Truck Accident Attorneys in OK
Legal Representation After a Truck Wreck
Large trucks account for about three percent of the traffic on U.S. roads at any given time, according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Nearly 8.5 million large trucks are registered in the United States, and many of these are in regular use, hauling cargo of every description. large trucks include any truck with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds, from box trucks to semi tractor-trailers that may weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded.
Being involved in a crash with a large truck is not only frightening, but may change a person's life forever. Injuries from a large truck accident can result in years, if not a lifetime, of medical care and treatment, and lost wages if the injuries hinder the ability to work and earn a living. When a person has been seriously injured in a truck accident through no fault of their own, obtaining compensation from the negligent parties is a critical issue that must be resolved.
Our Oklahoma Trucking Accident Attorneys Can Help
Truck accidents tend to cause grave injuries, and it’s not hard to guess why. With so much tonnage involved and so much energy released on impact, collisions come with a higher rate of catastrophic injuries, as well as fatalities than other vehicle crashes.
The legal issues associated with truck crashes are more complex as well, particularly if the truck was being driven as part of a corporate shipping process. Federal and state trucking regulations add another complicating factor to these cases.
Truck Accident Case Results
- Trucking case case over confidential matter: $3,600,000
- Trucking case case over confidential matter: $2,200,000
- Trucking accident case involving two vehicles: Confidential Settlement
- Trucking accident case involving multiple vehicles: Confidential Settlement
- ∗∗Several others not mentioned due to their confidential nature
∗Past Results do not guarantee future results.
Helping You Prove Liability in Oklahoma
A number of factors may contribute to large truck accidents. Some of these factors, such as fatigue, driver distraction, hunger, and drug or alcohol use, are within the truck driver's control. Other factors not directly within the driver's control may be the responsibility of the trucking company or the entity responsible for the truck maintenance or loading.
Missing or broken safety equipment, shoddy maintenance, or botched repairs can cause a crash -- one the driver may have been unable to prevent. A shipping company may have overloaded the truck, or failed to evenly distribute the load for safety on the road. Dangerous road conditions and the actions of various third parties can also trigger serious truck accidents.
Unlike other types of auto accidents, there may be multiple responsible parties in a truck accident claim. Potentially liable parties could include the following:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Shipping company
- Truck manufacturer
- Parts manufacturer
- Maintenance and repair shop
- Government agencies responsible for road, street, or highway maintenance and safety
Federal regulations also play a role in truck accident claims. The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and violations are identified can assist in establishing liability. As an example, under FMCSA regulations, truck drivers are restricted as to how many hours a day and how many days per week they are allowed to drive, in an effort to reduce the numbers of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. A fatigued driver who has violated the hours of service regulations may have made the decision on his/her own, or may have been pressured by the trucking company.
The trucking company’s insurance company is not your friend after a serious truck accident. Insurance companies are in business for profit, and have their own best interests as the primary concern. A knowledgeable Oklahoma auto accident lawyer can help you identify all responsible parties, establish liability, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and stand up for your rights in court when necessary.
Black Box and Truck Accident Claims
Preserving the black box after the accident is an important part of a truck accident claim. The black box is the Electronic Control Module (ECM) integrated with the engine components in most commercial trucks manufactured since the 1990s. ECMs are designed to capture a stream of data concerning the truck’s operations. Data typically recorded for a 30-day period includes:
- Average overall speed
- Highest speed
- Time driven
- Average RPMs
- Idling time
- Amount of time driven over 65 mph
- Air bag performance
- Seat belt usage
Black boxes record data for a certain period, usually 30 days, and possibly less in some older units. When recording capacity of an ECM is exceeded, it begins recording over - effectively erasing - all existing data. It is important for your attorney to move quickly after a truck accident to preserve this black box data.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Truck Accident?
After a large truck collision, the first step is to seek emergency medical attention. Once you and your passengers are stable, it is essential to collect any information that may help you mount an effective legal action, including:
- Name, address, contact and insurance information for all drivers and passengers.
- Photographs of the scene and all vehicles involved – a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Eyewitness information: Try to remember all that was said and make notes for your lawyer of everything you recall.
- Police reports.
- Medical documentation.
The key to recovering the losses associated with a major crash is evidence, and that means diligence in keeping an accurate record of events as they occur. Bear in mind that most truck accidents result in death or catastrophic injuries. The trucking company and its insurer know this, and in most of the truck accident cases we have handled, the defendant has its investigator on the scene within hours after the accident. Why is this done? You guessed it -- they want to gain any possible advantage for the upcoming legal battle.
The good news is that state law provides several avenues of recovery once you have established who is at fault, and which parties committed an act of negligence. It is not unusual for a truck accident victim to receive funds for medical bills, loss of income, property damage, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. If your future earning potential has been impacted, and you or your loved one will require medical care and other treatments for years to come, it is essential to get all losses, both current and future, covered in a settlement. It is important that a legal professional takes on this task, rather than hoping for fair treatment from a reluctant insurance company that hopes to pay out as little as possible.
The Wide Reach of Trucking Crashes
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 111,000 people were injured and 3,903 were killed in large truck crashes in 2014. Among these fatalities, 73% were occupants of other vehicles, 10% were non-occupants (pedestrians or bicyclists), and only 17% were occupants of the large trucks involved in the collisions. The truck accident injury statistics are similar to the fatalities – 74% were occupants of other vehicles, 3% were non-occupants, and 23% were large truck occupants.
Although they accounted for only 4% of all registered vehicles in 2014, large trucks accounted for 8% of all traffic fatalities. Of all fatal crashes involving large trucks, 81% were two-vehicle crashes (as compared to 59% of passenger vehicle fatal crashes) and 45% of those large truck two-vehicle fatal crashes were head-on collisions.
You Need an Oklahoma Lawyer Experienced in Large Truck Accident Cases
At Car Accident Help, we believe that victims of truck accidents deserve legal representation as aggressive as it is effective, which is why we marshal our considerable resources toward getting you the full and fair settlement you deserve. If the case cannot be settled, we will let a jury decide, and you can rest assured that your case will be professionally prepared for presentation in court. For legal help after a serious truck accident, call us at (405) 285-4357, or use our free online accident analysis tool.
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