After facing injuries in a crash caused by a careless or reckless trucker, South Carolina law allows you to pursue justice and compensation. A Charleston truck accident lawyer from Louthian Law Firm, P.A. can help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit after a commercial vehicle collision in the Lowcountry.
Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options for taking action. We offer free consultations for truck accident victims and their families in Charleston County and nearby areas. In addition, we work based on contingency, so you owe nothing upfront to start a case.
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. Has 80 Years of Experience in Cases Like Yours
Founded in 1959, Louthian Law Firm, P.A. serves individuals and families throughout South Carolina’s Lowcountry, including Charleston. We are a family-run firm, owned and operated by founding attorney Herb Louthian and attorney Bert Louthian, his son. Our lawyers have more than eight decades of combined legal experience navigating the claims process and filing lawsuits in Charleston County.
We are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with any corporation, insurance company, or trucking company to seek the favorable settlements and verdicts our clients deserve. Our lawyers can take on major entities through negotiations or at trial.
We also have a Client Bill of Rights that ensures every client receives sound advice and guidance from our team and gets support from start to finish of their case. We strive to provide respectful, compassionate, and courteous service to every client in every interaction. This includes one-on-one attention from our attorneys and staff.
Our Recent Personal Injury Case Results for South Carolina Plaintiffs
Our personal injury case results show our attorneys know how to build a case and recover compensation for our clients.
Select outcomes include:
- $2,700,000 for a wrongful death claim
- $1,000,000 for a personal injury claim
- $800,000 for a vehicle accident case
An injury victim’s potential recovery depends significantly on the details of that particular accident and the injuries involved.
Truck accidents often cause injuries and damages much more severe than a typical car crash. Therefore, if you had catastrophic injuries and high medical bills, we could seek a higher settlement or award.
Truck Accident Dangers in the Greater Charleston Area
The Port of Charleston plays a major role in the local economy. It also brings a lot of commercial vehicle traffic in and out of the area. In addition, the Port of Charleston directly serves more than 100 foreign ports and has a $63.4 billion annual economic impact on the state.
Interstates run within two miles of each Port of Charleston terminal. Therefore, trucking is one of the easiest ways to move cargo from the port to other parts of the country. In fact, from I-26, trucks can reach I-95, I-20, I-85, I-40, and I-77 without ever leaving an interstate highway.
So many trucking firms have headquarters in Charleston and across South Carolina because of this easy and direct interstate highway access.
However, our attorneys are not afraid to pursue compensation from any firm involved in a Charleston accident, including local firms such as:
- ARD Trucking Company
- Plumley Trucking Inc
- Palmetto State Transportation
- RTR, Inc
- Trimac Trucking Company
- Seaside Trucking
- Gantt Trucking LLC
- Cranston Trucking Co.
- Ray Walker Trucking
- B.W. Mitchum Trucking
- Randolph Trucking, LLC
- Pope Transport
- Carolina Cargo Freight Expediters, LLC
- Superior Transportation
We also take on cases where liability falls on one of the nation’s largest trucking firms, including:
- XPO Logistics
- J.B. Hunt Transport Services
- Knight-Swift Transport Services
- YRC Worldwide
- Landstar Systems
- Old Dominion
- TFI International
If our client’s case calls for it, we even sue corporations that run their own distribution and delivery channels. This could include UPS, FedEx, Amazon, Walmart, and others.
Common Causes of South Carolina Truck Accidents
Our Charleston truck accident attorneys at Louthian Law Firm, P.A. have decades of experience investigating commercial vehicle crashes and 18-wheeler collisions in South Carolina. We understand the common causes, the role of traffic volume, weather, the local infrastructure, and how to develop strong support for a claim or lawsuit based on the facts of what happened.
Some of the main factors we see in tractor-trailer collisions include:
- Distracted driving, such as eating or texting
- Driver fatigue, sometimes exceeding the allowable hours of service
- Drunk or drugged drivers
- Lack of driver training or experience with the vehicle type
- Speeding or other careless driving
- Poor or missed truck maintenance
- Poorly loaded or secured cargo
- Overloaded cargo
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Reckless driving behaviors
Fault for Truck Accidents in Charleston
Commercial truck accidents are rarely true accidents. Instead, negligence most often causes these crashes. And that’s not really an accident, is it?
Many truck accident survivors assume that the truck driver is responsible for causing the accident. And who could blame them? If the truck crashed into you, it would be natural to assume the trucker was at fault. In some cases, that assumption is true. But in others, various other parties could be responsible.
When truck drivers are liable for crashes, it is usually because of negligent driving behaviors, such as drunk, drowsy, distracted, drugged, or risky driving. But you may be surprised to learn that even if driver negligence is the cause of your accident, you may be able to hold additional parties accountable.
Trucking companies often bear some of the legal responsibility for a truck accident. When they fail to do their due diligence before hiring a truck driver or violate federal trucking laws by forcing workers to drive drowsy, they may owe you compensation for a crash that resulted from their behavior.
Here are some other parties who might hold at least some of the blame for the Charleston truck accident that injured you:
- Cargo loaders
- Truck owners
- Safety inspectors
- Maintenance techs
- Government road authorities
How Our Charleston Attorneys Pursue Compensation After a Truck Accident?
We investigate every traffic accident case we handle, including truck collisions. We identify, gather, and analyze evidence to determine fault, causation, and other factors.
Evidence in these cases could include:
- The crash report filed by responding officers
- Witness statements
- Accident reconstruction
- A survey of the accident scene
- Photos and videos
- Physical evidence such as damage to each vehicle
- Medical expert opinions
- The client’s relevant medical records
- Documentation of damages
We can also seek evidence the trucking company possesses. However, we need to act quickly after the accident to ensure they preserve it and allow us to access it later as needed.
