Drivers of big rigs, 18-wheelers and tractor trailers are trained to share the road. If you have been involved in a wreck in Oklahoma, you may qualify for financial compensation.
Accidents involving 18-wheelers or semi-trucks are some of the most common accidents on the road today. Unfortunately, they are also some of the most destructive. When a vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds is involved in a collision, the consequences can be devastating for the truck driver and other motorists on the road. Far too often, 18-wheeler accidents are due to the operator of the truck acting in an unsafe manner. According to estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 500,000 collisions involving 18-wheelers annually, with over 4,000 ending in a fatality. These accidents occur from operators driving at dangerous speeds, hauling an overloaded trailer, making improper turns, disobeying traffic signs and regulations, drinking and driving, and operating the vehicle when fatigued. Our lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center are experienced in litigating cases involving all types of commercial trucks. If you have been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, tractor trailer or any commercial vehicle in Oklahoma, contact our law firm today.
Commercial Truck Driver Accidents
Every sixteen minutes someone is seriously injured or killed in a commercial truck accident, due most often to fatigue on the part of the truck driver. Many truckers work long hours under physically demanding conditions and try to push themselves through drowsiness, ultimately putting their vehicles on the road under potentially unsafe circumstances, and subsequently increasing the risk of causing serious truck accidents. Truck driver fatigue has become such a prevalent problem that new federal regulations were established by the Ford Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2003, which introduced new hours of service intended to curb truckers’ issues with fatigue. Despite these new regulations though, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board estimates that fatigue still contributes to up to 40% of all accidents involving commercial trucks. If you have been injured in a truck accident in Oklahoma, our reputable attorneys can help.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Although truck driver fatigue is the leading cause of commercial truck accidents, there are a number of other factors involved in the occurrence of these collisions in Oklahoma. Among the most common causes are:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Lack of driver training
- “Road rage” or aggressive driving
- Load exceeds truck’s weight limit
- Poorly maintained roads, malfunctioning traffic lights or construction obstacles
- Drivers with a history of accidents who have not had their commercial licenses revoked
- Failing to take into consideration dangerous driving conditions (ice, snow or fog)
- Inadequate truck maintenance, involving brakes, tires, etc.
- Commercial license requirements that differ state by state
Trucking accidents are all too common in the United States, and could be avoided if the proper measures are taken by truckers to protect themselves and other motorists on Oklahoma roadways. Unfortunately, the majority of truck accidents are actually caused by insufficient truck maintenance or truck driver negligence, factors which are the responsibility of the company maintaining the trucks and the truck drivers themselves.
Driver Fatigue and Trucking Company Negligence
When commercial drivers become fatigued from excessive driving and overbooked schedules, they significantly increase their risk of being involved in a serious truck accident. Sleep deprivation considerably impairs an individual’s ability to adequately and safely perform certain tasks, especially operating a large vehicle like an 18-wheeler, tractor trailer or semi-truck. Too often, drivers who operate their motor vehicles carefully and take care to obey all traffic signals and signs are seriously injured or killed in accidents caused by truck driver negligence.
Contact Our Skilled Lawyers for Help
For victims of truck accident injuries, legal help is available. Few commercial truck accidents are caused by other drivers on the road; unfortunately, these are often the individuals who suffer the most serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Oklahoma and sustained severe injuries, contact our attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center to discuss your legal options. An experienced lawyer can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical expenses associated with treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family in the aftermath of the accident. In some cases, truck accident injuries may be severe enough to prevent you from returning to work, in which case you may be entitled to compensation for loss of income and future wages. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident in Oklahoma, our knowledgeable attorneys can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party in order to seek financial compensation for funeral costs, loss of income and other associated expenses.