Some people are apprehensive about hiring a lawyer because they assume that lawyers cost too much money, don’t genuinely care about their clients, or won’t make much of a difference in their accident case. At The Melonakos Law Firm, we want to defy these assumptions.
Our firm is dedicated to providing compassionate counsel for injury victims. We purposefully limit the number of cases we take so that we can give each client the attention they deserve. Unlike other firms, we never push clients off to paralegals or other support staff. Instead, clients always have direct access to their truck accident attorney. Our lead attorney, Michael Melonakos, started his legal career in insurance defense, which gives us particular insight into the industry and how it operates. That insight, as well as our genuine commitment to our clients, has helped us recover more than $50 million to date for accident victims across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, let us help you pursue the compensation and accountability you deserve. Contact one of our South Carolina truck accident attorneys today to learn more about what The Melonakos Law Firm can do for you.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, your time and attention should rightfully be focused on healing from your injuries. Let a knowledgeable and compassionate truck accident lawyer from our firm handle the legal side of your case by:
- Investigating the accident – A serious truck accident lawyer can thoroughly investigate the accident by speaking with eyewitnesses, consulting with experts, acquiring onboard data readouts, and gathering other evidence to build a strong case. A proper investigation must begin as quickly as possible while memories are fresh and evidence is more easily accessible. It can be extremely difficult to conduct a detailed and timely investigation without the help of an attorney, especially while you’re still healing from your injuries.
- Gathering evidence – Evidence from truck accidents can take many forms, some of which can be difficult to obtain, especially as more time passes. An experienced big rig accident lawyer knows what to do. They may contact nearby businesses or homeowners to see if their security cameras captured the accident, which needs to be done quickly before the footage is deleted. They may request other necessary evidence, such as the police officer’s accident report and data from the truck’s electronic monitoring system, the latter of which could go missing if it is not acquired in time.
- Hiring expert witnesses – In appropriate cases, we hire experts to do accident reconstruction to prevent the trucking companies from making excuses and trying to avoid fault.
- Handling insurance companies – Dealing with insurance companies is a headache, even when you aren’t suffering from the pain and stress of your injuries. After a tractor trailer accident, a lawyer can handle any necessary correspondence or negotiation with insurance companies on your behalf. Furthermore, your lawyer can protect you from the tactics insurance companies might deploy to shift the blame and avoid a payout.
- Meeting deadlines – In South Carolina, the statute of limitations sets a deadline of three years for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a truck accident. That time can pass quickly, especially during the stressful and hectic period after an accident. A South Carolina truck accident attorney can manage the timeline of your case to ensure you meet relevant deadlines.
- Filing paperwork – Filing a personal injury claim after an 18-wheeler accident often involves a great deal of complicated paperwork. The slightest mistake could jeopardize your case. Fortunately, attorneys are skilled at completing paperwork with precision and accuracy. By working with a truck accident attorney, you can avoid minor paperwork errors that lead to serious consequences.
What Makes Truck Accident Claims Different than Car Accident Claims?
Truck accidents are often more complicated than car accidents for several reasons, including:
- Severity of injuries – An accident with an 80,000-pound, fully loaded tractor-trailer is more likely to result in serious injuries than an accident involving passenger vehicles. Truck accident victims can suffer multiple broken bones, severe back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries, which may affect them for the rest of their lives. Their immediate and long-term medical expenses are often far more than those incurred in all but the most severe car accidents.
- Multiple potential liable parties – The trucking industry comprises multiple entities, including trucking companies, truck manufacturers, cargo loaders, truck maintenance companies, and truck drivers. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, one or more of these parties could be legally liable. Without the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible after an accident, which can have serious implications on the amount of compensation available.
- Regulations – Tractor-trailers are critical components of the American economy but are also dangerous. Consequently, the United States Department of Transportation places often-complex federal regulations on the trucking industry to minimize accidents and protect other motorists. These include hours-of-service rules for truck drivers and maintenance schedules for trucks. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer is familiar with these regulations and can use them to hold negligent truck companies accountable for the harm they cause.
Why Choose The Melonakos Law Firm?
The Melonakos Law Firm is committed to helping truck accident victims in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Our lead attorney, Mike Melonakos, has dedicated his career to advocating for the injured, using the knowledge he acquired as a defense attorney for insurance companies to champion the rights of accident victims.
By prioritizing compassion, service, and dedication, The Melonakos Law Firm has secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for accident victims, including $2 million for a client who suffered severe back and spinal cord injuries after being rear-ended by a truck driver on I-285.
Evidence a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Collect to Help Your Claim
Compelling evidence is key to proving fault after a tractor-trailer accident, but collecting that evidence can be difficult or impossible when you are recuperating from your injuries. A big rig wreck lawyer can collect critical evidence that will directly impact your case, including:
- Police accident reports
- Photos of the accident and vehicles involved
- Footage from traffic cameras and security cameras of nearby businesses or homes
- Data from the truck’s electronic logging device, which tracks the vehicle’s time, location, engine hours, engine speed, miles driven, driver identification, and duty status
- Truck’s maintenance records
- Truck driver’s cellphone records
- Truck driver’s driving record
- Alcohol or drug tests
- Medical records
Contact a Serious Truck Accident Lawyer in South Carolina for Assistance
If you were injured in a truck accident, contact The Melonakos Law Firm for a free consultation with a serious truck accident lawyer. We advocate for accident victims and are ready to help you demand the compensation you need during this challenging time.