When you’re out and about, it’s likely that you’ll see large trucks on the road. Every year, millions of trucks travel across the country to transport and deliver goods and services. Unfortunately, some of those trucks cause accidents.
When a vehicle as large as an 18 wheeler causes an accident on a Charleston roadway, the consequences can be devastating. In the event you or a loved one has been injured, you have the right to take legal action against the negligent party. With truck accidents, however, negligence isn’t always clear without a detailed investigation. That’s why we recommend working with a Charleston 18 wheeler accident lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC.
18 Wheeler Crashes in Charleston
While some of the smallest tractor-trailers have just ten wheels and the largest can have dozens more, most big rigs have 18 wheels. In general, the cargo capacity can be over 40,000 pounds—with a gross weight of up to 80,000 pounds. The 18 tires are needed to spread the bulk of that weight over the largest possible area.
Accidents involving large commercial vehicles are not uncommon in Charleston. In the recent past, there have been two particularly violent crashes involving 18 wheelers. The one crash occurred on January 2, 2020, and involved a tanker truck. The driver lost control of the big rig just west of the Oakwood exit. When the Charleston Fire Department arrived, the team members took a few hours to transfer the chemical butyl glycol to another truck. While no other vehicles were involved with this crash, the driver was taken to the hospital with injuries.
On May 20, 2020, a violent crash dismantled an 18 wheeler, resulting in the truck hanging off a bridge in Charleston. The police determined it was raining at the time of the crash, which may have contributed to the driver losing control of their vehicle.
18 wheelers are generally more dangerous on the road, compared to other trucks of smaller sizes. Because of the weight of the larger trucks and the potential for them to carry more hazardous materials, the risk of an accident happening is also higher. Let’s take a look at the most common types of 18 wheeler accidents.
Types of 18 Wheeler Accidents
In the event you’re involved in a truck accident, it’s important to understand the type of crash you’ve been in. When you seek guidance from a Charleston attorney, they’ll use the type of crash you were in to determine how and why it happened. Some of the most common types of collisions include:
- Jackknife accidents. A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of an 18 wheeler slides past the cab forming an L or V shape. This often happens in inclement weather or when a truck’s tires aren’t properly maintained.
- Rear-end collisions. In the event a trucker hit the back of a smaller vehicle, it’s possible they could cause an override accident—which means the cab of the truck would drive over the top of the smaller vehicle. These are among the most fatal types of 18 wheeler crashes.
- Head-on collisions. When a truck driver is distracted, there is a risk they will slip into the oncoming lane of traffic. If that happens and the larger truck strikes a smaller vehicle, the accident is likely to be deadly.
- Spilled cargo. When 18 wheelers with tanks carry liquid cargo, there is the risk of spilled cargo. When this involves a hazardous substance, it can take a long time for the road to be cleaned up.
- Rollover crashes. Because of their size, it can be challenging to balance the load on an 18 wheeler. When that is not done properly, the truck driver is at risk of losing control of their vehicle and having it roll over. There’s the chance it could roll over onto other vehicles.
- Bridge strikes. As mentioned above, a bridge strike accident occurred in Charleston. While this accident resulted in the 18 wheeler hanging off the side of the bridge, bridge strikes can also happen when a truck is too tall to fit under a bridge. If a trucker is not paying attention to a bridge’s height requirements, they risk causing a serious accident.
Recovering Compensation for Accident-Related Injuries
If you or someone you loved has been affected by an 18 wheeler accident, there will be a number of losses you’ll have to deal with. Fortunately, you can file a truck accident claim to help take care of many of those damages.
The most common losses a person faces after getting into an accident with a truck are medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Sometimes, those expenses follow a person into their future—especially if they needed to take a significant amount of time off work, they required extensive medical care, or they are no longer able to work because of a disability. Other losses, which aren’t necessarily related to finances, are more subjective. Those commonly include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In order to claim those losses and receive full and fair compensation for your injuries and suffering, you’ll need to file a personal injury claim. That process involves filing a claim, negotiating with the opposing party’s insurance company, and determining a fair settlement. In the event reaching a settlement is not a possibility, your attorney can guide you through the lawsuit process and a judge or jury will make an official decision.
Contact DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC
If you’ve been injured in a crash with an 18 wheeler and you’re looking to recover compensation for your losses, a Charleston 18 wheeler accident lawyer can explain your legal rights and options and guide you through the personal injury claims process.
Filing a claim takes time, so the sooner you do so, the better your chances are of maximizing your compensation. We’ll have the time we need to conduct a thorough investigation that proves you were not at fault for what happened.
To get started with your claim or to learn more about what you can do after an 18 wheeler collision, schedule a free case evaluation with our firm today. We’ll review your options and help you determine how best to proceed to protect your finances and your future.