Accident With a Large Truck or 18-wheeler? We Can Help.
Every motor vehicle accident has the potential to take a devastating toll physically, emotionally, and financially. Accidents uproot the lives of not only the victims involved but also their families. You are now faced with the reality of paying for stacks of medical bills, lost wages, and life-changing injuries that leave the victims forever changed. Trucking accidents can be especially costly not only in dollars but also the loss of independence, ability to work, and in severe cases, lives. The severity of a motor vehicle accident can be multiplied when a truck or 18-wheeler is involved due to the size and weight of these vehicles. If you or someone you know has been hurt in an accident with an 18-wheeler, it’s important to know that you don’t have to face this difficult time alone. You have rights, and the Oklahoma City trucking accident lawyers are here to help you fight for the financial compensation you need.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Commission (NHTSC), a person dies in a car accident every 13 minutes. Losing a loved one in a truck accident is devastating, and while you can’t bring a loved one back, you can take action to hold the negligent party responsible and recover financial compensation to help pay for medical bills and other expenses related to the accident. At the Abel Law Firm, our Oklahoma City injury lawyers are here to help you take legal action against truck drivers and trucking companies for their irresponsible actions. Contact us today at (405) 239-7046 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Why You Need a Trucking Accident Lawyer?
Many truck accident victims aren’t sure why they need a personal injury lawyer to help them recover damages. While it’s true that you can work directly with the trucking company’s insurance company, it’s important to understand that they are not on your side and do not have your best interest in mind. Insurance companies are for-profit companies and want to pay as little money as possible following an accident. On the other hand, the Oklahoma City trucking accident lawyers of the Abel Law Firm have your best interest in mind and will fight for you to make sure you recover the financial compensation you need.
Why Choose Us?
The aftermath of a trucking accident can be a whirlwind. With seeking medical treatment, dealing with insurance companies, and figuring out how to piece your life back together, you need someone by your side every step of the way to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Our team of professional OKC trucking accident lawyers have a combined 130 years of experience and offer proven legal advice to handle every step of your case and get you the financial results you deserve. We take the time to get to know our clients and won’t rest until you get the results you need, even if that means taking your case to court. Contact the Abel Law Firm today and take control of your future.
Cases We Handle – Causes of Truck Accidents
It is the responsibility of the truck driver and trucking companies to operate the vehicles safely, provide proper training, and provide routine maintenance to their trucks to keep innocent people from harm. When drivers behave recklessly or are drowsy behind the wheel, the results can be catastrophic physically, emotionally, and financially.
When you are injured in an accident with a truck or 18-wheeler or another commercial vehicle, you not only have to deal with medical bills and potentially rehabilitation costs, but also insurance companies, representatives from the trucking company, and even their lawyers. Dealing with all of this while trying to recover from your injuries should not be your responsibility. This is where the Oklahoma City trucking accident lawyers shine. We’ve made it our mission and purpose to fight for those who feel helpless and alone following a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to handle the following types of cases:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Hiring or training failures
- Truck defect/malfunction
- Trucking company negligence
- Truck driver error/negligence
- No-zone truck accidents
- Truck Rollover Accidents
- Jackknife Accidents
- Overloaded Vehicle/Vehicle Debris Accident
- Underride Accident
Any of the above scenarios can cause serious, life-altering injuries or in extreme cases, even death. The sheer mass of commercial vehicles and 18-wheelers makes even low-speed accidents costly in terms of damage to your vehicle and also injuries to everyone involved. While the average vehicle weighs 2.5 tons, a large truck can weigh close to 40 tons. You need an experienced and tough attorney on your side to take action and stand up for you against the trucking company and their attorneys. At Abel Law Firm, we treat every case like it’s our only case and won’t rest till you get the compensation you need to avoid financial ruin.
Understanding Vehicle Weight and Stopping Distance
A common cause of truck accidents is the driver failing to understand the weight of his or her vehicle and how it affects stopping distance. The average 18-wheeler or semi-truck weighs an estimated 16 times more than an average motor vehicle. Because of this weight, it takes much longer for an 18-wheeler to slow down and come to a stop. Knowing this and staying an appropriate distance behind other motor vehicles can make all the difference no matter how fast you are traveling.
Frequently Asked Questions
The majority of individuals have either never been in a serious trucking accident before or have never gone through the process of filing a personal injury claim. At the Abel Law Firm, this is our passion and our life and we are here to help you through every step of the process and answer every question you might have about your rights, the legal process, and trucking accidents.
An accident with an 18-wheeler or another commercial vehicle can be absolutely devastating to every part of your life. Often, these cases can be more complicated than normal car accident cases because they deal with other parties who are either fully responsible or partially responsible for the crash due to a defect or malfunction. Because of this, the cases are nuanced, extremely detailed, and require a heavy amount of research and investigation. If you have a question about your case, don’t hesitate to call us. Below are some answers to a few questions you frequently hear.
What are the Causes and Statistics involving 18 wheeler crashes?
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel by 2030 road accidents are expected to become the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, meaning that the current number of 37,000 people that die in road crashed each year is only expected to increase. This equates to about an accident every 13 minutes in the U.S.
