Charleston Truck Accident Attorney


One Star One Star One Star One Star One Star

Mark won my case and got me a big settlement. Before I hired Mark, I didn’t know where to get my car fixed, which doctor I should go to, or what to do about missing time from work. Mark took care of everything and answered all of my questions. Mark and his team were there every step of the way and took the burden off of me and my family. He was always available to talk to me whenever I had a question. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs an attorney.

Erin - Charleston

Free Case Evaluation

Filling out the form below and scheduling a free case evaluation is an important step towards obtaining justice in your injury case.

Truck Accident Lawyer

Large trucks play an important role in the Charleston and American economy, while posing a huge hazard to motorists. When a truck driver injures a motorist, a truck accident lawyer can help you and your family obtain justice. South Carolina consists of many urban and rural freight highway and railroad corridors to move goods to major ocean ports, inland ports, seven regional airports, and rail lines. There are five interstates that travel through South Carolina: I-20, I‐85, I‐95, I‐77, and I‐26. These major roads are often used by big rigs in South Carolina, moving product north, south and west to major freight hubs. According to the South Carolina Trucking Association, there are 7,960 trucking companies located in South Carolina.

Large trucks have many names, and may be referred to as semis, semi-trailers, big rigs, tractor-trailers, “semi-trucks,” or 18-wheelers. Trucks are governed by stricter law than the general motoring public because the damage they can cause is much greater than a smaller vehicle. Trucks are bigger, heavier, and generate much greater force when they hit another vehicle. Often times multiple vehicles are involved in truck accidents. For example, in Charleston, trucks must drive in the right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left, under SC Code § 56-5-1810 (2012). Truck accident cases must be handled differently than most car accident cases. They are more complex and involve much different work than what is required in a typical car accident. Some lawyers without truck accident experience may take on your case but not be prepared to fight against a powerful trucking company and its army of lawyers. You may not want to be a “guinea-pig” client for a lawyer or law firm who is not familiar with the nuances of commercial truck accidents.

Charleston truck accident lawyer Mark Bringardner has seen how accidents involving a big-rig or semi-truck can cause life-changing injuries or deaths in a matter of seconds. In 2018, there were 84 fatal collisions involving truck tractors in South Carolina, 94 serious injury collisions, and 1,091 “other injury collisions.” Mark has represented truck accident injury victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims, recovering millions of dollars from trucking companies. In 2018, Mark Bringardner was a part of a trial team that recovered $17 million for three families who lost loved ones in a truck accident. In 2020, Mark Bringardner won a $5 million settlement for a woman who was killed by a negligent driver of an industrial power truck, commonly called a “yard dog.”

What to Do Following a Trucking Accident in Charleston: Call a Truck Accident Lawyer

With any accident, getting prompt medical care is very important. Go to the emergency room, pick up prescription medications and complete any recommended follow-up visits. You should report the accident to authorities so that a police report can be prepared, gather names of parties involved and witnesses, and take pictures (or ask someone to take pictures for you.

You should not speculate on fault, admit fault, or give any information about your injuries to Insurance companies. Trucking companies are sophisticated and have the money to deploy a “Rapid Response” team immediately to the scene. Trucking companies will send investigators, accident reconstruction engineers, and defense attorneys to the scene while the first-responders are still helping the victims. The Rapid Response teams sometimes try to influence the investigation and document evidence before you even make it to the hospital. Usually the trucking company will already be working against you before you have a chance to hire an attorney. It is extremely important to hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after a truck accident. Truck accident attorney Mark Bringardner has handled many serious truck crash cases. He has written an article teaching other lawyers about trucking companies’ “Rapid Response” teams. Once you hire a truck accident lawyer, they can handle the investigation and communications with the insurance company to help you maximize the value of your case and obtain the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.

Occupants of passenger injuries are subject to catastrophic injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and death. Often times, the trucking company is more responsible than the truck driver. Truck drivers are hard working men and women who keep our country moving. Unfortunately, trucking companies often impose unreasonable requirements on the truck drivers and penalize them for not making delivers on time. As a result, truck drivers are sometimes incentivized to break the safety rules about speed or sleep and break requirements which can result in serious truck accidents.

