Fort Mill has experienced tremendous growth being next to Charlotte. Both I-77 and Highway 160 have been expanded to accommodate more traffic. With that traffic, we are also experiencing more heavy trucks, including semi trucks and tractor trailer trucks, on the road traveling at highway speeds. When these trucks lose control, bad things happen quickly. Located here in Baxter Village Fort Mill, truck accident attorney Robert J. Reeves represents injured persons and their families in ALL truck accident cases. No matter what the circumstances. No matter what the injury. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced trucking accident trial attorneys who are committed to making our roads safer by holding trucking companies and their drivers accountable when their negligence cause serious, catastrophic injury or death. Our attorneys are litigation professionals with diverse backgrounds. Our partners include former insurance defense lawyers, a former Registered Nurse (RN), and a former prosecutor. Together, we comprehensively investigate serious semi-truck accidents. We are licensed to practice in both South Carolina and North Carolina, so we can pursue trucking companies wherever they may be based. We are aggressive litigators but compassionate with our clients and their families. We know you are suffering and pledge to do our best to help get you through this terrible time in your life. We are available when you need us. After hours, evenings, and weekends. 803-554-4157
Selecting a Fort Mill Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Fort Mill truck accident, you should start your search for an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Time is critical in these cases. Although many law firms may advertise for truck accident cases, it is vitally important that you choose the firm that gives you the most confidence and that you feel is best for your family. Do your own research and carefully compare different lawyers’ credentials and experience. Semi truck accident cases are inherently complex. It is in your best interests to retain a seasoned, serious accident attorney. This is not the time to hire a TV or billboard lawyer. In fact, we encourage you to personally meet and interview several attorneys before you make your final decision. You will know when you have met the right lawyer and firm for you. You need to feel comfortable with the truck accident lawyer you choose. Our lawyer team have over 100 years combined legal experience and have varied backgrounds which can help level the legal playing field when going up against a large trucking company. Our attorneys have been recognized by their peers and inducted into organizations, including the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and SuperLawyers. We invite you to call us and schedule a time to meet so that we can evaluate the particular circumstances of your case. Every case is different, and every nuance is important. Little facts can often make a big difference in outcome. Call us today for answers and options. 803-554-4157
Why You Need Experienced Representation Even If Liability is Admitted
Many people question if they really need a lawyer if the accident report clearly shows the other party is at fault. That is a legitimate concern. Here is why you still an experienced serious injury attorney. Liability is just the first step in a case. In most truck accident cases, that element is fairly clear and usually already determined. However, the next element is damages. This is the part that really matters to our clients. Initial damages will include medical bills and lost wages. In more serious, permanent injury cases, there may be future medical needs and costs as well as prosthetic devices and even modifications to homes and handicap accessible vans. There may also be future lost wages resulting from an inability to return to work or any gainful employment. All of these damages must be first calculated based on a person’s anticipated life span and then presented concisely to a jury. These parts of the case will require expert witnesses in the form of Life Care Planners and Economic Loss professionals. Once a case is either settled or tried to a verdict, the next challenge is dealing with any health insurance or other statutory liens that must be negotiated. And in truly catastrophic cases, your lawyer will have to assist with a Social Security Disability Claim and Medicare Set Aside issues. As you can see, liability is just one of several complicated matters to resolve. You’re going to need several professionals. Better to focus on healing while your lawyer focuses on your legal case.
Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Semi-Truck Accidents
Commercial “big rigs” or “18-wheelers” are the biggest, heaviest vehicles allowed on interstates and roadways. In former days, oversize loads had “escort” vehicles that would go ahead and make sure traffic was clear. That’s because their sheer size and weight can quickly cause a truck to become unstable at highway speeds. When truck drivers lose control, their tractor trailer becomes a real danger to everyone else on the road. State and federal agencies have enacted ever more extensive regulations for the trucking industry, but despite these efforts, we are still seeing increases in serious truck accidents nationally. Here are a few of the reasons why:
Truck Driver Fatigue
Easily the most common cause of serious truck accidents is driver fatigue. As we age, our minds and bodies tire more easily and quickly. We all fondly remember how we used to run hard and stay up all night when we were younger. It gets more difficult as we get older. It is the same principle with long haul truck drivers. They are on the road for many hours day after day. Coffee and other stimulants work for so long, but drivers build up a tolerance. As a result, it starts to take more to accomplish its intended purpose. Despite better designs of tractor cab interiors, there is still a physical toll on human physiology that makes semi-truck drivers more chronically tired. The natural consequence of this fatigue is that tractor-trailer drivers becomes obvious. Mistakes and delayed responses too late result in serious crashes and injury. And today, with the national shortage of experienced drivers, the average age of long-distance truckers is in the early to mid-fifties.
There is a significant truck driver shortage across the country. All of us know the importance of trucking to our economy. Pretty much everything we use is moved by tractor-trailer trucks. They are everywhere on the roads from interstates to inner cities and small towns. Nevertheless, there is no longer the desire to be a truck driver. Truck driving is very hard work. It requires long hours on the road and days or even weeks away from family and friends. Recruitment of new drivers has become much more difficult. The new generation seems to have a different work ethic and sense of priorities. They prefer to hang out with friends and play video games which you cannot do when driving a truck. Even great pay and benefits has not been enough to draw younger drivers into the profession.
