Spartanburg sits at the crossroads of I-85 and I-26 – two busy commercial truck routes. Tractor-trailers – some weighing 80,000 pounds or more – pass through the area every day, carrying all types of cargo. Unfortunately, not all of the drivers at the controls of these massive rigs, or the companies which employ them, operate safely. Their carelessness and recklessness can cause devastating accidents.
If you recently suffered injuries in a collision with a tractor-trailer, or if your loved one died in a truck crash, you have the right to seek justice and compensation. The skilled and experienced Spartanburg personal injury attorneys of Stewart Law Offices, LLC, are here to help you. Our law firm has more than two decades of experience with these highly complex cases.
Time is of the essence after a truck accident. An attorney should immediately start an investigation in order to preserve and gather important evidence. We are available 24/7, and we can visit you in the hospital or in your home to provide a free and timely consultation. Contact us today to get started.
How Can a Lawyer Help You After a Spartanburg Trucking Accident?
Trucking companies – and the companies which insure them – act quickly to protect themselves after a crash. That is why you need an experienced and aggressive advocate on your side who will move quickly, too, and protect your rights and your ability to recover just compensation.
At Stewart Law Offices, LLC, we can launch an immediate investigation of your tractor-trailer accident and collect evidence such as:
- Crash scene photos and video
- Information from the truck’s electronic control module (ECM) or event data recorder (EDR) – also called “black box” data
- Other digital evidence such as GPS data
- Driver logbooks
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance records
- The truck driver’s alcohol and drug test results
- The driver’s cell phone records and social media activity
- Eyewitness statements
As part of our investigation, we may also consult with highly knowledgeable professionals in fields such as engineering and accident reconstruction. Our goal will be to pinpoint the cause of the crash and identify the party or parties who deserve to be held accountable for it.
Additionally, to calculate your potential damages, we can collect and examine your health records and review your case with medical professionals. They can help us to determine the nature and extent of your injuries, the medical care you will need as you move forward and the effect of your injuries on your ability to earn a living.
Our hard work can make a difference for you. It can give us leverage as we pursue a settlement with the party – or parties – responsible for your crash. It will also help us to be ready to present the strongest case possible in the courtroom if you choose to take your case to trial. Because truck accident cases frequently involve out-of-state parties, these cases often require litigation in federal courts such as the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina or the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
Throughout your case, we will focus on your needs and goals at Stewart Law Offices, LLC, and we will fight for all compensation that you are due. We won’t let trucking companies and their insurers get away with bullying you.
We can represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay no costs or fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Our fee will represent a percentage of the awarded sum, then additional reimbursement to return the costs we incurred to pursue your financial recovery. We don’t want concerns about paying upfront for an attorney to keep you from getting the timely legal help that you need after a truck accident.
Why Do Tractor-Trailer Accidents Happen in Spartanburg?
According to the most recent South Carolina traffic crash facts, serious and deadly tractor-trailer accidents have gone up sharply in recent years. For instance, between 2013 and 2016, the number of fatal collisions increased from 46 to 68 – a 32 percent spike – while the number of injury collisions went from 2,530 to 3,645 – a 30 percent rise.
At Stewart Law Offices, LLC, we have seen how truck driver errors frequently cause these accidents. Some of the most common errors we see in tractor-trailer crashes in Spartanburg include:
- Going too fast for road, traffic and weather conditions
- Failing to check mirrors and blind spots
- Backing out without looking
- Making improper, overly wide turns
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Failing to yield the right of way
In many cases, these accidents result from careless and reckless decisions. Some examples are:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Failure to inspect and repair the truck
- Failure to ensure that the cargo is properly loaded and secure
A truck driver should be held responsible if the driver’s negligence injured you or your loved one. However, other parties may share responsibility, including:
- The truck driver’s employer
- The owner of the truck and/or the owner of the tractor-trailer
- A mechanic whose duty was to inspect and repair the truck
- A freight broker who was in charge of shipping
- The company that manufactured a defective truck or truck part
In order to seek maximum compensation for you, Stewart Law Offices, LLC, will thoroughly investigate your case, identify all liable parties and unearth all sources of compensation, which could include other parties’ insurance coverage as well as your own.
Do Violations of Trucking Regulations Matter in Your Case?
Truck drivers and trucking companies must comply with South Carolina’s motor vehicle laws. They must also obey state and federal regulations which govern nearly every aspect of the intrastate and interstate trucking industry. They are designed to promote safe travel and prevent accidents. If a trucker or truck company commits a violation of these regulations, and that violation causes an accident that harms you or a loved one, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries or losses.
At Stewart Law Offices, LLC, we have a thorough understanding of these regulations and the role they can play in pursuing damages for our clients. Some of the most common violations that contribute to 18-wheeler crashes involve rules that address:
- Pre-employment screening of drivers, including checking their work history and driving background, verifying they have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and medical certification, conducting a road test and testing them for drug use
- Routine inspection and maintenance of commercial motor vehicles
- The number of hours which a driver can spend on the road over certain periods of time, or hours-of-service regulations
- A ban on texting while driving and use of hand-held cell phones
- Weight limits on tractor-trailers and their cargo
Under these rules, truck drivers and carriers must also maintain accurate logbooks and carry a certain amount of liability insurance (depending on the cargo). Those rules can also factor into your truck accident lawsuit.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Spartanburg 18-Wheeler Accident?
There is a significant difference in size and weight between 18-wheelers and passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. This is why truck crashes can cause catastrophic, or life-changing, injuries. If the crash occurs on the interstate, the high speed at impact can also contribute greatly to the severity of injuries that victims suffer. Some common injuries in these collisions are:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Whiplash and other soft tissue damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
At Stewart Law Offices, LLC, we will aggressively pursue full and fair compensation for the injuries that you have suffered in a truck accident and the impact of those injuries on your life. The damages we seek on your behalf may include compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and decrease in future earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
If the wrongful conduct that caused your accident was egregious – for instance, the trucking company knowingly put an unqualified or dangerous driver on the road – our attorneys may also seek punitive damages on your behalf. These damages are designed to punish and deter such misconduct.
If a tractor-trailer caused the death of your family member, we can seek a different set of damages through a wrongful death claim. Those damages could cover the costs of putting your loved one to rest as well as compensate for the loss of your loved one’s services and support.
Get Help from Our Spartanburg Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorneys Today
South Carolina law places limits on the amount of time you have to bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim after you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a trucking accident. This is another reason why you should get help from an experienced Spartanburg tractor-trailer accident lawyer as early as possible. If you wait too long to act, you could lose your right to recover compensation. Contact Stewart Law Offices, LLC, today. We can provide a timely and free consultation and start work on your case right away.