When you are seeking compensation, you need to understand that you are not given an unlimited amount of time to bring your case or have it settled in civil court. You will be given three years from the date of your truck accident to bring your case, according to South Carolina statutes.
It’s a big risk to wait to hire an attorney. You make their job a lot harder if you wait to contact them because they are going to be on a deadline. The longer you wait to hire a lawyer, the shorter deadline you are dealing with, making the success of your case less likely.
Three years can go by quickly; as those years pass, your evidence can disappear. You may not be able to track down your witnesses, and the ones you do find may have forgotten key details. Plus, if you miss this deadline, then you are no longer eligible for compensation.
South Carolina state law says that anyone who has been injured in a truck accident will be subject to the rules of modified comparative negligence laws. These laws are what dictate the compensation that you are able to collect.
Modified comparative negligence is as follows:
For example, if you were sharing the road with a truck and you wanted to get past them because they were swerving and you had to speed to get around them when they collided with you, that might be seen as you being partially at fault. Let’s say you were given 20% fault for this and then awarded $100,000. You would be able to collect a reduced award of $80,000 in damages.
You will be compensated for the following factors including:
Essentially, you will be likely be compensated more if your injuries are more severe. During insurance negotiations, your fault will be deliberated and a number will be determined regarding the fault you had for the accident, as well as the amount of compensation you are owed.
To make sure that you are going to have the best chance at full compensation, you need to seek immediate medical attention to get your injuries addressed and start treatment. Getting better should be your top priority.
It is extremely important that you immediately seek medical attention for two reasons. First, you want to stop being in pain and start getting better. You cannot get rid of injuries without treatment for them. Second, when you see a doctor, they put your injuries and treatments in a written document that we can use to show the insurance company what they need to compensate you for.
In every personal injury case, there is a mistake that we hope our clients do not make before they come to see us. There have been instances where this happens and we cannot fix it. Very shortly after your accident, you will likely receive a phone call from the insurance company looking to get a recorded statement from you. They will seem helpful but in order to maximize your case, it is essential that you do not give them a statement.
These insurance companies have representative who are trained to make a recorded statement go in their favor, not yours. If you give a response that damages your case, they will be able to use that against you and either reduce or eliminate your claim, which you want to avoid at all costs.
Our attorneys will be able to take these communications over on your behalf so that your case will be protected from the insurance company.
I had a client who was involved in a wreck on Whiskey Road in Aiken, South Carolina call me and tell me an insurance company had made them an initial settlement offer. The client asked me if they should take the first settlement offer. If you’re reading this, you may have a similar question. I’ll share with you what I shared with the client.
I’ve handled many tractor trailer cases in South Carolina during my years of practice, and I’ve never seen an insurance company offer a fair price on their first offer. Insurance companies always offer a lower amount and can come up off that offer. They expect it to be negotiated. I told my client that I could get her more money than she could on her own, that I have experience dealing with the federal rules and regulations for trucking companies. I have experience dealing with experts that specialize in the rules and regulations of trucking companies, and I have experience in preserving evidence of the truck wreck, such as speed, data recorders, braking distances, and video cameras, as well as preserving the driver logbooks to show how many hours they had been working that week.
If you have any questions about your truck wreck in North Augusta, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
Last month, I had a client that was badly injured in a tractor trailer wreck on Atomic Road, and she asked me what she should do the day after the wreck to help preserve her case. If you’re reading this, you may have the same questions. I’ll share with you what I shared with her.
It’s important to hire an experienced tractor trailer lawyer soon after the wreck. That lawyer can get accident reconstruction experts to the scene to obtain data from the scene, such as skid marks and gouge marks and different debris in the road. The experts can interview witnesses. An experienced tractor trailer lawyer can also write letters to the trucking company demanding that the trucking company preserve data concerning the wreck. Every commercial tractor trailer has black boxes which show the speed of the tractor trailer and show braking times of the tractor trailer.
Many tractor trailers and commercial trucks also have videos on board that will show the wreck. Sometimes if an attorney is not hired soon enough, the tractor trailer and commercial trucking companies will discard this information. They’ll discard logbooks of the driver’s time in service in driving the truck, so it’s important to preserve this evidence. It’s important to have experts gather this data and evidence as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about your commercial trucking or tractor trailer case, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
I had a client from North Augusta call me last week who had been a client 20 years ago when they had been in an automobile wreck. Having been involved in a tractor trailer and commercial trucking case more recently, they wanted to know the difference between an automobile case and a tractor trailer case. If you’re reading this, you may have the same question. I’ll share with you what I shared with my client.
Tractor trailer cases are governed by many federal rules and regulations that govern these large tractor trailers. These vehicles are so large and so hard to stop, they have very specific rules on trying to keep our citizens safe. You need an experienced tractor trailer attorney who knows these federal rules and regulations and can preserve the data early on in the process, such as logbooks of the driver, fuel expenses to show how many miles they’re driving in between fuels stops, and the black box data recorder which records speed and braking distances. Many tractor trailers have video cameras that will also show the actual wreck itself. If an experienced lawyer does not get involved early on, many of the trucking companies will destroy and discard this evidence, which may make the case harder to prove.
