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Causes and Risk Factors of Tractor Trailer Accident Fatalities

— August 10, 2022

The size of a tractor trailer alone can cause extensive damages to other cars and drivers.

There are many factors that contribute to roadway crashes involving trucks that cause injury and death and they include:

  • Damaged, or road infrastructure that may be under construction, 
  • Older trucks that may not be road-worthy,
  • Traffic laws that are not enforced,
  • Reckless, or unsafe truck driver behaviors, 
  • Problems with cargo shift,
  • Distracted or fatigued driving.

Many of the United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations focus on the driver through hours worked, licensure and training requirements,  and CDL record review including periodic medical screening, in addition to drug and alcohol testing to protect them as well as other roadway commuters.

Size increases catastrophic damage and fatalities

The size of a tractor trailer alone can cause extensive damages to other cars and drivers, leading to personal injury and wrongful death claims. If you have been injured in an accident involving a tanker truck, an experienced personal injury attorney.

Driver risks

Dangers are greater when a tractor trailer driver does not adhere to Federal and South Carolina regulations that address: driving while fatigued, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, maintaining proper mechanical inspections before each trip and making sure to undergo industry-specific training to handle cargo loads in a variety of highway situations.

South Carolina

South Carolina is a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means an individual can still recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, but the award may be reduced according to each party’s share of negligence.  Under this rule, the amount of compensation a person is entitled to receive will be reduced by an amount that is equal to their percentage of fault, but if an individual is found to bear more than 50 percent of the legal blame, they cannot collect anything from other accident parties.

Wrongful death

Man sitting on sofa resting his head in his hand; image by Nik Shuliahin, via
Image by Nik Shuliahin, via

A surviving family member of a person who dies in single vehicle tractor trailer accident may seek compensation to cover both economic and non-economic losses, such as lost wages, medical bills, legal fees, and costs of property replacement as well as pain and suffering.  The driver’s insurance company and/or the trucking company, if the driver was an employee, may be responsible for damages, if it is found that there was a malfunction of the truck, or some kind of problem that the company, or manufacturer’s negligence contributed to the accident, multiple parties may be sued for compensation.  

Mandatory Insurance

If a personal injury claim is necessary, it can be filed with the appropriate insurance company in an attempt to pay for damages and injuries related to a claim.  However, legal action may be appropriate when another party’s actions resulted in a crash leading to death.  In those cases, the assistance of a personal injury attorney is required to achieve the best outcome.

Seek legal counsel

If a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a truck accident in South Carolina, contact an attorney at the Clekis Law Firm for a free consultation to determine next actions toward damage recovery.


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