With its location in the middle of the country, Oklahoma hosts thousands of long-haul truckers on its roads and highways every year. Two interstates (I-40 and I-35) go through the state capital, and unfortunately, there are lots of trucking accidents in Oklahoma City and other parts of the state.
Truck accidents can cause severe injuries, especially to drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. If you get injured in a truck accident, it’s challenging to focus on your recovery when you’re dealing with representatives of the trucking company and various insurance providers who are often trying to get you to agree to an unfairly low settlement.
At Carr & Carr, we want you to know that you have other options. For nearly five decades, we’ve helped Oklahoma City victims of semi-truck crashes get fair compensation from trucking companies and their insurance providers.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in an Oklahoma City trucking accident, we are here to discuss your case and your legal options. Schedule a free consultation online or call our Oklahoma City office at 405-691-1600.
Why Are Trucking 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. 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 Trucking 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 accidents 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 trucking accidents:
- Driver error/negligence
- Speeding/loss of control
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving (texting, eating)
- Vehicle malfunctions (flat tire, brake failure, overloaded cargo)
While these factors can cause any type of motor vehicle accident, the consequences are usually more serious when a large truck is involved in the crash.
Seeking Compensation for Trucking Accidents in Oklahoma City
If you’re injured in an accident with a large truck where you’re not at fault, you may pursue damages from the liable party (usually the truck driver and/or the transportation company). A fair settlement should include financial compensation for:
- Property damage
- Long-term disability or paralysis
- Lost wages while you recover from injuries
- Loss of potential earnings if your injury is permanent
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
Some trucking accidents are fatal. If you lose a loved one in a truck crash, you may be able to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit.
Steps To Take After a Trucking Accident in Oklahoma City
If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, make sure to follow these steps to prepare for your compensation claim.
Call the authorities
Call 911 or the non-emergency number for the police to report the accident. It’s important to provide as much information as possible for the collision report. You should not apologize for the accident or admit fault.
Get medical attention
If there are obvious injuries, call an ambulance or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. It’s important for everyone involved in the crash to get checked by a medical professional because some injuries don’t present symptoms right away.
If you don’t need immediate emergency medical attention, take the time to document the accident as thoroughly as possible. Take pictures of damage, including all vehicles and property damage. Document your injuries as well. Get contact information for any witnesses, and make notes of the license plates of all involved vehicles.
Schedule a consultation with an attorney
The law doesn’t require you to be represented by a lawyer for a truck accident claim. However, victims who do have representation often get a better settlement from the trucking company or insurance provider. At Carr & Carr, we can help you get the compensation you deserve from the liable party.
How Is Liability Determined for Trucking Accidents in Oklahoma City?
Most motor vehicle accidents are complicated, and those involving semi-trucks or other large vehicles are especially complex in terms of liability. Because Oklahoma follows a modified comparative negligence standard, any involved party may be assigned a percentage of liability. Any party that is over 50 percent liable may not collect damages.
In an accident with a large truck, there are several parties who could potentially be liable:
- The truck manufacturer
- The manufacturer of truck parts (e.g. tires, brakes, coupling mechanism)
- The truck driver
- The truck owner and/or trailer owner
- The trucking company
- The cargo loading agent
- The person/company that maintains the truck
If you are eligible to collect damages in an Oklahoma truck accident, you will likely have to deal with the representatives of the liable parties and/or their insurance providers. It’s common for insurers and trucking companies to try to avoid liability or pay less-than-fair damages.
Contact Oklahoma City Trucking Accident Lawyers
Pursuing compensation after a trucking accident in OKC can be overwhelming, especially if you are trying to recover from 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 trucking accident, contact our office in Oklahoma City. We’ll talk about the particulars of the crash and explain the options you have for your claim. We’ve helped many Oklahoma City accident victims and their families get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and even wrongful death.
Call the Carr & Carr team at our Oklahoma City Office (405-691-1600) to schedule a free consultation or use the online contact form.