Get Answers to These FAQs We Hear the Most
We know how many questions you must have right now about your truck accident case, so we compiled this list of the questions we hear the most. If you have a question that is not answered here, please call our Columbia law office to speak with Kenneth Berger.
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Why is the black box important after a truck accident?
These days, almost every commercial semi-truck is equipped with a “black box” or event data recorder device, though they are not required by law. Much like the black box in an aircraft, the black box is there to record information about the truck’s status. Some models record continuously and may save data for days or more; others will only keep information for a few minutes before a crash event is detected.
The exact data captured can also depend on the type of device, but it is tied to the truck’s onboard engine computer system and may capture the truck’s speed, travel time, whether the brakes were used, whether the steering wheel has been turned, tire pressure, engine oil, and more.
How the Black Box Helps You
When a commercial truck is involved in a traffic accident, the data that the black box provides can be key in determining what caused or contributed to the crash. However, getting ahold of the data can be difficult without legal help, because the trucking company itself possesses the data and is under no obligation to provide it to an accident victim. The trucking company may resist doing so without being legally compelled since it could help prove that the driver was responsible for the crash. For example, if the driver was speeding, lost control, or failed to brake at a stop, the chances are high that the black box captured this information.
With black box data, physical evidence, eyewitness testimony, and the other facts of the case, the black box data can show that the company is responsible for the accident. This could result in the company being held responsible for compensating the victims of the crash for their injuries, vehicle repair or replacement, and other expenses related to the accident.
Get Legal Help Today
If you have been involved in an accident caused by semi-truck, the Law Offices of Kenneth E. Berger are here to help you today. Our experienced legal team understands the legal challenges of a serious commercial truck crash, and we will stand up for your right to fair compensation in a court of law. To find out how we can be of service to you and your family after an accident, reach out to us by telephone, use our online contact form, or click the live chat box on this page right now for a free consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia, and we proudly serve communities in the Sumter, Florence, and Myrtle Beach areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina.
How do speeding semi-trucks cause accidents?
Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are massive and powerful machines. On many stretches of highway in South Carolina, the speed limit for these huge vehicles is the same as it is for much smaller passenger vehicles: 70 miles per hour. But truckers are often pushed for time on tight deadlines and may be tempted to speed, and the consequences of a speeding truck accident can be deadly for anyone or anything that gets in the way. Here’s what you should know.
Why Speeding Trucks Are Dangerous
Speeding is dangerous with any vehicle on the road, but large commercial vehicles have some special concerns at high speed. Some of the risks of speeding trucks that can cause a serious accident include:
- Increased stopping distance. The increase in mass means that a truck going the same speed as a passenger vehicle will take much longer to stop, increasing the chances of an accident. Violating the speed limit by going faster means that stops will take even longer, especially in emergencies.
- Cargo shifting. When a truck exceeds safe speeds, the speed and vibration can cause the weight of the cargo to shift, which can unbalance the truck. A shifting load can cause the trailer to swing wildly behind the cab, or it can cause the entire truck to tip over or roll on its side.
- Difficulty turning. Trucks aren’t very maneuverable and need to slow down to safely negotiate many curves that wouldn’t be a concern to a passenger vehicle. If the driver is speeding, he or she may overshoot or overcorrect for the turn.
When a truck driver violates the speed limit and causes an accident, it can cause shocking damage to anything in the way, including vehicles, pedestrians, and any structures that it hits. Victims of the accident may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or the trucking company to seek compensation for any medical expenses related to the crash, repair or replacement of a vehicle or any personal property lost, and more.
Why You Need Legal Help After an Accident
A personal injury attorney with experience handling accidents caused by commercial vehicles can help victims with the legal recovery process after a crash, but it’s important to act quickly after the accident. Seeking legal help early means that your attorney can start an investigation into the accident, including examining the driving and safety records of the trucking company and the driver, data from the truck’s computers, and more. Much of the evidence that’s needed is controlled by the trucking company, though, and the company is only legally obligated to keep those records for a short period of time, so starting the investigative process early can be an important part of a successful lawsuit.
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a speeding semi-truck, contact the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger today. Our experienced legal team understands that you are hurting both physically and financially after your accident, and we want to help you and your family get the justice that you deserve so that you can focus on the healing process. Reach out to us by phone, email, or click the live chat box on this page to arrange a free and confidential consultation today.
How can unsecured cargo cause a truck crash?
There are millions of commercial trucks, semis, and other cargo vehicles on the roads and highways in South Carolina, carrying millions of dollars of freight every day. These industrial-grade vehicles carrying goods to and from businesses and consumers are often just a part of the background of daily life on the road—right up until a large truck causes a tragic accident with a passenger car due to unsecured or improperly loaded cargo.
How Bad Cargo Loading Causes Accidents
There are two main ways in which a commercial truck can cause an accident due to the way the cargo is loaded or handled:
- Unsecured or poorly secured cargo. All cargo needs to be secured in the trailer or back of the vehicle such that it cannot move, shift, or fall out of the back. Straps, webbing, and other hardware should be used in the interior to make sure that no cargo can move or fall out. The rear doors should also be secured so that if something does shift and fall, it doesn’t come toppling out of the back and strike another vehicle or cause an obstacle on the road.
- Unbalanced cargo. Cargo must be loaded properly for balance, especially in large tractor-trailers or semi-trucks. If part of an 80,000-pound load shifts to the left or right, the entire vehicle can fall on its side and crush anything—or anyone—caught underneath.
