Columbia Truck Accident Attorneys
Every day, we share the road with large trucks and other commercial vehicles. While they are great for the economy, being hit by a truck can completely change your way of life. At Goings Law Firm, LLC, we understand the pain and suffering that these types of accidents can bring, and sometimes the direct effects of a big truck accident can follow you around for years. The lasting damage can range anywhere from broken bones, permanent brain damage, and in the worst circumstances, the loss of a loved one.
As the premier law firm in South Carolina, our Columbia truck accident attorneys have made it our mission to represent innocent, injured people in need. In fact, we have cultivated an outstanding reputation for our service in our field. Our attorneys have been consistently named among the Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and National Trial Lawyers. When we represent a client, we are making them our number one priority.
At Goings Law Firm, LLC, we believe that if a negligent party injured you in an 18-wheeler accident, you shouldn’t be left alone with the burden of recovery. You deserve an attorney who will get aggressive when fighting for the compensation you deserve. We hold trucking companies and drivers accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, you need to call us. Contact us at (803) 350-9230 so we can start working for you.
Do I Need A Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you have recently been injured in an accident caused by a truck or commercial vehicle, you need to call a Columbia truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, hospital fees, and your own pain and suffering don’t wait. You shouldn’t have to deal with them alone, and if you are the victim of an accident with an 18-wheeler, you may have the opportunity for financial compensation. A trucking company may try to undercut you and silence you with low settlements, but having an attorney represent you is statistically proven to raise the probability of receiving compensation.
When you hire an accident attorney, you are taking the biggest step towards getting the financial compensation you deserve. It is the attorney’s job to make the legal process as streamlined as possible. We’ll take care of the paperwork, the insurance company, and all the legal negotiations. With an attorney working for you, you may regain your peace of mind much earlier than expected.
The Common Causes and Consequences of Truck Accidents in South Carolina
There is a multitude of factors that can go awry and lead to big truck accidents. Whenever these factors can be attributed to reckless behavior or negligence on the part of the driver or trucking company, the victims of the accident may be able to pursue financial compensation. Some of the common causes and consequences of truck accidents that we have seen include:
- Drunk Driving: Nobody should ever drink and drive, especially if they are behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle. Being severely injured because of the irresponsible actions of others is awful and those at fault should be held accountable.
- Mechanical Defect / Malfunction: Large commercial vehicles need to be properly maintained so that they aren’t a threat to other drivers on the road. When trucking companies neglect maintenance, serious accidents can occur.
- Employer Negligence / Liability: Whenever companies hire new drivers, there is usually a rigorous training period. However, sometimes trucking companies put the quantity of shipments over the quality of driver training, and people can get hurt.
- Truck Driver Error / Negligence: Large commercial vehicles have to abide by the same traffic laws as every other driver. When they disobey these laws, innocent drivers can be injured.
- No-Zone Accidents: Every truck driver knows that their no-zones are dangerous spots that need frequent checking. The blind spots of a commercial vehicle, if these aren’t monitored, serious accidents can occur.
- Wrongful Death: Nobody ever wants to think about the worst-case scenario that could happen as the result of a truck accident. These accidents are usually always preventable and can leave a huge hole in a family.
Truck accidents can significantly change someone’s way of life. It isn’t fair to have to suffer because of the negligent actions of another driver or truck company. You may be entitled to partial or full financial compensation if you have been injured. Don’t let this accident dictate the rest of your life, hire a lawyer and fight for what you deserve.
Other Types of Large Vehicle Accidents
Semi-trucks and tractor-trailers aren’t the only types of large vehicles that can be involved in serious collisions. A wide variety of other large and dangerous vehicles are also crisscrossing South Carolina roadways. These vehicles may pose a significant risk to other drivers as they go about the course of their day and carry out their heavy-duty tasks. These working machines can include:
- Construction vehicles: Construction season brings with it a variety of roadside hazards. Construction vehicles and equipment can be unwieldy, hard to maneuver, and they also have blind spots that make it difficult for their drivers to spot smaller vehicles near their path.
- Garbage and dump trucks: Garbage and dump trucks are large, slow-moving vehicles that stop frequently. This makes them particularly dangerous to other vehicles in their vicinity and even parked cars. They also have many moving parts that can pose a risk to cars that get too close.
