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Oklahoma City Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

OK investigation update in fatal commercial vehicle accident

Many Oklahoma commercial vehicles are used to transport passengers and items over short and long distances. Only professional drivers or people who have undergone extensive training in operating large vehicles are legally allowed to drive vehicles, such as passenger buses and trucks. Overall, commercial vehicle drivers are less likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents than drivers of most motor vehicles. Unfortunately, when they are involved in collisions, the results are often catastrophic.

This was the case in a recent accident involving a Quickway Transportation truck and a bus carrying members of the North Central Texas College women's softball team. Four players died when a truck traveling northbound on Interstate 35, near Davis apparently drifted across a median strip without braking and hit the southbound bus. The 9:00 p.m. accident also injured more than a dozen other people on the bus, including the coach who was driving. Two players remain in serious condition.

What type of lawsuit can arise in a fatal car accident?

Based on recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 33,500 fatalities resulted from motor vehicle accidents in 2012. The numbers in the previous year were almost equal to that number. The latest data shows that traffic fatalities rose by up to 3.3 percent. The data also shows that someone is involved in a fatal accident every 16 minutes. If one of your family members was killed in a car accident or any type of motor vehicle accident, you may be experiencing financial loss, as well. You also may be considering which type of lawsuit best fits your family's unique situation.

When a car accident results in the death of an Oklahoma resident, a wrongful death lawsuit may be a viable option. After a fatal accident, insurers may cover most of a family's losses, such as medical and funeral expenses. However, what about other losses, such as loss of companionship and pain and suffering? Wrongful death may follow in the wake of a fatal car crash if the negligence of another person was a contributing factor. If the fatal accident was caused by an intoxicated driver, the surviving family members of the victim may file a wrongful death claim and sue the responsible party for damages. Even though the responsible party is already facing criminal charges, that person can still be held civilly liable for your personal losses.

Latest statistics on accidents involving delivery trucks

Trucks used by various industries in the United States are considered commercial vehicles. These "big rigs," such as delivery trucks seen in and around Edmunds, Oklahoma, are large and weigh more than 10,000 pounds. Considering the size and weight of these trucks, it is easy to see why these vehicles are capable of causing severe damage to property and catastrophic injuries to people in the event of a commercial vehicle accident. The latest crash data from the National Traffic Safety Administration sheds some light on commercial vehicle accidents.

The data quantified accidents involving large trucks and stated that more than100,000 people were injured and almost 4,000 people were killed in 2012 and, for that same year, an estimated 333,000 large trucks were involved in motor vehicle accidents. In 2011, truck accidents resulted in almost 3,800 fatalities, which makes that a 4 percent increase for 2012. Occupants of other vehicles combined with large truck occupants made up the total number of fatalities. In 2011, 88,000 people were injured in crashes involving these types of trucks. Of the total number of injured people in 2012, 24 percent were truck occupants, 3 percent were non-occupants and the remaining were occupants of other motor vehicles.

What are the common causes of Oklahoma car accidents?

Oklahomans rely heavily on their cars for daily transportation. Because cars make up the majority of vehicles on the road, they are often involved in collisions with cars and other vehicles. Oklahomans may also know that car accidents can give rise to personal and wrongful death claims. These claims allow the injured parties to recover damages based on their losses. As a driver, you need to educate yourself regarding auto accidents and some common causes. Doing so can help prevent car accidents that can often lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

Drunk driving is one of the common causes of car accidents. In 2013, approximately one million drunk driving-related crashes resulted in injuries. Drivers who had consumed alcohol before they were involved in a collision can be held liable if the accident caused injuries or fatalities to other individuals. If you were involved in a drunk driving crash, you can cite the negligence of the drunk driver in your personal injury lawsuit. The lawsuit can state that the accident could have been prevented if the defendant had not consumed alcohol prior to the collision. Alcohol impairs a persons' mind, making that person prone to irrational decisions.

The importance of obtaining compensation in truck accidents

Trucks are used by various industries throughout the United States for transporting goods from one place to another. Here in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, driving next to a big rig is a normal occurrence. The only thing that scares most motorists is the probability of being involved in an accident with a truck.

