Dangers posed to other drivers are exacerbated by commercial truck drivers who do not pay attention to, or 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 commercial tankers in a variety of highway situations.
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, but tanker trucks are more dangerous because of weight distribution problems and substances they carry, including flammable liquids and pressurized gases, or highly toxic chemicals that are difficult to clean up after spilling. Fatal Truck Accidents, If you have been injured in an accident involving a tanker truck, an experienced personal injury attorney can be of assistance.
There are driving actions that commercial drivers can take to reduce the incidence of tanker truck accidents that include:
When personal injury is caused by a truck accident in South Carolina, the statute of limitations gives an accident victim three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system in accordance with S.C. Code Ann. section 15-3-530.
South Carolina is a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means a driver can still recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, but awards will be reduced according to shares of negligence. The amount of compensation a person it entitled to will be reduced by an amount that is equal to the other driver’s percentage of fault. If a driver bears more than 50% of the legal blame, they cannot collect anything from other at-fault parties.
Monetary awards in South Carolina can be capped for punitive damages intended to punish the defendant at amounts equal to the greater of three times the actual damages, or $500,000. Damages cover both economic and non-economic losses. Expenses that include costs of medical bills and lost wages from work are easy to calculate, but estimates for pain, scarring, emotional harm, or psychological and physical limitations are more difficult to calculate, requiring the assistance of lawyers, insurance companies and juries.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Charleston, contact anattorney at the Clekis Law Firm for a free consultation to determine next actions toward compensation.