Why Trucking Accidents Occur in Oklahoma

There are numerous reasons for why accidents involving trucks abound in Oklahoma however, the main cause is due to the high number of trucks that frequent its numerous and expansive highways.  As experienced Oklahoma trucking accident attorneys, we have seen a lot of cases that occur due to the full or partial fault of the driver.   Usually, driver fault occurs in the following ways:

  1. Sleep deprivation and driver fatigue.  Often times, sleep deprivation and fatigue are the primary causes of trucking accidents in Oklahoma.  Specifically, some truck driving companies require drivers to accept unreasonable schedules, which could include taking late night shifts to which they are otherwise unaccustomed.  Other companies also require a driver (and often pay them extra), after having been on the road for several hours, to unload the contents of their truck, which can also be extremely grueling and lead to exhaustion.  Driver fatigue can also be caused by truckers who want to make as much money as possible.   For instance, many truck drivers are compensated by the mile and as such, the farther they push themselves to go, the more money they will make.
  2. Speeding.  Speeding is undoubtedly a major cause of trucking accidents within the State of Oklahoma as well as across the United States.   The most risky part of speeding while driving a truck is the fact that you cannot stop as easily as other vehicles, such as small cars and motorcycles.  As such, it is important to watch your speed while trucking, as the inability to stop can lead to serious and often life-threatening collisions.
  3. Driver distraction. Truckers, like anyone else, fall prey to the numerous distractions that can affect a driver, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, smoking or listening to a dispatch radio.
  4. Impaired driving.   Numerous collisions arise when truckers decide to drink and drive or, if they take illegal or prescription medications.  It goes without saying that this can create a serious risk to others on the road as well as the truck driver himself/herself.

In order to reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by the above, Oklahoma law provides rather strict laws geared towards addressing these very serious issues.   Only a skilled Oklahoma trucking accident attorney can advise you as to your legal options in this regard as well as the nature and extent of your rights and responsibilities.   If you have been injured in a trucking accident in Oklahoma, give us a call now at (405) 295-1924 to maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation that you deserve.

Tractor Trailers and Accidents in Oklahoma

There are many causes of tractor trailer accidents in Oklahoma, including the inability of a trucker to see other cars on the road due to blind spots, defective or overly worn tires, loose material, decreased braking ability, and overloaded/improperly loaded trucks.  Whatever the cause may be however, trucking accidents often lead to life threatening and sometimes fatal injuries for all those involved, including the truck driver. 

How specifically, do some of the above conditions cause accidents? With regard to a truck’s blind spots, also known as “no zone” areas, these are typically located at the back and front ends of the vehicle.  Typically, accidents occur when another vehicle is located within a truck’s no zone and is struck by the truck.  It is important to understand that if you cannot see the truck driver in his rear view mirrors, it is likely that the driver also cannot see you.

Moreover, trucking accidents also occur due to something called “squeeze play”, which refers to collisions caused by a swinging turn of a truck.  To illustrate, if a tractor trailer has to make a left turn, it must swing to the right in order to negotiate and maneuver the turn.  This can create accidents by squeezing a car between it and the side of the road.  Additional crashes can happen when a truck trying to turn cannot see cars located within its blind spots, also leading to a squeeze play type accident.

Tractor trailer related accidents can also arise due to braking issues.  Such issues include braking failures, inadequate braking by a trucker and the inability to brake in time in order to avoid a collision with another vehicle.   With regard to brake failures, this often occurs due to improper maintenance, poorly installed brakes, overuse and age.  As for improper braking techniques, truckers should be sufficiently trained to be able to reduce their speed by about five or six miles per hour upon each time the brakes are applied.  Failure to properly brake often leads to runaway trucks, giving rise to serious and often fatal accidents.

As experienced trucking attorneys, we often see trucking accidents caused by the inability to stop in time, which is one of the leading causes of crashes.  Overall, the heavier the truck, the harder it is for it to stop, increasing the likelihood of rear end collisions with other vehicles.  As such, truck drivers need to maintain a safe distance from vehicles in front of them, and also, to understand the fact that trucks do not have the ability, like other vehicles, to stop short.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an Oklahoma trucking accident, call us now at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a confidential case evaluation.  We are highly experienced attorneys who are capable of handling all types of car accident cases, especially complex trucking accidents. Accordingly, we look forward to providing you with excellent representation.