Commercial trucks are up to 40 times heavier than common motor vehicles, such as cars. For this reason, trucks are capable of causing severe injuries and fatalities to passenger vehicle drivers and their passengers in the event of an accident. Truck accident victims often sustain debilitating injuries, including, but not limited to, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, paralysis and brain injuries. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, therapy and rehabilitation. Anyone who has been injured in a trucking accident should know that like other types of traffic accidents, truck accidents are governed by the law of negligence. If there is substantial evidence that can prove that the truck driver failed to exercise due caution prior to the collision, a victim may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

Eastern Oklahoma motorcycle accident leaves one seriously injured

Many Oklahoma residents enjoy riding motorcycles for basic transportation and to enjoy the thrill of the open road. For them, a two-wheeled vehicle provides a sense of freedom. Riding a motorcycle, however, is far more perilous than driving a car. Riders have to be careful when navigating traffic on roads and highways because the chances of a serious injury or of being killed are just a vehicle collision away.

Recently, in Le Flore County, about 145 miles southeast of Edmond, a motorcycle accident seriously injured one rider when he was struck by a motor vehicle. According to a report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the 56-year-old man was riding his 1999 Harley-Davidson motorcycle east on U.S. Highway 270 when the 54-year-old driver of a 2002 Jeep ran a stop sign and hit his motorcycle. The motorcyclist sustained severe leg and head injuries. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. OHP investigators say the rider was not wearing a helmet. The Jeep driver was unharmed in the collision.

Oklahoma and its goal to curb fatal accidents

Any motor vehicle accident could lead to serious or fatal injuries. Fatal car accidents can happen anywhere, and here in Oklahoma, local government units and various organizations monitor fatal accident reports and develop statistics to help them in addressing the issues behind such mishaps. The goal of annual accident reports is to provide a clear view of fatality trends in the state and to provide awareness to the motorists in an effort to promote safety.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 672 fatalities in 2013, down from 708 in 2012. Based on overall fatality trends, Oklahoma will have fewer fatalities in 2013 than in 2012. In 2012, the state was able to reach its goal for reduced total number of fatalities in rural areas - falling from 497 in 2011 to 467 in 2012. When it comes to fatality trends in urban areas, there was an expected increase from 241 fatalities in 2012 to 276 in 2013.

Who can be held liable in tour bus accidents?

Commercial vehicles are typically used to transport goods, livestock or people from one location to another anywhere across the country, including Oklahoma. Trucks, taxis, vans and buses are among the most common commercial vehicles. What about tour buses? The answer is yes, these are also commercial vehicles, and their drivers are expected to act responsibly because the lives of passengers depend on how they operate their vehicles.

In terms of total miles driven each year, accidents involving tour buses are relatively rare, but when they do happen the results are often catastrophic because of the numbers of people on board, many of whom are not restrained by seatbelts or shoulder harnesses as they would be in most passenger cars. Anyone riding a tour bus should always watch the driver to see if he or she is obeying traffic rules. In the event that driver negligence leads to injuries, the injured victims may be entitled to damages.

Sisters die in alleged drunken-driving car accident in Tulsa

Collisions between motor vehicles are, unfortunately, common throughout Oklahoma, often resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. In any accident involving injury or death, the question of who was responsible will likely be raised. Those who survive a collision often have different views about how and why the accident happened, but it is usually up to investigators to put the pieces of the accident puzzle together and determine the exact cause of the crash.

Investigators in Tulsa are fairly certain they know what led to a recent fatal car accident that killed two sisters, ages 12 and 16. According to police, a suspected drunken driver caused the crash following an evening of drinking at different bars in the area. The suspected drunken driver was seen driving her sport utility vehicle at high speed before striking a car containing five people.

Truck accident kills 49-year-old pickup driver under OKC bridge

Oklahomans are used to seeing large commercial trucks on the state's streets and highways. In general, traveling near or around a big rig is relatively safe because the operators of these vehicles have undergone extensive training and must follow not only company polices, but also federal guidelines to ensure they present minimal hazards to themselves and others on the road. Still, given the size of these vehicles, any road accident involving these them can injure or kill other motorists and their passengers.

A good case in point is a recent Oklahoma City accident that killed one man under a railroad bridge. According to the Oklahoma City Police Department, the pickup driver, 49, died when a container slid off a truck bed and onto his pickup truck. The accident happened under the Northwest 23rd Street bridge when the driver of a military truck tried to pass under the train bridge with a load that was too high to clear the 13-foot, 9-inch vertical distance between the roadway and the bridge. According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the vertical clearance is posted, but given other incidents involving the bridge, authorities plan to add more signs to prevent more accidents. The container that was knocked from the truck contained gym equipment and weights.

About NIX Law Group

Nix Law Group, PLLC
2529 South Kelly Avenue
Suite C

Edmond, OK 73013
Phone: 405-509-8043
Fax: 405-509-2004

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