The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a single-vehicle crash Friday morning that killed a tractor trailer driver. The crash happened at 7:12 a.m. Friday in the westbound lanes of I-26 near mile marker 165, approximately five miles east of Bowman, Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell said. The driver of a 2000 Sterling tractor trailer was traveling west on the interstate when the vehicle ran off the road to the left and struck a tree in the median. Tidwell said the driver was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

Increased fatalities.

There was a 9% increase in United States roadway fatalities caused by truck accidents in 2017, and 72%  of those killed were occupants of other vehicles. 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, or someone you love has been injured, or killed in a truck accident, contact 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.

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 compensation.

Clekis Law Firm
171 Church Street
Charleston SC 29401

Office Phone: 843-720-3737

Email: [email protected]

Sources:

http://www.scdmvonline.com/Driver-Services/Commercial-Licenses

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/392.3

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t15c003.php

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