Beyond the terrible injuries you may sustain in a wreck involving an 18 wheeler, one of the most frustrating aspects is knowing the collision was avoidable. One example is if the trucker who crashed into you would have waited until at a complete stop to use his or her cell phone. 1,600,000 accidents are caused by cell phone use annually. That means every three minutes, someone chooses texting/calling/games/social media over the safety of our community. This type of selfish, unnecessary action puts all of us at risk. Although we cannot reverse time to prevent a truck driver from using his or her cell phone and causing you harm, we can utilize South Carolina and federal law to obtain justice.
The Law Does Not Allow Tractor Trailer Operators To Drive Distracted
State laws that protect you from people who drive distracted also apply to truckers who use their cell phones while on the road. Our courts recognize the danger in using a cell phone while driving, and that the probability of causing a wreck is increased with cell phone use. This type of negligent, reckless action creates liability for the at-fault driver. Distracted driving should not be allowed, and our lawmakers know this. Further, federal regulations restrict the use of hand-held phones by commercial vehicle drivers. The government imposes fines when these regulations are violated. However, fines do not account for the harm done to an injured person or grieving family. That is left to our civil justice system and the various insurance policies that are designed to pay for what the law calls "damages."
Some trucking companies have policies in place that prohibit truckers from using cell phones altogether. However, having a policy is one thing; enforcing it is another. Likewise, trucking companies that do not prohibit cell phone use while in operation place everyone with whom they share the road in greater danger. Rest stops, weigh stations, and gas stations are ideal places for a truck driver to return a call or send a text.
With multiple interstates running through Columbia and the rest of our state, companies that permit their drivers to mix cell phones and 18 wheelers are increasing the risk of harm to 1000s of innocent people in much smaller vehicles every day.
How to Achieve Fairness and Justice
Being injured in a tractor trailer accident can be devastating. We have represented a number of individuals and families seeking justice after a negligent truck driver or company caused harm. Our firm prides itself on helping protect the community, client by client, case by case. Every time we hold a trucker and his company accountable for what they have done, we send a message that distracted, reckless drivers will not be tolerated in Columbia or on any of South Carolina's roadways.
If you have questions about a truck accident, and want to know if cell phone use was a contributing factor, call me today or simply start a live chat with our online assistant. We can use Freedom of Information requests, subpoenas, depositions, and a number of other legal avenues to help get you answers and justice. We want to make our roadways safer for everyone in South Carolina and look forward to being of service.