Oklahoma City Truck Accident LAWYER
Millions Recovered by Our Award-Winning Firm
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.
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.
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.
You Pay Nothing Unless We Win
One-On-One, Compassionate Attention
Named Super Lawyers for 13 Consecutive Years
AV® Preeminent™ Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
Numerous Million Dollar Settlements
Over 50 Years of Combined Experience