Talk to a South Carolina Truck Accident Attorney
Our Columbia injury lawyers are experienced in investigation of tractor trailer crashes and representing families harmed by negligent operation of commercial vehicles. Once we are retained, our attorneys immediately take action to investigate such claims utilizing the assistance of a team of accident reconstruction and trucking safety professionals.
The laws applicable to the trucking industry make the investigation and handling of trucking crash cases much different than normal automobile accident claims. Whether you call them a semi truck, tractor trailer, 18 wheeler, or big rig, we can all agree that commercial trucks are very dangerous when not operated lawfully.
Federal Trucking Regulations Important in Truck Accident Litigation
There are a number of federal trucking regulations that govern truck drivers and trucking companies. It is important to immediately gather evidence that might prove a violation of one or more these regulations. Among the applicable regulations are:
- Restrictions regarding how many hours a driver may drive in a given period of time. 49 C.F.R. § 395.3
- Record keeping requirements regarding driver’s compliance with mandatory rest periods. 49 C.F.R § 395.8
- Requirements to systematically inspect, repair and maintain the truck. 49 C.F.R. § 396.3
- Reports that must be prepared listing defects and deficiencies on the truck which would affect its safety of operation. 49 C.F.R. § 396.11
- Drives may not drive the truck without first making a pre-trip inspection confirming that the truck was in safe operating condition. 49 C.F.R. § 396.13
- Prohibition on driving a commercial motor vehicle without properly distributing and adequately securing its cargo. 49 C.F.R. §§ 392.9 and 393.100.
- Driver health, training, and driver qualification requirements. 49 C.F.R. § 391.11 and 49 C.F.R. § 391.41.
- Operating a motor vehicle with a tire that is unsafe, damaged, overloaded and/or under-inflated in violation of 49 C.F.R. § 393.75
- The maximum gross vehicle weight for vehicles using interstate highways is limited to 80,000 pounds. 23 C.F.R. § 658.17
Many trucking companies make use of an automatic on-board recording device to comply with driver duty record keeping requirements. These “black boxes” record engine use, road speed, miles driven, the date, and time of day. Obtaining data from these devices immediately following an accident can be critical to a successful outcome.
Cause of Semi Truck Accidents
A number of factors may contribute to a truck accident. In some situations, a trucker may carelessly take a wide turn at an intersection without ensuring there are no nearby vehicles. Other truck accident factors include the following:
- Driver errors
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Faulty parts
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Improper load
Locate a Truck Accident Attorney in South Carolina
At Proffitt & Cox, LLP, our attorneys represent truck accident victims following an accident anywhere in South Carolina. Our firm operates on a contingency fee arrangement for personal injury cases, meaning that if we fail to secure you compensation, you do not owe us any attorney fees for our services. Contact our South Carolina injury attorneys today by calling us locally at (803) 834-7097 or toll free at (877) 276-0533 for a free consultation regarding a truck accident lawsuit.