An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 tons when fully loaded, so it is no surprise that an accident involving one impacting a passenger vehicle can cause tremendous damage. The financial costs alone can be overwhelming, leaving an individual with enormous hospital bills and weeks without the ability to work. To make matters worse, big trucking corporations and insurance companies have teams of legal experts who are determined to deny any wrongdoing and prevent victims from receiving compensation after a truck wreck.
When faced with these steep odds against recovering for your losses, you should give serious thought to retaining a dedicated personal injury attorney. Having an Allendale truck accident lawyer in your corner working to protect your rights may be critical to the success of your case.
Filing Against a Trucking Company
Negligence is a common cause of action used as a basis for injury cases. To prove a truck driver demonstrated legal negligence by virtue of their actions preceding a truck crash, a plaintiff must demonstrate the following:
- The trucker had a duty of care to protect the safety of others on the road with them
- This duty of care was breached
- The breach of this duty directly caused a crash
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of this accident
Comparative negligence is a key component of many truck accident cases in Allendale. For example, if a driver was speeding and hit a semi-truck when the truck negligently merged into their lane, that driver may bear partial liability for the ensuing wreck and its resulting damages. If the driver were to bring a suit against the trucking company, then, their recoverable damages would be reduced to match the percentage of fault they bear.
Furthermore, it is important to note that under South Carolina law, the modified comparative negligence rule may prevent someone from receiving any compensation; essentially, if a claimant is found to primarily at fault for an accident—that is, any percentile over 50— may not claim any damages in a civil suit. Due to these nuances and challenges, the evidence is essential to demonstrating legal negligence. A seasoned Allendale truck wreck attorney may be able to help an injured claimant seek compensation by assessing the facts of a case and building a persuasive claim.
The Concept of Vicarious Liability
While a truck accident claim may be able to show that the driver of a truck was negligent, proving the company that hired the driver owes an injured driver any compensation is another matter entirely. Often, doing so is key to a case’s success, as the corporation is the only party in a position to adequately compensate the driver for all their damages.
South Carolina law allows an individual to hold a trucking company liable for a wreck if the harmed driver can prove negligence by that company’s employee and that the corporation is vicariously liable for this conduct. Vicarious liability, or respondeat superior, may apply if the employee was acting within the scope of their employment prior to causing an accident.
Whether an employee acts within the scope of their employment can be challenging to prove, and South Carolina courts typically focus on the employee’s motive or purpose for their actions. An experienced attorney could work with a plaintiff to determine whether vicarious liability may apply in their specific situation.
How an Allendale Truck Accident Attorney Could Help
A knowledgeable Allendale truck accident lawyer could put you in a strong position to seek compensation after a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence causes you to suffer injuries. The resources and expertise that a hard-working attorney could provide may be able to even the playing field against a large corporation or their insurance firm.
However, the statute of limitations places a three-year time limit on when a claim may be filed. If you were injured in a truck crash, call a legal professional today to set up a consultation and discuss your case.