If you were seriously injured by a truck during less-than-ideal weather, you could use the help of a lawyer in South Carolina familiar with truck accidents involving bad weather. A lawyer could help you recover the compensation you need for the losses you have endured. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you could set things right and hold negligent parties accountable.
What Makes South Carolina Roads Dangerous During Poor Weather
South Carolina does not get much snow which is fortunate in one sense. Sometimes, the Midlands and Columbia have snow, but it is not a yearly event. Because it seldom snows in South Carolina, most people do not know how to drive in it. The state, counties, and municipalities do not have enough equipment and supplies to deal with icy or snowy roads.
To compound this, roads are failing in South Carolina and are not being addressed adequately by the legislature in terms of funding and rebuilding infrastructure. Maintaining the infrastructure in South Carolina is behind what the rest of the country has done to improve their infrastructure As a result, bad weather means there is a high probability of traffic accidents in South Carolina.
Trucks in Dangerous Weather Patterns
Trucks are heavy and sometimes are not maintained properly by their owners, the business, or the tractor-trailer driver. Because of weather conditions, they are more susceptible to jackknifing and skidding off the road due to the weight of the vehicle, the awkwardness of the tractor and trailer, and the way they link up with each other.
Weather and Assigning Fault in South Carolina
Every truck accident in South Carolina is fact-specific and decided on a case-by-case basis. As an example, driving 25 miles an hour in a 25-mile-an-hour zone might be the standard of care in normal conditions. With slick road conditions or bad weather, the speed limit no longer applies. The driver has a duty to maintain their vehicle, keep a proper lookout, maintain a safe speed, and not follow too close for conditions. So, despite what the speed limit might be, drivers may have to drive at a slower pace than normal. When the weather is bad, even though the speed limit is safe for good weather conditions, it is likely not appropriate for bad weather conditions.
When someone is driving too fast for the road and weather conditions and tries to stop but is unable to do so because of the environment, they have violated their duties to people who are subsequently injured. They did not maintain their vehicle at a suitable speed and in a proper manner given the weather conditions present at the time of the accident.
Is There Still a Case Without Another Vehicle Involved?
In a single-car accident, there is no case unless a lawyer proves there was a defective product, design flaw, or manufacturer with the vehicle itself. For example, the airbag fails to deploy and causes injury or death in a single-car accident.
In some cases, there could be a case against the county, municipality, or state because of their inadequate design of a roadway, failure to follow code as to the height and the shoulder of the road, or an engineering defect or flaw.
In any of those situations, the first thing to do is contact an experienced accident attorney so that all the facts could be investigated to see if the county, city, or state is at fault regarding the roadway. There may even be a defect with the vehicle that caused the accident.
Recoverable Losses After a Bad Weather Wreck
A dangerous weather truck accident in South Carolina is no different regarding recoverable losses when someone is injured. A person may be able to recover numerous damages if they actually suffered those damages. The most obvious damages are getting medical bills paid for past and future treatment.
Damages may also include past and future lost wages. When someone is not able to return to work at all or they are only able to return to work in a limited capacity with fewer hours at a lower wage, or a combination of the two and they have a permanent or partial wage loss or total future wage loss, that area of damages could be recovered.
The pain and suffering the injured parties endure are damages that could be recovered in addition to the loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of the services of their spouse. It is important to get an experienced truck accident attorney involved as soon as possible in the case to identify the damages that may be claimed and what cannot be claimed. A lawyer interviews witnesses, experts and others, and quantifies the damages to present the best claim possible on their client’s behalf.
Evidence to Prove Negligence
In South Carolina truck accidents involving bad weather, lawyers could prove negligence through lay-witness testimony and expert witness testimony. A learned treatise or government agency report could be used. The lawyer establishes the weather conditions for the day-in-question using photographic evidence and reports from the National Climatic Data Center or other state and local government agencies.
The lawyer questions lay or expert witnesses to prove the weather had some effect or caused the accident. An accident reconstructionist may be involved to recreate what happened in the accident and make assessments as to the party or parties at fault for the accident. Developing evidence to prove the weather played a role in an accident as a claim by the plaintiff regarding who is at fault for the accident is critical to the case.
Reach Out to a South Carolina Lawyer Today
In South Carolina, for truck accidents involving bad weather, a lawyer could be of benefit victims like yourself. After an accident, you more than likely feel confused as to the next steps and how you could address the bills that seemingly never end. With the help of a lawyer, you could help you recover compensation for your injuries from the irresponsible parties that caused them. Reach out to an attorney today to start your claims process.