Head-On Collisions

Head-to-head accidents occur when the front ends of two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. Given the size and weight of trucks, head-on collisions often result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. The high velocity at which these accidents occur exacerbates the severity of injuries.

Underride Accidents

Many trucks are supposed to have underride guards to prevent smaller vehicles, such as cars, from sliding underneath a truck during a collision. Unfortunately, not all trucks have adequate underride guards. When a smaller vehicle gets lodged under a truck's trailer, the occupants risk experiencing crushing injuries and fatalities.

Jackknife Accidents

A jackknife accident occurs when a truck's trailer swings out of control, resembling a folding knife. The sudden loss of control can lead to multi-vehicle collisions, rollovers, and extensive property damage.

Side-Impact Crashes

Side impact truck accidents, also known as T-bone collisions, typically occur at intersections when the front of the truck crashes into the side of another vehicle at a perpendicular angle. Due to the lack of protection on the sides of cars, occupants are vulnerable to severe injuries or death.

Rollover Accidents

Due to their high center of gravity, trucks are prone to rollover accidents, especially when navigating sharp turns or uneven terrain. Rollover accidents can cause extensive damage and injuries to anyone in the truck’s path.

It's crucial to remember that this list is not exhaustive, and other types of truck accidents can occur depending on the specific circumstances.

Causes of Myrtle Beach Truck Accidents

Understanding the causes of truck accidents is crucial for prevention and legal recourse. Some common factors contributing to Myrtle Beach truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue. Long hours on the road can lead to driver fatigue, impairing judgment, reaction time, and overall driving ability. Federal regulations govern the number of consecutive driving hours for commercial truck drivers, but violations still occur.
  • Speeding and reckless driving. Some truck drivers may exceed speed limits or engage in reckless behaviors to meet tight deadlines, compromising safety on the road.
  • Distracted driving. Distractions such as texting, eating, or using electronic devices while driving can divert a truck driver's attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance. Neglected maintenance issues such as brake failure, tire blowouts, or faulty equipment can contribute to truck accidents.
  • Mechanical failure. Faulty parts can lead a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause a crash. 
  • Overloading. When trucks exceed their weight limits, it affects their handling, braking ability, and overall stability, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Improper cargo loading. Unevenly distributed cargo or unsecured loads can shift on the road, causing the truck to become unbalanced and potentially swerve or roll over, leading to devastating consequences.
  • Other forms of driver negligence. This may include things like drunk driving and neglected health concerns. Truck drivers owe other motorists a duty of care and, therefore, must use reasonable care to prevent truck accidents.

It's important to note that multiple factors can often combine to cause a truck accident, making it crucial to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the specific cause(s) and identify all potentially liable parties.

Myrtle Beach Truck Accident Injuries

The force and severity of truck accidents often result in significant injuries for those involved. Here are some types of injuries sustained in Myrtle Beach truck accidents:

  • Spinal cord injuries. These debilitating injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity of the damage.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can range from mild concussions to severe damage, affecting cognitive functions, motor skills, memory, personal relationships, and more.
  • Broken bones. Fractures, both simple and complex, are frequent occurrences in truck accidents due to the immense force involved.
  • Internal injuries. Damage to internal organs, like the lungs, liver, or kidneys, can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
  • Soft tissue injuries. This category encompasses muscle strains, sprains, and whiplash, causing significant pain, restricted mobility, and discomfort. 

Beyond the physical injuries, truck accidents can cause lasting psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. 

Possible Damages in a South Carolina Truck Accident Case

In a South Carolina truck accident case, victims may be entitled to various types of damages to compensate for their losses. These damages may include:

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses encompass all costs associated with treating injuries sustained in the truck accident. This includes emergency room visits, surgeries, hospital stays, doctor's appointments, medications, rehabilitation, and therapy. Victims may be compensated for past and future medical expenses related to their truck accident injuries, ensuring they receive the necessary care and support for recovery.

Lost Income

Lost income refers to the wages, bonuses, raises, benefits, and self-employment income a victim loses due to their inability to work following the truck accident. Compensation for lost wages aims to alleviate the financial burden placed on victims and their families due to the inability to work.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages compensate victims for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish endured because of the truck accident. This includes the physical discomfort and limitations caused by injuries, as well as the emotional trauma, anxiety, and depression resulting from the accident and its aftermath. Pain and suffering are more challenging to value than economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, but they are essential parts of a truck accident recovery. It acknowledges the human toll of the accident and aims to provide compensation for the intangible harm suffered by the victim.

Property Damage

Property damage refers to the repair or replacement costs for vehicles and personal property damaged in a truck accident. This includes the cost of repairing or replacing the victim's vehicle and any other property damaged in the collision, such as personal belongings or items stored in the vehicle. Compensation for property damage helps victims restore their property to its pre-accident condition, minimizing the financial impact of the accident.

Wrongful Death

In cases where a truck accident results in the death of a loved one, surviving family members may pursue wrongful death damages. These damages aim to compensate for the financial losses and emotional suffering experienced by the deceased's family, including funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship and consortium. While no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one, wrongful death damages provide a measure of justice and support for the surviving family members during a difficult time.

How a South Carolina Truck Accident Lawsuit Works

Following a truck accident, the legal process can seem overwhelming. Here's an overview of how a Myrtle Beach truck accident lawsuit typically works:

  1. Consultation with a lawyer. This initial step involves discussing your case with a Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyer to understand your legal options and potential avenues for seeking compensation. If your lawyer thinks you have a case, you and your attorney will proceed to steps two through five.
  2. Investigation. Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, gathering evidence like police reports, medical records, witness testimonies, and truck driver logs. This investigation aims to establish the cause of the accident and identify the liable party or parties.
  3. Demand letter. Depending on the investigation's findings, your lawyer might draft and send a demand letter to the truck driver's insurance company or other potentially liable parties, outlining the facts of the case, the extent of your damages, and a proposed settlement amount.
  4. Negotiation. This stage involves your lawyer negotiating with the insurance company or other parties involved to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for your losses.
  5. Litigation. If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit in court and presenting your case to a judge or jury.

How to Find a Myrtle Beach Truck Accident Lawyer

We know you have choices when hiring a Myrtle Beach truck accident lawyer. Here are some things to consider as you make this critical decision:

  • Experience. Look for a lawyer with a proven track record of handling truck accident cases in Myrtle Beach. While past results do not guarantee future results, experience in local truck accident lawsuits can be essential.
  • Resources. Ensure the lawyer has access to the necessary resources to investigate your case thoroughly, including accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and financial experts, if necessary.
  • Communication style. Choose a lawyer who is comfortable communicating openly and transparently with you, keeping you informed throughout the legal process, and promptly addressing your questions and concerns.
  • Contingency fee arrangement. Look for Myrtle Beach truck accident attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won't pay any fees upfront. Their fee is typically a percentage of the recovered amount.

You can get this information by:

  • Scheduling an initial consultation. During a consultation, you can meet with a Myrtle Beach truck lawyer to discuss your case and get a sense of their personality, experience, and communication style before making your decision.
  • Checking online reviews and awards. Read online reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gain insights into the lawyer's experience and reputation. 
  • Verify their credentials. Ensure the lawyer is licensed to practice law in South Carolina and is in good standing with the South Carolina Bar Association.
Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.