Employer Liability and Trucking Accidents in Oklahoma: Understanding Your Legal Options

Oftentimes, it is difficult to determine who is responsible for causing your trucking accident related injuries.  Specifically, who you can hold legally responsible for your injuries depends upon whether the trucker who hit you is employed by a company or works independently.  In addition, sometimes the owner of the truck can differ from that of its driver or employer, which can lead to further confusion as to who should be sued.  Whatever the situation, it is important to consult with an attorney who is experienced at handling the numerous complexities associated with trucking accident cases.

Typically, if a truck driver is employed by a company, his or her employer can be sued under a theory of vicarious liability, or “respondeat superior”.  To illustrate, if a company hires a truck driver with a history DUI arrests but fails to conduct a proper background check, it can be held vicariously responsible for the acts of its driver.  Meaning, if a driver decides to grab a few drinks while on the clock and then decides to get behind the wheel, an employer can be found negligent in the event that its driver causes an accident.

Employers can also be held responsible for injuries caused by their employees due to accidents that occur as a result of the overloading and improper loading of their trucks as well as unreasonable schedules imposed on drivers.   Trucking companies always stand to make more money if they encourage their employees to drive a little faster, farther and with bigger loads.  However, such employer actions can create dangerous driving conditions for other drivers, ultimately leading to their vicarious liability.

Trucking companies have also been held responsible for injuries caused by employees who have not been properly trained.  Employers must ensure that their drivers receive sufficient driver and safety training.  If it can be shown that a trucking accident could have been avoided had the driver been properly trained, the trucking company may be required to compensate victims for all resulting injuries and property damage. 

If you have been injured in a truck accident, give us a call now at 405-295-1924 or visit The Handley Law Center online to learn more about the scope of your legal options and also, the ways in which we can help you get the compensation that you deserve.   Our experienced Oklahoma trucking accident attorneys are happy to answer all of your questions and give you the tools necessary to get your life back on track.  We look forward to the opportunity of providing you with excellent legal representation.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics and Ways of Keeping Yourself Safe in Oklahoma

Motorcycles can be loads of fun, especially on warm, sunny days.  However, they can also be extremely dangerous, causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries to bikers.  Specifically, motorcyclists are much more likely than other drivers to be involved in a crash, and are also at a higher risk of getting severely hurt or even killed. In addition to the inability for drivers to always notice motorcycles on the road and also because motorcycles are not as naturally protective as cars and trucks, accidents are bound to happen.  Overall, the following are some important statistics associated with motorcycling:

  1. Most motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, especially ones that are busy and have multiple lanes.
  2. Wearing a helmet is more than 35% effective at preventing life threatening head and brain injuries to motorcyclists and over 40% effective for motorcycle passengers.
  3. Approximately 30% of motorcyclists who are involved in fatal accidents were intoxicated with a BAL of 0.08% or more.
  4. Most motorcycle accidents happen due to the inability of other drivers to see motorcyclists in their vicinity.
  5. Motorcyclists are much more likely to be ejected from their bike given that unlike cars and trucks, motorcycles do not have safety features such as seatbelts and airbags.

So how then can you increase your chances of having a safe and enjoyable motorcycling experience?  Consider the following safety tips:

  1. Always wear a helmet and protective gear to minimize injury in the event that you fall off your bike.
  2. Wear reflective gear so that you are always visible to other drivers.
  3. Follow the rules of the road at all times and avoid weaving in and out of lanes to get ahead of other drivers and heavy traffic.
  4. If you are a novice biker, be sure to take a motorcycle training course so that you become familiar with your bike and also, how to maneuver in different driving conditions.

For more information, or if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation.  You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.  We are highly skilled motorcycle accident attorneys who know the ins and outs of handling the various complexities and nuances associated with these types of cases.  We will work with you, every step of the way, to ensure that you have the tools necessary to make informed decisions about your case and also, to help you get your life back on track.

Motorcycle Accidents in Oklahoma Can Result in Traumatic Brain Injuries

Motorcycle accidents and the damages they cause can often be more costly and life threatening than types of vehicular accidents.   In fact, each year over 3,000 people in the United States are killed in motorcycle crashes and more than 50,000 become seriously injured.  Not surprisingly, most motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers, as it is extremely difficult for them to spot motorcyclists in their vicinity.  The majority of these types of accidents often occur due to cars turning into other lanes and cutting off motorcyclists, vehicles that side swipe motorcycles without noticing them when changing lanes, failing to yield to the right of way of motorcyclists, and also, striking motorcycles while entering or exiting lanes on busy highways and other heavily trafficked roads.

