Motor vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers, semis, and other large commercial vehicles regularly cause catastrophic injuries that sometimes prove to be fatal. For those victims who do survive these occurrences, the aftermath is often devastating as they struggle to recover from their physical injuries and mental trauma. A Columbia truck accident lawyer may be able to seek justice on your behalf if you have suffered significant injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
Why are Truck Accidents Complicated to Handle?
One reason for the catastrophic nature of truck accidents is the fact that large commercial trucks typically are much more massive, both in size and weight, than passenger vehicles on the road. This leaves the drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles at a distinct disadvantage when they collide with much larger trucks. Even with modern safety devices present in many cars, such as seatbelts and airbags, these vehicles are usually no match for the impact of a commercial truck.
Commercial truck accident cases also are notoriously complex, as they involve federal regulations that are not part of many accidents that involve only passenger vehicles. For example, commercial truck drivers and companies must maintain specific records showing compliance with federal regulations on driving hours, rest hours, truck maintenance, and prior safety violations. As a result, getting legal advice from a truck accident lawyer in Columbia could be crucial to a beneficial outcome in this type of personal injury claim.
Truck Accident Claims and Proving Negligence
In many personal injury claims, injury victims must prove that other parties, which may include truck drivers, trucking companies, and more, were negligent in causing the accident that led to their injuries. Negligent conduct occurs when individuals act in a manner that falls below the standard of conduct for a reasonable person in the same situation. In other words, negligence is careless behavior that put others at risk of harm.
Negligence consists of four separate elements, all of which must be present to establish a personal injury claim based on negligence. These elements include:
- Parties owed a duty of care to the injury victims
- Breach of the duty of care occurred
- Violation of the duty of care caused the accident
- The accident directly led to injuries to the victims
All drivers and companies whose employees operate motor vehicles have a responsibility to drive safely and cautiously that reasonably protects others on the roadways. When drivers or companies fail to meet this standard of care, and their failure is the proximate cause of injuries to others, then they may be liable for the costs of any damages that result. A truck accident attorney in Columbia may be able to evaluate an accident that led to injuries and determine whether a personal injury claim is a viable option, based on the circumstances.
What are the Statute of Limitations in Columbia Truck Accident Cases?
S.C. Code of Laws § 15-3-20 establishes the statute of limitations in personal injury claims that arise out of truck accidents. This is a legal deadline by which injury victims must file their claims or risk forfeiting their right to do so.
Under this code section, individuals have only three years from the date of the accident that caused their injuries to file their claims for compensation. As a result, individuals should not hesitate to contact legal counsel for advice.
Consult a Columbia Truck Accident Attorney
After a devastating truck accident, you are likely to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to begin dealing with the maze of insurance claims and medical bills that you are receiving. All the paperwork may be confusing, and insurance adjusters may be clamoring for you to settle all claims you have as quickly as possible. Rather than bowing to the pressure and signing legal documents without the information and advice that you need, contact a Columbia truck accident lawyer for help.