However, what’s even more troubling is that fact that of the near 6.3 million auto accidents involving injury or property damage occur every year, and of these, 500,000 involve an 18-wheeler. In 2017 a total of 4,102 people died in crashes involving a large truck or 18-wheeler. 68 percent of these deaths were the occupants of cars and of the remaining deaths, not including those of the 18-wheeler operators, 14 percent were motorcyclists, bikers, and even pedestrians. This may already seem like quite a high percentage, but between 2009 and 2017 this number has already risen nearly 30 percent. Deaths related to these collisions comprised about 11 percent of the total motor vehicle crash deaths in 2017.
Yet, in the event of a two-vehicle collision the passenger fatality rate rises dramatically to a frightening 97 percent, meaning that of the 2,157 deaths that occurred in these two vehicle collisions, 2,227 of them were the occupants of the smaller vehicle. It is quite clear that the proportion of these deaths is directly related to the fact that 18-wheelers tend to be significantly larger than any other vehicle on the road, as 66 percent of large truck occupants killed in multiple-vehicle crashes in 2017 occurred in collisions that involved another large truck. These collisions involving multiple vehicles can prove just as deadly seeing that 12 percent of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths and 22 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes in 2017 occurred in crashes with large trucks.
When and where are these crashes most likely to occur?
According to the same study by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a majority of these 18-wheeler accidents occur on major roads like highways. In total, 52 percent of deaths in large truck crashes in 2017 occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways, 32 percent occurred on interstates and freeways, and 15 percent occurred on minor roads.
In regards to the time of day that these accidents are most likely to occur, the data found that 18-wheeler accidents most often happen during the day as opposed to the evening, and have a larger rate of occurrence than those not involving large 18-wheelers. A total of 49 percent of large truck crash deaths in 2017 occurred from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. compared with 30 percent of crash deaths only involving small vehicles exemplifying this fact. It was also determined that the most likely day these 18-wheeler accidents occur is over the weekend, with 16 percent of large truck crash deaths in 2017 occurring on Saturday and Sunday, compared with 35 percent of crash deaths not involving large trucks.
Another key cause of the alarming fatality rate associated with 18-wheeler collisions is the higher than average role over rate associated with them. 48 percent of large truck occupant deaths in 2017 occurred in crashes in which their vehicles rolled over. This was slightly higher than the percentage of SUV related deaths and pick up related deaths that occurred in rollover crashes and much higher than the percentage of occupant deaths in cars (22 percent) involving rollovers.
Trucking accidents often occur in various manors and positions. Thirty-one percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes with a large truck in 2017 were in vehicles struck head-on by the truck and another 25 percent were in vehicles that were side-struck. Twenty-two percent involved the front of the passenger vehicle striking the rear of the large truck.
Furthermore, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety reports that the total number of 18-wheeler truck accidents averages around 5,000 a year. Each year nearly 100 people die from these 18-wheeler accidents. Moreover, nearly 1,200 of these accidents result in some form of personal injury, 200 of which were debilitating. Like the rest of the country, within Oklahoma, a majority of these 18-wheeler accidents occurred on major roadways. However, unlike the rest of the U.S., most of these accidents normally occur during the work week.
If you have any questions about these statistics be sure to reach out with one of our talented personal injury attorneys who are available at any time via our live chat.
What are the main causes of 18-wheeler crashes?
Like all motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents are caused by a number of factors, most of which are due to the negligence of the driver. According to a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 27 percent of truck accidents were caused by the truck having brake problems. In the same study, 19 percent of drivers were unfamiliar with the route while 7 percent of drivers felt sleepy or overly tired. Along with these reasons, trucking accidents also happen because of aggressive driving and drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What types of damages can I recover?
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a trucking accident your life has been turned upside down. You may be facing a large number of medical bills from surgeries or other procedures as well as lost wages from not being able to return to work.
At the Abel Law Firm, our attorneys will help you recover compensation to pay for all medical expenses including travel costs to and from the doctor’s offices, prescription costs, lost wages, and all future medical costs related to your injuries. The recovery and rehabilitation process following a trucking accident can be long and arduous, so we will fight to make sure you are prepared to handle it financially so you can focus solely on getting back on your feet and on with your life.
Truck accidents can also be emotionally and psychologically devastating for victims with consequences and symptoms that stick around long after physical injuries have healed. Along with night terrors or trouble sleeping, some victims also experience severe anxiety and depression following an accident. We will fight to make sure you receive compensation to pay for psychiatric or psychological treatment as well.
In some cases, if the driver was especially negligent, you can recover punitive damages. If the truck driver caused the accident because of road rage or other reckless actions, your financial compensation could be considerably higher.
How much does it cost to speak with a lawyer?
We know this is an incredibly stressful time financially. That’s why at Abel Law Firm, your consultation is 100% free and confidential. Contact us today at [phone number] and take the first step toward getting your life back on track.
For many people involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle or 18-wheeler, they simply don’t know their rights and that they have legal options to pursue financial compensation to pay for medical bills and other financial hardships. We are committed to helping you get the assistance you deserve and hold negligent drivers and trucking companies liable. To learn more about how we can help you, contact the Oklahoma City truck accident attorneys at the Abel Law Firm today at (405) 239-7046 and take control of your future.