Statisticians suggest there are somewhere in the region of 500,000 truck accidents each year in the U.S., an alarming number for anybody who drives one for a living. What may be somewhat surprising is that these most often occur in rural areas rather than in the cities we usually associate with traffic accidents.
In Oklahoma, freight haulage is in demand, with drivers working under trade partnerships with states across the U.S. Over 800 million tons of cargo are transported annually in and out of Oklahoma alone, which perhaps explains the number of accidents reported. If you’ve been the victim of a truck accident, read on for guidance on the best course of action to take while pursuing justice and how an Oklahoma City truck accident lawyer can help.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
As is the case in most road accidents, establishing fault is key to understanding the cause. Opposing parties often make different claims to avoid blame, making evidence vital if you wish to file a viable claim. Most truck accidents result from reckless, irresponsible decisions like driving under the influence or the failure of road users like cars, pedestrians, and cyclists to give truck drivers the time and space to maneuver their large vehicles. For this reason, your dashcam must be functional, as it may serve as your main piece of evidence to prove you weren’t at fault in your accident. Remember, however, that you must display your dashcam correctly, as per Oklahoma state law.
Though your vehicle and cargo should be checked before your departure, occasionally complications occur in transit, such as flat tires or mechanical trouble. Defects such as these can contribute to the risk of an accident, so completing a thorough log before each journey is a must to ensure your safety and mitigate the chances of claims being made that your vehicle was in poor working order should an accident happen.
The federal government regulates the behavior of truck drivers to reduce the chance of accidents by requiring regular safety reviews, documentation proving rest breaks are taken, and a log of daily hours driven. Both your logbook and dashcam may serve as evidence by your lawyer in the event of an accident.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, your first call should be to seek medical attention to evaluate and document any injuries suffered. Trucking accidents can be catastrophic, frequently leaving victims suffering from brain injuries or spinal cord damage and can even lead to the loss of life. Always allow a medical professional to ascertain whether you’ve been hurt in any way, visibly or internally. This process also documents any injuries which helps make them irrefutable by an insurer.
Once you’ve received any necessary medical treatment, you should contact a lawyer if you feel the accident resulted from another party’s negligence. Your attorney will gather evidence, such as witness testimonies and dashcam footage, and use it to establish who was at fault in the accident. The police will likely have acquired this evidence soon after the incident, and it’s only with this evidence that your lawyer can determine whether you have a case to pursue.
How Long Does it Take to Reach a Settlement?
Liability can be tricky to determine in a trucking accident, and the complexity of your case will directly impact how long it takes to reach its conclusion. Things are further complicated by who exactly you’re able to claim against, given that most trucks are owned by haulage companies rather than drivers. Your lawyer will investigate who your claim should be filed against and use the previously mentioned evidential items to build a case proving you weren’t at fault in the accident.
Many factors will be taken into account by both your lawyer and the other parties when negotiating a settlement agreement. Medical costs, loss of earnings, physical and emotional trauma will all be relevant details that affect the settlement you may receive, so the more information you’re able to provide, the better. Your lawyer will keep you updated on any developments throughout the process and make recommendations as to which course of action is most beneficial to you. However, you ultimately have the right to make the final decision about anything you choose.
Find the Right Truck Accident Lawyer in Oklahoma
With more information to work with regarding trucking accidents and the process of filing a claim, you should now have a better idea of whether your accident qualifies for compensation. If you feel your accident was no fault of your own, contact an Oklahoma City truck accident lawyer from AMA Law by calling 405-708-7789 to schedule your free case review, or leave us a message on our consultation form to the right. We’re happy to offer guidance and representation if necessary to help you claim the compensation you deserve.