Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyer
An accident involving a commercial vehicle, semi-truck, or big rig can be devastating. Crashes of this nature often lead to permanently incapacitating injury or death. If you or a loved one recently sustained a serious injury after an accident with a truck, you have legal options. Learn how Oklahoma law provides recourse for victims of trucking accidents – and when to contact a Oklahoma accident attorney. Trucking accidents require an experienced hand. If you or a loved one is struggling under the weight of medical bills and ongoing therapy costs, you don’t have to face it alone call the truck accident lawyers at Bryan & Terrill today for more information and let us help you fight for compensation.
Truck Accident Resources
- Who is Liable for a Truck Accident in Tulsa
- Compensation in a Truck Accident Case
- Laws Governing Accidents with Commercial Vehicles
- Common Causes of Truck Wrecks
- Truck Accident Statistics
- Contact a Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyer
Considerations for Trucking Accidents
An accident involving a commercial vehicle is often more complicated that a regular traffic accident. There are many more parties involved, from the driver of the truck, to their employer, and even the truck’s manufacturer. Understanding the relationships between these parties is essential to filing a personal injury claim and making the most of your case.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Any number of people may be responsible for a victim’s suffering that results from trucking accidents including:
- The Driver or Owner/Operator of the Truck. As with all other auto accidents, all involved drivers will be investigated. It’s important to note, accidents involving trucks are not automatically or always the trucker’s fault and driver’s should respect the larger vehicles while sharing the road. Speeding, substance abuse and drowsy driving are three of the most common causes of truck accidents in Tulsa.
- The Trucker’s Employer. Trucking companies are held to strict safety protocols; unfortunately, many have been found guilty of cutting corners to cut down on costs or delivery times. Some examples of employer negligence in a truck accident lawsuit may include requiring drivers to work overtime or loading the truck up past the legal maximum weight. The former could lead to driver fatigue, a common cause of semi-truck accidents, while the latter is damaging to roads and can limit a driver’s control over the truck.
- The Manufacturer of the Vehicle. Poor design or incorrect manufacturing of a truck or car may intensify a crash.
- The Manufacturer of Component Parts or Repairs. Brakes, engine parts, lights and all other safety features must be properly inspected, installed and repaired at all times in large trucks. A study funded by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance once found one in five trucks failed safety inspections. Your Tulsa truck accident attorney should have the necessary resources to fully investigate such scenarios.
- The Loader of the Truck. Not only is the overall weight of the truck important, but also how the weight is positioned in the bed. Too much weight in the front or back of the truck bed may adversely affect the driver’s control while steering and braking.
These cases can quickly become complicated. Determining the party responsible will be essential to your case, as bringing a suit against the wrong party could result in dismissal. After discussing your crash and injuries in a free consultation, our truck accident lawyers will immediately begin investigating possible negligent parties. Contact Bryan & Terrill Law today for help!
Difficulties in Truck Accident Claims and Lawsuits
Truck accident claims are more complicated than most people realize- and trucking companies will fight back. Depending on the location, some companies will immediately send out their legal representative or an accident reconstruction expert to the crash scene to begin gathering evidence in their favor. It’s imperative all individuals involved in the crash only speak with their attorney or the on-scene police.
Truck accidents are fairly common and companies are ready to defend their name and driver. Some common legal problems that arise in these claims include:
- Falsifying Records. Attorneys should be well-versed in the more common “tactics” trucking companies use to allow their drivers to drive more than legally allowed, often resulting in driver fatigue. From falsifying logs to only using gas stations that don’t print time-stamped receipts, accident lawyers will need to conduct their own investigation and uncover any discrepancies.
- Proving Company Protocol is Not Followed or Mandated. Just because the employer handbook states federal and state laws to the tee, doesn’t mean companies follow them to the tee behind closed doors. Through interviews and/or working with investigators, a truck accident lawyer should look for any negligent behavior. Even if the company is not breaking the law, their policies may be inappropriate or lacking which can make a substantial difference between losing and winning a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
- Aggressive Litigation. Trucking companies have extensive insurance coverage and well-funded resources including the company’s legal team, investigators and in-house accident reconstruction experts. These companies have more incentive than most to fiercely defend their innocence with much to lose if found at-fault. If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, hire an attorney with experience and resources for a competitive match.
Laws Governing Accidents with Commercial Vehicles
Truck accidents are a matter of federal law. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets certain standard for truckers, the companies who employ them, and owner/operators to meet. These standards often determine who is liable for a truck accident.
For example, one of the leading causes of truck accidents is driver error. Drivers must take periodic breaks, get a certain amount of sleep each night, and keep accurate logs. Failure to do any of these things can increase the chances of being in an accident.
Some specific federal regulations that may prove negligence in an accident/ personal injury lawsuit include:
- Truck drivers must be drug tested after a fatal accident or when cited for a moving violation involving towing of a vehicle or requiring medical care away from the accident scene
- Blood alcohol levels of commercial truck drivers has a lower legal limit than non-commercial drivers; states are allowed to set the minimum, with most at 0.4 percent BAC
- Drivers may drive 11 hours each day only after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- Drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours per week may only resume driving after 34 hours off duty
- Drivers must take a 30-minute break sometime during the first eight hours of their shift
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Driver error
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Equipment failure
- Excessive speeding
- Non-compliance with state or federal truck regulations
- Changing lanes abruptly
How Common are Oklahoma Truck Accidents?
The number of truck accidents is rising steadily across the nation. In the past two decades, there has been a 20% uptick in accidents involving commercial vehicles. Even though commercial vehicles are only responsible for a small minority of accidents (around 3%), the effects of these crashes are often devastating.
In Oklahoma, there are well over 5,000 accidents involving large trucks each year. Between 2007 and 2016 (the most current data as of Feb. 2018), 13,790 Oklahomans were injured and 890 fatalities.
Large Truck Accidents by Month
Large Truck Crashes by Day
Large Truck Wrecks by Time of Day
|Time (a.m.)||Crashes||Time (p.m.)||Crashes
|00:00 - 00:59||39||13:00 - 13:59||360
|1:00 - 1:59||62||14:00 - 14:59||410|
|2:00 - 2:59||70||15:00 - 15:49||402|
|3:00 - 3:59||55||16:00 - 16:59||342|
|4:00 - 4:59||68||17:00 - 17:59||265|
|5:00 - 5:59||84||18:00 - 18:59||216|
|6:00 - 6:59||167||19:00 - 19:59||164|
|7:00 - 7:59||283||20:00 - 20:59||99|
|8:00 - 8:59||349||21:00 - 21:59||109|
|9:00 - 9:59||305||22:00 - 22:59||87|
|10:00 - 10:59||317||23:00 - 23:59||69|
|11:00 - 11:59||336||Unkown||24|
|12:00 - 12: 59||369||Total (2016)||5051|
All data provided by Oklahoma’s Highway Safety Office and our Visual Crash Fatality Dashboard
Finding a Trucking Accident Attorney
A personal injury lawsuit can help you be compensated for all damages associated with your accident. Let the truck accident attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law provide you with advice in a free initial consultation. We offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, which means if we don’t recover damages on your behalf, we won’t charge a fee. To learn more about our trucking accident legal services, meet with us in a free, non-committal consultation.