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Orangeburg, SC Truck Accident Lawyer
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    Orangeburg, SC Truck Accident Lawyer

    Truck drivers often work long hours, which can lead them to become complacent behind the wheel. This could lead drivers to pay less attention to the road and traffic laws than they should. If you got hit by an 18-wheeler, odds are you suffered serious injuries and could be compensated in an injury claim.

    Your injuries could entitle you to sue the driver who hit you as well as the company they work for. These lawsuits can often help victims recover payment for the medical bills they face, as well as other economic and non-economic damages.

    Contact the truck accident lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation by calling (803) 451-4000.

    Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Orangeburg, SC

    Many different issues can cause truck accidents. In many cases, the truck driver’s mistakes behind the wheel are what directly cause the crash. However, the truck driver could be a victim as well, and the accident might instead be attributed to something the trucking company did wrong during the vehicle’s maintenance or upkeep. Regardless of which party is responsible, our truck accident lawyers can research the facts of your case and help you determine who was responsible and how the accident happened. This helps us make the right arguments in an insurance claim or a court of law.

    Causes Involving Truckers

    Truck drivers commonly spend hours on the road at a time, with federal regulations limiting them only after 8 consecutive hours of work (when a 30-minute break is required). In a day, drivers can spend up to 14 hours on duty and 11 hours driving. This can cause drivers to become too tired to drive safely and make them pay less attention to repetitive safety tasks like using a turn signal when changing lanes, checking their blind spot before moving, and fully stopping at stop signs and red lights. Drivers might also turn to drugs or alcohol to keep them alert, constituting drunk driving or drugged driving violations.

    Causes Involving Trucking Companies

    Trucking companies can also be liable for a trucking accident when they make mistakes that compromise the truck’s safety on the road. They can also be held responsible for dangerous hiring and employment practices that put dangerous drivers on the road or keep drivers on staff after serious violations.

    Truckers are beholden to maintenance schedules, equipment regulations, hiring standards, hiring regulations, and other rules that govern how they should operate. Violations of these rules or standards could help supply proof of their fault in a crash.

    Causes Involving Other Drivers

    In some cases, accidents involving trucks are caused by other drivers. If a truck is involved in a multi-car pileup, for example, then the accident will involve more substantial damage because of the truck’s size and weight. But the crash itself could be another driver’s fault, and you would be entitled to compensation from them alongside the injured trucker and any other victims. Often, when another driver is at fault, it is from a traffic violation like speeding, drunk driving, tailgating, reckless driving, etc.

    Suing Trucking Companies for Accidents in Orangeburg, SC

    When you are hurt in a trucking accident, you can often seek compensation from the trucking company, even when the truck driver is solely responsible. In cases where the trucking company’s mistakes caused the crash, you can sue them for their direct fault as you would any other at-fault party in an accident case. However, special rules also let you reach past the driver and sue their employer even when the crash is not the trucking company’s fault.

    When an employee causes an accident while performing tasks within the scope of their work duties, their employer should answer for the harm the employee caused. This rule works to hold stores and companies responsible for everyday accidents, and it works to hold trucking companies liable as well.

    These “vicarious liability” rules typically only apply in South Carolina when the trucker is an employee at the trucking company. Many truckers work as independent contractors or owner-operators who are basically treated as if they are self-employed. When this happens, you usually cannot reach past the trucker to sue the company that hired them (i.e., their client rather than their employer). However, truckers in this kind of situation often have additional insurance to pay for their liabilities.

    The risk with suing a trucker by themselves is that an individual might not have the money on hand to cover your injuries. However, the trucking company often has sufficient assets and insurance to reimburse for the injuries they cause – even if they would prefer to settle low and deny fault to save some of that money. Even so, if you have to sue the trucker because they are self-employed, they should still have commercial driver’s insurance and business liability insurance to cover your damages.

    Statute of Limitations on Trucking Accident Claims in Orangeburg, SC

    In South Carolina, injury victims have 3 years to file their injury claims under S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530. This time limit governs lawsuits specifically, but injury claims through an insurance company will also be limited by this rule because there is no way to enforce a claim by taking it to court if you are past the filing deadline. However, insurance policies might have rules requiring quicker claims.

    This rule requires lawsuits to be filed in court before 3 years have passed from the date of injury; this is not a requirement that you finish your lawsuit within this time period. However, most injury victims need damages paid as quickly as they can get them. Because of this, it is often better to file your case as soon as it is ready. Any delays in calling a lawyer will ultimately delay your recovery. Moreover, it is often better to settle so that you can get your damages paid more quickly – but you should never settle without having your attorneys review the settlement offer to see if it covers all of your damages.

    Call Our Orangeburg, SC Truck Accident Lawyers Today

    If you need help with your case, call the truck accident lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers for a free case review by dialing (803) 451-4000.