Truck Accident Lawsuits in South Carolina: How to maximize your recovery?

Truck Accidents in the U.S.- A Deep Dive

The rumble of massive trucks is a common sight in the highways of America. The term truck includes both medium and heavy trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. This may include both commercial and non-commercial vehicles.

These giant vehicles of the road transport goods and materials across the country, playing a crucial role in keeping the wheels of commerce turning. However, the sheer size and weight of these trucks bring with them a bitter reality – the potential for devastating accidents.

Truck accidents in the United States are not only a concern for those directly involved but also for the individuals sharing the road. Traffic accidents involving large trucks resulted in 5,788 fatalities and an estimated 154,993 injuries in 2021. Compared to 63% of passenger vehicles, 81% of large trucks involved in fatal traffic crashes involved multiple vehicles.

The aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming, involving severe physical injuries, complicated injury lawsuits, insurance intricacies, and, most importantly, the emotional well-being of those involved.

Find a lawyer now!

Truck Lawsuit

Types of Trucks

In the United States, a diverse array of trucks plays vital roles in transportation, logistics, and various industries. These trucks differ in size, purpose, and functionality. Here are some common types of trucks found on American roads:


Semi-Trailer Trucks (Big Rigs)

Also known as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, or semis, these large trucks consist of a powerful tractor unit (front part) and a trailer (rear part). They are widely used for long-haul freight transportation, carrying goods across the country.


Dump Trucks

Dump trucks are designed for transporting loose materials, such as sand, gravel, or construction debris. These trucks have a hydraulic bed that can be tilted to unload the cargo easily.


Pickup Trucks

Popular for personal and commercial use, pickup trucks are versatile vehicles with an open cargo bed at the back. They come in various sizes, from compact to full-size, and are used for personal transportation, construction, and other utility purposes.


Delivery Trucks

Smaller than semi-trailers, delivery trucks are commonly used for transporting goods over shorter distances, making deliveries to businesses, homes, and retail locations. Examples include box trucks, panel vans, and step vans.


Tow Trucks

Equipped with mechanisms for towing or recovering other vehicles, tow trucks are essential for clearing accident scenes, transporting disabled vehicles, or assisting with breakdowns.


Utility Trucks

Utility tracks are used for maintenance and repair work, utility trucks often feature specialized equipment or platforms.


Garbage Trucks

Garbage trucks are designed for collecting and transporting municipal waste. Common types include front-loaders, rear-loaders, and side-loaders, each with specific mechanisms for efficient waste collection.


Tanker Trucks

These trucks are specifically designed to transport liquids, such as fuel, chemicals, or food-grade products. The tanker truck’s design prevents the cargo from sloshing during transportation.


Fire Trucks

Fire trucks are essential for firefighting operations and these trucks come in various types, including pumpers, ladder trucks, and rescue trucks. They are equipped with specialized firefighting equipment and tools.

Caught up in a truck accident and suffering injuries?

Truck Accidents in South Carolina

As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, around 960 fatal truck accidents were reported in South Carolina. As per the data, 8.3% of all accidents in South Carolina involve giant trucks.

Based on truck drivers’ experiences and information gathered from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and other sources, numerous studies make reference to the South Carolina locations that are prone to truck accidents.

On the list was South Carolina’s Interstate 26, which witnessed 286 collisions that resulted in 325 fatalities between 2010 and 2016. Truck accidents are also common on Interstate 95, which serves as the primary north-south trucking route on the East Coast. Major truck routes are also Interstate 20, Interstate 77, and Interstate 85.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that 32% of truck accident deaths in 2020 happened in urban areas and 68% happened on rural roads. This implies that rural roads—which might have lower traffic volumes, faster speeds, and possibly less infrastructure—might be of concern.

Additionally, the data indicates that a considerable fraction of truck accident fatalities—16% in rural and 33% in urban areas—occur at intersections. This emphasizes how crucial it is to drive carefully and legally at intersections, especially for those who share the road with big rigs.

