Oklahoma City Truck Accident LAWYER
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Due to the massive size and weight of semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, truck accidents involving non-commercial vehicles like cars and motorcycles are often devastating and even fatal.
Since more than one party could be at fault for causing a crash, truck lawsuits are a legal matter and can become highly complex. You will need to prove the extent of your injuries to seek the fair financial compensation you need to rebuild your life.
Involving an Oklahoma City truck accident attorney is crucial if you want to seek the best possible outcome to your injury case.
At the Law Offices of Stipe & Belote, we have the resources and legal know-how to properly present your truck accident injury case in negotiation or litigation.
Our firm is ready to ensure you receive the financial compensation you deserve . Contact us today at (888) 842-1374 for a free consultation
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Oklahoma?
Truck accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. These large vehicles are capable of causing significant damage and injury to people involved, and they occur more often than one might think. There are many causes that lead to truck crashes, and it is important for all motorists to be aware of these common causes so that they can try to prevent truck accidents. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of several truck accident causes that you should be aware of:
- Driver fatigue: truck drivers often work long hours and can become fatigued, resulting in delayed reaction times or worse.
- Poor truck maintenance: truck companies are responsible for making sure their vehicles are operating correctly and safely; if a truck is not properly maintained, it could lead to an accident.
- Driving under the influence: truck drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated put everyone on the road at risk of serious injury or death from an accident caused by their impaired judgment.
- Distracted driving: distractions can prevent truck drivers from focusing on the road and reacting to unexpected changes in traffic quickly enough to avoid a collision.
- Speeding or reckless driving: when truck drivers drive too fast for conditions or make dangerous maneuvers such as weaving in and out of lanes, they greatly increase their chances of causing an accident.
- Overloading trucks: stuffing trucks with cargo beyond capacity limits set by law increases instability during transport, which may cause accidents due to sudden shifting or falling off loads.
- Inclement weather conditions: weather such as fog, snow, ice, and rain can reduce visibility significantly and decrease traction between tires and pavement leading to more frequent crashes involving trucks than other motor vehicles.
Any of these issues can lead to a truck accident, but not every cause will result in compensation for the resulting injuries. Negligence is often a key factor as are insurance coverages and determining the liable parties. An experienced Oklahoma City truck accident lawyer will be able to help those who have been injured in a crash seek the compensation they deserve for their losses.
Hours-of-Service (HOS) Violations
Unfortunately, sometimes a trucking company will push their truck drivers past what they should be working, resulting in truck accidents throughout Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The FMCSA rules that all truck drivers have a maximum working day of 14 hours. These rules include rest and meal breaks.
Once the truck drivers complete a 14-hour workday, truck drivers must rest for at least 10 hours. In this 14 hour workday, truck drivers can drive 11 hours. Furthermore, truck drivers must rest for a minimum of 30 minutes in the 11 hour driving period.
Truck drivers are also entitled to days off and must take them based on the trucking company’s hours. Truck drivers consider this the 60/70 rule reference. For example, if a trucking company is open seven days a week, a truck driver can work 70 hours in eight days. Likewise, if a truck company is closed one to two days a week, a driver can work up to 60 hours in seven days.
Once a truck driver reaches the maximum amount of hours for a week, a driver must take at least 34 consecutive hours off before returning to work.
Unfortunately, many trucking carriers encourage their truck drivers to continue working well past the hours-of-service (HOS) limits in order to make faster deliveries and make a profit. Hurried truck drivers tend to speed or commit other traffic violations, while overworked truckers can suffer from drowsy or fatigue driving.
All these factors can result in a trucking accident. Because commercial trucks are subject to safety regulations and industry standards, solely assigning negligence in any crash to those behind the wheel is unlikely. After a commercial truck accident, authorities will investigate to determine the cause.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
On average, any car crash between two motorists is likely to only involve the parties to the crash. Many people assume that this same logic applies to trucking accidents—but they would sometimes be wrong.
Because commercial trucks are subject to safety regulations and industry standards, there are many potential defendants besides the driver. An experienced truck accident attorney will determine who all of the responsible parties are, and hold them accountable.