Avoiding the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Oklahoma

 In general, drivers of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and all other types of vehicles are expected to use reasonable care while operating their vehicle in Oklahoma.  In other words, an Oklahoma driver has a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner – meaning, in a way that does not cause injury or harm to others.  Failure to do so can result in liability under a theory of negligence, potentially costing the offender a significant amount of money for any damages or injuries that were caused by the accident.   

In order to succeed in a negligence action, a victim must prove that the other driver is liable for his or her failure to exercise reasonable care.  Moreover, Oklahoma courts, in adjudicating these types of cases, consider a number of different factors in determining a driver’s potential negligence, mainly pertaining to the driver’s bad habits.  While not exhaustive, these factors include:

  1. Failure to use a turn signal when driving
  2. Not following the rules of the road
  3. Speeding
  4. Failure to consider bad weather or adverse traffic conditions
  5. Driving under the influence
  6. Improper passing or changing lanes on a highway
  7. Driving while distracted, i.e., whether due to eating, texting or talking to other passengers
  8. Reckless and/or careless driving
  9. Automobile manufacturing and/or design defects

In light of the above, it is important to do whatever it takes to avoid accidents.  Accordingly, the following are a number of tips that can help you prevent a potential negligence suit:

  1. Obey the rules of the road – as much as you would like to test out the maximum speed of your brand new Mercedes Benz, it is best to avoid speeding. The higher the speed, the more likely an accident will occur, especially one involving serious injury or death.
  2. Be good to your car – keeping your car in good repair is really a no brainer.  Many accidents are caused by people who fail to maintain their vehicle, such as by not changing the filters or failing to check that their tires are in good shape.
  3. Pay attention!  In the United States, more than 300,000 accidents are caused each year due to distracted driving.  If you need to respond to a text message or email, be smart and pull over before engaging in dangerous multi-tasking.
  4. Watch out for bikers and pedestrians – in Oklahoma – especially in the cities and college towns – many people love to be outdoors, especially during the summer months.  As such, it is crucial to watch out for people who are out and about, especially bikers and runners who tend to be on or near the road.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma, be sure to consult with an attorney experienced in handling these types of accidents.  Call us now at (405) 295-1924 to find out more about your legal options as well as how you can receive the compensation that you deserve.  We look forward to providing you with excellent representation.

Tips on How to File a Car Accident Claim in Oklahoma

Almost everyone knows that dealing with an insurance company can be a rather daunting task.  Whether you are involved in a truck, motorcycle, car or any other type of vehicle accident, it is inevitable that you will have to work with your insurance carrier in order to recover for your injuries and/or property damage. The following are some useful tips in dealing with your insurance carrier that can help you maximize your chances of recovery:

  1. Following your accident, immediately contact your insurance agent.  If you do not contact your insurer within a reasonable amount of time, they can deny your claim, so make sure to call them right away.
  2. Carefully review the terms of your insurance policy. Insurance companies will do whatever it takes to deny recovery, so be sure and read your policy to know exactly what you must do and also, what you are entitled to receive.
  3. Start writing everything down.  Make sure to jot down the names and contact information of all parties involved in the crash, the names and contact information of all witnesses, and a detailed account of what happened.  The longer you wait, the more likely you will forget important facts about your case – which could make a huge monetary difference.  Additionally, it is also crucial to document your conversations with your insurance carrier to make sure that you and your carrier are always on the same page.
  4. Be cooperative with your insurance company.   It is important that you cooperate with your insurance company during their investigation of your accident. The more forthcoming you are with information, the better chance you will have in recovering money for your accident.
  5. Keep your bills and receipts.  Make sure to hold onto bills and receipts for any medical treatment and/or repairs to your vehicle.  The best way to establish the amount that you are owed is by providing documentation evidencing same.
  6. Never admit liability under any circumstances.  Even if you think you were responsible for causing an accident, do not implicate yourself.  This means that you should not make any statements to police, other drivers, witnesses, medical personnel or your insurance company that suggest that you may be liable.
  7. Consult with an attorney.  Only an experienced Oklahoma car accident attorney can help you understand what your legal options are as well as the scope of your rights and responsibilities.  Should you be partially or fully at fault for an accident, an attorney can advise you as to how to properly deal with your insurance carrier as well as other parties involved in your case.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma, call us now at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a confidential case evaluation.  We are highly experienced attorneys who are capable of handling all types of car accident cases, regardless of how challenging or complex.  We look forward to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.