Aiken Truck Accident Lawyer
Aiken Truck Accident Lawyer
When a careless or reckless trucker causes a crash, the victims have the legal right to hold the driver and their employer accountable. This could allow them to recover compensation for their crash-related expenses and losses. Our team's Aiken truck accident lawyers can help if you face this situation. We handle these cases regularly for our clients.
At Morris Law Firm, we offer crash victims a free case review. During this call, we can assess the facts of your case and discuss services and strategies to help you recover compensation and get justice. If you were hurt, contact us today. You do not have to handle your insurance claim on your own.
How Our Aiken Truck Crash Attorney Helps Victims Get Justice
After an accident, the best way to hold someone legally responsible and get justice is by filing an insurance claim or lawsuit and recovering compensation for your list of related expenses and losses. You should not have to pay these costs out of your bank account or go into debt because another driver caused a crash. Additionally, after a truck crash, you could face even more risk of financial challenges.
At Morris Law Firm, our attorneys manage all aspects of traffic accident cases. We ensure our clients can focus on their treatment, healing, and physical recovery from accident injuries. We have experience with and knowledge of the applicable laws, how these claims work, and even local judges and court workers.
Our truck accident attorneys work based on contingency fees. We never charge a client anything upfront and take no legal fees unless we win their case. Instead, we initially use our resources to gather evidence and hold the trucking company responsible. Learn more during a free consultation with a member of our team.
Injuries and Damages in an Aiken Truck Collision
When a commercial driver behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer causes a collision, the occupants of any vehicles involved could suffer serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries. After all, 18-wheelers often prove larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, and a crash exerts additional force on anything it hits.
Some victims have life-long injuries that affect their future in dramatic ways.
This could include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns and scarring
- Traumatic amputations
Other injuries could take weeks or months to heal or leave a victim with lasting impairments that affect their career, activities, and more.
This could include:
- Fractures or breaks
- Neck or back injuries
- Serious lacerations
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Joint injuries
- Other soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash
When you suffer injuries after a traffic accident, your treatment and recovery should be the primary focus. You need to get medical care, continue your treatment plan, and undergo therapy and rehabilitation to reach maximum medical recovery. Once you reach maximum medical recovery or a doctor has good information about your prognosis and future care needs, our attorneys can help you seek compensation.
Types of Damages You Could Seek in a Truck Accident Case
Each case is different. The damages available in a truck accident case depend on the expenses and losses the victim experienced.
Your recoverable damages could include:
- Medical bills and any related expenses
- Future treatment and care costs
- Lost income missed because of your injuries and treatment
- Reduced earning ability if you cannot return to your previous work
- Property damage
- Miscellaneous expenses, with receipts
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Other intangible losses
Rare cases also support recovering punitive damages. These damages do not compensate the victim for their financial losses. Instead, they penalize the liable parties for intentional, wanton, or reckless behavior.
Wrongful Death in an Aiken Truck Accident
State law could allow you to seek and recover damages if your loved one passed away in an Aiken truck accident. Like in personal injury cases, wrongful death claims stem from the negligence that caused the crash. The at-fault driver and their employer might bear liability.
The recoverable damages in a wrongful death action include the expenses and losses suffered by surviving family members because of their loved one’s death. Our attorneys handle these claims and can help you understand your options. We also offer free case reviews to family members who lost a loved one in an Aiken crash.
Showing Who Caused Your Aiken Truck Accident
Most traffic accidents occur because of one driver’s negligence. The driver behaves carelessly or recklessly behind the wheel, causing the crash and others’ injuries. When this occurs in a commercial truck accident, both the driver and their employer could bear liability for the victims’ related expenses and losses.
Our state has a long history of recognizing the vicarious liability of employers.
The employer bears liability when:
- The negligent party was employed when the incident occurred.
- They engaged in work-related tasks, including driving.
Forms of Driver Carelessness and How We Build Evidence
Some habits become a part of the lifestyle of commercial drivers, with their employers possibly turning a blind eye or ignoring the possible consequences.
Some contributing factors in truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including eating, texting, watching movies, and more
- Drowsy driving and fatigue, possibly exceeding the allowable hours of service
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Lack of training or experience with the vehicle or cargo
- Speeding or other aggressive driving practices
- Poorly performed or missed maintenance
- Improperly secured or overloaded cargo
When our client suffers injuries in an Aiken truck accident, our attorneys investigate what happened to develop strong support for their insurance claim or lawsuit. This requires us to take steps and gather evidence to document what happened.