What makes truck accidents very common in South Carolina?

South Carolina, being a major shipping hub from the southeast to the northeast and the midwest, commercial truck accidents are frequent there. Moreover, South Carolina is traversed by Interstate 95, which serves as the primary route for interstate commerce in the US.

Truck Accidents in North Carolina

Over 16,300 truck crashes were reported in North Carolina in 2021, with over 150 fatalities and over 3,800 injuries. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that, compared to crashes solely involving passenger cars, semi-truck accidents are more than three times more likely to result in at least one fatality in 2021.

Seven five-mile stretches identified in the “The Deadliest Roads in North Carolina” report (2023) might be particularly concerning, even if not exclusively for truck accidents. These stretches are located on:

  • I-85 between exits 36 and 41 in Charlotte
  • I-40 between exits 138 and 143 in Greensboro
  • I-26 between exits 39 and 44 in Asheville
  • I-85 between exits 22 and 27 in Gastonia
  • US-64 between exits 423 and 428 in Rocky Mount

Interstate-95 (I-95): This major north-south corridor carries a significant amount of truck traffic, and its congested nature and long stretches can contribute to accidents.

Interstate-40 (I-40): Another major east-west artery, I-40 experiences high truck volumes, potentially increasing accident risk.

Interstate-85 (I-85): This interstate, particularly the stretch between Charlotte and Gastonia, sees considerable truck traffic and has been mentioned in legal resources as an area with potential accident risks.

What makes truck accident very common in North Carolina?

Studies suggest that a higher percentage of truck accident fatalities occur on rural roads of North Carolina compared to urban areas. These roads often have higher speed limits, less traffic congestion, and potentially less infrastructure like wide shoulders or median barriers, making them potentially riskier for truck accidents.


Common Injuries from Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can result in a range of injuries, often more severe than those associated with collisions between smaller vehicles. The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, coupled with the force generated during an impact, contribute to the potential for serious and varied injuries.

Let’s understand the common truck accident injuries.

injury - MedLegal360

Whiplash and Neck Injuries

Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backward, straining the neck’s muscles and ligaments. The force of a truck collision, even at relatively low speeds, can lead to significant whiplash injuries, causing neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and other related symptoms.

shin - MedLegal360


The force exerted during a truck collision can lead to fractures and broken bones, particularly in the extremities. Limbs may be crushed or pinned in the wreckage, resulting in severe orthopedic injuries that require immediate medical attention.

skin burn - MedLegal360


Burns from truck accidents can range from first-degree burns to permanent disfigurement and death. Burn injuries result in a high death rate because of the associated complications.

pain - MedLegal360

Back Injuries

The impact of a truck accident can have a profound effect on the spine, leading to various back injuries. Herniated discs, fractures, and other spinal injuries can result from the abrupt and forceful movements during a collision, often causing long-term pain and mobility issues.

spinal cord - MedLegal360

Spinal Cord Injuries

Severe truck accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. The location and extent of the spinal cord injury will determine the severity of the impact on a person’s mobility and quality of life.

elbow - MedLegal360

Internal Injuries

Blunt force trauma from a truck accident can cause internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. Organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys can be damaged, leading to internal bleeding and other potentially life-threatening conditions.

head - MedLegal360

Head Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a major concern in truck accidents, even when safety features like airbags and seat belts are utilized. Head injuries can range from concussions to more severe brain trauma, depending on the level of impact and the protective measures in place.

laceration - MedLegal360

Cuts and Lacerations

Debris from the collision, such as broken glass or twisted metal, can cause cuts, lacerations, and abrasions. These injuries may range from superficial wounds to more severe, potentially requiring stitches or other medical interventions.

emotional intelligence - MedLegal360

Emotional and Psychological Trauma

Beyond physical injuries, individuals involved in truck accidents often experience emotional distress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The psychological impact can last long after the physical injuries have healed, affecting an individual’s overall well-being.

What to do after a truck accident in South Carolina?

