Oklahoma City Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a commercial truck accident, the Oklahoma City truck accident attorneys of Dan Davis Law can help you fight for the case outcome that you need to move forward. Although every motor vehicle accident has the potential to be devastating, 18-wheeler accidents are known for being extremely harmful to victims, often inflicting catastrophic and fatal injuries. At Dan Davis Law, we take our commitment to clients seriously. We will do what it takes to help you achieve the justice and financial compensation that you deserve.
If you have lost a loved one due to a trucking accident, please visit our Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyer page for more information on your case.
Oklahoma City Truck Accident Resources:
- Why Choose Dan Davis For Your Oklahoma City Truck Accident Claim?
- What Is The Definition Of A Commercial Vehicle?
- Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In Oklahoma City
- Truth About Cargo Truck Accidents
- Truck Accident Statistics In Oklahoma City
- What To Do After An Oklahoma City Truck Accident
- How An OKC Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
- Truck Accidents And Insurance Companies
- What To Know About Truck Accident Claims
- Common Truck Accident Injuries
- Oklahoma City Truck Driver Regulations
- Compensation In An Oklahoma City Truck Accident Case
Why Choose An Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyer From Dan Davis Law?
- With more than 25 years of experience, hundreds of millions of dollars won and thousands of resolved cases, we have what it takes to successfully handle your case.
- We have the experience, knowledge, and tools to obtain maximum results for each client. We have licensed OKC injury attorneys who can take your truck accident case to court, if necessary.
- Our law firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis, with no fees assessed unless we win financial compensation for the client.
What Is The Definition Of A Commercial Vehicle?
While we think of trucks as large 18-wheelers, semis, or big box trucks, there are many types of vehicles that qualify as commercial carriers. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), any vehicle that weighs more than 10,001 pounds, carries hazardous materials, or transports more than 15 people is a commercial motor vehicle. Trucks and vans considered commercial motor vehicles include the following:
- Flatbed trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Amazon delivery vans
- Gas tankers
- Moving trucks
- Cement trucks
- Charter buses
- Utility trucks
- Public transit or city buses
- School buses
- Fire trucks
- Tow trucks
These large vehicles are common causes of the most damage to other vehicles and serious injuries in an accident. Generally, the larger and heavier the truck, the more severe the related injuries in an accident.
What Are the Common Causes Of Truck Accidents in Oklahoma City?
In Oklahoma, the state’s fault insurance law requires injured car accident victims to determine the causes of their accidents before they can file claims. This is because the law holds the at-fault party responsible for paying for victims’ medical bills and property repairs. You may need a law firm to assist you in truck accident investigation and evidence collection. A truck accident attorney can determine the cause of the collision with assistance from experts such as crash reconstructionists.
Common causes of commercial carrier accidents in Oklahoma include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Distracted driving/cell phone use
- Drowsy driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Breaking roadway rules
- Following too closely
- Hiring or training problems at the company
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Overloaded or improperly loaded truck
- Defective truck part
Truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to obey safety laws and do what is necessary to prevent accidents. Carelessly violating any of the rules could result in a serious traffic accident. If an investigation finds that a commercial trucking company or one of its employees – including an independently contracted truck driver – caused your truck accident in Oklahoma City, the company could be financially responsible (liable) for your losses.
The Truth Behind Cargo Truck Accidents
Accidents involving trucks aren’t always typical traffic accidents, collisions, or jackknife accidents. Sometimes spilled cargo causes an accident. Loose heavy equipment rolling from a truck, toxic chemical spills, and even non-hazardous spills can cause devastating accidents to fellow travelers on the road. Cargo shifts are typically a sign of liability on the part of the trucking company due to items that weren’t properly secured. Strict regulations for securing cargo apply to all types of carrier vehicles. Regulations require that truckers properly ensure all cargo before transport begins. When these rules aren’t followed and a related accident causes you injury, you have a claim for damages.
How Common are Truck Accidents in Oklahoma City?
Sadly, Oklahoma City is one of the top cities cited for fatal accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks. Statistics recorded between 2015 and 2017 revealed 30 crashes resulting in fatalities in that two-year period alone, putting the city in the top ten of the United States for truck-related accidents. Many other accidents occur without fatalities, often leaving devastating injuries.
Underride truck accidents involving a car sliding under the back or side of a big rig cause the most deaths and severe injuries. Some catastrophic accidents are also caused by truck override accidents which occur when a large truck rolls right over a smaller vehicle, causing crushing damage. These cause massive damage and extensive injuries or death.