Common examples of evidence include:
- The accident report filed by law enforcement
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident reconstruction
- An accident scene survey
- Photos and video of the crash
- Medical expert opinions to confirm the prognosis and future care needs
- The client’s relevant medical records
- Receipts, bills, and other documentation of damages
Truck accident cases often have much more evidence than other crash investigations. Because federal and state laws regulate motor carriers such as trucking companies, we can get more data about the company, the driver, and the accident. As soon as possible after an accident, we need to act to preserve the evidence held by the trucking company.
Sending a spoliation letter could force them to protect evidence, including:
- The driver’s rest logs
- Any electronic data from the truck’s computer
- Dashcam video
- Results from the required post-accident drug and alcohol tests
- The driver’s training, employment, and driving records
Having the right evidence to document what happened and make our client's case can prove essential. We must work on a case as early as possible to preserve evidence and develop a strong argument to support our client's financial recovery.
Navigating the Aiken Truck Accident Claims Process
When our lawyers pursue compensation for our clients, we describe several options for how this process could work. We help our clients weigh these options and explain why we advise our strategy. As the circumstances change, our approach could, as well.
However, we tend to win cases for our clients in Aiken in three ways:
- We negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies.
- We file a lawsuit and reach an out-of-court agreement.
- We sue the liable parties, go to trial, and receive a verdict and award for our client.
First, however, we need to demonstrate that the driver's negligence caused the crash and you suffered injuries.
We can use the evidence we gathered during our investigation to show negligence occurred.
To prove the driver’s negligence, we need to confirm four elements:
- The truck driver owed our client a duty of care.
- They breached that duty.
- This breach caused the crash.
- Our client suffered injuries and financial losses.
The trucker's duty of care owed to others on the road generally stems from traffic law. In other words, they must follow all applicable traffic laws to keep others safe. When they fail to do so, they cause injuries.
For example, imagine a truck driver approaching an intersection. The light turns red. The trucker owes those entering the intersection a duty of care. They must stop. If they do not, they could hit another vehicle in the intersection and cause an injury.
Once we document what happened and who caused the crash, we must look closely at our client’s damages.
This requires us to examine:
- Medical bills
- Related receipts
- Estimates for car repairs
- Income statements
- Documentation of missed work
- Relevant medical records
- Opinions from experts on the victim’s prognosis and future care needs
We use this evidence and our knowledge and experience with similar cases to assign a fair settlement range to the case. This helps us determine whether the insurance offers enough money to cover the client’s damages.
Negotiating and Litigating
Next, we can file the claim. This usually starts with a demand letter to the trucking company, its insurer, and other liable parties. We demand fair compensation based on our evidence and our client's damages.
We pursue any option that could result in appropriate compensation for our client. Negotiating a fair settlement can offer the quickest and easiest option, but we may also seek compensation through a lawsuit and take your case to trial. Our team can discuss all of this with you if necessary when we look at the circumstances of your case.
Suing the Trucking Company After an Aiken Truck Accident
Sometimes, a lawsuit against the driver and/or trucking company can prove necessary. Many cases settle without suing, but a lawsuit might benefit your case in several situations.
These could include when:
- The insurer refuses a fair settlement.
- The liable parties will not accept responsibility for the accident.
- Time is running out based on the statute of limitations.
- We believe a lawsuit could benefit the case for other reasons.
Under state law, victims generally have up to three years to sue. Missing this deadline could bar you from taking any further action in your case. For this reason, we might need to sue simply to preserve your right to do so.
Settling the Case After a Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit does not mean negotiations stop. The opposite is often true. Insurance companies may increase their offer and willingness to compromise after a lawsuit. When we file suit, they know the victim seriously aims to recover a fair payout and will go to trial to get the money they believe they deserve.
In addition, the legal teams can gather evidence during the lawsuit's discovery phase. This occurs shortly after the initial claim and the trucking company's response. During discovery, the insurance company and its lawyers may see a strong case against their policyholder.
They may then recognize the driver acted negligently and realize we have evidence to prove it. This could lead to more aggressive offers in negotiations. It can prove cheaper to pay out during this phase of a lawsuit than to go to trial, present a defense, and have to pay anyway.
Discuss Your Case With Our Aiken Truck Accident Team for Free
Morris Law Firm provides free consultations for crash victims and their families in Aiken. We can review the facts of the case and explain your legal options for seeking a financial recovery. We can also review the services and strategies we employ to help clients recover fair compensation in these cases. You can ask questions and get the answers you need at no cost to you. Reach out to an Aiken personal injury lawyer.