While dealing with insurance companies can be tricky after a car accident, the process becomes more involved if one of the drivers was in a commercial truck. A commercial truck is a vehicle used for business and/or to transport commercial goods. Examples include 18-wheelers, tractor trailers, tanker trucks, dump trucks, delivery vehicles, semis, big rigs and other large freight trucks.
A traffic accident involving a truck is different than one with only cars for several reasons. The most significant difference is the size and weight of the vehicles. A large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, compared to the average passenger automobile that weighs approximately about 3,000 pounds. Due to this size difference, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is more likely to result in a catastrophic accident with serious, even fatal, injuries. Furthermore, because of their large bodies, many trucks are not as maneuverable as cars. For example, a tanker truck that is carrying liquid may be swayed by the sloshing of the liquid it carries, causing it to slide or jack-knife. The distance it takes a truck to slow down or stop is much longer than a car because the braking systems of trucks and cars are completely different.
If you’ve been in an accident with a truck, there may be more people involved in the lawsuit than just the driver. You may be able to sue the driver of the truck if s/he is negligent (suffering from fatigue, D.U.I., or speeding, for example), but also the trucking company if it negligently hired the truck driver, or if the truck was improperly loaded or overloaded. The case also may be against the truck’s manufacturer if there is a defect in the truck that caused the accident, such as mechanical failure or defective parts.
In South Carolina, you can receive a recovery for an accident even if it was partially your fault. And almost every person involved in an accident with a commercial truck will benefit from consultation with a competent attorney.
Contact an experienced, aggressive and knowledgeable lawyer from Hodge & Langley Law Firm today to ensure that you are appropriately compensated for medical expenses, hospital bills, income lost because of missed work, pain and suffering, future medical or physical therapy expenses, and loss of earning capacity resulting from the accident. You can be sure that the driver, owner and operator of the truck will be represented by legal counsel, and your rights will be best protected if you are as well.