How do you file a claim after a truck accident? In other words, after a wreck with an 18-wheeler, a tractor-trailer, or some other large commercial vehicle. My name is Kenneth Berger. I practice here in South Carolina, and I made this video to help walk you through filing that claim in a truck wreck case.

Alright, the first thing you want to do is to get in touch with your own insurance company, right? The law says that regardless of who is at fault, the first thing you’ve got to do is make sure your own insurance company knows. The next thing you're going to want to do is to file a claim with the truck company's insurance carrier because their insurance company is going to need to know what is going on. Now, you would think that the actual trucker or the company would contact their insurance carrier. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. But that information is going to be on the FR-10 - on the accident report, so you can actually voluntarily go ahead and contact the trucking company's insurance carrier on your own.

If you're not 100 percent comfortable with that, or if you're not 100 percent comfortable at any point on filing the claim and notifying your own insurance carrier, consult with a lawyer. Free consultations are offered by many lawyers who actually handle truck wreck cases (and don't just advertise for them). Lawyers will take steps to make sure that all evidence is preserved and that the insurance company is properly communicated with.

So again, two big steps you need to take. One, let your own insurance company know that the collision has occurred, and you need to do that by law. The second one is to contact the trucking company's insurance carrier, which will be listed on that FR-10 (or accident report), to make sure that they know about it and a claim can properly be set up. And of course, if you have any questions on either front or you're not 100 percent comfortable doing that on your own, consult with a lawyer. That free consultation won’t cost anything - it's free, and a lawyer can help do that for you.

Take care, and if you need anything, let us know.

Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents

Pursuing an injury case after a semi-truck crash in South Carolina is much different than a case that only involves passenger vehicles. The injuries are often much worse, and the legal issues are more vigorously defended. It’s important to recognize that these tractor-trailer accidents are rarely “accidents” at all, but are commonly the result of a series of poorTruck Accident in South Carolina decisions made by the trucking company itself.

While the truck driver may be at fault because of reckless driving or personally choosing not to abide by trucking regulations, the trucking company may also be liable for irresponsible hiring practices, lack of regular truck maintenance, or poor employee training. Because these companies have so much at stake, they are covered by insurance companies with defense lawyers – some of whom will do nearly anything to reduce the amount of damages owed to the victim. We recommend at least consulting with a truck wreck attorney to help ensure you are not taken advantage of, your rights are protected, and you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Recoverable Damages in a South Carolina Truck

If you were injured in an accident caused by a tractor-trailer or another commercial vehicle, all liable parties might owe you what is known as compensatory damages (or compensation) for the harm you’ve experienced. In a South Carolina truck accident case, there are typically three types of damages available for recovery: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic damages are compensation for the actual monetary losses related to the accident and may include payment for:

  • Medical care,
  • Past and future lost wages,
  • Physical therapy costs, and
  • Property damage.

Non-economic damages are more abstract but certainly no less important in a personal injury case. Often referred to as “pain and suffering,” non-economic damages may include payment for:

  • Physical pain,
  • Mental anguish, and
  • Lost enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party for his/her/their wrongdoing and deter them from allowing it to happen again in the future. Though punitive damages are not common in all personal injury cases if it can be proven that the person or business that caused you harm acted with willful disregard for the safety of others, they may be obligated to pay punitive damages on top of the compensatory damages you already received.

What Is Negligence and Does It Impact Liability in a Truck Accident?

There may be negligence in a truck crash if any involved parties fail to fulfill their legal responsibilities, thereby contributing to the accident. This includes the truck driver, the company they work for, or anyone connected to the crash. For instance, the truck driver may have been negligent if he operated the vehicle while fatigued, distracted, or in violation of traffic laws. Similarly, the trucking company may be considered negligent if it fails to properly train its drivers, enforce safety protocols, or maintain its fleet properly. It's important to check all these details to figure out who's responsible for the crash.

When we can identify what unsafe business practices led to the crash, we can better understand who is legally and financially responsible.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our South Carolina Trucking Attorneys

Determining liability in a trucking accident can be stressful. With numerous aspects to consider, individuals often find themselves overwhelmed and uncertain about the next course of action. At the Law Offices of Kenneth Berger, we recognize the importance of providing a guiding hand that communicates effectively with you throughout the entire process. Our team of seasoned attorneys is dedicated to taking that stress off your shoulders. 

If you have been involved in a trucking accident and need help, please reach out today by filling out the chat form below or calling (803)790-2800 in Columbia, SC, or (843)427-2800 in Myrtle Beach, SC.