Unfortunately, these accidents often have severe and sometimes fatal consequences. Specifically, motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries, such as bone fractures, painful and extensive cases of road rash, head injuries, back and neck injuries, spinal cord and brain damage, traumatic amputations, and disfigurement.

One of the most common types of injuries that motorcyclists sustain during an accident is called a TBI, or traumatic brain injury.  Injuries to the brain, often caused by the failure of a motorcyclist to wear a helmet, occurs when a rider’s head comes in contact with the ground or some other object.  Traumatic brain injuries often lead to long term and sometimes permanent disabilities, such as memory loss, loss of speech, loss of cognitive ability, loss of thinking, loss of emotional ability, coma, and sometimes death.

Suffering a TBI can significantly alter the quality of someone’s life, as well as dramatically affect the lives of family members and loved ones.  Specifically, it can alter relationships that the injured person had with people in his or her life, require the injured person to undergo continuous medical intervention and painful rehabilitation, prevent the person from working or performing daily activities, and lead to severe physical and emotional trauma for all parties involved.

In light of the above, it is crucial that you consider your legal options.  With this in mind, do not work with an attorney that promises the world but doesn’t have the skills and experience necessary to successfully represent you.  Since motorcycle accidents involve very specific facts, and also, given the nature and severity of the injuries sustained in these types of crashes, you need to hire an attorney who knows the ins and outs of proving these types of cases in court.

If you or a loved one suffered a TBI as a result of being in an accident in Oklahoma, it is important to learn more about your legal options. For more information about our comprehensive personal injury services, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation.  You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.

Damaged & Defective Roadways Cause Serious Trucking Accidents in Oklahoma

Every day, thousands of truck drivers take to the open roads in the United States to haul various types of goods to destinations located throughout the country.  Given the sheer numbers of trucks frequenting the vast expanses of U.S. highways within the Midwest and beyond, it is not surprising that many people become seriously injured in trucking accidents.  While a good percentage of trucking accidents stem from driver negligence, many others are caused by defective and poorly maintained/designed roadways, which ultimately create unsafe driving conditions for trucks and other drivers. 

For numerous reasons, poorly designed roads can exponentially increase the likelihood of accidents due to the fact that it makes it more difficult for truckers to maneuver and also, more readily notice pedestrians and other drivers on the road.  For example, roadways with inadequate signage, poor lighting, little to no shoulder lanes, and materials that are vulnerable to wear and tear can be a nightmare for truckers to negotiate.  Additionally, roads that have defective bridges, slick surface materials, and ineffective guardrails or medians, especially when combined with bad weather, can become a real dangerous obstacle course for truckers.  In general, since trucks tend to be larger and heavier than other vehicles, it is more difficult for them to stop as quickly, making it extremely challenging for them to safely operate their trucks and avoid collisions.

Moreover, improper and/or poor roadway maintenance can also contribute to accidents.  Specifically, serious and catastrophic collisions can and often do occur because of large potholes, poorly manicured bushes, trees and other view blocking vegetation, and ineffective/insufficient removal of snow and ice.  Imagine a large truck going at a high speed that strikes a pothole or a large patch of ice – the consequences can be quite devastating.  Since trucks are inherently dangers to operate no matter what, poorly maintained roads can create significant driving hazards for truckers and all others on the road.

Regardless of whether an accident is caused by a poorly designed or maintained road, it is still a challenge to pursue claims against responsible parties.  In other words, it is often difficult to ascertain who to sue when you have been injured in a trucking accident caused by roadway defects.  Many times, those who may be liable are governmental entities, such as local and state governments, who are generally responsible for keeping our roadways safe.  In certain states, a government entity can raise an immunity defense in response to lawsuits brought by injured parties.  Meaning, that they cannot be sued without their prior consent, which can make it very difficult for victims to recover. 

Accordingly, it is crucial to consult with an attorney who is experienced at handling the ins and outs of these types of cases.  As skilled Oklahoma trucking accident attorneys, we believe that governments should be held responsible for injuries sustained by truckers and other drivers due to their failure to keep our roads safe.  Give us a call now at 405-295-1924 or visit The Handley Law Center online to learn more about how our team of qualified legal professionals can help you fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.  We look forward to providing you with excellent representation.