Trucking Industry Regulation in the United States

The trucking industry in the United states is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the FMCSA), which is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation. The FMCSA establishes regulations (rules, or regs, for short) which outline the responsibilities of trucking companies and commercial truck drivers. Some of the operational areas that FMCSA regulations cover include:

  • Truck Driver Qualifications:

    Truck drivers must be proficient in English, have a valid commercial driver’s license, and be at least 21 years of age.

  • Truck Driver Drug Testing:

    FMCSA regulations require that drug tests are given to drivers in specific circumstances, including pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, random, and return-to-duty

  • Truck Maintenance and Repairs:

    Drivers are required to make daily written pre and post trip inspections each day, which must identify the vehicle and list any defects or deficiencies discovered by or reported to the driver, which could affect operation or cause the truck to break down Commercial vehicles must be thoroughly inspected at least once every 12 months per Minimum Period Inspection Standards. This is a comprehensive check for defects and deficiencies including brake system, steering mechanisms, windshield glazing, lighting devices, fuel system, and other components

  • Driver Hours of Service and Required Rest:

    Drivers are subject to weekly and daily Hours of Service limits for driving. All driving must be completed within a 14-consecutive hour period. There is a mandatory 34 consecutive hours off-duty after weekly limits have been reached. Regulations also prohibit commercial operation if the driver is impaired by illness of fatigue.

A Charleston personal injury lawyer knowledgeable about FMCSA regulations will be an important representative in any personal injury claim. Log book reviews are necessary to confirm the drivers had the required list and did not drive past mandatory regulations. The Electronic On-Board Reorder (EOBR) is the black box which provides operational times the vehicle is moving and when it is stopped. As soon as you hire an attorney, they can begin collecting records and gathering evidence for your injury claim.

Contact Truck Accident Attorney Mark Bringardner Today For a Free Case Evaluation

Following a Charleston truck accident, attorney Mark Bringardner can help you protect your rights and hold negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable, and recover maximum compensation for medical care expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Mark is familiar with FMCSA regs and works with trucking industry expert witnesses and investigators. Call today for a free consultation and conversation about your case. If we represent you, there are never any legal fees unless we recover money for you.

The Auto Accident Claims Process

You are Injured in An Accident

What should I do after an accident?

Immediately after an accident, if you are injured, you should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. This may seem obvious if you have pain at the scene of the collision, but often times injury victims may not feel pain until the adrenaline wears off, hours or even days after an accident. Any delay in seeking medical attention and the appropriate diagnostic testing could lead to problems down the road. Next, before contacting any insurance company, it can be smart to consult an experienced South Carolina accident attorney to protect your rights.

You will likely want to make sure that your medical records, bills, lost income, and other issues are being handled and documented properly.

Does health insurance pay for your medical bills? Does the other person’s insurance company pay? What is Medpay? How do you submit a claim for lost income? Should you go to your primary care doctor or a specialist? What if you don’t have a doctor? Who fixes your vehicle? Where do you take your vehicle? These are questions an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney can assist you with. It may also be a good idea to have your attorney conduct an investigation on your behalf as soon as possible so important evidence does not get lost.

How do I hire Bringardner Injury Lawyers?

First, you should call our office and speak with us directly about your case. Or, you can fill out our online form and we will call you as soon as possible to go over your claim and answer all of your questions. We are happy to meet with you in-person, through a virtual conference, or over the phone.

If you decide to hire us, we will send you the necessary paperwork so we can immediately begin working on your case.

So I've Hired A Lawyer. Now What?

When you hire us, we immediately go to work on your case. We will deal with the insurance company, the investigation, gathering of your medical bills, and building your case.

After getting your vehicle repaired or replaced, you only have 1 job to do after hiring us. Get better. We want you to focus on your recovery and follow all your doctors' orders. Doing this will hopefully put you on the path toward a full recovery.

Building Your Case

Immediately after you hire us, we will begin building your case. First, we will send a letter to the insurance company stating that you have retained representation, and that they are not allowed to contact you directly. They must go through us.

