If you have lost a loved one due to an accident with a semi truck or other commercial trucks, we are so sorry for what you are going through. At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, our South Carolina injury lawyer can help you hold the negligent party both legally and financially responsible for their irresponsible actions.
Due to the sheer size and weight of a commercial tractor-trailer or semi-truck, passenger vehicles often suffer more severe and catastrophic damages in accidents involving large trucks. While commercial truck drivers have the protection of a large vehicle body to absorb the impact of a crash, passenger vehicles do not provide the same level of protection. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a total of 4,014 people died in large truck accidents in 2020 and 68% of those deaths were occupants of cars or other passenger vehicles. The facts don’t lie: accidents involving large semi trucks and other commercial trucks result in hundreds of passenger deaths a year.
Our truck accident attorneys can help you seek justice, whether your crash was caused by the truck driver’s negligence, the trucking company who hired the driver, or another third party.
Contact our truck accident attorneys at the Law Office of Kenneth Berger for a free, confidential consultation. We have years of experience helping clients with cases just like yours, and we would be honored to help guide your family through the legal recovery process. Give us a call today at our Columbia, SC office at 803-790-2800 or our Myrtle Beach, SC office at 843-427-2800.
Common Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents
Regardless of the reason behind the accident, negligent truck drivers and/or trucking companies can still be held liable for the damages they’ve caused. Below are some of the common causes behind fatal truck wrecks.
Driver Fatigue and/or Time Pressure
Trucking companies often require drivers to deliver goods by a certain deadline. This means drivers may not always be able to get an adequate amount of sleep in order to stay alert and focused on the road. Although there are laws and regulations in place that are supposed to protect drivers from burnout and fatigue, many companies may ignore these regulations in an effort to streamline production. Our truck accident attorneys can help thoroughly investigate your accident and determine whether driver fatigue may have played a role.
During long stretches of highway and roads, some truck drivers may be tempted to take their eyes off the road to eat, change the music, or look at their phones. Looking away from the road for even a few seconds can result in serious accidents and injuries. Similarly, some drivers may take illicit drugs in an effort to keep themselves awake for long periods behind the wheel.
Lack of Driver Training
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict hiring rules and regulations in place. However, inexperienced or unqualified drivers are often still hired if background checks are not properly conducted by the trucking company. Additionally, drivers do not always receive the proper training they need to be prepared for dangerous conditions on the road. Driving a large commercial truck in snow or ice, for example, can be dangerous for inexperienced drivers. Our attorneys can help investigate whether the trucking company properly vetted and trained their drivers before sending them out onto the roads.
Poor Truck Maintenance or Defective Parts
Trucking companies are required to conduct routine inspections and maintenance to ensure the safety of their trucks before getting on the road. Unfortunately, many companies may try to save money by not performing routine maintenance checks. This can lead to dangerous conditions, such as worn tires that can cause deadly blowouts. There may also be defective parts on the truck that were not caught due to the lack of maintenance inspections. This can lead to equipment failure with deadly consequences. Our attorneys dedicate the time and resources to investigating the true cause of your accident and who should be held responsible, whether it is the trucking company or manufacturer.
Improper Cargo Loading
For every truck delivery, the cargo must be loaded according to specific size and weight limits. If the cargo was not properly secured before the driver got on the road, it can fall into the roadway at high speeds. In extreme cases, it can even cause the truck to tip over. When cargo falls into the road, it can have catastrophic consequences, especially if the cargo contains hazardous materials. Improperly loaded cargo may be the fault of the driver, the cargo loading company, or the trucking company. Our attorneys can help investigate how this error happened and who should be held responsible.
Pursuing A Wrongful Death Claim: What Compensation Can I Seek After a Fatal Truck Crash in South Carolina?
Many times, fatal truck accidents are due to a combination of factors and negligence. If you have lost a family member or loved one in a fatal truck wreck, we are so sorry for what you are going through. Our attorneys have witnessed how painful the tragic loss of life can be and we are committed to helping grieving families seek justice. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, you may want to consider pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Filing a wrongful death claim can allow grieving families the chance to pursue accountability from the companies and individuals whose reckless, negligent actions have fatal consequences. When a truck accident leads to a fatality, the victim’s family has the legal rights to pursue compensation for the loss of companionship and financial support they have suffered. Working with a trusted, qualified wrongful death attorney to seek a settlement can ease grieving families’ financial stress.
The victim’s family may be able to seek compensation for damages such as:
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Grief and mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages (payment made to punish the responsible party for their reckless conduct)
It can be difficult and stressful to prove negligence and ensure your family is receiving a fair settlement after a wrongful death. After the loss of a loved one, the last thing on your mind should be worrying about paying for the funeral or outstanding medical bills. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys help navigate the legal side of your loved one’s fatal truck accident, so your family can focus on healing.
Getting Legal Help After a Fatal Truck Accident in South Carolina
At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, we understand how devastating it can be to lose a family member or loved one in a fatal truck accident. We are so sorry for what you are going through and our thoughts are with your family during this difficult time.
Our firm treats our clients with the compassion, empathy, and respect we would want for our own loved ones. We work hard to pursue justice on your behalf and make sure you are kept informed about the status of your case every step of the way.