In 2020, 3% of drivers of large trucks who were involved in fatal car crashes were found to have had a BAC of at least 0.08. If you have been hurt in a drunk driving crash with a semi-truck, you have the right to seek financial recovery for every loss caused by the collision. Drunk driving wrecks with semi trucks can be complicated cases, especially if there are multiple defendants. This article answers basic questions like who can be held responsible and what type of compensation you can seek. If you have more questions, our South Carolina auto accident attorney is here to help, so you can have peace of mind knowing you were treated fairly throughout the injury claim process.
Here at the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, client satisfaction and community safety are our top priorities. We learn your story so the insurance companies can fully understand the impact the crash has had on your life, and we leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice for each and every person and family we represent. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, and we proudly serve clients across the entire state of South Carolina.
You can reach our personal injury lawyer at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC) to see how we can help.
Who can be held responsible after a DUI accident involving a truck?
Cases involving a drunk truck driver can be complicated, especially when trying to identify all the parties that can be held responsible. Truck wreck attorneys can help determine exactly what happened and who can be held responsible for the harm you have experienced. In South Carolina, there are certain cases where multiple parties can be held liable, including:
The Driver of the Truck
Truck drivers are held accountable to state and federal safety laws, as well as the rules and regulations set for truck drivers specifically. If the driver of a truck fails to adhere to these laws and their actions result in harm, they can be held legally and financially responsible.
The Trucking Company
When a trucking company employs a driver, the driver is considered an agent of that company. This means that any action or negligent choices the driver makes while operating their truck is also attributable to the company, and they can be held responsible for the harm caused by the driver.
However, the trucking company can also be held liable for actions they took that are separate from those of the truck driver. In a case involving an intoxicated driver, this can involve negligent hiring, which can mean the hiring of a driver with a history of drunk driving. The trucking company is responsible when they knew or should have known that its driver could create an undue risk of harm to the public.
The Bar/Restaurant that Served the Driver Alcohol
In South Carolina, we have “dram shop liability” laws, meaning that if a bar, restaurant, or other establishment serves someone alcohol and gets them drunk, they are in part responsible for what the drunk person does when they leave the establishment. If a driver was continually served alcohol while they were intoxicated and then gets behind the wheel, the establishment that overserved them can be held legally and financially responsible for any harm the driver causes.
Compensation after a Drunk Driving Truck Wreck
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck wreck with a drunk driver, you are entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered. There may be a few different types of compensation you can receive. Typically these are broken down into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are actual and verifiable monetary losses that resulted from the crash. This can include, but are not limited to:
- Medical care,
- Past and future lost wages or employment, or
- Property damages, including the cost to repair or replace your vehicle after the wreck.
Noneconomic damages are non-monetary losses. They are more abstract than economic damages but are no less important in personal injury cases. In fact, at our firm, we believe these human losses are often the most important part of a case.
We take time to get to know our clients and what their life was like before the crash so that we can fully understand and communicate the full impact the crash has had on your life and the lives of those you love. These damages may include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Physical pain,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of companionship, or
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive Damages are not meant to compensate for any kind of loss you may have suffered, but are instead given when the defendant knew their actions could cause injury or harm, but chose to take that action anyway. If it can be proven that the person or business that caused harm acted with indifference to the life and safety of other human beings, they may be responsible for paying punitive damages along with any economic or noneconomic damages you may have been awarded.
These damages can be used as a punishment to ensure that it does not happen again. In a drunk driving case, punitive damages may be awarded because the driver chose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, endangering everyone on our roads.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney After a Truck Wreck Caused by a Drunk Driver?
Not every case requires an attorney, but it is always a good idea to at least consult an attorney to ensure that your rights are being protected. Individually, truck wrecks and DUI crashes are complex cases, but combined these can quickly become much more complicated, especially if there are multiple defendants and catastrophic injuries. In cases like these where there are multiple commercial insurance policies involved, there is a lot at stake, so they are defended vigorously by insurance companies.
An injury attorney that has experience with complex litigation can help ensure you are treated fairly throughout the legal process and that you receive a full, fair financial recovery for all of your losses.
If you decide to hire an injury attorney after a truck wreck involving a drunk driver, there are multiple benefits. Your attorney will:
- Gather and preserve evidence to build your case,
- Hire experts to illustrate the lifelong impacts of your injuries,
- Negotiate with the insurance adjusters to make sure you are treated fairly, and
- Most importantly, take care of everything on the legal side so you and your family can focus on healing.
When hiring an attorney, make sure to find an attorney with a good track record who has experience handling these types of complex cases.
Contact our Truck Crash Law Firm Today
At the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, we know how devastating car crashes like this can be, and we will work hard to make sure you are treated fairly by insurance companies and have the opportunity to seek a full and fair settlement for any harm or losses you and your family have endured.
We want every client to have a great experience with our team. We will communicate with you every step of the way and take everything off your plate so you and your family can focus on getting back to life as normal. You can contact us for a free consultation at our Columbia or Myrtle Beach offices at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC).