Trucking Accidents Can Cause Extensive Damage And Injuries
Did you know that large tractor-trailers — semis, big rigs and 18-wheelers — are more than 40 times heavier than the average passenger car? Statically, large trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on Oklahoma’s highways. A vehicle of this size in the hands of a sleepy or careless driver can suddenly become a dangerous weapon.
A tremendous amount of truck traffic passes through Oklahoma’s roads, up and down I-35 and across I-40 to other roads and highways such as I-44, I-240 and the Turner, Kilpatrick, Creek, HE Bailey, Will Rogers, Cimarron and Muskogee Turnpikes.
While large trucks are useful in their ability to haul large amounts of goods from one place to another, truck drivers have a duty to drive safely. Unfortunately, careless drivers and negligent trucking companies cause more than 100 fatalities and over 1,000 injuries every year in Oklahoma.
Holding Trucking Companies Accountable
At Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst, our lawyers have the experience and resources to take on truck accident cases. We understand the unique regulations and issues that are involved in the over-the-road trucking industry. We are here to hold careless drivers and their employers accountable for everything you have lost in an accident.
From our office in Oklahoma City, we handle trucking accident cases throughout Oklahoma. We also help grieving family members bring wrongful death claims after fatal truck accidents. Call us at 800-539-0652 to set up your free consultation if you were injured in an accident involving:
- Big rigs and 18-wheelers
- Delivery trucks
- Mail or other parcel trucks
- Government vehicles, including maintenance trucks and buses
Serious Representation Standing Up For Your Serious Injuries
Accidents involving large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles often result in serious, catastrophic injuries and death. Serious injury cases require an enormous amount of time and skill. Our lawyers take on complex and contested accident cases that other firms turn down. We’re not afraid to take on these complex cases such as:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other severe body trauma
Resources To Take On Difficult Cases
We have access to the best truck accident experts, accident reconstruction specialists and physicians in the country. We limit the number of cases we take on to ensure each case receives the time, attention and resources necessary to maximize our clients’ recovery. Over the years, we have secured millions of dollars in compensation in truck accident cases.
When you hire us, insurance companies know you are serious about protecting your right to compensation. Our trucking accident attorneys prepare every case as if it were going to trial. This lets the other side know that we are willing to take the case as far as it needs to go to obtain fair compensation for everything you have lost.
Trucking Regulations Are Designed To Keep Drivers Safe
The trucking industry is highly regulated. All trucking companies are required to strictly comply with the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
These agencies are designed to increase public safety on the roads and decrease fatalities and injuries as a result of trucking accidents by ensuring that trucking companies and their drivers operate properly and follow the law. Oklahoma adopts these laws and regulates trucking through the Department of Transportation.
Trucking laws require a trucking company to comply with specific truck driver, vehicle and company regulations, including:
- Drug and alcohol testing and monitoring
- Driver qualification
- Commercial driver’s license compliance
- Hours of service
- Driver logbooks
- Motor vehicle safety standards
State and federal regulations for trucking companies include:
- Size and weight restrictions
- Driver training
- Qualification and monitoring
- Preservation of records
- Accident investigation and reporting and inspection
- Repair and maintenance of the fleet
Truck Accident Are Different – And More Complex – Than Car Accidents
Truck accidents involve issues that are not present in other types of motor vehicle accident cases. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you need an attorney who understands both the law and the trucking industry.
Truck Accident Investigations
Trucking companies often have investigators at the scene of the accident gathering information and reconstructing the truck accident. This is not being done for your benefit. These trucking accident investigators are working for the trucking companies’ insurance companies trying to limit their exposure.
Like all motor vehicles, 18-wheeler trucks and tractor-trailer trucks are sophisticated pieces of machinery that require regular inspection and maintenance in order to function properly, safely and in compliance with law. Before semitrucks even hit the road, the trucks and trailers are required to be carefully inspected to ensure proper functionality of all aspects of the vehicle and to ensure that the truck is not a safety risk to other drivers.
The Truck Driver’s Responsibility
Truck drivers have a responsibility to be cautious and diligent drivers, always obeying the rules of the road so as to prevent accidents and injury. Thus, if a driver drives recklessly, chooses not to regularly inspect his/her truck to ensure complete functionality, drives too long without taking a required rest break, speeds or violates other safety rules, then he/she and the trucking company he/she works for should be held liable for the damages he/she causes.
The Trucking Company’s Responsibility
Trucking companies can be held responsible for the dangers that their trucks bring to the road. If a trucking company fails to inspect its truck and sends that truck out on the road knowing the safety risk to other motorists, then that trucking company should be held accountable for the injuries that truck causes.
Oklahoma recognizes a separate cause of action for negligent hiring, entrustment, and supervision against a trucking company for permitting an unqualified, inadequately trained, and/or unsafe driver on the roads. In these cases, it also possible to prove that the trucking company itself acted recklessly by permitting a dangerous driver to operate an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer and cause accidents, thereby putting the general public at risk.
In cases where negligent hiring claims are proven, trucking companies can also be subjected to punitive damages for willful or reckless conduct. Punitive damages are designed to punish a negligent trucking company and hopefully deter the trucking company from taking such action in the future, thereby increasing safety.
Get Your Free Case Evaluation
At Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst, our attorneys stand up for your rights and stand up for justice. For more than 30 years, we have helped victims of catastrophic accident recover the compensation they need to move on with their lives. If you or a loved one was hit by a truck, call our attorneys at 800-539-0652. You can also email the firm online.