- Delivery vans: Delivery vans make sudden stops that can be jarring. Because of those sudden stops, these vans can be difficult for other drivers to avoid. Many van drivers, especially the ones working for third-party companies, are also running on strict deadlines. In the rush to get packages delivered and meet a quota for the day, drivers may resort to speeding or other reckless or aggressive driving behaviors to keep them ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, that type of behavior also puts other South Carolina drivers at risk and can result in significant collisions.
- Moving trucks: The harsh reality is that many moving trucks are operated by inexperienced or novice drivers. Almost anyone can walk into an outlet and rent a large truck for their move. That doesn’t mean that they have the experience or qualifications necessary to expertly maneuver a large and powerful vehicle. The result can be serious accidents involving other drivers.
- Tanker trucks: Tanker truck accidents are among the most serious and potentially deadly types of large vehicle accidents. While some tankers are carrying benign cargo such as milk, many tankers are transporting hazardous or flammable materials such as gasoline, diesel fuel, nitrogen, agricultural waste, pesticides, and even radioactive material. Involvement in a tanker truck accident can result in serious injuries, disfigurement, and even death.
- Busses: School busses, tour busses, and mass transit busses make their way across South Carolina every day. Since these large vehicles are charged with transporting people instead of goods, the total number of injuries per accident may be high when these types of vehicles are involved in serious collisions.
- Tow trucks: Tow trucks have enough power and strength to haul large loads and vehicles. That means these vehicles are relatively heavy and difficult to stop. Vehicles being towed that have the steering wheel in the locked position or are unusually sized or smashed up can also be difficult to tow and make maneuvering the tow truck and its cargo particularly challenging. That can increase the risk of a tow truck being involved in a serious accident.
Involvement in an accident with any of these vehicles can spell disaster. Large trucks and vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries that can result in long recuperation periods, significant lifestyle changes, and even death. Often the owners or operators of larger trucks have injurers and attorneys on standby, ready and willing to help them avoid responsibility for the damage caused by an accident. That means that you need someone on your side willing to fight to protect you. An attorney with Goings Law Firm, LLC can do just that.
Why Should I Hire Goings Law Firm, LLC to Handle My Claim?
When you need a lawyer, you want to make sure they are someone you can trust. In Columbia there is certainly no shortage of lawyers. But how do you know that the attorney you’re hiring is going to give your case the attention it deserves?
Goings Law Firm, LLC was founded in Columbia for the residents of Columbia. We love the state of South Carolina, this is our home and that makes every one of our clients family. As such, we want to make sure that our family is taken care of. We don’t just talk about what we can do for our clients, we get results for them. Here is a selection of recent results we were able to win for hurt clients seeking compensation:
- Won $3,100,000 in a settlement to an individual injured in a trucking accident
- Won $1,150,000 in a settlement for someone involved in a truck accident
- Won $420,000 in a settlement for a victim suffering a back injury after being involved in a trucking and automobile accident
We’ve earned the trust of all the clients who come to our firm. When you decide to hire a Columbia 18-wheeler accident attorney from Goings Law Firm, LLC, you are utilizing our wealth of experience. As an injured party, you deserve financial compensation, and we will fight for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Types of Damages Can I be Awarded?
There are three types of damages you can be awarded in an accident case: economic, noneconomic, and punitive.
Economic damages are the most common when we think of settlements, and can include:
- Medical bills, past, and future
- Lost wages from time off work, past, and future
- Expenses related to childcare or transportation needed as a result of the accident
But noneconomic damages are equally as important in many cases. You may be compensated for any of the following:
- Pain and suffering related to the event of the accident
- Mental anguish and any trauma caused by the truck accident
- Loss of companionship or guardianship in the event of a loved one’s death
- Loss of sexual function as a result of your injuries
Finally, punitive damages are also available in South Carolina truck accident cases. These are damages that are meant to punish negligent parties. Punitive damages are a court’s way of deterring offenders from committing the same negligent acts, or deterring potential offenders from driving recklessly. In South Carolina, punitive damages may not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000.
Can I Seek Compensation Even if I was Partially Responsible for the Accident?
Yes. The state of South Carolina works on the basis of comparative negligence, which allows you to seek compensation even if you were partially at fault. The court will assign you a quantified percentage of blame that will be deducted from your overall payout. If you seek $100,000 in compensation from a truck driver who was drinking while driving, for example, but you forgot to use your turn signal while changing lanes and contributed to an accident in that way, you may be assigned 10 percent of the blame, which means you’ll receive $90,000 in compensation.
