Truck accidents can be more dangerous, destructive and fatal compared to crashes involving regular non-commercial vehicles. The impact of a truck accident can be devastating, and the costs can be much higher.
Nationwide, over 5,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2018. That’s an 8% increase from 2016 to 2018. Unfortunately, truck accidents in Oklahoma were on the rise in recent years, too. In 2017, there were 5,540 large truck accidents in Oklahoma alone. Oklahoma’s State Highway 9 is even deemed one of the most dangerous highways in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you were injured or a loved one died as a result of a truck accident in Oklahoma, the team of attorneys at Carr & Carr are here to help. Please call our office at 866-510-0580 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with an experienced attorney on our team.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
The aftermath of any motor vehicle accident, but especially one involving a large truck, can be overwhelming and stressful. Follow these steps after a truck accident to protect yourself and your legal rights. This way, you’ll have the best chance of filing a successful lawsuit later if needed.
Call local law enforcement and request both an ambulance and the police. You’ll report the accident and let police know what happened. Make sure you receive a copy of the police report before leaving the scene.
Even if you and anyone else involved in the accident feels fine and appears to have no injuries, it’s still a good idea to seek medical attention. Not all injuries are apparent at first. Furthermore, an onsite medical evaluation can serve as evidence in a lawsuit later.
While waiting for the police and medical team, ask for names, contact information, and any other important details from other people involved in the accident. Make sure you collect information including:
- Name and phone number
- Insurance information, including company name and policy number
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers and vehicle descriptions
- Truck company name and any identifying information
- Accident location or address
- Police officer’s name and badge number
Keep conversation with others involved at the accident to a minimum. Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident.
If it’s safe to do so, take photos of all the vehicles involved in the accident, including the truck. Take photos of the scene and anything that may serve as evidence in a claim later, like:
- Damage or debris on or near the road that may have contributed to the accident (broken stop lights, construction zones, poor asphalt conditions, objects in the road, snowy or rainy conditions, etc.)
- The location of the accident
- Damage done to your vehicle and other vehicles involved
- Your injuries
You can also make notes and write down any details you think may be important while the events are still fresh in your mind. For example, you might write out how the vehicles are positioned after the crash, what might have led to the accident, or what you noticed the truck driver doing up until the crash occurred.
Contact your insurance company
Then, call your insurance company to report the accident. Your insurance company will ask you some questions, so answer them concisely and honestly. Just as you should when speaking to the police and other parties involved in the accident, do not admit fault and stick to the facts.
You’ll probably be contacted by an insurance adjuster soon after the truck accident. Do not sign anything or accept a settlement for the accident without speaking to a lawyer first. If you sign, you may forfeit your right to file a lawsuit.
Start the Trucking Accident Claim Process
If the insurance company offers a settlement amount that is too low, you may be considering filing a lawsuit, or claim, to receive an appropriate amount of financial compensation. If you’ve never filed a personal injury lawsuit before, you may not know where to start.
The first thing to be mindful of is the statute of limitations. In Oklahoma, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Keep this deadline in mind. If you wait too long to file a claim, you may have a lesser chance of winning your case.
Then, contact an attorney who can help you file your claim. An attorney is not required for filing a personal injury lawsuit, but there are many benefits to working with one.
It’s also important to note that the truck driver is not the only one involved in the settlement and lawsuit process. So is their employer, maintenance or repair companies responsible for the truck, companies who manufactured truck parts, and so on. Because so many parties are involved, proving liability, or responsibility, can be extremely difficult, especially on your own. Communicating with everyone involved can be exhausting, too. A lawyer can handle all of this on your behalf and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Once you find a lawyer who can help you with your case, they’ll walk you through the rest of the claim process. They’ll help you understand how much damages, or compensation, you can recover from the accident. They’ll also help you collect evidence, demand compensation, handle settlement, and go to trial, if necessary.
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
A “simple” accident involving two non-commercial vehicles can be tricky enough to navigate alone. When a truck is involved, things get even more complicated.
An experienced truck accident attorney can help you understand your legal options, handle communication, and file a lawsuit for you. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Oklahoma, set up a free consultation with an attorney at Carr & Carr today. Call 866-510-0580 or contact us online to get started. For more news resources and information on our firm, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or like and follow the Carr & Carr Facebook page.