Lexington, SC Personal Injury Attorneys
Truck Accidents

Lexington, SC Truck Accident Lawyers

Guidance After a South Carolina Accident

At The Rick Hall Law Firm, LLC, our team frequently handles tractor-trailer accidents, or truck accident cases. One of the most dangerous motor vehicle collisions you could be involved in is with a commercial motor vehicle. Tractor-trailers are very large and the damage and resulting injuries from colliding with one of these vehicles can be very traumatic and could lead to death.

One of the leading causes of tractor-trailer crashes is driver fatigue or inattention due to such fatigue. We have handled a case where the driver was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and was taking prescription drugs. Our client suffered significant injuries and we believe the driver could have been under the influence of a drug called an amphetamine. Laws that regulate the trucking industry called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations prohibit the use of controlled substances such as amphetamines. We also handle accidents caused by other forms of negligence, including distracted driving, drunk driving, and more. Our Lexington, South Carolina truck accident lawyers are available to investigate your accident.

Contact us online or by phone at (803) 590-9900 to schedule your free consultation. Our attorneys offer our services 24/7 for clients in their time of need and are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Truck Driver Fatigue & Federal Safety Regulations

The problem with driver fatigue is widespread in the trucking industry. This problem has led to other serious problems, including the need for truckers to self-medicate in order to stay awake and overuse of prescription drugs such as amphetamines. These drugs, while ostensibly used to keep drivers awake, have numerous adverse side effects such as causing nervousness, restlessness, irritability, and agitation, leading drivers to lose control of these large and dangerous 18-wheel vehicles. The use of controlled substances is generally banned by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Furthermore, the federal motor carrier safety regulations require mandatory drug testing on a random basis and post-accident drug testing if there is a serious collision causing property damage or personal injury.

The federal motor carrier safety regulations specifically require the following:

(a) As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, each employer shall test for alcohol for each of its surviving drivers:

  • (1) Who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved the loss of human life; or
  • (2) Who receives a citation within 8 hours of the occurrence under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if the accident involved:
    • (i) Bodily injury to any person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or
    • (ii) One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

(b) As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, each employer shall test for controlled substances for each of its surviving drivers:

  • (1) Who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved the loss of human life; or
  • (2) Who receives a citation within thirty-two hours of the occurrence under State or local law for a moving traffic violation arising from the accident, if the accident involved:
    • (i) Bodily injury to any person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or
    • (ii) One or more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring the motor vehicle to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

Drivers are also required to undergo a DOT physical annually and to be certified to drive by a medical doctor who is registered with the DOT and qualified to conduct such examinations in order to certify a driver. However, the doctor who conducts these examinations is dependent on the applicant-driver to provide a truthful medical history. In our practice, we have found instances where drivers have not been truthful in reporting their medical history or the drugs they are taking, and therefore have been improperly issued a medical certificate allowing them to operate an 18 wheel tractor-trailer.

Common Types of Truck Accident Cases

Fatigued driving, drunk driving, distracted driving, and reckless driving can all contribute to truck accidents, but sometimes employers and cargo loaders can create dangers on the road, too. While truck accidents can be similar to passenger car accidents and include common cases like rear-end collisions and head-on collisions, there are also several common types that are unique to trailer-tractors and big rigs.

Common truck accidents we’ve seen as a law firm in operation since 1982 include:

  • Jackknife accidents: Jackknifing refers to an accident that occurs in tractor-trailers when a truck and its trailer skid and cause the trailer to swing out and form a 90-degree angle so the vehicle looks like it’s folding in on itself. This accident often obstructs roads and can involve numerous other vehicles in the vicinity.
  • Accidents from unsecured loads: When cargo loaders improperly load trucks, accidents can happen and put other drivers in harm’s way. Having an imbalanced load, for example, can cause a truck to tip over onto its side when making turns. Additionally, cargo that isn’t secured can fly off or fall of the truck and hit other vehicles or create a road hazard.
  • Rollovers: Rollovers occur when drivers lose control of their trucks and the truck rolls onto its side or roof, pinning down the driver and any vehicles the truck has fallen on.
  • Underride accidents: Known as one of the most dangerous kinds of truck accidents, underrides occur when cars driving behind trucks become lodged beneath the truck after a truck stops or slows suddenly.

Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?

While many accidents are caused by driver errors, liability in a truck accident can fall on other parties, too. A personal injury attorney has the resources and experience needed to investigate your accident and determine who is responsible for compensating you for damages. Truck accidents can result in serious injuries that cost thousands of dollars to treat in surgeries, hospital stays, and more.

Liability in a truck accident often falls on one of the following parties:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • Cargo loaders
  • Manufacturers

Trucking companies will do whatever they can to avoid having to pay injured parties and have their own teams of lawyers that can undermine your claim. Our attorneys stand up for the rights of everyday people and aren’t afraid to face insurance companies and employers.

Call our Lexington, SC truck accident lawyers for a free consultation at (803) 590-9900. If you were injured in a serious collision with a tractor-trailer, we can help hold the negligent driver responsible.

Hear It From Our Clients

  • He takes your case personally

    “Rick Hall represented my family in a case that involved the wrongful death of our mother. I can tell you, from my heart, that this man and his staff care deeply.”

    - Vivian G.
  • This man doesn't back down

    “He's the best lawyer I've ever had. He stuck by me and my daughter for 5 years until he got her the justice she deserved after a medical malpractice incident when she was still a newborn.”

    - Ashley L.
  • You will not be disappointed

    “His staff and The man himself are always on your side. I can say this thing`s because he represented Me and my family, I can say this one thing.”

    - Tonya R.
  • He goes above and beyond

    “Great experience dealing with Mr. Hall. He kept me informed of everything that was happening and went above and beyond. Highly recommend his services.”

    - Janet B.
  • Rick is second to none

    “Rick is a tireless advocate for his clients. He does the hard work to make sure his clients get full value for their case. Rick is second to none.”

    - Brian M.
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Settlements & Verdicts

  • $2,000,000 Wrongful Death

    Wrongful death and survival action in which our client’s husband was killed after being struck by a tractor that had just collided with a wide load.

  • $1,000,000 Defective Product

    The plaintiff and her two children, causing severe burns which resulted in extensive burn treatment, including skin grafts.

  • $550,000 Severe Burn

    The plaintiff was struck in the neck by a shell fired from a defective Sixteen Shot Super Stallion causing severe burn injuries to neck that required multiple surgeries.

  • $550,000 Neck Injury

    The client suffered severe neck injury due to a rear-end collision.

  • $550,000 Negligently Performed Hip Operation

    The client suffered as a result of a negligently performed hip operation.

  • $525,000 Tractor-Trailer Collision

    The plaintiff suffered neck pain and injury. Plaintiff was hit by a tractor-trailer whose driver was talking on the cell phone and not paying attention.

  • $375,000 Loss of the Child’s Eye.

    Claim against a toy company after the defendant was hit in the eye with a “Ninja Star” plastic toy, resulting in the loss of the child’s eye.

  • $277,704 Poor Workmanship, Arbitration Award

    The homeowner was left to deal with serious construction defects due to the builder's poor workmanship.

  • Confidential Settlement Wrongful Death

    Nursing home negligence case where the plaintiff’s mother died of severe dehydration as she was not given water to drink and not cared for at all by the nursing home staff.

  • Confidential Settlement Wrongful Death

    Wrongful death and survival action arising out of the tragic death of a teenager after taking a mind-altering, behavior-modifying, psychopharmacologic drug.

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