South Carolina has a busy trucking industry, with as many as 8,200 trucking companies in operation throughout the state, moving nearly 425,000 tons of goods each day. Charleston in particular, is a popular tourist destination and, as such, requires regular transport of goods supporting the tourism industry. With such a heavy presence, though, comes an increase in the amount of truck accidents that take place on South Carolina roadways.
Trucking companies have a responsibility to make sure their truck drivers and vehicles are operating safely on the roadways and do not pose a risk to the public. Unfortunately, large truck and tractor-trailer accidents still take place in Charleston and the effects can be catastrophic for those involved.
If you or a loved one suffered injury after a collision with a large truck, a skilled Charleston truck accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you need. Working with a meticulous injury attorney can help you ensure you are bringing a comprehensive claim that considers all of the potential areas of recovery.
Who is Responsible for Truck Accidents?
In a truck accident case, there are several parties that can be liable. One is, of course, the driver. If they were negligent or distracted, they could be held liable. However, sometimes it is the company’s actions and not their employee’s that could have resulted in a crash.
When a trucking company is accused of causing an accident, courts often look at a variety of factors when considering liability. Some of the factors considered include whether the company:
- Took steps to ensure safe and qualified drivers, such as checking references, providing adequate training, conducting drug and alcohol screenings, and other hiring practices
- Regularly inspected and repaired vehicles and conducted proper maintenance
- Stayed abreast of safety recommendations, current technology, and industry standards
- Enacted policies to ensure safe loading of vehicles, so that trucks are not over or under-loaded
- Refrained from incentivizing drivers to cut corners and shave time off their routes by avoiding rest breaks, driving drowsy, taking medications to stay awake, or speeding excessively
- Heeded any recalls of vehicles or truck parts, such as faulty brakes
While not following these standards do not automatically make a truck company negligent, they may indicate negligence. An experienced tractor trailer accident lawyer can evaluate the strength of a personal injury claim against the trucking company.
Comparative Negligence Standard in Charleston
South Carolina maintains a modified comparative negligence standard that allows injured parties to recover compensation from a negligent party, even if they contributed a percentage of fault in causing their own accident. As long as they were not more than half at-fault, they may still be able to recover a percentage of the damages they are eligible for.
Defendant trucking companies often claim that a victim is largely at-fault in order to avoid liability. This is one reason why it is so important to work with an experienced truck wreck lawyer who can work to combat these claims.
Talking to an Experienced Charleston Truck Accident Attorney
No matter how your truck accident occurred or whether you believe your own actions contributed to causing the collision, a skilled Charleston truck accident lawyer help. They can be your advocate as you seek to hold the trucking company accountable for their negligence. Call today to set up a free consultation to learn more about how a tractor trailer accident attorney can be an ally.