The Investigation

We quickly start investigating your accident by obtaining witness statements, obtaining evidence, gathering your medical records, calculating your wage losses and future medical bills, and any other damages you may have suffered as a result of your accident. Your only job is to go to the medical appointments and try to get better.

Settlement Negotiations

What's a Settlement?

A settlement is typically a sum of money paid by an insurance company. The vast majority of cases settle before going to court. However, we prepare all of our cases for a trial if that becomes necessary. We will fight to the fullest extent of the law to try and get you full and fair compensation.

How Long Will It Take?

Typically clients want to know two things: How much is my case worth and how long will it take? No lawyer knows the answers to those questions when you first hire them. The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of factors that will determine the answers. Early in the case, you may not know the extent of any permanent injuries for which you may need compensation, and you may not know the total amount of your medical bills until a later date. Once your condition stabilizes and our investigation into the case is completed, your South Carolina accident attorney will be able to give you a more informed legal opinion. At that time a “demand” is typically sent to the insurance company to begin the potential settlement process.
Once a demand is sent to the insurance company, the insurance company usually responds after completing an evaluation of your case. At that point, your accident attorney will discuss the insurance company's response with you. If you are not satisfied with the insurance company's settlement offer or response, and no settlement is reached, then the next step is for your accident attorney to file a lawsuit. Most settlements are paid within 4 weeks of being accepted. However, if an acceptable settlement is not reached at this phase, the next step is for us to prepare and file a lawsuit.

Filing a Lawsuit

Filing The Complaint

Most of the time, auto accident cases are resolved in a settlement, but in some instances, they require a lawsuit to get resolved. In this instance, the first step is for your auto accident attorney to write a legal document called a complaint. The complaint is filed at the courthouse, and then the defendant (more likely his insurance company) will have an attorney file a formal response with the Court. Filing a lawsuit does not mean that you are going to trial. Again, the vast majority of lawsuits also settle before trial. People often think they are “going to court” if the file a lawsuit. In layman’s terms, the filing of a lawsuit simply takes the case out of the informal setting between your lawyer and the insurance company and formally puts it in into the court system so that a judge can assist with any legal disputes that arise.

Discovery

The discovery phase begins after a lawsuit is filed. This phase of the case allows both sides to ask questions and obtain additional documents that may not have been available without a subpoena. The purpose is to “discover” the other side's evidence, and learn more about the opposing party's case. This is done by many methods, including submitting requests for documents, and submitting interrogatories (questions in writing that the opposing party must answer) or depositions (in-person or videoconference interviews conducted by the attorneys.)

We will be by your side, every step of the way, to fight for a favorable outcome in your case.

Alternative Resolution Methods

At any point during the case, you can decide to settle your case. There are several ways to settle a case.

Negotiation

Sometimes cases settle on “the court house steps”. That means that the case settles right before trial. Often times, the threat of a jury trial is the only thing that encourages the insurance company to increase their settlement offer. That is because during your case, the settlement money is under their control. Once a trial begins, the insurance company loses some of that control and it is placed in the hands of the judge and/or jury – who may order a lot more money to be paid to you than what the insurance company wants to offer. Sometimes the most reasonable and fair settlement offers do not get made until right before a trial is scheduled to begin. Some cases even settle during or even after trial. While this is less common, it occurs from time to time.

Mediation

Mediation is a process where both parties meet in front of an agreed-upon mediator. Mediators are trained professionals who are skilled at moderating fair negotiations. The goal of mediation is a resolution, but if no resolution is reached, the case will continue on.
During The Course Of The Case, Both Parties May Also Engage In Direct Negotiations.

Trial

We prepare every case as if we are going to trial. We believe the best way to avoid trial and obtain the best settlement possible is to show the insurance company that we will accept nothing other than a fair settlement, and take it to a trial if it is necessary.

What Happens At Trial?

At trial, we will present your case in front of a jury or judge to let them decide the fair value of your case.

Resolution

At the end of trial, we typically receive a verdict, which can result in a judgement. Trial can take anywhere from a day to a week (or more) depending on the complexity of the case.

Get in touch with us today to get started on your free case review. After you submit your information, we will contact you as soon as possible before the end of the business day. We review all submissions as quickly as possible in the order in which they are received.