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How Fault Is Determined In A Semi-Truck Accident in South Carolina

18-wheeler Truck Driving On The Highway Stock Photo

The damage from any accident involving a semi truck is catastrophic. It’s far, far worse than the damage suffered in a car accident due to the sheer size and weight of the vehicles involved. Thousands of people are killed in these kinds of accidents every year, and when it happens to you, you know you deserve compensation for the injuries you suffer.

Unfortunately, that’s when the juggling game starts. The driver blames the loader, who blames the trucking company, who blame the manufacturers of the brakes, who blame the maintenance people — and all you want is to get back on your feet again! Learn how to determine who’s at fault if you’re hit by a semi truck in South Carolina, and why a qualified truck accident attorney is essential to your case.

When the Company Is at Fault

There is a legal theory that holds a trucking company responsible for the actions of its employees. That is, when a truck driver behaves irresponsibly and someone gets injured as a result, the employer could share responsibility for the accident if the acts were perpetrated during the course of employment and were unintentional. Essentially, the company shares the driver’s negligence.

When the Driver Is Solely at Fault

If the truck driver is not an employee of the trucking company but serves as an independent contractor, the company is not liable for their conduct, and the driver would be solely at fault. This is why it’s important to find out the driver’s status when you’re hit by a truck in South Carolina.

Secondly, if the driver was not acting within the course of their employment, then the company can’t be held responsible for their conduct. That means if they’re driving their truck for any reason other than company business, any accident they cause falls on them and them alone.

Finally, if the truck driver engages in deliberate, malicious conduct, their employer will not be held at fault. This means if they deliberately ram you due to an instance of road rage, or because they believe that you have wronged them in some way, or for any other reason that’s not unintentional, the driver is at fault for what they’ve done.

Other Parties Sharing Responsibility

Of course, there are other parties that could share responsibility for an accident as well. If the truck was improperly loaded, for example, the loading company could share responsibility if the loading threw the truck off balance. If the truck had faulty brakes, the company who made the parts, and/or the maintenance crew responsible for inspecting the brakes could hold some blame.

If You’re Hit by a Semi Truck in South Carolina

When you’re hit by a semi truck in South Carolina, the best thing to do is call on the services of a qualified and experienced truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will know exactly how to break down the facts of the case to determine who’s responsible for the accident, which parties share the blame, and how to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. If this has happened to you, contact the truck accident lawyers at Harris & Graves, P.A. for a free consultation today.