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Who May Be Liable for Damages for a Truck Accident in Greenville?

— March 23, 2022

If the load is not properly balanced or secured, any sudden shift can make the driver lose control of the vehicle.

Greenville, SC – On Feb 20, 2022, two people were killed in a horrific truck accident involving an 18-wheeler right outside Greenville, SC. In January, traffic on I-26 was brought to a halt when a dairy cow fell off a truck. Only a couple of months earlier, a tragedy was narrowly avoided when a truck hit a school bus, but the children miraculously escaped unharmed. These are just a few recent examples of the risks commercial vehicles pose to South Carolina drivers. In most cases, truck accidents lead to catastrophic injuries among the passengers of the other cars involved. If you were recently injured or you lost someone in this type of crash, you need to contact knowledgeable Greenville truck accident lawyers to make sure you get the damages you deserve. A collision between two passenger cars is easy to investigate, but in a truck accident you may have more than one liable party and discovering who may be held accountable is crucial when you have significant damages.

How is liability determined in a truck accident in South Carolina?

The main reason you need to determine who might be liable for damages in a truck accident is that the trucker only carries a minimum liability coverage, which may not be enough if you sustain severe injuries. When you reach out to experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyers they will investigate whether you can hold the trucking company accountable as well, or maybe the shipping company. Here’s how you can determine who may be liable for damages.

The driver

Speeding, aggressive or distracted driving are among the most common causes of truck accidents nationwide. The use of mobile devices by truckers is heavily restricted and for good cause. If a trucker takes his eyes off the road to read a message they can easily lose control of the semi and cause an accident. In such a case, it will be the driver who is responsible for the crash.

Tired driver; image by Johan Funke, via
Tired driver; image by Johan Funke, via

The trucking company

Driver fatigue is another common cause of truck accidents. While the driver is ultimately responsible for his actions, a skilled truck accident lawyer may be able to build a case against the company he works for. Truck drivers are required to respect federal Hours of Service (HoS), which limit the number of hours they can work in one shift. If the driver involved in your accident had been on the road for more than 11 hours, that’s an HoS violation. The trucking company may be held accountable for failing to enforce federal road safety regulations and monitor its employees. If the company had been pressuring the driver to get to the destination as soon as possible, directly or indirectly telling them to ignore regulations, your lawyers will make sure that they pay for it.

The same applies if the driver had not received proper training or if there was a mechanical failure that led to the accident. Trucking companies are responsible for vehicle maintenance so if the brakes fail, they can be held accountable.

The shipping company

If the load is not properly balanced or secured, any sudden shift can make the driver lose control of the vehicle, and an accident may be inevitable no matter how experienced the trucker is or how carefully he drives. The recent accident with the cow falling off the truck is a clear example of the way the shipping company or those responsible for loading the vehicle can be held accountable. 

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