Common parties who may be liable for a trucking accident include:
- Truck driver – Certainly, a truck driver can be responsible for an accident on the road. These professionals receive special training on operating a large commercial vehicle to keep themselves and others on the road safe. Common errors truck drivers make include distracted driving, driving under the influence, fatigued driving, reckless driving, and violating traffic laws.
- Trucking company – Trucking carriers are responsible for the trucks and their drivers, including hiring and training practices. If a company employs drivers who have violations on their records or fails to provide proper training, they can be held liable for an accident involving one of their truckers. As we mentioned before, carriers may push employees to save money by cutting corners on the HOS limits. Companies are also responsible for meeting specific safety standards and best practices when maintaining their fleet of trucks. People can be hurt if truck drivers do not meet these standards.
- Shipping company or cargo loader – If a shipping company fails to regularly inspect and maintain vehicles, properly load cargo, maintain a reasonable trucking schedule, or properly hire or train employees, and a trucking accident is caused by overloaded or unsecured cargo, the company can be held liable for causing the crash.
- Truck part manufacturer – If a truck accident was caused by a defective auto part, the truck part manufacturer can be held responsible. Rather than filing a claim based on negligence, we can pursue a strict liability claim that does not require proving fault.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused by a Truck Collision?
Truck collisions can have devastating consequences. Compared to other motor vehicles, truck accidents tend to be more catastrophic due to their massive size and weight. As such, truck crash victims are often left with life-altering injuries that require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care.
Common truck accident injuries include:
- Broken Bones: truck accidents can cause severe fractures in the arms, legs, ribs, pelvis and spine due to the force of impact.
- Whiplash: those riding in a passenger vehicle that is hit by a truck can suffer from whiplash injuries caused by sudden jerking movements of the neck and head.
- Head trauma: truck collisions often result in serious head injuries such as concussions, traumatic brain injury (TBI), skull fractures, internal bleeding and swelling around the brain.
- Spinal cord damage: passengers may suffer damage to their spinal column due to sheer force of a truck slamming into an automobile, which results in paralysis or chronic pain problems for victims long after the accident has occurred. This type of injury usually requires extensive medical treatment over time with no guaranteed outcome as far as recovery is concerned. These treatments can include aggressive physical therapy and rehabilitation programs tailored specifically for each individual case on its own merits due to differences between patients suffering similar types of injuries.
- Internal organ damage: organs located near areas where blunt force trauma occurs during truck accidents may sustain serious injury resulting in internal bleeding and organ failure; in some cases, victims may need to undergo multiple surgeries to repair the damage caused.
- Psychological injuries: truck collisions can take an emotional toll as well as a physical one. Victims may suffer from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the trauma of the truck accident and its aftermath.
What Compensation Can I Recover After Suffering an Oklahoma Truck Accident Injury?
If you have been injured in a truck accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for your losses. Financial compensation can help cover the costs associated with truck crash injuries, such as lost wages, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
At the Law Offices of Stipe & Belote, we understand how difficult it is to cope with truck accident injury losses, and our legal team will fight to ensure that you receive the maximum possible financial recovery. We can assist in seeking damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages and income
- Medical expenses including future care needs
- Property damage
- Funeral costs, in the case of fatalities
- Loss of quality of life
By investigating truck accidents and gathering evidence to prove our clients’ truck accident cases, we are able to successfully pursue the compensation our clients need.
Ready to Handle Your Truck Accident Claim
The difficulty lies with the fact that you will need to deal with the insurance company and often the trucking company that hired the semi-truck driver. These are often large corporations that may have lawyers or team of injury lawyers ready to counter your injury claim.
By involving a truck accident injury lawyer of your own who is experienced and has the resources to handle your case correctly, you can help ensure that you have the most incredible opportunity at a positive case result.
Having a knowledgeable and skilled legal professional on your side makes a significant difference in your ability to recover total financial damages for medical care, loss of earnings, and more.
Call (888) 842-1374 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with our legal team!
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