Posted on Sep 02, 2023

A tragic collision claimed the life of a young Ridgeland woman, Jasmine Wright, who was 21, in Jasper County this past Tuesday, August 29, 2023. The fatal incident occurred near the intersection of S.C. 170 and Snake Road, approximately five miles east of Ridgeland, around 4:50 p.m. Wright was navigating her 2009 Toyota Camry eastbound on Snake Road, a roadway that links S.C. 170 to S.C. 462, when she lost control of her vehicle.

As she approached Okatie Highway, her car swerved into the road's center, colliding head-on with a garbage truck operated by Capital Waste Services, which was traveling in the opposite direction. Master Trooper Gary Miller from the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported the details of the unfortunate event.

Emergency services arrived on the scene, and Jasper County Coroner Willie P. Aiken III confirmed Wright's death at 5:45 p.m. She had not fastened her seatbelt at the time of the accident. An autopsy is pending. The garbage truck driver received treatment for minor injuries at the site of the crash.

Pursuing a Wrongful Death Case in South Carolina After Losing a Loved One in a Garbage Truck Crash

Losing a loved one in an accident is a harrowing experience, leaving families grappling with emotional and financial burdens. When the accident involves a commercial vehicle like a garbage truck, the legal landscape can be even more complex. In South Carolina, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses through a wrongful death claim.

Understanding Wrongful Death in South Carolina

Wrongful death in South Carolina is defined as a death caused by the "wrongful act, neglect, or default" of another. Essentially, if your loved one would have had the grounds to file a personal injury claim had they survived, you likely have the grounds for a wrongful death claim.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

South Carolina law specifies that the executor or administrator of the deceased person's estate is the individual eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Generally, the damages recovered are for the benefit of the deceased’s spouse and children, or if none, the deceased’s parents or heirs.

Types of Damages You Can Seek

Economic Damages

These are quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost earning potential.

Non-Economic Damages

These include more subjective forms of suffering like loss of companionship, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

Navigating the Complexity of a Garbage Truck Case

When a garbage truck is involved, the case may involve various parties such as the trucking company, the waste management service, and potentially, the local or state government. Each entity will likely have its legal team, complicating matters further.

Key Evidence in Garbage Truck Accidents

  • Truck Maintenance Records: These can prove whether the trucking company upheld the vehicle’s condition.
  • Driver's Employment History and Records: Previous accidents or violations can show a pattern of negligence.
  • Witness Testimonies: Accounts from eyewitnesses can corroborate your version of the event.
  • Traffic Camera Footage: Visual evidence can be irrefutable proof of fault.

Legal Timeline and Statute of Limitations

In South Carolina, you generally have three years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Missing this window can bar you from recovering any damages, making it imperative to act promptly.

Consult a South Carolina Attorney with Experience Handling a Wide Variety of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Given the complexities involved, especially with garbage truck accidents, consulting an experienced wrongful death attorney is crucial. They can navigate the labyrinth of legal procedures, negotiations, and court appearances, relieving some of the burden during this difficult time.

We are headquartered in Florida, where the sheer volume of car accidents and commercial vehicle accidents is astounding. As a result, we are exposed to a big variety of commercial vehicle accidents. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help. We take cases in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.