• June 02, 2017

Jesse Carroll, Dorothy Carroll Killed, 3 Injured in Greenville, SC, 18-wheeler Accident on I-385

Greenville, SC -- June 2, 2017, Jesse Carroll, Dorothy Carroll were killed, three were injured, in an accident where an 18-wheeler rear-ended traffic on I-385.

Greenville Police officials reported that the fatal incident occurred at around 5:00 a.m. near the intersection I-385 and Woodruff Road.

According to police investigations, a line of traffic was forming in a construction zone along the southbound lanes of the interstate. As traffic slowed, the line of vehicles was struck from behind by an 18-wheeler that failed to slow down.

Two people from the first vehicle hit, a passenger car, were fatally injured and died at the scene. They were identified as 50-year-old Jesse and 40-year-old Dorothy Carroll. Another person from that vehicle as well as the driver of a pickup and an 18-wheeler were transported to local hospitals. The passenger from the car was said to be in critical condition.

At this time, police have not said what caused the crash or if any citations or charges were being considered. No further information is available.

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Commentary

There are very few scenarios with details like I'm reading here where the truck driver that rear-ended traffic would not be held at fault for the crash. There are three very common reasons this sort of thing happens: the driver wasn't looking at the road, the driver was speeding, or the driver was following too closely. You'd be surprised some of the things I've seen over the years in the truck accidents our firm has litigated. There's been anything from a driver going 20 or 30 miles per hour over the speed limit to intoxicated driving to watching full, feature-length movies on an iPad. In the end, truck drivers are just like any other driver and prone to making mistakes. The problem is that their mistakes are capable of significantly more harm than someone driving a typical passenger vehicle.

But I don't want to make it seem like there's such thing as a simple or straight-forward accident, and no one affected by such an accident should think that they will automatically be compensated. Anytime a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, no matter how clear liability appears in reports, the trucking company is going to fight tooth and nail to avoid liability. As tragic as these accidents are, and as blunt as it might sound, trucking companies are not in the business of losing money, regardless of how badly the victims were affected. This means they're going to try and shift blame onto anything or anyone else to try and avoid taking responsibility for the accident.

You might think, "What could the trucking company possibly put blame on in a case like this?" Regardless of how solid a defense it might be, they'll find something. The reports in this accident say the collision occurred in a construction zone. They can point their finger at that, saying the construction crew diverted traffic in an unsafe manner, contributing to the accident. Another common strategy is to place blame on the victims themselves, saying they slammed on their brakes suddenly, leaving their driver unable to react in time. In fact, there are several vehicles ahead of the car the trucking company could try to put that blame on.

These defense are certainly flimsy at best, but the reality is that they can work if victims don't have the right evidence to properly counter them. One issue many people run into is that their representation simply isn't experienced enough to prepare for these kinds of scenarios. Quite frankly, most personal injury lawyers will see one, maybe two big accidents like this over their whole career. That means they won't be prepared to face these kinds of blame-shifting tactics, and they won't have the evidence necessary to directly countering them.

So while we see that things are always far from easy, don't go the other way and think getting justice for an accident like this is impossible. Victims and their families are best served moving as soon as possible to gain the aid of an experienced professional who knows how to deal with these combative trucking companies. Having a thorough investigation conducted will help ensure that all necessary details are gathered and preserved so they can be used to prevent trucking companies from shifting blame and avoiding accountability for the accident. It goes without saying just how difficult it can be focusing on these kinds of things after a tragic accident, but those affected by such a tragic accident must be determined and equip themselves with the tools and allies necessary to bring these negligent trucking companies to justice.

--Grossman Law Offices

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