Oklahoma leads the nation in manufacturing growth. Although a strong manufacturing base is great for the local economy, it also leads to a large number of tractor-trailers on local streets and highways – and increases the risk of getting into a collision with one of these large vehicles. Sadly, when big rigs collide with passenger vehicles, the results can be catastrophic.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash that involved a large commercial vehicle in Edmond or a nearby community in Oklahoma, the experienced truck accident lawyers of Cain Law Office are here to help. We understand that when you have been injured in a truck accident, you need aggressive and skilled legal representation.
For more than 20 years, our attorneys have fought for the rights of injured people throughout Oklahoma. Contact us at our Edmond office today to schedule a completely free consultation and learn more about how we can help you. We won’t charge for your consultation, and we will only get paid if you do.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different from Other Accidents?
No two cases are the same. This is especially true when it comes to accidents involving large semi-trucks. It is very important to hire a law firm that has experience handling these types of cases and understands the unique differences between handling a trucking accident case and a car accident. Those differences include:
The injuries can be severe. Due to the enormous size and weight of commercial vehicles, injuries are more often catastrophic and severe when a truck is involved. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), roughly 3,600 crashes involving big rigs in 2015 resulted in deaths, while 83,000 caused injuries.
When 18-wheelers are involved, specific types of crashes can occur. Our law firm tends to see some types of truck accidents more often than others, including:
- Underride accidents – When a passenger vehicle gets crushed beneath the trailer of a semi-truck. This can happen when a truck driver fails to see the car and essentially drives over the top of it.
- Jackknife accidents – When the trailer and tractor interlock, and the tractor unit loses control, leaving the combination vehicle folded into an acute angle.
- Merge accidents – When a truck driver merges into a passenger vehicle or goes over the top of it.
- Rear-end accidents – Many truck drivers tailgate and follow too closely for conditions. Sometimes, they forget just how large their vehicles really are and how hard they are to stop.
- Right-turn accidents – When a truck makes a wide right turn, the entire area to the right of the truck becomes a blind spot. Good drivers know how to avoid trapping passenger vehicles on their right sideds, but those who carelessly fail to do so can drive over the top of cars.
You need to conduct a prompt investigation. The faster you get help from an attorney after a truck accident, the better. Big trucking companies – and their insurers – will immediately jump into action, and they may destroy or conceal evidence. Their goal is to make it impossible for you to prove your case. This is why it is so important to hire an attorney who will move quickly – even within just a few hours after a crash – to preserve and gather evidence.
Multiple parties may be liable. In a trucking accident case, several different parties may be responsible, including:
- The driver who caused the crash
- The trucking company (in its role as the driver’s employer and/or for negligent hiring, training and supervision, negligent inspection and maintenance or failure to enforce regulations and its own policies)
- Mechanics for failing to perform proper inspections and repairs
- The truck or trailer owner, where the company leases the vehicle to the driver
- Shipping brokers
- Warehouse owners
- Truck or truck part manufacturers.
To recover maximum compensation, you will need to identify all of these parties. In some cases, one or more of these parties may be based in different states or countries, which can involve procedural issues that an experienced attorney will know how to tackle.
Violates of state and federal regulations may establish negligence. Many crashes that involve big trucks are the result of an individual driver or trucking company violating state or federal regulations. Violations commonly involve:
- Hours of service rules – Under federal law, truck drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours within a 14-hour work period. All work must stop 14 hours from the time the driver first came on duty. But truck drivers sometimes find ways to manipulate the system by skipping inspections or by driving when they are not logged.
- Texting / cell phone use – In addition to Oklahoma’s ban on texting while driving, the FMCSA prohibits texting by commercial drivers and also restricts truck drivers from holding a mobile device to make a call or to dial by pressing more than a single button.
- Inspection and maintenance violations – Failing to properly inspect and maintain vehicles can contribute to accidents. For instance, a crash may occur due to a trucking company’s failure to conduct a routine inspection that would have revealed that a truck had soft brakes.
At Cain Law Office, we understand the difference between trucking accident cases and other types of motor vehicle crashes. We will use our experience and in-depth knowledge of the trucking industry to help you to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
What Are Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Edmond?
Many truck accidents are the direct result of negligence, and as such, they are entirely preventable. A few of the leading causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (including prescription medication)
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Lack of inspection and maintenance
- Failure to properly load and secure cargo
- Defective truck or trailer parts.
Our firm will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of your crash and to establish liability. We may also consult with experts such as accident reconstruction specialists, trucking safety experts, engineers and medical experts – all in an effort to maximize the amount that you recover in your case.
How Much Compensation Can You Recover If a Truck Injures You in Edmond?
Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries that change people’s lives forever. Those who are hurt in trucking accidents may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages
- Diminished ability to earn wages in the future
- Disfigurement and disability
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages.
Where a loved one dies in a crash, surviving family members may be entitled to wrongful death damages such as:
- Final expenses, including funeral or burial costs
- Medical bills incurred by the estate or by the decedent’s loved ones
- Loss of a loved one’s society and companionship
- Loss of a loved one’s financial support.
At Cain Law Office, we have more than 20 years of proven success in fighting for compensation for our clients. We will know how to calculate the damages you are owed in your trucking accident case and how to pursue those damages through the settlement negotiation process or by taking your case to trial. We have the resources to fight even the hardest court battles against large trucking companies and their insurance carriers.
Our Edmond Truck Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
Cain Law Office represents clients on a contingency fee basis. So, we will not charge you any legal fees unless you recover compensation. To learn more about how we can serve you and your family after a trucking accident in Edmond, contact us today. We will immediately review your case in a free consultation.