A collision involving a gasoline tanker truck, two SUVs and a pickup truck on I-26 through Spartanburg, South Carolina (SC), claimed three lives and sent a fourth person to the hospital with life-threatening burns. The fiery multivehicle wreck happened at around 7:30 am on June 27, 2015, near the exit to New Cut Road.
The crash caused the tanker to burst into flames and explode. The fire burned for almost an hour and left the interstate unusable for at least a full day. In addition to the deaths and injuries, the blast and flames made quickly determining how the crash happened impossible. The timing of the wreck, early on a Saturday morning, left few witnesses. Heat no doubt damaged the commercial truck's so-called black box and any similar event data recorders installed on the other vehicles.
Figuring out what happened is imperative. Fatal truck crashes inflict heavily emotional and financial burdens on surviving family members. Collecting on insurance claims and, when appropriate, receiving monetary damages from wrongful death lawsuits can ease those struggles. But when questions regarding liability and possible negligence or recklessness remain unanswered, seeking adequate compensation from responsible parties can be difficult.
Knowing, for instance, that the truck operator fell asleep behind the wheel after exceeding allowable hours of operation would give the individuals in the SUVs and the pickup grounds for filing claims against the trucker's insurance policy and, potentially, the company that employed him. On the other hand, if one of the drivers of the smaller vehicles cut off or rear-ended the tanker truck, that person and his or her insurer would bear liability. For now, all anyone has is medical bills, funeral expenses, and worries over how to deal with losses of income and companionship.
Speaking with an experienced Carolina personal injury and wrongful attorney during this difficult time could help the crash victims and their families. Such a legal advocate will be able to make sure affected individuals stay informed of investigators' progress and findings. Also, a lawyer who represents only a victim's interests can ensure that insurance company representatives do not succeed in pressuring injured individuals and grieving family members into accepting lowball settlements.