Truck Accidents

When the truck driver fails to operate the vehicle safely, causing injuries or death, the facts must be carefully evaluated to identify all liable parties. At the Law Offices of Stipe & Belote, our Oklahoma City truck accident lawyers have extensive experience and an impressive record of success in complex truck accident cases.

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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 are far too common in Oklahoma highways, streets, and roads, including within the OKC city limits. These deadly collisions may be caused by one or more of the following issues:

Driver fatigue

Truck drivers often work long hours and can become fatigued, which can result in delayed reaction times, reduced awareness, poor judgment, or falling asleep behind the wheel.

Poor truck maintenance

Truck companies are responsible for making sure their vehicles are properly maintained, and if they fail, the truck may have faulty braking systems, tires, or other problems that could cause it to go out of control.

Driving under the influence

Truck drivers may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, either prescribed or recreational, reducing awareness, control, and driving ability and putting all others sharing the road at risk of injury or death.

Distracted driving

Truck drivers may be talking on the phone, eating, texting, or other type of distraction that takes their eyes off the road ahead.

Speeding or reckless driving

Truck drivers are under pressure to deliver on time and may take risks by speeding, merging or changing lanes unsafely, or other negligent driving conduct.

Uneven cargo

When the cargo in a commercial truck is unevenly loaded, the trailer can begin to swing, leading to a jackknife accident.

Driving too fast for weather conditions

Fog, snow, ice, and rain can reduce visibility significantly and decrease traction between tires and pavement. Drivers who fail to reduce speed in dangerous weather can cause serious or fatal collisions.

Truck or truck part failure

A truck or parts manufacturer may have produced a faulty or defective product, whether brakes, tires, or other safety features. When a truck safety system fails, all others sharing the road are at extreme risk of injury or death.

semi truck that was in an accident

Hours-of-service (HOS) violations

Unfortunately, sometimes, a trucking company will push their truck drivers past the number of hours they are allowed to drive under federal regulations. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is the federal agency regulating the trucking industry. The number of hours a truck driver can operate a vehicle is strictly regulated, with a maximum work week of 70 hours. Truckers must take breaks, sleep, and drive no more than 11 hours daily. Even with these regulations, no agency could properly police the massive number of trucks on the road, and HOS violations are not rare. A tired driver is a dangerous driver.

Who is Liable?

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 this is not always the case. Because commercial trucks are subject to safety regulations and industry standards, there are many potential defendants besides the driver. An experienced truck accident attorney in Oklahoma City will determine all liable parties when filing a personal injury claim. The liable parties may include:

  • Truck driver – A truck driver may have operated the vehicle in an unsafe, negligent manner. These professionals receive special training in 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 firm – 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 fail 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.
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Truck accident injuries

Truck accidents are often major disasters, affecting many other vehicles and causing severe injuries or deaths. Victims in these cases, if they survive the collision, are often left with life-altering injuries or face the future with permanent disabilities. Some of the most common types of truck accident injuries include:

TBIs (traumatic brain injuries)

Brain injuries suffered in a truck accident can lead to long-term impairments, leaving the victim unable to work, earn a living, or enjoy the quality of life they had before the accident.

Broken bones

Truck accidents can cause severe fractures in the arms, legs, ribs, pelvis, and spine due to the force of impact.

Spinal cord damage

Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating of all injuries, leading to either paraplegia or quadriplegia. These injuries require long-term medical care and support and leave the victim facing a lifetime of challenges.

Internal organ damage

Internal injuries may include bleeding, shock, organ failure, and, in the saddest cases, loss of life.


A truck accident may involve fire, explosions, or exposure to toxic chemicals that leave a victim with painful or disfiguring burns.

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.

Types of compensation in truck accident cases in OKC

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 truck accident attorneys in OKC will fight for the maximum possible financial recovery.

We can assist in seeking damages for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Lost wages 
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Medical expenses, including future care needs
  • Funeral and burial costs in cases of wrongful death
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Why choose the Law Offices of Stipe & Belote?

The legal team at The Law Offices of Stipe & Belote pursues full compensation for lost wages, lost earning capacity, permanent injuries, and mental and physical pain and suffering for truck accident victims. The legal team at the firm is known for achieving extraordinary results in negotiating fair settlements and in court. The legal team fights for justice and fair compensation from insurance companies who seek to reduce payouts, offering settlements much lower than the injured party deserves. As trial lawyers, the truck accident attorneys at the firm are very comfortable taking a case to a jury to decide when an insurance company fails to make a fair settlement offer.

We try cases and win

Our firm is focused strictly on personal injury litigation, including truck accidents. We listen to our clients and care about them. Our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys and staff are responsive to their needs and return calls. We get great results. We believe our years of success in personal injury law have been achieved due to a foundation of honesty, hard work, and dedication to our clients.

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What steps should I take immediately after being involved in a truck accident?

How can I assess if I have a valid legal claim following a truck accident?

What forms of compensation are available to pursue after a truck accident?

What is the timeframe for filing a legal claim following a truck accident?

How does insurance coverage factor into truck accident claims?

What steps should I take if contacted by the trucking company's insurance?

How does the legal process typically unfold for truck accident claims?

What is the potential timeline for resolving a truck accident legal claim?

How does comparative negligence impact truck accident claims?

What distinguishes a proficient truck accident attorney in handling legal claims?

What steps should I take immediately after being involved in a truck accident?

After a truck accident, prioritize safety by seeking medical attention for any injuries and moving to a safe location if possible. Exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver and document the scene with photos. Promptly report the accident to law enforcement and seek legal guidance to protect your rights.

How can I assess if I have a valid legal claim following a truck accident?

Assessing the validity of a legal claim after a truck accident involves evaluating factors like the cause of the accident, extent of injuries, and liability. You may have a valid claim if the accident resulted from the truck driver's negligence, equipment failure, or other factors beyond your control.

What forms of compensation are available to pursue after a truck accident?

Following a truck accident, you may seek compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and punitive damages in certain cases.

What is the timeframe for filing a legal claim following a truck accident?

The timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, varies by state. It's crucial to be aware of the applicable statute of limitations to avoid forfeiting your right to seek compensation.

How does insurance coverage factor into truck accident claims?

Insurance coverage plays a crucial role in truck accident claims, as commercial trucking companies must carry substantial insurance policies. Understanding commercial trucking insurance complexities, coverage limits, and the claims process is essential for maximizing benefits.

What steps should I take if contacted by the trucking company's insurance?

If contacted by the trucking company's insurance, proceed cautiously. Avoid providing recorded statements or signing documents without consulting a truck accident attorney. Legal representation can protect your rights and prevent exploitation during the claims process.

How does the legal process typically unfold for truck accident claims?

The legal process often starts with a thorough investigation, including evidence collection and liability assessment. Negotiations with insurance companies or at-fault parties may follow, potentially leading to a settlement. Litigation and trial may be necessary if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

What is the potential timeline for resolving a truck accident legal claim?

The timeline varies based on factors such as case complexity, injury severity, and negotiation willingness. Some cases resolve within months through settlement, while others may require more time, especially if litigation is involved.

How does comparative negligence impact truck accident claims?

Comparative negligence, recognized in some states, can affect compensation awards proportionate to fault. Understanding its application is vital, as it influences potential damages recovery.

What distinguishes a proficient truck accident attorney in handling legal claims?

A proficient attorney possesses knowledge, experience, and resources to advocate effectively for your rights. At Stipe & Belote Personal Injury Law, we're dedicated to guiding you through every step. Contact us for a consultation today.

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