Sumter Truck Accident Lawyer

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Sumter, SC Truck Accident Attorney

Accidents involving trucks can be some of the most serious incidents on the road. This is due to the trucks being significantly larger than other cars and vehicles and the force trucks can have when colliding with another vehicle or object. Truck accidents can lead to damaging outcomes, such as severe injuries to other drivers, property damage, and even fatalities. If you have been involved in a truck accident, having a Sumter truck accident lawyer by your side can help.

At Charles T. Brooks, our team of experienced truck injury lawyers in Sumter have years of experience managing cases involving tractor-trailers, semis, delivery trucks, and other large commercial vehicles. We understand how overwhelming it can feel to manage all of the legal necessities while trying to recover both physically and mentally from an accident. We are proud to offer personalized legal representation to each client to ensure your rights are protected at all times.

Common Reasons Why Trucking Accidents Occur

Truck accidents are known to be more catastrophic than traditional vehicle accidents, yet they share similar reasons for why they occur. Understanding the reasons behind these accidents can help prevent them from happening more frequently in the future and guide attorneys in their journey of proving fault and earning compensation for their clients.

Driver Fatigue

Driving for long hours without enough breaks can lead to a driver becoming fatigued. While there are specific regulations that limit how much commercial truck drivers should spend driving in a single shift, some drivers might make a personal decision to extend that limit. For example, a driver might want to get home sooner, or they may need to make a tight deadline due to an unexpected delay earlier in their trip.

When drivers become fatigued, it puts them in a position of not being able to respond as quickly to hazards on the road. In the most extreme cases, they could completely fall asleep and drive off the road or into oncoming traffic. As one piece of possible evidence to help prove that fatigue was a factor in causing the accident, an attorney might want to look at the driver’s logbook to see how long they spent driving without any breaks.

Distracted Driving

While anyone operating a vehicle should always have their full attention on the road, there are many things that can distract a driver. Common examples include sending a text message, adjusting the music, talking to a passenger, or even trying to eat a meal. Many people fall into the trap that taking a few seconds to engage in one of these behaviors will not disrupt their ability to control their vehicle. However, even a momentary lapse in concentration can result in a devastating accident.

Speeding or Reckless Driving

Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations in South Carolina. Traffic tickets are issued every day to those who disobey the posted limits, but driving over the speed limit can also result in a severe accident. This is because the higher the speed, the harder it will be to slow down if an unexpected hazard appears on the road.

In addition to speed, reckless driving tactics such as abruptly changing lanes or tailgating can also cause significant damage on the road. This is especially true for large commercial trucks, as they often need more time than a smaller vehicle to conduct a lane change or slow down if traffic stops abruptly.

Improper Loading

It is important for trucks that are transporting large amounts of cargo to ensure they are loaded properly. Trucks that carry improper or imbalanced loads can become unstable during their journey. This can lead to rollovers or cargo falling off during the trip, which is highly dangerous for both the truck driver and those in the area during the incident.

There are specific weight limits enforced to ensure cargo is evenly distributed and securely fastened. Any deviation from these rules can result in an unnecessary truck accident.

Mechanical Failures

Just like traditional vehicles, commercial trucks are also subject to regular maintenance requirements to ensure all components are functioning properly. Neglecting these maintenance check-ins could result in brake failures, tire blowouts, or even engine problems. If an investigation into the cause of a truck accident reveals that someone was negligent in conducting a regularly scheduled maintenance activity, they could be held liable for damages incurred by the accident.

Inadequate Training

Just because someone has driven a regular car their entire life does not mean they are qualified to drive large commercial trucks. Truck driving requires specific skills developed through dedicated training sessions. If you are not properly trained, you will not know the unique strategies to avoid certain hazards on the road. These techniques differ from standard vehicles. Therefore, training will include truck handling, load securing, and what to do in certain emergencies.

Poor Weather Conditions

Driving through bad weather like fog, rain, and snow can lead to treacherous driving conditions that make it difficult to properly operate a commercial truck. Harsh conditions can make it hard to see the road or to regain control if the truck begins to slide.

A driver who is properly trained to operate a truck will have experience knowing how to handle these adverse weather conditions because they are not always avoidable. This is especially true when a driver is taking a trip that crosses multiple state lines where it becomes difficult to check the weather of each town along the way.

Alcohol and Drug Use

The potential danger of using drugs or alcohol is magnified when operating a large truck. Even a small amount of these substances that technically keeps the driver under the legal limit can still impair their ability to operate the truck safely.

This is why commercial truck driver’s BAC limits are lower than the standard legal limit for other drivers. Drivers may also be subject to random drug and alcohol tests before or during a shift to ensure they are obeying the sobriety requirement.

FAQs About Sumter, SC Truck Accident Laws

Q: What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?


A: Your safety is the most important thing to prioritize as soon as you are involved in a truck accident. After a truck accident, move to a safe area and call for emergency services immediately. Try to document any personal injuries you observe on yourself and take photographs of the accident scene. Exchange your contact information with any other drivers involved.

Once you have received any necessary medical treatment, connect with an accident lawyer as soon as you can. They will collect all of the information you have been able to obtain independently and begin assessing what legal avenues would suit your compensation goals.

Q: How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident?


A: Extensive investigations will ensue to determine who exactly was at fault for the cause of a truck accident. The investigations will require a combination of police reports, statements from eyewitnesses, an analysis of all vehicle damage, and even sometimes a reconstruction of the accident to come to some conclusions.

If there is any evidence to suggest there were traffic violations or inappropriate driver behavior at play, these will be brought up in court to help point to negligence. In some cases, there may be a shared fault, which complicates matters and will require both parties and their legal representation to negotiate a settlement unless the case must advance to court.

Q: Can I Claim Compensation for a Truck Accident?


A: Yes, anyone involved in a truck accident who does not believe they were at fault has grounds to file a claim to get compensation. A monetary award can be used to recoup expenses for any medical treatment, lost wages, or vehicle repairs they would not have had to pay for if it wasn’t for the negligence of another party involved in the accident.

The exact amount of compensation will depend on the severity of the negligent act and how much quantifiable damage the victims incurred. Connecting with an attorney who has experience dealing with personal injury truck accident cases can help their clients understand their rights and ensure they have a fair shot at receiving adequate compensation.

Q: Are Truck Drivers Always at Fault in Accidents?


A: No, truck drivers are not automatically assumed to be at fault when they are involved in an accident. A smaller vehicle could be to blame for the accident as well. There could also be other parties responsible for the accident that were not at the incident scene, such as a vehicle manufacturer or local authorities who are responsible for keeping the conditions of the road safe.

Because each accident is unique, everyone involved is encouraged to seek their own legal representation. Each attorney can provide their client with an unbiased perspective on where the fault lies and the compensation amount that is most appropriate for the innocent parties.

Contact Charles T. Brooks Today If You Have Been Involved in a Truck Accident

If you have experienced a truck accident, get in touch with a truck accident attorney at Charles T. Brooks today. We have spent years dealing with the unique details of truck accidents in Sumter and can extend our lessons learned from previous cases to your own.

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