Semi-truck Accident Attorney in South Carolina
LEGAL HELP FOR SOUTH CAROLINA TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS
From Charleston on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to Greenville in the west, just shy of five million residents call the state of South Carolina home. The Palmetto State is well-regarded for its coastal tourist attractions, including historic Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Outside of its beautiful beaches, South Carolina’s economy receives its biggest bump from its diverse manufacturing and agricultural production.
South Carolina’s major outputs include tobacco, poultry, textiles, and automobiles. In addition, Boeing and BMW both call South Carolina home for production of airplanes and automobiles, respectively. The state also boasts one of the largest public roadway systems in the country. The eleven interstate highways crisscrossing the state allow the easy flow of goods and materials in and out of the state.
Unfortunately, interstates are a popular roadway for the trucking industry, which carry a bulk of South Carolina’s output to the rest of the United States. With tractor-trailers frequenting these roadways, serious accidents and injuries will always be a result. One out of every four fatal trucking accidents occur on an interstate highway — in 2014, there were 3,903 such fatalities in the United States.
Like every state, South Carolina motorists are victims of the trucking industry thousands of times each year. Nationally, an estimated 111,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks. In South Carolina alone in 2014, there were 63 fatal injuries as a result of a semi-truck accident. The unfortunate reality is that many of these accidents are a result of driver negligence or the negligence of a trucking company. These life-altering accidents and resulting injuries are oftentimes completely unnecessary and avoidable.
At Thomas J. Henry, we understand how difficult your life can be made after experiencing a trucking injury. Catastrophic injuries or loss of life can put you and your loved ones in a financial bind that can be tough to handle. Thomas J. Henry can advance your court costs and litigation expenses, advance you money for living and medical expenses, and charge you nothing unless we win your case. We can do this because we have confidence in our experienced trucking accident attorneys to continue our record of helping our injured clients achieve real results for their pain and suffering.
LEGAL RESOURCES YOU NEED TO WIN YOUR SOUTH CAROLINA TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE
Thomas J. Henry has the financial resources and experience to ensure your South Carolina personal injury case is handled with efficiency and effectiveness. Our experienced trucking accident attorneys are vehemently dedicated to our clients’ needs.
- At every phase in your case, from the accident scene to the slam of a gavel, Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are there. No matter where you live in South Carolina, our attorneys are accessible to you via satellite technology, live streaming, or in person via jet services. If you cannot make it to one of our offices, we can make it to you at your home, hospital, or workplace. Your case information is important, so we made sure that your injury attorney is equipped with technology that allows them to access your case files from anywhere in the world at the click of a mouse.
- Advanced technology
- Thomas J. Henry is intent on providing dynamic representation for our clients. That means employing the leading-edge solutions in case management, client interaction, and information security. When our experienced trucking injury attorneys have access to your case files, remotely, from anywhere in the nation, they can hold meetings, draft and review documents, and share files with legal professionals with ease. We don’t let accessibility impede on the security of your information. Your case files will remain protected and confidential. Period.
- Trucking expert witnesses
- Trucking experts serve as witnesses in commercial trucking litigation matters, providing experts reports and testimony for judges, attorneys, insurance companies, and government agencies in Federal and State court trials and arbitration. It is vital to find the right expert and the best expert witnesses for your case. Each expert witness we engage has been thoroughly examined and questioned before ever participating in your case. Our firm has spent a tremendous amount of time selecting only the best experts across the nation. We are continuously searching for new and intuitive ways to use experts in personal injury cases.
- Expert witnesses in a trucking accident case may include:
- Accident reconstructionists
- FMCSA compliance consultants
- Doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals
- Forensic engineers
- General equipment technical experts
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT
Trucking accidents can be overwhelming, especially if you were injured in the crash. Your physical well-being is important — seek medical attention as soon as possible if you or a passenger were injured. There are other steps you can take following a semi-truck accident that will help build your case in the future. You have rights as a trucking accident victim, and we want to make sure that those rights are protected.
- Stop immediately after the accident. Check for injuries and be sure the area outside your vehicle is safe before you exit.
- Notify the police. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Be sure a paramedic is sent if there are injuries from the trucking accident.
- Record the facts accurately with the police. Try not to speculate about facts surrounding the crash or any injuries you may have.