Experiencing a truck accident can be a traumatic and stressful event. Taking the right steps immediately following the accident is crucial for your safety, well-being, and potential legal and insurance claims. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do after a truck accident in South Carolina.

Exchange Information

Exchange contact information, insurance details, and driver’s license information with the other parties involved in the accident. Obtain contact information from any witnesses. Their statements may be crucial later.

Call the Police

Report the accident to the police, even if it seems minor. A police report can be valuable for insurance and legal purposes. Provide accurate and detailed information to the responding officers.

Document the Scene

Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, road conditions, and any relevant signage. Capture images of injuries and property damage.

Preserve Evidence

Keep copies of all medical records, repair estimates, and any correspondence with insurance companies. Preserve evidence such as damaged clothing or personal items from the accident.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Follow through with any recommended medical treatments and keep records of medical expenses.

Consult with an Attorney

If you sustained injuries or significant property damage, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and negotiate with insurance companies.

Do Not Admit Fault

Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be construed as an admission of guilt. Leave fault determination to the professionals.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and comprehensive details about the incident.

Ensure Safety

Check yourself and others for injuries. If there are serious injuries, call emergency services immediately by dialing 911. If possible and safe, move vehicles to the side of the road to prevent further accidents. Use hazard lights and warning triangles to alert other drivers.

Follow Up

Stay informed about the progress of your insurance claim and any legal proceedings. Attend all necessary medical appointments and follow the recommended treatment plans.

Truck Accident Lawsuit in South Carolina

Understand your rights regarding compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses is very crucial in South Carolina truck accidents. Who is liable for truck accidents in South Carolina?

  • Truck drivers
  • Truck owners
  • Truck companies
  • Truck manufacturers
  • Truck maintenance companies
  • Government bodies
  • Cargo companies

Commercial truck lawsuits can be filed when truck accident involves a negligence factor, causing harm to the victims. South Carolina truck accident law works on modified comparative fault. Even if a truck accident lawsuit in SC holds more than one defendant, the legal proceeding will follow based on modified comparative fault.


What is modified comparative fault?

The modified comparative negligence system in South Carolina features a 51 percent bar. This implies that if the plaintiff was at fault for less than 50% of the total, compensation might be due. In the event that it hits 51 percent or higher, they will no longer be eligible for payment. This cap is based on the idea that the plaintiff shouldn’t bear greater blame for the injuries than the defendant does.

Depending upon the percentage of fault, the compensation for the injuries sustained by the victim would be provided by the insurance company of the negligent truck driver. However, if the severity of the injuries and the compensation amount exceeds the insurance limit of the defendant, the lawsuit would be filed as a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver.


Why to seek the help of a truck accident attorney in South Carolina?

Are you a victim of truck accident in South Carolina? To proceed with a truck accident lawsuit, you should be aware of the statutes of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in the respective jurisdiction.

South Carolina has its own statute of limitations of three years within which a personal injury lawsuit should be filed. The plaintiff would be forever barred from filing the lawsuit if they failed to file the lawsuit within the statute of limitations.

However, if the defendant is the government, it follows South Carolina Tort Claims Act, and the statute of limitations would be two to three years under certain circumstances.

To understand and follow the complications of truck accident lawsuits in South Carolina, seeking the legal support of an expert truck accident attorney is crucial. A seasoned truck accident lawyer South Carolina can help the victim undergo the paperwork intricacies and file the truck accident claim.

To bag the best truck accident settlements South Carolina, establishing the causation with strong evidence is necessary. A truck accident lawsuit attorney can assist you in conducting investigation and gather the necessary data from trucking companies, physicians, accident reconstructionist and other experts.

The below-mentioned documents and reports can help in establishing the truck accident lawsuit.




Medical records


Driver logbook data


Truck maintenance reports


Police accident reports


Driver statements


Video surveillance records


Driver safety and compliance history


Traffic collision reports


Witness statements


GPS and driver cell phone records


Emergency care records


Black box data


Toxicology results

Damages Covered Under South Carolina Truck Accident Lawsuit

Truck injury settlement in South Carolina would cover the following damages.

