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Tractor-Trailer Wrecks

Since 1984, the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Lofton & Lofton have defended the rights of accident victims. We have successfully handled all types of cases involving trucks and tractor-trailer wrecks. Our Charleston office provides exemplary legal service and dedicated representation to individuals and families across South Carolina.

Tractor-Trailer Wrecks

South Carolina residents are familiar with the 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers trucking along the highway. These commercial vehicles are vital to the transport of goods and services, both within and outside the state. Tractor-trailers are essential to agriculture and commerce operations. They are also some of the most deadly vehicles on the road. Tractor-trailer wrecks often involve:

  • Rollovers
  • Jack-knifes
  • Cargo spills
  • Falling debris
  • Explosions, fires
  • Unhitched trucks
  • Runaway carriages
  • Crossing over medians
  • Right-of-way violations
  • Clearance, weigh stations

Sheer size and bulk make tractor-trailers dangerous. Having a heavy mass affects the force of impact, even at lower velocities. Combined with messy spills and a high propensity for rollovers, tractor-trailers can cause serious damage. They are responsible for frequent freeway closures and massive traffic on highways throughout the state.

Causes of Bodily Injury

Tractor-trailer wrecks are often caused by careless driving. For commercial drivers, mistakes are magnified exponentially. Exerting a greater force upon impact, tractor-trailers transfer a higher degree of energy to other objects, often causing a chain-reaction until expended. Preventable collisions caused by negligence may involve:

  • Speeding
  • Intoxication
  • Driver fatigue
  • Talking, texting
  • Distracted driving
  • Overtime operation
  • Diminished visibility
  • Safety, maintenance issues
  • Sudden passing, lane changes

Tractor-trailers are at a serious disadvantage to other vehicles in many ways. In addition to their awkward vehicle size, drivers must also contend with:

  • Manual steering
  • Delivery deadlines
  • Multiple blind spots
  • Diminished visibility
  • Unassisted maneuvers
  • Infrequent rest stations
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Unexpected traffic conditions
  • Lack of sufficient buffer zone

All these factors place tractor-trailers at higher risk of a crash. Long hours and pressure to deliver goods on time can diminish a driver’s focus on safety, and when combined with the dangers inherent in operating a tractor-trailer, can create dangerous conditions for the driver as well as others sharing the road.

Commercial Carrier Liability

Trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large vehicles are known as commercial carriers because commerce requires delivery of goods or services to another party. Operating these vehicles requires a valid commercial driver’s license, demanding more training and testing than regular cars. Federal and state laws govern this industry and require insurance against liability for bodily injury or death in a crash. Companies are also liable for the negligent acts of their drivers, or those acts constituting a breach of the drivers’ duty to exercise reasonable care, and the resulting harm to other parties. This means that injured parties may recover compensation from the entity or business employing the driver. Damages may include an award for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income. The intersection of multiple parties, insurers, and laws make these claims complex.

An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you were injured in a tractor-trailer wreck, contact the South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lofton & Lofton today. We immediately get to work on your behalf, finding the various parties liable for your harm. For over 25 years, we have put our expertise to work for victims, helping them recover the compensation they deserve. Call (843) 722-6319 to speak with an experienced attorney or contact us online.