- Take pictures of the scene, including your vehicle, the semi-truck, any injuries, and any other factors relating to the accident.
- Gather names and contact information of everyone involved in the crash and any witnesses. Get the insurance information as well from every person involved in the accident.
- Seek medical attention and be alert for injuries or pain that may not appear until days following the accident. If you are uncertain if you have been injured, it is smart to err on the side of caution and get checked out by a physician.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Do not talk to other insurance companies or representatives from the trucking company. If possible, tell them to contact your lawyer.
- Contact an experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer.
Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition of evidence is extremely important to understanding how the trucking accident occurred. We will take immediate action on your behalf and get to work for you. Thomas J. Henry has handled a multitude of semi-truck accidents over the past two decades, achieving massive results for injured clients across the country. Our experienced trucking injury attorneys will take every measure possible to keep you comfortable, informed, and in the best situation to receive the compensation you deserve.
WHO CAN I SUE AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
Trucking accidents are often complex cases due to the number of parties that could potentially be found negligent for your damages. In any given case, the truck driver, trucking company, or commercial vehicle manufacturer could potentially be held accountable for your injuries. In some cases, you may have grounds to recover compensation for all of your expenses, past and future, that have occurred since your accident.
It is important to know who to sue and where to sue. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys have a proven record for delivering real results for our clients and standing up to the largest trucking companies in the world. Our firm has proven how truck drivers and trucking companies caused severe and unnecessary injuries and even death. We understand how trucking companies operate, and we are experienced in making them pay for not following safety regulations designed to keep you and your family safe on the roadways.
COMMON SOUTH CAROLINA TRUCKING VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN ACCIDENTS
Semi-truck accidents can be caused by several different factors — most of which are preventable. When truck drivers violate traffic laws, severe accidents can occur and leave other motorists with debilitating injuries. Common violations that lead to trucking accidents include:
- Following too closely
- The average stopping distance for a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph is 196 feet, compared with 133 feet for an automobile.
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while impaired
- Distracted driving
- Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
- Improper lane changing or turning
- Failure to maintain vehicle
Commercial trucks in the United States can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or 40 tons. The average passenger car weighs around two tons. The drastic weight differential means that a traffic violation can quickly turn deadly for South Carolina drivers. It is extremely important that trucking companies and their drivers adhere to rules and regulations made to keep you and your family safe on the highway.
FEDERAL GUIDELINES HELP PREVENT SOUTH CAROLINA TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
There are various federal trucking regulations and guidelines in place to help keep other drivers safe on the roadways. Problems occur when drivers and companies fail to comply with these rules, putting motorists at risk. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all of the rules and regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicles and the people who operate them.
Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard and can lose their CDL certification by committing serious traffic violations. These are a few highlights of the requirements and regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers:
- Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
- Drivers must be 18 years of age or older to operate within South Carolina state lines.
- To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
- Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
- In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
- For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
- Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
- Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.
COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS
All commercial motor vehicle operators (passenger-carrying and property carrying) are required to comply with the hours of service regulations. Drowsy and fatigued drivers cause many catastrophic trucking accidents each year in South Carolina. These regulations ensure drivers are receiving enough rest to safely operate their trucks.
Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
- Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?
Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are found in most commercial trucks and Department of Transportation-regulated vehicles. These electronic systems record and track movement of the truck or commercial vehicle and can help determine the speed a truck was traveling prior to an impact. This is vital data and information. These pieces of information can be used in your case to help determine fault and negligence. In addition, these devices show the driving habits of the driver and the routes the driver traveled prior to an accident.
At Thomas J. Henry, our injury attorneys will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to not only obtain the ECM and GPS data from the truck involved, but also the Federal Motor Carrier-required documents for the driver. The acquisition of these pieces of information can play an important role in achieving the verdict or settlement you or a loved one deserves.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED SOUTH CAROLINA TRUCK ACCIDENT AND INJURY LAWYER
When hiring a truck accident lawyer to handle your case, you want someone who is experienced and tenacious. You want a lawyer who has the financial resources to develop your case properly. You want a lawyer who can take your call any time of the day or night. At Thomas J. Henry, we can do all of that and more. Our team of trucking accident attorneys is available to assist South Carolina residents 24/7, nights and weekends. Thomas J. Henry has helped trucking injury victims throughout the nation stand up against large trucking companies and obtain real results.
Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only. Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.