Ultimately, the driver is usually the one responsible for ensuring the safety of his or her cargo and faces legal liability if it causes an accident. The person or people who loaded the cargo, the trucking company, and even the owner of the freight itself may also share in the responsibility if an accident happens.
Get Legal Help After an Accident
Truck accident claims are legally complex due to many state and federal rules and regulations regarding commercial vehicles, as well as the number of insurers and other parties that may be involved. Multiple insurance claims or lawsuits may be necessary for victims to receive complete financial recovery. An attorney who is familiar with the industry can help you pursue every party responsible for your injuries so that you can receive the full value of your claim, including compensation for your hospital bills, medications, physical therapy, and other long-term care needs, as well as vehicle repair or replacement and other expenses related to the crash.
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by unsecured truck cargo in South Carolina, the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger is here to help you and your family with the recovery process today. Contact us by phone, use our online contact form to send an email, or use the live chat box on this page right now to get started.
How do semi-truck tire problems cause car accidents?
Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, tankers, and other large vehicles are designed to take heavy punishment from frequent use, but they require constant maintenance to stay in operating condition. An issue with even a single tire can pose a real danger both to the truck and to other cars on the road, so it’s important that the operator of the truck follows all the rules, regulations, and good practices that the transportation industry has in place in order to drive safely and prevent accidents.
How Commercial Truck Tires Fail
The tires of an 18-wheeler must be able to support up to 80,000 pounds or more of weight, be able to withstand the forces to move that weight, and still be able to bring the entire vehicle to a stop safely, too. When a tire capable of meeting these requirements fails, it often blows out at highway speed by either exploding or rupturing, shredding the tire and leaving pieces of rubber across the road. These tire fragments can strike nearby cars and cause them to lose control, or cause drivers to veer suddenly to avoid striking pieces of tread, causing an accident.
There are many causes of truck tire blowouts, and most of them are preventable. For example, blowouts may be caused by:
- Improper maintenance. Tires need to be inflated to the correct pressure, meet minimum tread depth standards, and have a similar amount of wear. If a truck driver or trucking company doesn’t inspect and replace worn tires regularly, the tire can fail under even a light load.
- Bad loading practices. Trailers and cargo must be balanced properly front to back and left to right and not go over the maximum safe load capacity of the tires.
- Defective products. Like many other products, sometimes defective materials are released onto the market. It’s up to the trucking company or driver to stay current with all safety notices and stop using any tire that is under a recall.
There are both state and federal laws that dictate how often maintenance inspections, including tires, must be performed on trucks. Failure to perform these inspections or to document them appropriately may expose the truck driver, the trucking company, or the cargo owner to liability for any damage to other vehicles on the road.
Get Legal Help After an Accident
If you have been in an accident caused by a commercial truck tire blowout, a personal injury attorney can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and other expenses related to the incident.
At the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger, we are here to help you after your accident in any way that we can. We work hard to represent innocent people who have been injured on the road in South Carolina, and we want to protect your rights in a court of law. Let us worry about the legal business of insurance negotiations and court cases for you so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we can work for you, call us by phone today, or click the live chat box on this page. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia and we are proud to serve communities in the Sumter, Florence, and Myrtle Beach areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina.
How can bad semi-truck brakes cause an accident in South Carolina?
Those who operate semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, tankers, and other commercial vehicles have a responsibility to make sure that their vehicles are maintained appropriately for use on public roads. Maintaining an operating braking system is of particular importance for an 18-wheel vehicle that’s capable of pulling 40 tons of cargo at highway speeds. Brake failure on a fully loaded tractor-trailer can cause an accident in the blink of an eye, causing terrible damage to any vehicles in the truck’s path.
Semi-Truck Brake Failure
Braking systems on large trucks are complex and powerful systems that are designed to take repeated punishment under heavy strain, but they do require care and training to maintain and operate correctly. Reasons for the failure for large truck brake systems include:
- Lack of maintenance. Misaligned brake linings, sticky calipers, contamination by oil, leaky fluid lines, and other mechanical issues can build up fast and lead to a failure under load. Routine inspection and maintenance on a truck is a must, both for safety’s sake and by law.
- Improper maintenance. A technician or driver who isn’t trained to handle large truck brake systems should not be performing any installation or maintenance. Trained technicians may also be negligent in their duties by not taking the proper steps to fix a problem the right way.
- Bad driver training. The license to operate a commercial vehicle is supposed to include driver training that includes both road handling and regular maintenance inspections. A driver who negligently or recklessly operates a truck outside of professional standards or fails to inspect or report a brake problem may be held responsible if the brake system fails.
If a commercial truck brake failure causes an accident with your vehicle, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling truck accidents. The first step often involves sending a letter of spoliation to the trucking company to ensure that evidence isn’t lost or destroyed. The trucker’s mileage logs, vehicle maintenance records, and other documents that are important to your case are all controlled by the company, so obtaining this information quickly is very important.
Once the documents and other evidence have been gathered, your attorney can fully investigate your claim and present your legal options to move forward with your claim and seek compensation for your injuries and other accident-related expenses.
Seek Legal Help Now
If you have been injured in a serious accident caused by a commercial truck, you have our deepest sympathies. The attorneys at the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger are here so that you and your family can get the help that you deserve. We proudly serve those from the Florence, Sumter, and Myrtle Beach areas, as well as the entire state of South Carolina, and we work hard to keep all of the roads and highways of our great state safe by holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions.
To learn more about how we can help you after your semi accident, reach out to us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.