Columbia, SC Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were recently involved in a collision with a large truck, you might be dealing with intensely painful injuries. Our legal team can help you make sure the people responsible for the accident are held accountable.

Following a truck accident, you should immediately call for help. Talk to the police when they arrive and get to the hospital immediately. Once you have received medical care, call a lawyer to discuss legal options. Your attorney can help you identify the person or people responsible for the accident. The truck driver, the trucking business, and possibly others might be implicated. To prepare your claims, we need information about how the accident occurred and who was involved. It may take time to compile everything we need to get started, so contact a lawyer sooner rather than later. Your case might be worth a lot in compensation, and you must not overlook even the smallest expenses.

Call (803) 219-4906 and ask our truck accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras for a free, private evaluation of your case to get started.

What to Do Following a Truck Accident in Columbia, SC

A truck collision is often a big accident involving multiple drivers and vehicles. You might be overwhelmed after the crash, and it can be easy to panic. However, you must remain calm and focus on getting help. If you have a phone, call 911 and have them send an ambulance and the police. If you are badly hurt and cannot call for help on your own, someone else at the accident scene should make the call for you.

It can be hard to predict whether the police or an ambulance will arrive at the scene first. If the police get there first, talk to them if you can. They will likely conduct an investigation and want your statements for their report. If an ambulance arrives first, you might be taken to the hospital before the police can speak to you. If so, make it a point to contact the police about the accident after you get to the hospital.

It would also be helpful if you got other people’s names and contact information at the accident scene. Maybe they were other drivers who were also injured in the crash. Maybe they were just passing by and stopped to help. Either way, they may testify as witnesses, and their testimony might be very valuable to your case.

Finally, once you have received emergency medical attention, call a lawyer. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better. According to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530(5), plaintiffs often have only 3 years to file injury claims in court. If you wait too long, it might be difficult to prepare your case and file it on time.

People Who Might Be Responsible for Your Truck Accident in Columbia, SC

We might not know immediately who caused the accident, although our truck accident lawyers might have some pretty good ideas. Often, truck drivers and their employers, the trucking companies, are responsible when accidents happen. In some cases, additional parties might also be involved. Your lawyer can help you figure out who should be held responsible.

Truck Drivers

Perhaps the first person who is scrutinized after a truck accident is the driver of the truck. Truckers are often the primary defendants in accident cases. When truckers are negligent behind the wheel, the risks are incredibly high. As such, we should consider suing the trucker involved in your accident.

A common example of truck driver negligence includes driving while very tired. Truckers are often on the road for many hours at a time. If they do not stop to rest, they might become way too tired to drive and doze off at the wheel. Another possibility is that the trucker was speeding. While lots of driver speed, it is more dangerous with trucks. They are larger, heavier vehicles that are harder to stop at high rates of speed.

Trucking Businesses

If we decide to sue the trucker involved in your accident, we should also consider suing their employer, the trucking business. When employees are negligent, their employees may often be held responsible. Under the legal rule of respondeat superior, employers may be held liable when employees negligently cause injuries while performing their normal duties.

Not all accidents fall under this rule. When truckers cause accidents because of unauthorized or illegal behavior, we might need to find a different legal route to hold their employer accountable. For example, if the trucker was unfit to drive and the trucking company knew this when they hired them, we can sue the trucking company for negligent entrustment or hiring.

Other Parties

Certain other parties might be implicated, depending on your circumstances. For example, if the accident happened because of defective equipment or gear on the truck, we might sue the manufacturer of the defective equipment. Alternatively, we might include other drivers who were present during the accident if they somehow contributed to the crash.

What Your Columbia, SC Truck Accident Case Might Be Worth

Your case might be worth quite a bit of compensation. Plaintiffs sometimes overlook certain damages because they do not realize they can claim them or believe they are not significant enough to include in the case. Doing this may reduce your potential compensation. A lawyer can help you make sure you maximize your potential compensation.

Some common damages include expensive medical bills, the cost to repair or replace damaged property, the income you lost because you cannot return to work, and various other expenses directly related to the accident.

You should also consider your non-economic injuries. Did you experience great physical pain? Was the accident psychologically traumatizing? You can claim damages for numerous painful experiences.

Punitive damages might be available under very specific conditions. These damages are awarded to punish defendants for extremely bad behavior. Remember, punitive damages are not available in every case, and you should talk to your lawyer about these damages.

According to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-32-520(D), punitive damages are only awarded if the plaintiff can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant caused their injuries through wanton, reckless, or willful conduct. This is a very high bar to meet, and punitive damages tend to be less common.

Speak to Our Columbia, SC Truck Accident Lawyers for Help Now

Call (803) 219-4906 and ask our truck accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras for a free, private evaluation of your case to get started.