Day and night, Oklahoma City’s streets and roads are filled with trucks. The convergence of major highways like I-35, I-40, and I-44 makes this city a crucial crossroads for commercial transportation. While this bustling activity fuels the economy, it also brings the potential for truck accidents to the forefront.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Oklahoma City, Carr & Carr is here to help. Our team of dedicated Oklahoma City truck accident lawyers understands the challenges you face after a devastating collision. We recognize that these accidents can have profound consequences and are here to fight for the fair compensation you deserve. Contact Carr & Carr today to get the support you need during this difficult time.
Why Hire Carr & Carr for Your OKC Truck Accident Claim?
- Decades of Knowledge: Carr & Carr has decades of experience in handling truck accident cases. Our semi-truck accident attorneys have the insights and strategies necessary to navigate these cases effectively.
- Proven Results: Over the years, we’ve consistently achieved favorable outcomes for truck accident victims, ensuring they receive the maximum compensation they rightfully deserve.
- Personalized Attention: At Carr & Carr, we recognize that no two trucking accident cases are the same. Our legal team takes the time to listen to your story and tailor our approach to your specific situation.
- Risk-Free Representation: Our law firm operates on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t be burdened by upfront costs or attorney fees unless we win your case. This approach alleviates financial stress during challenging times.
- Caring Support: We genuinely care about your well-being throughout the process. We recognize the toll that truck accidents can take on injury victims and their families. Our compassionate support is there to help you navigate these challenges.
- Clear Communication: Effective communication is essential, which is why we prioritize accessibility. You can easily reach out to us and we keep you informed at every step, ensuring you’re never left in the dark about your case’s progress.
Why Are Truck Accidents in Oklahoma City So Serious?
Any car accident can result in catastrophic damage and serious injuries, but severe consequences are much more common in crashes that involve large trucks. According to the definition from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), any vehicle with a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds qualifies as a large truck. Common examples you might see on OKC highways and interstates are tractor-trailers, construction vehicles, garbage trucks, tankers, and box trucks.
Semi-trucks and other types of extremely large and heavy vehicles are very likely to inflict heavy damage and injuries during a crash, especially in situations involving smaller passenger vehicles, pedestrians, or motorcycles. Motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks can also have many secondary consequences. For example, an overturned tanker truck may leak fuel, causing environmental damage and fire hazards. Or a tractor-trailer may drop its cargo all over the road, causing other vehicles to crash.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Oklahoma City?
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), there were 5,638 large truck crashes in Oklahoma in 2019, and 81 of them involved a fatality. In that year, large truck collisions caused 90 deaths and 1,914 injuries in Oklahoma. Local news providers frequently report on truck accidents in Oklahoma City, oftentimes on interstates or other large roads and highways.
There are several common causes of truck accidents:
- Driver Error/Negligence: Many truck accidents happen because of the truck driver’s negligent actions. This could include things like not paying attention to the road, failing to obey traffic rules, or making unsafe lane changes.
- Speeding/Loss of Control: Speeding is a significant factor in truck accidents. When a truck is traveling too fast, it becomes harder to control, especially in adverse weather conditions. Losing control of a big rig can lead to catastrophic accidents.
- Drugs/Alcohol: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous practice that impairs a driver’s judgment and reaction time, making accidents more likely.
- Distracted Driving: Distractions such as texting, eating, or using a mobile phone divert a driver’s attention away from the road. This can result in delayed reactions and contribute to accidents.
- Driver Fatigue: Long hours on the road can lead to driver fatigue, which is a major concern in the trucking industry. Fatigued drivers are less alert and have slower reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Vehicle Malfunctions: Mechanical issues with the truck itself can lead to accidents. Problems like a flat tire, brake failure, or carrying an excessive load can make it challenging for the driver to maintain control of the vehicle, leading to accidents.
Understanding these common causes of commercial truck accidents is crucial not only for preventing them but also for determining liability in the event of an accident. In many cases, more than one factor may contribute to an accident, making it necessary to investigate thoroughly to establish fault and seek appropriate compensation.
Steps To Take After a Truck Accident in Oklahoma City
If you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle in Oklahoma City, follow these steps to prepare for your compensation claim:
- Call the Authorities: Dial 911 or the non-emergency police number to report the accident. Be sure to provide thorough details for the collision report. To protect your legal rights and interests, do not apologize or admit fault during this process.
- Get Medical Attention: If there are visible injuries, call an ambulance or visit the emergency room promptly. Seek medical evaluation even if injuries aren’t immediately apparent; some truck accident injuries may have delayed symptoms. Once treatment starts, your medical records will document the extent of your injuries.
- Gather Evidence: If you can do so safely, document the accident scene thoroughly. Take photos of all vehicles and property damage and document your own injuries. You should also collect contact information from witnesses.
- Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney: While not mandatory, consulting with an OKC accident lawyer can be beneficial. Representation often results in better settlements from the trucking company or insurance company. Carr & Carr is here to assist you in securing the financial compensation you deserve from the responsible party.
How Is Liability Determined for Truck Accidents in Oklahoma City?
Liability determination for truck accidents can be difficult. Oklahoma employs a modified comparative negligence standard, which states that any party involved in the accident may be assigned a percentage of liability. However, it’s crucial to note that if a party is deemed to be over 50% liable, they may not be able to collect damages.
In accidents involving large trucks, there are multiple potentially liable parties, including:
- The truck driver
- The truck owner
- The trailer owner
- The truck company
- The truck manufacturer
- The manufacturers of truck parts such as tires, brakes, and coupling mechanisms
- The cargo loading agent
- The entity responsible for maintaining the truck.
When pursuing damages after an Oklahoma truck accident, you may find yourself dealing with any of these liable parties and their respective insurance providers. However, it’s common for insurers and trucking companies to attempt to avoid liability or offer less-than-fair damages. Therefore, it’s essential to seek legal counsel to ensure that your rights and interests are protected during the claims process.
How Much Is My OKC Truck Accident Case Worth?
The value of your OKC truck accident case depends on several key factors. These factors, many of which are outlined below, collectively determine the final settlement amount you may be entitled to receive.
- Your Injuries: The nature and severity of your injuries are paramount. More severe injuries, such as fractured bones, head trauma, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury, typically lead to higher compensation amounts.
- Medical Expenses: Your total medical costs are a significant consideration. This includes past and ongoing medical bills, surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and anticipated future medical bills related to your injury.
- Loss of Income: This includes wages missed during your recovery and any potential reduction in future earning capacity if your ability to work is compromised.
- Property Damage: If your personal property, like your vehicle, was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for repair or replacement costs.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, including physical pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress caused by the injury, are considered when determining the case’s value.
- Comparative Fault: If you share some degree of responsibility for the accident, it can reduce the final compensation amount.
- Quality of Legal Representation: Hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer can enhance the case’s value. They can skillfully negotiate and strategize, potentially leading to a higher settlement.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In Oklahoma, you generally have two years to file a truck accident lawsuit. However, it’s important to consult an 18-wheeler accident lawyer as soon as possible because waiting too long can make it harder to gather key evidence, find witnesses, and meet important deadlines for filing your truck accident lawsuit. This could weaken your case and reduce your chances of getting fair compensation.
There are certain situations that can extend the two-year statute of limitations:
- If the injured person is under a legal disability at the time of the accident, such as being a minor (under 18 in Oklahoma) or legally incapacitated, it can change the deadline. In such cases, once the period of disability ends—meaning the person turns 18 or is declared legally competent, there is a one-year window to file the lawsuit.
- When the defendant leaves the state or conceals themselves within the state before a lawsuit can be filed, the time of absence or concealment typically isn’t counted as part of the time limit for filing the suit.
Why Hire a Lawyer to Handle Your Truck Accident Case?
Truck accident cases in Oklahoma City are often complicated, making them difficult to investigate. This is where an experienced attorney from Carr & Carr can be your invaluable partner. Here’s why legal representation matters:
- Truck accidents often involve intricate details and multiple parties. Carr & Carr’s personal injury attorneys are skilled at investigating the facts and circumstances. They leave no stone unturned in their quest to recover all available evidence, ensuring a solid foundation for your case.
- To build a compelling case, our personal injury lawyers collaborate with experts in various fields. They work closely with crash reconstructionists, professionals well-versed in the trucking industry, and engineering experts. This collaborative effort makes it easier to pinpoint the party or parties responsible for the crash.
- Determining all potential sources of financial compensation is a crucial aspect of your case. Our Oklahoma City trucking accident lawyers work hard to identify these sources to ensure that your damages are fully covered.
- Properly documenting your injuries and financial losses is essential in any truck accident case. Our lawyers take great care in recording every detail, including any anticipated future losses arising from the accident. This thorough documentation strengthens your case and supports your claim for compensation.
- In situations where negotiations do not yield a satisfactory result, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to court. They provide strong representation during the trial, advocating tirelessly for your best interests. Rest assured that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
By enlisting the support of a Carr & Carr attorney for your Oklahoma City truck accident case, you gain a knowledgeable ally who will work diligently to secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Get a Free Consultation From an Oklahoma City Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
Pursuing financial compensation after a trucking accident in OKC can be overwhelming, especially if you are trying to recover from devastating injuries or are dealing with the death of a loved one. At Carr & Carr, we want to help you get a fair settlement. Whether your Oklahoma City accident involved a box truck, tractor-trailer, or flatbed, we have the expertise to pursue the settlement you deserve.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, contact our office in Oklahoma City. We’ll talk about the particulars of the crash and explain the options you have for your personal injury claim. We’ve helped many Oklahoma City accident victims and their families get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and even wrongful death. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us today.