the regulations set by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA has several guidelines that, when ignored, can lead to seriously devastating accidents. If a negligent trucker has injured you, our truck accident lawyers can investigate your claim to determine which federal and state guidelines have been violated. The following are the regulations that are commonly violated and lead to accidents in Lexington.
Hours of Service Regulations
The FMCSA sets hours of service regulations to ensure that drivers are not operating on the road past the point of exhaustion. These guidelines dictate how many hours a truck driver can be on the road before taking a mandatory brake. The general rule is that drivers are only allowed to operate for no more than 60 hours out of seven days and must keep a log of their driving hours. Unfortunately, drivers and trucking companies often disregard these regulations in order to meet increasing shipping demands.
Cargo Securement Regulations
Cargo securement guidelines are in place to ensure that truck drivers and trucking companies are using best practices when storing and transporting cargo. For example, when cargo is stored or loaded into a truck’s trailer, it should be stored in direct contact with other cargo to prevent it from moving and shifting during transport. Appropriate tie-downs and straps should be used to also prevent cargo from becoming unsecured and should be graded for the weight of the cargo. If a truck’s cargo is not secured properly, devastating accidents can occur and even cause a truck to jackknife back on itself.
Maintenance and Repair Regulations
The FMCSA also requires trucking companies to perform routine inspections and maintenance on the trucks in their fleet. The purpose of mandatory inspections is to ensure that dangerous conditions on a truck are identified and addressed promptly. When a trucking company fails to carry out its regular inspections, it can lead to catastrophic accidents. For example, if your accident was caused by a truck’s tire blowing out, the trucking company’s records might show that no inspection had been done before the accident. Our truck accident attorneys can help you gather the necessary evidence to show that your injuries were caused by a failure to follow the trucking regulations.
Determining Liability for a Lexington, SC Truck Accident
Truck accident cases tend to be more complex than ordinary car accident cases. There are many reasons for this but one of the main ones is the number of parties that could be liable. In many cases, the trucking company and the truck driver that injured you will be liable. However, there are situations where the trucking company will be responsible for causing an accident because of their negligent practices. Of course, other parties besides the truck driver or their employer could have brought about your injuries.
Vicarious Liability of the Trucking Company
In most cases, a trucking company will be held liable for the negligence of their drivers when they cause an accident. This is known in the legal field as vicarious liability. If a truck driver causes an accident while performing their normal job duties, their employer can also be held liable. However, this only applies when the parties have a traditional employer-employee relationship. If the truck driver is an independent contractor, the trucking company contracting with them might not be liable for their conduct. Also, if the truck driver was on a break when the accident occurred, their employer will likely not be held responsible.
In some cases, the truck driver might not be responsible for causing an accident. Instead, some accidents result from the trucking company’s negligent practices and operations. Suppose a trucking company operates in such a way that they commonly ignore the state and federal regulations listed above. In that case, they should be held accountable when those failures lead to an accident. Trucking companies are also responsible for hiring safe drivers and ensuring they are properly trained for the job. Our truck accident attorneys can investigate your claim to help determine if the trucking company’s negligent practices played a role in your accident.
Design and Manufacturing Defects
Modern commercial trucks are closer to a pilot’s cockpit than a standard car. Many trucks have complex steering and braking systems, in addition to countless other important interdependent systems. If even one part is designed poorly or is manufactured defectively, it can cause an accident that the truck driver might have been powerless to prevent. While these cases can be extremely complex, it is possible to hold a designer or manufacturer responsible for their negligence.
Of course, other cars could have been involved in your truck accident. It is important to review your case to determine if another driver caused a trucker to hit you. For instance, if a car cut a truck off, the trucker might have needed to act quickly to avoid them, only to hit you as a result. Our truck accident lawyers can help you identify the party responsible for your injuries and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our Lexington, SC Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured in a truck accident, our truck accident attorneys can work with you to get the compensation you need. For a free review of your case, contact Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today at (803) 859-4784.