The most common time of day for truck accidents is between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM, with Thursday and Friday the deadliest days of the week on the road.
What to Do In the Aftermath of a Truck Accident
Trucks are large, loud, and intimidating. They also cause some of the most devastating accidents on the road. If you’ve been in an accident involving a large truck or heavy commercial carrier, it’s traumatic and frightening. But if you’re able to function without further compromising your injuries, it’s important to stay calm and follow some important steps that will be extremely helpful to your case later on.
- Call 911 and if your car is operable, move it to the shoulder of the road and out of traffic
- Seek medical treatment immediately, either through the paramedics or emergency response personnel, or at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office
- Collect contact information from the other driver(s) and record the name of the trucking company
- Collect witness names and contact information and if possible record their eye-witness descriptions of the accident
- If you’re mobile and it doesn’t compromise your safety, take photos of the vehicles involved and the immediate surroundings in the location of the accident. Have witnesses send you any photos or videos they took of the crash or the immediate aftermath
- Be sure your medical team carefully documents your injuries and recommended treatment plans and be open with them about every symptom you experience even if they appear unrelated to your main injuries
- Don’t speak to an insurance adjuster without guidance from an attorney, and don’t respond to health-related questions. Instead, wait for your attorney to draft a demand letter detailing your injuries
- Contact a law firm with decades of experience in negotiation and litigation with truck companies for accident claims, like the Dan Davis Law Firm in Oklahoma City
- Avoid posting about your accident or condition on social media
By keeping a clear head during one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences, you can help your case for recovering essential damages later on so financial worries won’t negatively impact your physical and emotional recovery.
How Can An Oklahoma Truck Accident Attorney Help You?
Following a truck accident in Oklahoma City, you don’t have to go up against a powerful trucking company or insurance corporation on your own as an injured victim or loved one. You have the right to hire an attorney who understands these accidents to represent and assist you. A truck accident attorney can take care of claims filing, crash investigation, evidence collection, eyewitness interviews, expert testimony, and more on your behalf – allowing you to focus on your physical and psychological recoveries. Hiring a truck accident attorney can prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you and increase the value of your settlement or judgment award.
Common Tactics Truck Insurance Companies Use to Deny or Undervalue Claims
Insurance companies function on the simple principle of taking in more money by collecting premiums than they pay out in claims in order to make a profit. For this reason, they often search for any reason to undervalue a claim, delay it, or deny it completely. Some common maneuvers used by insurance company adjusters include:
- Offering quick settlements, sometimes before you could possibly know or understand the extent of your injuries and the amount of time and money it will take for your recovery
- Delaying the processing of your claim in the hopes that they’ll wear you down so you give up and accept a low settlement payment
- Demanding a recorded statement in the hopes that they can later use it to claim a contradiction or change in your story
- Purposely misrepresenting your rights and their coverage policy
- Telling you that you don’t need an attorney or that an attorney will take most of your settlement in order to discourage you from getting the aggressive legal representation that you need to get the most for your claim
Though some claim denials may be valid, often an insurance company uses less than legitimate tactics or stretches the legalities in order to maximize their profits.
What To Know About Oklahoma City Commercial Carrier Accident Claims
It can be even more important to hire a personal injury lawyer after a truck accident than a standard Oklahoma City car accident claim. Motor vehicle collisions with commercial carriers have complex related laws and statutes.
Correctly navigating these laws is one of your responsibilities as an injured crash victim or surviving a loved one. A lawyer from Dan Davis Law can help you understand all of Oklahoma’s truck accident laws and what makes these cases unique, including:
- Federal rules and regulations: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces many federal laws that are in place to improve the safety of the commercial trucking industry. All common carriers must obey these rules, including hours-of-service regulations, cargo securement requirements, drug and alcohol testing protocols, hiring and training laws, and more.
- Vicarious liability: The legal doctrine of vicarious liability often applies to commercial truck accident cases since trucking companies are employers. Vicarious liability is the allocation of legal responsibility to an employer for mistakes made by on-duty employees. This law means that you can most likely hold a trucking company responsible for the mistakes of a driver.
- Catastrophic injuries: Truck accidents in Oklahoma often result in catastrophic injuries. A catastrophic injury inflicts long-term or permanent bodily injury on a victim, such as the loss of an important bodily function or a limb. It is more likely for a commercial truck accident to cause catastrophic injuries than a standard car accident.