  • Economic damages
  • Non-economic damages
  • Punitive damages

Truck accident attorneys South Carolina can help the victim in mirroring the damages with the support of strong medical record review reports. This would help to gain the maximum deserving compensation, depending upon the extent of damages sustained by the plaintiff.

Truck Accident Settlement

Truck accident lawsuits may end up in settlement even before reaching the court, when the defendant parties are ready to compensate for the damages sustained by the plaintiff. When this does not reach a fruitful end, then it proceeds towards a litigation.

How much are most truck accident settlements?

Commercial truck accident settlements and verdicts depend on many factors like the injuries sustained by the plaintiffs, medical expenses, property damages occurred, negligence factor, percentage of fault etc.

Trucking companies are required to maintain a significant level of insurance. As a result, a settlement for an accident involves a number of parties, including the victims, the driver, the organization that the driver works for, and their respective insurance companies. The owners and operators of commercial trucks are required to carry the following policy minimum amounts because higher levels of coverage are typically mandated by federal and state laws:

  • Trucks under 10,000 pounds that transport non-hazardous materials: $300,000.
  • Vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more that transport non-hazardous materials: $750,000
  • Oil transported by private tankers: $1 million
  • Private carriers shipping hazardous cargo: $5 million

What is the average settlement for a truck accident in South Carolina?

The maximum compensation for a victim of a trucking accident is not capped in South Carolina. The settlement value may be more than $1 million in cases of severe injuries and other circumstances.

The reality is that truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and involve multiple victims. In such cases, the minimum insurance limits maintained by the trucking companies becomes too less to provide sufficient compensation for all of the affected people.

To assist in recovering damages, a skilled truck accident attorney can search for extra insurance sources, such as umbrella, secondary, or excess liability policies.

Truck accident lawsuits in South Carolina are very intricate and it’s hard-hitting to handle the claim, holding the responsible parties accountable. Understanding the legal tangles is a powerful tool in grabbing a deserving settlement or compensation in a truck accident lawsuit. Seeking the guidance of a truck accident lawfirm South Carolina and having a case evaluation should be the immediate response of the victim after getting medical help.

To reduce truck accident cases due to fatigue of drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the United States Department of Transportation had lowered the maximum number of hours a trucker can work by 12 hours. It is now mandatory for drivers to take a minimum of 30 minute break after eight hours of work. Let’s hope that with legal actions and preventive measures going hand-in-hand, truck accident cases will be reduced.

South Carolina Truck Accident Lawsuit FAQ’s

How much will a truck accident lawsuit cost me?

Most of the South Carolina truck accident attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. They get a portion of the total money they help a client get back in a case which is around 40% of the settlement. The length of the case will determine how this proportion changes. However, if their lawyer is unable to obtain compensation, the plaintiff usually won’t be responsible for any legal fees.

Can you get compensation if the accident was your fault in South Carolina?

You can get compensation if your fault in the truck accident was less than 50% of the total. If your negligence level hits 51 percent or higher, you are no longer eligible for compensation.

How long after an accident can you sue in South Carolina?

South Carolina has its own statute of limitations of three years within which a personal injury lawsuit should be filed. The plaintiff would be forever barred from filing the lawsuit if they failed to file the lawsuit within the statute of limitations.

Who Can Be Sued for Truck Accidents in SC?

Any of the following could be a defendant in South Carolina truck accident lawsuits and in some cases multiple defendants may be there. This would be based on the circumstances of the lawsuit and negligence factor.

  • Truck drivers
  • Truck owners
  • Truck companies
  • Truck manufacturers
  • Truck maintenance companies
  • Government bodies
  • Cargo companies
How long does a truck accident lawsuit take?

The duration of a truck accident lawsuit would differ based on the complexities of the case, parties involved etc. However, if the lawsuit moves smooth, it will be closed with a fair settlement within a few months.