Who is Liable for My Truck Accident?
Truck accident cases are extremely complicated when it comes to liability. Unlike standard passenger vehicle accidents, where a single driver is responsible for the damages to another driver, truck accidents involve trucking companies, contracted or full-time employees, and other agencies, such as cargo loading companies, shipping firms, and maintenance and parts groups.
This makes filing a claim much more difficult, which is why you need to hire an attorney as soon as possible after your truck accident. In South Carolina truck accident cases, you can file a claim with your own insurance company or the negligent party’s insurance company. Without the advice of a trusted and experienced attorney, however, you may not know how to move forward with your case. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident can make the entire legal process run more smoothly.
Can I Settle Without an Attorney?
You may think it is not a big deal to undertake a settlement process in a truck accident on your own. But trucking is dangerous, and most truck companies have extensive experience dealing with accidents. Immediately after the accident, you will most likely be barraged by insurance agents and truck company representatives who will do everything in their power to keep you from obtaining the compensation you will need to pay your medical bills, cover lost wages from work, and repair your other non-monetary losses.
How Much Can I Expect in Financial Compensation?
With rising medical costs and wages being lost daily, it is natural to want those responsible to pay for their negligence. Every case is different. Depending on the causes of the accident, the surrounding circumstances, and even the time of day, the results of a claim can vary wildly. The only known way to ensure the highest possible amount of compensation and likelihood to receive it is by hiring a lawyer. Once you have an experienced legal professional study and review your case, they can tell you the plan moving forward. You can also take a look at our results page to get a feel for what we have been able to win in the past.
Truck Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, truck accidents continue to be common in South Carolina and throughout the United States. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 4,237 fatal crashes involving large trucks, and 4,761 total fatalities in large truck crashes in 2017, the most recent data year available. In about 4.7% of these instances, a vehicle-related factor was to blame. In other words, something was wrong with the truck that caused a fatal crash. The most common of these included tire failure, brake failure, and failure of the trailer hitch/safety chain systems. Holding trucking companies and manufacturers accountable for higher safety standards is the most important thing we can do to bring these numbers down.
In the past few years, the number of fatal accidents has been increasing. The overall trend points to an increase in truck accidents after a decline from 2005 to 2009. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks increased 8 percent, also part of a trend in increasing fatal crashes since 2009. This means that many of the trends for collisions involving large trucks follow collision trends in general, and continue to grow in spite of new safety features on both cars and large trucks.
South Carolina also shows many of the same trends that have been happening at the national level. The South Carolina Traffic Collision Factbook, most recently available for 2009, gives an exhaustive breakdown of state-level traffic collision statistics, including accidents involving large trucks. The state experiences a traffic collision every 3.7 minutes, and a fatal collision every 9.5 hours. In total, there were 5,292 collisions involving a large truck, with injuries occurring in 1,184 of these collisions, and fatalities in 65. In slightly over half (50.4%) of those cases, it was determined that the large truck driver contributed to the collision – in other words, the truck driver was at least partially at fault in these collisions. In general, a higher percentage of accidents involving a truck are fatal.
When the truck driver is at fault, it is especially important to hold the driver and truck company accountable for their actions. The massive size difference between trucks and most other vehicles often accounts for the higher numbers of traffic fatalities. Trucks are simply more likely to run over, not see, or cause severe damage to other vehicles, emphasizing the need for drivers to be alert and to keep their trucks in good working condition at all times.
The attorneys of Goings Law Firm, LLC have a mission to make sure that more drivers and companies are held accountable when they act irresponsibly and cause a traffic collision. When we approach a case, we often do so with these statistics in mind, understanding that truck accidents are deadly, especially if a truck driver is acting irresponsibly. We all share the road, so it is important to make sure that the trucks driving on it are safe and driven by safe drivers.
Contact a Columbia Truck Accident Attorney Today!
If you have recently been injured in a truck accident, you need to hire an attorney. At Goings Law Firm, LLC our lawyers believe that you shouldn’t have to struggle through this difficult time alone. With our professional guidance, you may be able to receive the financial compensation you and your family need. Don’t let an 18-wheeler accident ruin your life, hold the negligent party responsible and get the justice you deserve. Contact our Columbia truck accident attorneys today at (803) 350-9230 to talk to an experienced legal professional and discuss your options moving forward with your case. Put us to work for you!