The Floyd Law Firm PC is here to help you if you have been injured in an accident. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident or crash with a truck or trailer of any kind, you may have more than a damaged vehicle and physical injuries to be concerned about.
With an accident concerning another car driver, you may only have to deal with the other vehicle driver and each of your insurance providers. However, truck or tractor-trailer accidents can be more complex. Commercially-owned trucks and trailers can involve multiple individuals from the driver to the company that owns the truck or trailer.
Tractor-trailers, large trucks, 18 wheelers, tanker trucks, haulers, and the trailers themselves are likely owned by big companies such as motor carriers. Like any big company, they will often act as fast as possible to mitigate loss and to protect their own financial interests.
If you have been in an accident, you know that it can be just the beginning of your journey. You may have become overwhelmed by medical bills due to your injuries and losses due to your damaged vehicle – and it may be too easy to accept a low settlement from the insurance companies. However, if the trucking company or the truck driver is found to be negligent, you may be entitled to higher compensation. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit for the courts to decide the payment that you rightfully deserve.
Take time to recover and heal. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be facing extensive and costly medical care as well as substantial time off from work. The medical bills and lost wages can combine to take a toll on even the most financially stable of households.
Case Studies: big trucks and empty trailers can create dangerous road hazards!
A pair of recent settlements help to illustrate the danger that vehicles stopped on the side of the road – particularly trailers – can pose for motorists. These cases also remind us that if you, or someone you care about, has been hurt in an accident caused by such hazards, an attorney can help to determine which entities might be responsible.
In Lexington County, South Carolina, Alfred Jackson was traveling on Interstate 20 heading home from a Thanksgiving dinner. The passenger van he and his family were riding in crashed into an empty flatbed car-hauler trailer. Jackson, who was riding in the passenger seat, died at the scene from his injuries.
At the time of the crash, the trailer, which was equipped for one car, was parked on the side of the road, but a good portion of it had been left in the roadway – and its operator, Jerome McWilliams, had failed to place warning placards in the road. The truck’s owner, Michael Brown, had paid McWilliams $250 to drive the trailer, and Brown’s federal motor carrier placard was displayed in the truck.
McWilliams’s insurer ultimately acknowledged fault and paid the full policy limits, supplemented by Jackson’s own uninsured motorist coverage, which entitled him and his family to a certain amount of benefits beyond the limits of the at-fault party. Meanwhile, the family continues to pursue a case against Brown in state court for providing the vehicle to McWilliams.
In another case, a married couple was in their SUV during the evening hours on a two-lane highway in Forsyth County, North Carolina. After cresting a hill, their vehicle slammed into an empty logging truck trailer blocking both lanes of traffic. The husband suffered vertebral fractures and a brain injury. His injuries also include damage to his esophagus, tongue, and vocal cords that left him unable to eat solid foods. His wife, who suffered a fractured sternum and ribs, must now care for her husband full time.
The truck driver was cited by the police for improperly backing the trailer across the highway at night – without safety markings or spotters to warn oncoming traffic. Although the truck driver argued that the husband should have seen the truck, the victims countered that it was dark, the roadway was unlit, and the husband was obeying the speed limit. Ultimately the parties settled, with the driver agreeing to compensate the couple for their harm.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), puts complex regulations on commercial trucks and on those who drive them. The cargo and the companies that get the trucks on the road are also governed by the FMSA regulations. Multiple individuals and companies could be involved and held responsible in a commercial vehicle accident such as the driver, the trucking company, the cargo owner, the cargo loader, the cargo inspector, and the company responsible for conducting maintenance on the truck.
Working with a skilled and experienced attorney at The Floyd Law Firm, PC – dedicated to helping you – is your resource after an accident and during your recovery. Our law firm assists those who have been injured in a truck or trailer accident, and all other types of motor vehicle accidents such as: car accidents, motorcycle and moped accidents, golf cart accidents, even bicycle or pedestrian accidents.