Truckers have a lot of responsibility, not only to follow federal and state regulations but to keep other drivers safe on the highways and interstates of South Carolina. When a truck driver acts carelessly or negligently behind the wheel, the results are often catastrophic injuries. Because of the size and weight difference between a semi rig and a car, the driver and passengers in other vehicles may suffer devastating and life-altering injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Columbia, SC, truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver, the attorneys from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers are standing by to review your case and discuss your options for compensation. We can explain the viability of your case, and help you understand the claims process.
Call us today at 803-999-2993 for a complimentary consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Columbia, SC.
Damages Recoverable in a Columbia, SC, Truck Accident Case
A number of factors go into how much you could recover in a successful Columbia truck accident case. They include:
- The nature of your injuries
- The severity of your injuries
- The type and length of care necessary
- Any future or ongoing care necessary
- How long you are out of work
- If you can return to your previous job
- The value of your vehicle or compensation for the amount of damage to it
- Other unique facts of your case
Because we are not aware of what these factors entail until we complete our investigation, there is no way to give you an accurate value or possible settlement range for your case. What we can do is explain the types of damages that go into determining victim compensation.
Based on the most common types of damages we recover for our clients who suffered Columbia truck accident injuries, a winning case may allow you to collect damages that include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Inpatient treatment
- Prescription pain management and other medications
- Physical therapy and other therapies
- Ongoing care costs
- Necessary future care, when applicable
- Medical equipment
- Accessibility and mobility equipment
- The cost to repair or replace your wrecked vehicle
- Any out-of-pocket costs to replace damaged personal property, such as your cell phone, broken glasses, or other objects
Other Accident-Related Expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Lost retirement and other benefits
- Out-of-pocket costs related to the accident
- Renovations to your home related to wheelchair access or other accessibility issues
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Other emotional damages
Vicarious Liability and South Carolina Truck Accident Claims
Unlike most car accident cases, the negligent driver is not always the primary liable party in most truck accident cases. Because of a legal doctrine called vicarious liability, the truck driver’s employer can be financially responsible for the damages you suffered. Under this doctrine, the trucking company is liable when:
- The driver acted negligently and caused your crash.
- The driver was working for the company at the time of the accident.
- The driver was actively involved in a task related to their job and in the course of their employment when the crash occurred.
This means that in the majority of cases, the trucking company will be the primary liable party in a South Carolina truck accident claim. While this means we will likely have to take on a team of corporate lawyers who do not want to pay out any more than they have to, it also allows us to file our insurance claim based on the trucking company’s large corporate liability policy instead of an individual’s much smaller auto liability policy.
Proving Your Columbia Truck Accident Claim
Before we can demand a fair payout for your truck accident injuries and other damages, we need to build a strong case to back up your claim. This requires us to gather information and investigate exactly how the truck driver caused your accident. As a part of this process, we will identify, gather, and analyze a wide variety of available evidence to help us understand what happened. In addition, we will:
- Survey the scene of the crash and document the location.
- Attempt to identify any video of the crash.
- Review statements and interview witnesses.
- Enlist the help of an accident reconstruction team.
- Work with medical experts to explain your prognosis and future care needs.
Truck accident cases are also unique because so much of the evidence lies in the hands of the trucking company. For this reason, we send a spoliation letter to the trucking company demanding they preserve this evidence. This includes:
- The trucker’s logs
- Data from the truck’s computer
- Dash cam video of the accident
- Post-accident drug and alcohol test results
- The truck and trailer, or documentation of the damage
- The trucker’s employment records
- Truck maintenance records
Navigating the Truck Accident Claims Process in Columbia, SC
After we have a solid case to support your claim, we can send a demand letter to the trucking company and their insurance company. This letter demands a payout that covers your full range of expenses and losses. While the insurance company is unlikely to pay us this amount, it usually provides a starting point for aggressive settlement negotiations.
We can often negotiate a fair settlement agreement during this process, although we can file a personal injury lawsuit in a South Carolina civil court if they deny our claim or refuse a fair settlement. South Carolina law usually gives us three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, so it is important to begin the truck accident claims process as soon as possible.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Columbia, SC, About Your Case
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Columbia, SC, truck accident caused by a negligent trucker, the team from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you understand your rights. We can explain your options for trying to recover compensation and offer you the legal advice and support you need throughout the process.
Call our Columbia office today at 803-999-2993 to discuss your case for free with a truck accident lawyer in Columbia, SC.