Any vehicular collision on the streets of Sumter poses a serious risk to the health of those involved. Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous incidents and need to be dealt with seriously, particularly if the resulting injuries cause excessive medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
One of the most important steps in the recovery process is identifying what went wrong and who was to blame. Determining whether to sue the driver individually, the trucking company, the manufacturer, or some other third party can be complicated. Still, you do not have long to think about it, as you must file before the statute of limitations expires on your case.
To get immediate, experienced legal help with your case, contact the Sumter truck accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers at (803) 451-4000. When you call today, we can provide you with a free initial case evaluation.
Collisions involving trucks do not usually just happen on their own. Usually, the cause of the accident can be traced back to some person or entity’s negligence. Identifying who is liable for a truck accident is a critical step in preparing a lawsuit to recover compensation.
The first step in assessing who was responsible is identifying whether there was an employer-employee relationship between the driver and another entity, such as a trucking company. Under South Carolina’s vicarious liability laws, injury victims can sue the employer of an individual who negligently caused the accident while operating within the scope of their employment. In some cases, this can be fairly straightforward. However, if the driver was an independent contractor rather than an employee, or if they were taking a break from their route when the accident occurred, you will want to discuss whether vicarious liability applies with your Sumter truck accident attorney.
A trucking company may separately be liable for an accident if they were negligent in their own practices. Trucking companies must comply with regulations created on both the state and federal levels that dictate proper practices for hiring, training, and scheduling their drivers. Suppose the trucking company of the driver that caused the accident failed in any of these areas. In that case, their violation of law will likely also be seen as negligence in the context of a civil truck accident lawsuit.
Of course, a truck accident might not be the truck driver’s fault at all. Catastrophic failures of any of the various features or functions onboard a truck could result in a collision. In these cases, you and your Sumter truck accident lawyers will need to identify where these failures occurred and who was responsible for preventing them. For instance, a defect that was present when the truck was built creates liability for the manufacturing company. A defective condition that was not discovered could imply poor maintenance efforts on the part of the trucking company or the contractor they used for inspection and maintenance. It will be difficult to figure these key issues out without the experienced help of a Sumter truck accident lawyer.
Truck accidents are so dangerous because they often impact more than just one other vehicle. In multi-car accidents, or accidents involving more than two vehicles, it is important to identify whether another driver was to blame for causing the accident, even if the direct impact that injured you came from the truck.
If you succeed in bringing your truck accident lawsuit in Sumter, you can expect to receive compensation based on both the economic and non-economic harms you sustain. In limited situations where the defendant’s conduct rises to the level of recklessness, you may also obtain punitive damages through your lawsuit.
Harms that can be quantified directly in terms of monetary losses go into the category of economic damages. These include the consequences of your physical injury, such as medical bills and lost wages from missed time at work, and the fair value of repair or replacement of any property damaged in the accident.
Being injured by a doctor who was supposed to take care of you can lead to catastrophic outcomes. Our Sumter personal injury lawyers can handle all sorts of medical malpractice cases, including those involving surgical mistakes, foreign objects left in the body, misdiagnosis, medication errors, and more.
If a South Carolina court determines that the defendant’s harmful conduct was either intentional or so reckless that they deserve additional punishment, it is within their discretion to award punitive damages. Punitive damages are not based on the victim’s harms, so you could recover more in punitive damages than economic and non-economic damages. Common scenarios where punitive damages might be available include truck accidents caused by drunk driving or defects that the manufacturer knew about and failed to address.
Every civil claimant seeking compensation for negligent injury must comply with their state’s statute of limitations, and South Carolina is no exception. Under South Carolina’s statute of limitations for truck accident injury lawsuits, plaintiffs must file their formal complaint in court no more than three years after the accident occurred.
There are limited exceptions that may toll (or pause) the clock on the statute of limitations, such as where the victim was a minor at the time of the accident or became mentally incapacitated as a result of their injuries. However, filing as soon as possible has several benefits, including reducing the chances that your case is dismissed for missing the deadline. That is why it is critical that you reach out to a Sumter truck accident lawyer shortly after you have received medical treatment for your injuries.
To hear more about the services that our Sumter truck accident attorneys can provide, starting with a free first-time case assessment, contact Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today at (803) 451-4000.
Our Caring Attorneys in Columbia, SC are here to help.