If you have any questions about the differences between automobile wrecks and tractor trailer cases in the state of South Carolina, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
I met with a couple last week that were injured in a commercial tractor trailer wreck on Georgia Avenue in North Augusta, South Carolina, and they had made a couple mistakes. If you’re visiting this page, you may have questions about what you should and should not do after a tractor trailer wreck. I’ll share with you what I shared with the couple.
It’s very important to get medical treatment immediately after a tractor trailer wreck and follow your doctor’s advice. Most trucking companies will have an insurance adjuster contact the injured victims the day after the wreck. It’s important not to talk to these insurance adjusters and give statements. These insurance adjusters are trained to get information that will help the trucking company’s case and hurt your case. If you’re physically able, gather all witness information and take photographs of the scene.
If you have any questions about your commercial trucking or tractor trailer case, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
I met with a gentleman earlier this week, from Aiken, South Carolina, who had been involved in a bad truck wreck on Interstate 20. He asked me the question, “What do I look for when choosing a truck wreck attorney?” I’ll share with you what I shared with that gentleman.
I told that gentleman that he needed to meet with the attorney himself, face to face, and ask the attorney questions. Ask that attorney what his experience with tractor trailer cases is. Are personal injury cases, automobile wrecks, and tractor trailer accidents a core focus of that attorney’s practice? Is that attorney a trial lawyer? Does he take cases to trial? Trial lawyers get better results for their clients if they’re continually trying cases. Does the attorney have experience with the federal rules and regulations governing truck drivers? Does that attorney have the resources to hire accident reconstruction experts and engineers? Does that attorney conduct focus groups of cases going to trial? Focus groups are important to help prepare the case for a successful trial.
I also explained to the gentleman that it’s important to do online research. Get online and see what past clients say about that attorney. What do the clients say about the professionalism and results that the client receive? Look at Google reviews, Avvo reviews, Facebook reviews. Also look at lawyer-to-lawyer recommendations. Are lawyers rating the truck wreck attorney highly? Are lawyers on sites such as Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and 100 High Stakes Litigators giving the potential attorney high ratings?
I had a couple call me last week who had been involved in a bad tractor trailer wreck on Martintown Road in which the tractor trailer’s brakes failed and rear ended the couple, tearing up the back of their automobile and making it look like a smushed up tin can. They asked me, “How do you determine the value of our case?” If you’re reading this, you may be asking the same questions of how the value of tractor trailer case is determined. I’ll share with you what I shared with this couple.
First of all, our office would investigate the cause of the brake failure. What do the logbooks show? What do the internal documents of the trucking company show as to speed, brake servicing, and what does the black box data recorder say as to when the brakes were applied? Other factors that go into determining the value of a case are medical bills, lost wages, and permanent limitations from the injuries.
If you have any questions about your tractor trailer case or your commercial trucking case, or the value of your case, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
I had a client call me from Augusta University Medical Center last week, and she’d been involved in a serious tractor trailer wreck. She informed me that an adjuster and an attorney for the trucking company were calling her and asking her to give a recorded statement. If you’re reading this, you may have the same question. I’ll tell you what I shared with this client that was in the hospital.
Never give a statement to an insurance company representative in a tractor trailer case in the state of South Carolina. Don’t talk to their attorney, either. This attorney and insurance adjuster are trying to get information that is favorable to their case, not yours. It is their goal to pay the least amount of money possible for this client’s damages.
If you have any questions about your tractor trailer case in the state of South Carolina, give me a call. I’d be happy to help.
I had a young nurse call me after she was injured on University Parkway in Aiken, South Carolina by a tractor trailer that had run a red light. Her question to me was how long it would take to resolve her case. If you’re reading this, you might have the same question. I’ll share with you what I shared with this young lady.
Every case is different, but some of the factors involved in the length of a case are how long the medical treatment lasts, what kind of limitations you have once you’ve healed up, and whether the trucking insurance company is acting reasonable in the negotiations of the case. What does the evidence in the case show as to liability? What does the black box recorder show as to the speed of the truck at the time of the wreck? What does the black box recorder show as to the brakes of the wreck from the tractor trailer? Lastly, there may be cameras in the tractor trailer that actually record the wreck itself, and those may give clues to who’s at fault, and that will determine how long the case goes.
The statute of limitations in South Carolina is three years, and the case would need to either be settled or a lawsuit be filed within that time. If you have any questions about your truck accident, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
If you were severely injured in a truck accident, we will be able to help you through this. Please call our North Augusta truck accident attorneys today to get the compensation you deserve. Set up your free initial consultation today to go over the details of your case.