- Special evidence: Truck accident injury claims have unique types of evidence. Unlike a standard passenger vehicle, commercial trucks are equipped with black boxes (event data recorders). The data from a black box could prove that the truck driver made a mistake, or the truck experienced a malfunction. Other evidence may include employment records, driving histories, compliance reports, and truck maintenance logs.
Trucking companies often send crash investigators and others to the scene of a truck accident immediately – sometimes, even before the police arrive. These rapid response teams are deployed to try to collect evidence before anyone else has the chance. Although rapid response teams are supposed to be unbiased, they work for the trucking company. The best way to protect your rights and build your injury case is by contacting an Oklahoma City accident attorney right away.
Common Injuries Related to Large Truck Accidents In OKC
Large commercial carrier trucks can weigh up to 30 times the weight of an average passenger car. A collision between a car and a large commercial truck can cause devastating injuries as well as fatalities. A knowledgeable attorney knows how to work with medical experts to determine the full scope of your injuries and their related costs in both medical expenses and loss of income and future income. Some of the most common injuries related to accidents with large trucks include:
- Limb amputations
- Fractured bones, including ribs
- Head injuries including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Chest injuries
- Body or facial disfigurement
- Eye loss
- Injuries to internal organs
- Herniated discs
- Soft tissue injuries and whiplash
The types of injuries experienced by victims of truck accidents can be life-changing and involve years of medical treatments for recovery. An accident can also cause lasting emotional trauma including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, any of which may require professional treatment to help with emotional recovery.
Besides a requirement for larger insurance policies, trucks, buses, and large commercial vehicles must rigorously adhere to the strict regulations placed on them by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These include the following:
- Trucks require a comprehensive annual inspection
- Strict emissions standards
- Commercial driver’s license requirements
- Strict routine and annual maintenance requirements
- Registration and insurance requirements
- Special training requirements
- Regulations for passengers
- Detailed logs maintained
- Truck routing regulations
If a trucking company failed to meet any of these strict federal requirements it establishes its liability in an accident. Unfortunately, many powerful trucking companies try to undervalue claims against them and offer quick settlements that are far less than most victims deserve for their damages. That’s why you need an attorney fighting aggressively at your side and advocating for complete compensation for your injuries and losses.
Compensation Available for a Truck Accident in Oklahoma City
A successful truck accident lawsuit in Oklahoma City could result in reimbursement for many of your expenses connected to the collision. Civil law in Oklahoma allows injured accident victims to request financial compensation for their economic losses – such as medical bills, lost wages, lost capacity to earn, and property repairs – in addition to noneconomic losses, such as physical pain and emotional distress. For your suffering, you could be eligible for compensation for all of your past and future losses and expenses after a truck accident, especially with the help of our Oklahoma City brain injury lawyers and spinal cord attorneys, depending on your injury.
Understanding Non-Economic Damages In Oklahoma City Car Accident Claims
Economic losses are easy to quantify in a claim against a trucking company. Medical bills and lost income involve simple mathematical calculations. Non-economic losses may be more difficult to calculate but that doesn’t make them any less important when it comes to recovering damages for a devastating injury. The most common non-economic loss claims include:
- Pain and suffering caused by the injury and the recovery process
- Mental anguish claims related to physical suffering and the interruption of normal activities and lifestyle
- Loss of enjoyment of life claims due to an injury’s effect on your daily life including the inability to engage in previous activities like sports, hobbies, leisure activities, gardening, playing with children, etc.
- Loss of consortium, or the inability to enjoy a physically romantic relationship with a spouse or partner
- Punitive damages are sometimes filed as a monetary award for a truck accident victim in Oklahoma when the driver acted extremely recklessly or committed an especially dangerous violation. This not only compensates the victim for injuries and suffering but also acts as a penalty and deterrent for the at-fault party. Punitive damages may help truck companies to enforce stricter guidelines and training to prevent similar occurrences.
A skilled lawyer can help you to gain compensation and damages not only for your economic losses but also for the serious toll that a devastating injury takes on your life.
Contact an Oklahoma City Truck Accident Attorney From Dan Davis Law Today
You aren’t alone as the injured victim of a commercial truck accident. The attorneys at Dan Davis Law are here to support you and your family through the recovery process. We will answer your questions and make sure that you have all of the information that you need. Please contact us if you were recently involved in a truck accident in Oklahoma City. During a free consultation, we will let you know how we can help you get through this difficult time. Contact us or call (405) 930-4210 today.