This evidence could include:
- Trucker rest logs
- Data from the truck’s computers
- Dashboard camera video, if equipped
- Post-accident drug and alcohol testing (required by federal law)
- The driver’s employment and driving records
- Information about the driver’s training and experience
Our Attorneys Can Take Legal Action or Seek a Settlement
When we pursue compensation for our clients, we can seek a payout in two ways:
- Filing an insurance claim and negotiating a settlement
- Filing a lawsuit and seeking a verdict in a jury trial
Most successful cases settle without needing to go to trial, regardless of whether we file a lawsuit or not. Most trucking companies and insurers would rather settle than pay for a trial.
When our team presents an argument for fair and just compensation, we must prove negligence occurred.
We must establish:
- The at-fault party had a duty to care for others’ safety, usually through traffic laws.
- They did not act as required.
- Their breach of duty caused a collision.
- Our client suffered harm due to the crash.
For example, imagine a truck driver fails to check the adjacent lane for smaller vehicles before moving over on I-26. This caused the crash and our client’s injuries. If we have the evidence to show what happened and the damages our client suffered, a financial recovery should be possible.
You may notice how often we discuss the trucking company as a liable party when talking about truck accidents in South Carolina. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in Sams v. Arthur and many subsequent cases that the driver’s employer bears vicarious liability when the driver acts negligently. Therefore, the truck driver who caused the wreck is not the only liable party.
Because of this rule, we generally file our insurance claims and lawsuits against the trucking company or corporation that employs the at-fault driver.
Recoverable Damages in a Charleston Trucking Collision
Louthian Law Firm, P.A. works hard to help you make a financial recovery after a truck accident. You can recover compensation for your documented expenses and losses, known collectively as damages.
These damages vary from case to case but often include:
- Medical bills and future related care costs
- Emotional trauma
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost income, including salary, hourly pay, tips, commissions, and more
- Reduced earning ability for long-term injuries
- Property damage
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
Some cases support exemplary damages, as well. Also known as punitive damages, this penalizes the liable party for a reckless, intentional, or particularly malicious act. Juries may award punitive damages in drunk or drugged driving accidents, for example.
Wrongful Death in a Charleston Truck Collision
Under South Carolina law, surviving family members can receive damages based on their loved one’s death in this type of crash. This could include related costs and losses, final expenses, lost income, loss of services, and intangible damages experienced by the survivors.
Our compassionate attorneys can handle the entire process of a wrongful death case for you. That way, you won’t have to deal with legal tasks during this difficult time.
How Charleston Truck Accident Survivors Are Compensated?
You can obtain the compensation you deserve for a truck accident in a couple of ways. The first is through an insurance claim. South Carolina is a fault state for vehicle accidents and insurance, so you can file a claim with the insurance company of the trucker or trucking company.
But insurers often try to withhold the compensation truck accident victims deserve. And if and when they do pay out, they often will refuse to cover the full spectrum of damages you suffered. When insurers, truckers, and trucking companies won’t play fair, you can sue them in civil court to get everything you are truly owed.
Through a truck accident lawsuit, you can seek compensation for medical bills, property damage, emotional trauma, lost wages, reduced quality of life, and every other way the truck accident and your injuries have affected your life.
South Carolina’s Statute of Limitations Applies to Truck Accident Lawsuits
Our attorneys encourage you to connect with Louthian Law Firm, P.A. as soon as possible after your Charleston truck accident. Call us when your injuries stabilize and let us go to work for you.
We like to start on these cases early for several reasons:
- Some evidence does not last, such as videos at nearby businesses.
- Witnesses move, change their phone numbers, and forget what they saw.
- The trucking company likely possesses key evidence, and it requires preservation.
- We can better protect your rights when we go to work early in the case.
The statute of limitations in these lawsuits is generally three years from the accident date under South Carolina law. Those who miss this deadline lose their right to sue in most cases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About SC Truck Accident Cases
After a Charleston truck accident, you likely have questions and concerns. Below, we answer a few of the most common questions we hear. We also offer free consultations so you can get more information based on the facts of your case.
What if My Loved One Suffered Serious Injuries in a Charleston Truck Collision?
If a member of your immediate family suffered injuries in a Charleston crash and cannot contact us on their own, reach out to us today. We can discuss their legal options based on the extent of their injuries, your rights as their spouse or parent, and other factors. You and your loved one have rights. We can protect them.
What if My Loved One Passed Away From Their Accident Injuries?
South Carolina’s wrongful death laws allow a crash victim’s personal representative to seek compensation for surviving family members. Don’t deal with a legal case like this on your own.
Our team helps families identify who must file this action, who will benefit, and the recoverable damages. We manage these claims and lawsuits for families, as well.
What if the Trucking Company Offered a Settlement?
The trucking company often quickly recognizes their driver was negligent and caused the crash. They reach out to victims and offer what seems like a lot of money to settle the case. We don’t advise that you accept this offer. We encourage you to speak with our team first. You cannot know how much your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses are until time passes and your doctor reassesses your long-term prognosis.
We offer the same advice if the insurer representing the trucking company contacts you. Reach out to our team and let us handle it. Talking to them could jeopardize your claim for fair compensation. We can protect your rights and handle these phone calls for you.
Discuss Your Legal Options After a Truck Accident for Free Today
Our team at Louthian Law Firm, P.A. can talk to you today about your rights and options. We provide complimentary consultations for truck accident victims and their families, evaluating their next steps and the strength of their cases. Learn more about the law, your claim, and what our truck accident attorneys can do for you.
Contact us now at (843) 544-7272 to get started. We want to help you get a favorable settlement or verdict in your case.