Common Types of Truck Accidents in South Carolina
Truck accidents are capable of causing tremendous harm. In South Carolina alone, thousands of people are injured and dozens are killed in large truck accidents each year.
When commercial truck accidents happen, the occupants of the vehicles struck by the rigs often suffer the worst injuries. That’s mainly due to the colossal size and weight differences between tractor-trailers and standard passenger cars.
If you were injured in a South Carolina semi-truck accident, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and crash-related losses. To pursue maximum results, you need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. Look no further than Stewart Law Offices. Our personal injury law firm has provided compassionate and dedicated support to injured South Carolinians for more than 30 years.
Contact us right away if you’ve been hurt. All initial consultations are free, with no obligation.
South Carolina Truck Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a traffic safety report about the frequency of large truck accidents in the United States and the contributing factors that cause them. The data for a single year shows that:
- Large trucks accounted 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in the U.S., despite accounting for only 4 percent of all registered vehicles.
- 79 percent of large trucks that were involved in fatal collisions were heavy vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds.
- 4,761 Americans were killed in large truck crashes. Only 18 percent of the fatalities were the occupants of large trucks. More than 80 percent of those fatally injured were pedestrians or other motorists.
- Large trucks were more likely than passenger vehicles to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle collisions.
- 27 percent of fatal truck crashes occurred on interstate highways, 58 percent occurred in rural areas, and 5 percent occurred in work zones.
- The majority of fatal truck accidents occurred on weekdays during daylight hours.
- Only 3 percent of large truck operators involved in fatal accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08, as compared to 21 percent of car drivers, 27 percent of motorcyclists, and 20 percent of light truck drivers.
Here in the Palmetto State, recent data from the S.C. Department of Public Safety for the same year found that:
- There were 4,986 collisions involving tractor-trailers in South Carolina.
- 59 of those collisions were fatal, killing at least 65 South Carolinians.
- 1,125 of those collisions caused injuries, which affected 1,637 people.
Common Truck Accident Types in South Carolina
Truck operators are usually on the road for long hours, hauling heavy cargo each day. These drivers are professionals who undergo extensive training and qualification procedures, but due to the nature of their work, accidents still happen with alarming frequency.
Some of the most common truck accident types handled by Stewart Law Offices include:
- Head-on accidents: These crashes are often caused by truck drivers who become fatigued or distracted behind the wheel and plow headfirst into oncoming traffic.
- Rear-end accidents: These collisions may be the result of drowsiness or inattention, but also occur when truck drivers do not leave enough room between themselves and the vehicle in front of them.
- T-bone collisions: When truck drivers run red lights, ignore stop signs, or fail to yield the right-of-way at intersections, they can slam into the side of another vehicle in a T-bone accident.
- Wide-turn accidents: Trucks are difficult to maneuver. Rear-end accidents can occur if trucks have too little space to swing wide before turning or when drivers make turns without checking their surroundings first.
- Jackknife accidents: When trucks brake too quickly and trailers accelerate past the trucks towing them, they can jackknife and twist into a dangerous 90-degree angle. Jackknifes can also be caused by cargo that is not stowed properly and shifts during transport.
- Rollovers: These crashes happen when truck drivers lose control of their vehicles and flip over.
- Blindspot accidents: Truck drivers who fail to adequately monitor their numerous blind spots before changing lanes or making other maneuvers can cause deadly wrecks.
- Underride accidents: Frequently deadly, these happen when smaller vehicles slide underneath a truck’s trailer and become lodged in place.
- Lost cargo accidents, which can occur when tractor-trailers are improperly loaded, poorly secured, or excessively heavy.
- Defective braking accidents, which cause truck drivers to lose control and slam into other vehicles as they attempt to slow or come to a stop.
- Tire blowouts, sometimes the result of inadequate maintenance by the trucking company or a third-party repair company.
If you or a loved one are seriously injured by the negligence or recklessness of a truck driver or other party, get a skilled S.C. truck accident attorney from Stewart Law Offices to fight for justice for you.
What Causes Truck Accidents in South Carolina?
The most common causes of truck accidents in South Carolina include:
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Speeding or lane weaving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Failure to signal turns
- Failure to stop at red lights
- Failure to stop at stop signs
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Inadequate brake maintenance
- Defective vehicle tires
- Inadequate driver training
- Negligent inspection practices
In addition, drivers in the commercial industry are frequently under significant pressure to haul their cargo as quickly as possible. The federal government imposes restrictions on the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to operate before they must take designated rest breaks, but many truckers still drive too fast and violate hours-of-service regulations to meet the unreasonable demands of their industry.
Unrealistic expectations can and do cause truck accidents, but that’s no excuse for negligence. With the help of a tough attorney, you can hold the at-fault parties liable in a successful personal injury claim.
What to Do If You’re in a Truck Accident in South Carolina
If you’ve been involved in a South Carolina truck accident, the first thing you should do is protect your own health and safety. Pull over to a safe spot — without leaving the scene of the accident — and examine yourself and any passengers for injuries. Whether or not you sustained obvious harm, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many accident-related injuries may go unnoticed at first, but cause serious issues later if they are left untreated.
In addition to getting a thorough medical examination, take the following steps to protect your rights after a truck accident:
- Collect contact and insurance information from the truck driver.
- Gather contact information from eyewitnesses to the accident, if possible.
- Call the police to report the accident promptly.
- Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries.
- Write down everything you can remember about how the accident occurred.
- Get regular follow-up medical exams to establish a record of your injuries.
- Follow all treatment plans and medication courses prescribed by your doctor.
- Keep a record of your medical bills and other related treatment expenses.
- Gather previous pay stubs or invoices as proof of missed time at work.
- Keep a pain diary as a personal account of your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
- Avoid discussing your accident with others or posting about it on social media.
- Don’t give statements to insurance providers about your accident.
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer for a free consultation.
How Can the Truck Accident Lawyers at Stewart Law Offices Help Me?
Truck accident claims often involve multiple potentially liable parties beyond the truck driver. Trucking companies, truck repair shops, cargo manufacturers, automakers, and even other motorists may be to blame for the wreck. With so many potentially liable parties, you need a strong lawyer to investigate your case and identify who should be held responsible. That’s what Stewart Law Offices can do for you.
Our legal team will take care of every aspect of your injury claim for you. We’ll explain your legal options, file the claim for you, and gather persuasive evidence to support your claim.
Many truck accident claims settle out of court because trials are risky and companies want to avoid negative publicity. But if a fair settlement cannot be reached, you can count on Stewart Law Offices to represent you vigorously at trial. Our mission is to recover maximum compensation for you, no matter what it takes.
It’s important to get started quickly. Truck companies move fast to investigate accident cases, and often try to settle before victims even know their prognosis for a full recovery. Stewart Law Offices truck accident lawyers in South Carolina will take the pressure off and prevent you from being under-compensated.
We’re ready to get to work for you now. Call or contact us for your free consultation today.