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 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 a truck 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 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 a truck accident, 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 a truck 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 a truck accident. 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.
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 truck 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 every truck 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.
South Carolina Truck Accident Statistics
The United States Department of Transportation releases an annual report called the Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts that tallies up these types of accidents country-wide. One particularly interesting finding was that they tallied up these crashes by the days of the week. On the weekends, the rate of fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles was about 8.5 percent of total crashes. The weekdays saw 17 percent of the fatal crashes come from large trucks and buses. These numbers are the average of all weeks between 2013 and 2015 and shows that the increased number of truckers and commuters led to a higher likelihood of a fatal accident.
It becomes even more evident that we’re putting safety at risk when we take into account the rate of fatal collisions caused by personal accidents versus commercial accidents and compare it to the rate of all collisions. In 2015, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety released a Traffic Collision Fact Book. Using statistics taken from that fact book we can find a disturbing trend. While commercial vehicle collisions accounted for only 7 percent of the total collisions in South Carolina in 2015, they were responsible for 18 percent of the fatal collisions of that year. That is an extreme difference. This shows that an accident involving a large, commercial vehicle is more likely to be fatal. To ensure the safety of truckers and non-truckers alike, trucking companies and drivers need stricter regulations and rules when sharing the road. Whenever they act negligently on the road, people can get seriously injured or even die. It is the mission of our firm to make sure that these trucking companies are held accountable for their irresponsibility so that the victims can have a little peace of mind back.
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 a truck accident ruin your life, hold the negligent party responsible and get the justice you deserve. Contact our 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!