Fatal Head-On Wreck In Lexington County
A woman is dead after her SUV crossed the centerline and smacked into an oncoming dump truck.
The wreck happened near the 1600 block of Amick’s Ferry Road. The SUV driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and the dump truck driver wasn’t hurt.
Few other details were available.
At first blush, it appears that the SUV driver was clearly at fault for this wreck. But things are less clear when a Columbia car accident lawyer examines a case and determines the duty of care. Furthermore, a lawyer digs deeper into the facts of the case.
Most noncommercial motorists have a duty of reasonable care. They must avoid accidents whenever possible. Most commercial drivers have a higher duty of care in South Carolina. They must anticipate accidents and prevent them whenever possible.
This higher duty of care often creates liability issues in wrong-way crash cases. Since commercial drivers, like dump truck drivers and Uber drivers, have a higher duty of care, they must do things like avoid traveling in the left lane, especially around curves in the road. If the dump truck driver in the above story failed to anticipate and prevent accidents, that’s not just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s negligence.
Furthermore, when crash details are sketchy, a Columbia personal injury attorney often partners with a private investigator and/or an accident reconstruction engineer. Investigators find additional evidence that emergency responders may have overlooked. Accident reconstruction engineers put seemingly random bits of evidence together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
In wrong-way crash claims, these legal duty and evidence issues often come together, in the form of the last clear chance doctrine.
If Billy crosses the centerline and hits Frank, Billy is legally responsible for the wreck, unless Frank had the last clear chance to avoid the crash.
As mentioned, because of the duty of care, if Frank was a commercial driver, he should have been driving in the right lane. Additional evidence, like information from an Event Data Recorder, could show if Billy swerved unexpectedly across the centerline, slowly drifted over, or was driving safely on the wrong side of the road.
Based on this analysis, Frank could be at least partially responsible for the wreck, which means Billy could be entitled to compensation. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
If Frank was a commercial driver, Frank’s employer might be financially responsible for these damages, under the respondeat superior rule. This doctrine applies if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was an employee who was acting within the course and scope of employment at the time of injury.
Count on a Reliable Richland County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.