Oklahoma Truck Driver Negligence Lawyers
Large semi-trailer trucks have a commanding presence on the road. Most drivers take extra care around these large vehicles because they understand how devastating an accident with a truck could be. A single truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, or 40 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle. Because of this potential for damage, truck drivers are required to operate under an extensive list of federal and state regulations intended to prevent accidents.
Truck drivers have a responsibility to control their vehicles and to exercise caution at all times to help avoid causing an accident. They have a high duty of care to other drivers on the road, who have no control over a truck driver’s sometimes deadly acts of negligence. When a truck driver acts in a way that puts other drivers at risk, he or she may be held liable for any injuries or damages that result. To find out more about your legal rights and options as a negligence victim, contact the Abel Law Firm today at (405) 239-7046.
Types of Truck Driver Negligence
Any avoidable driver error that causes an accident can be considered an act of negligence. Some common actions that could lead to a serious 18-wheeler crash include:
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Texting while driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to signal or use headlights
- Failure to adhere to maintenance inspection laws
- Overloading trailers
- Driving recklessly or speeding
- Poor training or lack of experience
Any of these errors could cause an unsuspecting motorist to be involved in a truck accident. Because of their sheer size and momentum, semi-trailer trucks are capable of causing devastating collisions that could result in serious injuries, disability, or even death.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident caused by a negligent truck driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, recovery expenses, pain and suffering, and other accident-related costs.
Why do I need an attorney?
Though your case may seem clear-cut, oftentimes drivers share fault with a number of parties, including passenger vehicle drivers, cargo-loading companies, shipping agencies, or truck companies.
There are several instances where liability can become complicated by multiple parties. For instance, a driver can be poorly trained in truck regulations or driving safety by the truck company, or the shipping or cargo loading agencies can over or improperly load the truck with the driver’s consent in order to make slightly more profit, or a driver and maintenance company can both overlook a malfunctioning part. Truck companies can also hire unfit truck drivers with a proven history of drunk driving or other acts of negligence. In each of these cases, more than one party may be held responsible for the accident.
Even when it seems clear to a victim of a truck accident that the truck driver is at fault, a lawyer may be able to investigate further and trace blame to a number of parties. This can be ultimately helpful for securing adequate compensation, as contracted drivers may have limited insurance policies for dealing with accidents, while larger entities such as shipping companies have deeper pockets allotted for greater settlement.
In cases where the truck driver is fully at fault for your accident, such as when the driver displayed signs of intoxication, drunk driving, or texting while driving, truck companies are often the legally responsible party. According to the doctrine of respondeat superior, or “vicarious liability,” the actions of the employee, in this case, the truck driver, fall back upon the employer. Because of this, truck companies will often try to avoid financial responsibility by arguing that the driver involved in the accident was not an actual employee of the company but a contracted driver. An attorney will be able to investigate to prove to you and the court whether or not a truck driver was contracted. Without an attorney, truck companies that know how to handle accidents will attempt to take advantage of you by blaming a truck driver with limited insurance for your compensation.
Truck companies are experienced in handling accidents and will take whatever actions are necessary to keep from giving victims the maximum payout. Sometimes, truck company representatives will come to the scene of the crash to offer settlements before victims have the chance to seek legal counsel. Though these offerings may seem adequate at the time, it is important that you do not accept them, or any other offered compensation until you have spoken with a lawyer.
A lawyer will help you to obtain the maximum possible compensation following your accident and ensure that all parties at fault for your injuries are held responsible. When you’re up against the experience and wealth of a large trucking company, you cannot fend for yourself, especially as you heal from what can be the most devastating type of accident. Securing legal representation is the most important thing you can do in the aftermath of a truck accident.
Why choose us?
Founded in 1976, Abel Law Firm has been building a reputation of care and proven results for more than 40 years. In this time, we have secured millions of dollars for our clients involved in truck accidents. We cherish these opportunities to help members of our community get back on their feet, and to fight against companies whose acts have caused pain for our friends and neighbors.
Our six experienced attorneys do not want you to face these companies alone, or with other less experienced law firms whose assistance would be much like to fighting without representation at all. With Abel Law Firm attorneys on your side, you can rest and recover easily knowing that you bring the best in trucking accident litigation to the courtroom.
We value open and honest communication between ourselves and our clients, whose lives after suffering in frightening accidents are our top priority. We want to make sure you understand what’s happening in your case, so that you can make the informed decisions you need about your legal representation and your care. Contact us today so we can begin hearing about your injuries and your goals, and can begin working on your case immediately. Call (405) 239-7046 today.
Cases We Handle
Our attorneys handle a moderate range of personal injury and negligence cases.
- Auto, truck and motorcycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Insurance disputes
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical negligence
- Personal injury
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Wrongful death
Can I seek compensation even if I was partially at fault?
Yes. The state of Oklahoma operates on the doctrine of comparative negligence, which dictates that responsible parties may sue for compensation if they were 50 percent or less at fault for the accident. If you had, for instance, a broken headlight when a nighttime accident took place, a truck company can argue that you partially caused the accident. The court will assign you a percentage of blame and deduct that percentage from the compensation you’re seeking.
It is important to have an experienced attorney who can keep you from being held responsible for more than 50 percent of the accident. Even if you believe you may be partially responsible, you should meet with an attorney who can fight unfair truck company charges.
The Oklahoma truck driver negligence attorneys of the Abel Law Firm have the knowledge and experience to fight on your behalf for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more about your legal rights and options as an injury victim, contact us today at (405) 239-7046.