Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are massive and powerful machines. On many stretches of highway in South Carolina, the speed limit for these huge vehicles is the same as it is for much smaller passenger vehicles: 70 miles per hour. But truckers are often pushed for time on tight deadlines and may be tempted to speed, and the consequences of a speeding truck accident can be deadly for anyone or anything that gets in the way. If you were hurt in an accident with a speeding semi, here’s what you should know.
Why Speeding Trucks Are Dangerous
Speeding is dangerous with any vehicle on the road, but large commercial vehicles have some special concerns at high speed. Some of the risks of speeding trucks that can cause a serious accident include:
- Increased stopping distance. The increase in mass means that a truck going the same speed as a passenger vehicle will take much longer to stop, increasing the chances of an accident or a rear-end collision. Violating the speed limit by going faster means that stops will take even longer, especially in emergencies.
- Cargo shifting. When a truck exceeds safe speeds, the speed and vibration can cause the weight of the cargo to shift, which can unbalance the truck. A shifting load can cause the trailer to swing wildly behind the cab, or it can cause the entire truck to tip over or roll on its side.
- Difficulty turning. Trucks aren’t very maneuverable and need to slow down to safely negotiate many curves that wouldn’t be a concern to a passenger vehicle. If the driver is speeding, he or she may overshoot or overcorrect for the turn.
When a truck driver violates the speed limit and causes an accident, it can cause shocking damage to anything in the way, including vehicles, pedestrians, and any structures that it hits. Victims of the accident may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or the trucking company to seek compensation for any medical expenses related to the crash, repair or replacement of a vehicle or any personal property lost, and more.
How an Injury Lawyer Can Help After a Truck Accident
A truck accident attorney with experience handling accidents caused by commercial vehicles can help victims with the legal recovery process after a crash, but it’s important to act quickly after the accident. Seeking legal help early means that your attorney can start an investigation into the accident, including examining the driving and safety records of the trucking company and the driver, data from the truck’s computers, and more. Much of the evidence that’s needed is controlled by the trucking company, though, and the company is only legally obligated to keep those records for a short period of time, so starting the investigative process early can be an important part of a successful lawsuit.
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a speeding semi-truck, contact the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger today. Our experienced legal team understands that you are hurting both physically and financially after your accident, and we want to help you and your family get the justice that you deserve so that you can focus on the healing process. Call us today at 803-790-2800 (Columbia, SC) / 843-427-2800 (Myrtle Beach, SC), or start a live chat 24/7 with a real, live person to arrange a free and confidential consultation.