For those individuals who do elect to become a truck driver, there are numerous truck driving schools available, and trucking companies will often pay a signing bonus that covers the costs of training. What is disconcerting is how quickly a driver with no prior experience can get behind the wheel of a semi truck. In as little as three (3) weeks, you can be on the road delivering freight. Three short weeks is all that is required. The initial classroom training is approximately one (1) week followed by just two (2) weeks of actual driver training on the road with an instructor. Training typically involves just one (1) night of driving although most truckers prefer the night hours due to decreased traffic. After completing truck driving school, many new drivers start working for small trucking companies and receive no other formal training. Instead, they go out on the road with the rest of us.
Given the immense overhead, including diesel fuel prices, maintenance costs, and shortage of available drivers, trucking companies need to squeeze every dime out of every run. As a result, we are seeing the type of dangerous situations in the photos on this webpage. These are not photoshopped images. I personally took these pictures on the road near Fort Mill. Many of you will recognize them as being on I-77 near the Fort Mill exits. Any sudden stopping or other evasive action can easily cause these loads to shift and result in loss of control of the entire rig. This is how serious truck accidents happen. We know what happens when these heavy loads break free at highway speeds. At that point, every other vehicle on the road with families is in danger. Anything in its path will be destroyed until the semi truck finally comes to a stop.
Everything associated with semi-trucks, including regular maintenance, is hugely expensive. New trucks can easily cost in excess of $100,000. Tires, replacement parts, oil and hydraulic fluid changes all cost real money. In addition to the costs of repair or routine maintenance, there is also the loss of revenue while the truck is down. Truck drivers will tell you the only way to stay ahead is to keep the wheels turning. Every mile and dollar counts. Tires and other systems have an anticipated mileage life, and trucking owners necessarily wait until necessary to bear those expenses. Brake replacement and engine overhauls are costly and time intensive repairs. As a result, critical items are also delayed, sometimes beyond factory specifications. Towards the end of recommended service, the demands of the load or hard evasive driving can exceed the systems ability to maintain control or stop and serious injury or death results. That’s when tragedy occurs.
Who to Call After a Fort Mill Truck Accident
After you secure your family and reflect on what has happened, you need to get an experienced semi truck accident attorney involved. Although many firms aggressively market for tractor trailer accidents, few firms have actually handled these type of serious accident cases. Many lawyers treat a serious truck accident case just like any other car accident. This is a big mistake. Truck accident cases are different. While general principles of negligence apply, that is the only similarity. In developing a tractor trailer accident case, it is important to discover as much as possible about the truck, the driver, and the trucking company before beginning settlement discussions. If the trucking company resists in any request, the only option is to file a lawsuit and begin formal discovery through the legal process. Our Fort Mill truck accident lawyers at Reeves Aiken Hightower & Burns LLC have the experience and ability to help you and your family. We would welcome an opportunity to sit down with you and see what we can do to help. You can reach Mr. Reeves directly at 803-554-4157 or email him at Robert@RJRlaw.com. Call now and let’s get started.
Large commercial “big rigs” or “18-wheelers” are the biggest, heaviest vehicles permitted on Fort Mill highways. Because of their sheer size and weight, they can become unstable at highway speeds. Whenever a tractor trailer collides with another vehicle serious injury or death occur. State and federal agencies have tried to minimize the risks by enacting extensive regulations for the trucking industry, and in doing so have created many rules that tend to help the plaintiff against trucking companies. If y0u or someone you know has been injured or killed in Fort Mill or anywhere in the Carolinas, contact the serious trucking accident attorneys at Reeves, Aiken & Hightower at 877-374-5999, or by filling out this form, to speak with an attorney who can help you evaluate and pursue your claim.
While each case is unique, some of the more common causes of large commercial truck accidents include:
- Driver inexperience
- Driver fatigue
- Careless or reckless driving
- Driving while impaired (alcohol and/or drugs)
- Overloaded trucks
- Improperly loaded trucks
- Improper maintenance
- Improper safety parts
- Improper supervision or training
Large truck accident cases are predictably quite complex. It is in your best interest to retain a serious accident attorney. This is not the time to hire a TV or billboard lawyer. Carefully review and compare credentials and experience. Make sure you are getting the most capable personal injury lawyer to protect you and your family at this critical time. At Reeves, Aiken & Hightower LLP with an office in Fort Mill, our lawyers are serious truck accident injury attorneys. Each are experienced trial lawyers with distinguished backgrounds. Attorney Robert J. Reeves is a former ICU Registered Nurse (RN) who understands complicated injury cases. And both Mr. Reeves and attorney Arthur K. Aiken are former insurance defense lawyers and life members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and review your particular case. Call us today at 877-374-5999 for a private consultation, or fill out the contact form. We will help you evaluate your claim and get you the recovery you deserve.