Driving a commercial truck across Oklahoma or across the country is a tough job. Truck drivers are on the road for long hours, expected to be focused only on the road ahead, and often pressured to make it to their destination as quickly as possible. Although there are hours of service regulations that govern how long a trucker can drive without a break, not all drivers or trucking companies follow these rules.
Truck drivers who have pushed themselves to drive for too long or who have not gotten enough sleep in between shifts are a danger to everyone on the road. Truck driver fatigue and drowsiness can have catastrophic consequences when truck drivers fall asleep at the wheel or simply lose focus for a minute. Truck accidents involving passenger cars or motorcycles can leave victims with serious if not fatal injuries.
If you or a family member has been hurt in a crash that was caused by a drowsy truck driver, please contact the Cain Law Office now to discuss your legal rights to compensation. Our experienced Oklahoma truck accident lawyers have the skills and the resources to investigate these complex crashes and demand full compensation for you. Schedule your free consultation with our respected legal team today.
Why Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents Are So Complex
Although no driver should get behind the wheel if they are too tired to safely operate a motor vehicle, truck drivers have a particular responsibility to avoid fatigued driving. That’s because they are charged with operating massive vehicles that weigh much more than the passenger cars and motorcycles they share the road with.
People who have been hurt in accidents caused by truck driver drowsiness quickly find that these cases can be very complicated due to several factors, including:
- Catastrophic injuries: Victims of truck accidents typically suffer from severe and debilitating injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more. These injuries are difficult to recover from and costly to treat, so it is crucial that you have an attorney who can accurately document the full extent of your losses.
- Number of liable parties: You may assume that the drowsy truck driver is liable for the accident, but the truth is, there may be multiple liable parties. For example, the driver’s employer may have pushed him to break the rules and drive an excessive number of hours. Or the company that loaded the truck’s cargo may have failed to properly secure it, contributing to the driver’s loss of control of the vehicle. To make matters worse, all these companies may point the blame at each other or at you.
- Multiple insurance carriers: Dealing with one insurance company can be complicated enough. However, because truck accidents usually involve multiple liable parties, victims often must contend with multiple insurance carriers, all of which will seek to minimize, delay, or deny payouts.
- Higher policy limits: The individuals and companies involved in a truck’s operation carry insurance policies with higher limits than regular auto policies. Because accident victims often suffer severe and extremely costly injuries, these insurers know that there is a lot of money on the line in a truck accident claim. They will fight fiercely to protect their bottom line.
It is crucial to have a skilled truck accident attorney advocate for you if you are coping with serious injuries after a crash. Contact the Cain Law Office now to set up a free consultation and learn how we can help.
Signs of Drowsy Driving
Just like any type of negligent driver, drowsy or fatigued truck drivers may demonstrate dangerous behaviors such as:
- Drifting out of the lane and overcorrecting
- Drifting over the center lane
- Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road
- Missing an exit and braking suddenly
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Failing to check blind spots
Any of these actions can cause a serious accident. If you believe a truck driver is falling asleep at the wheel, take immediate action to protect yourself, even if it means changing your route. If you have a passenger with you, have them write down the license plate number and other details about the truck to report to police.
Legal Representation for Truck Accident Injuries
If you or a family member has been hurt in a crash with a drowsy trucker, you should speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible about your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills such as emergency room treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitative therapies, etc.
- Future medical expenses you may face related to your truck accident injuries
- Lost income if you cannot work while you recover from your injuries
- Diminished earning capacity for the future
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
An insurance company may contact you soon after your accident to ask you for a statement or to offer you a settlement. Sadly, they are not to be trusted. You should never give a written or recorded statement without speaking to an attorney, as the insurance company will try to trick you into saying something they can use against you later. Also, any settlement offer they make immediately after an accident will be extremely low compared to the full amount you should be entitled to receive.
How Our Oklahoma Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You
When you contact the dedicated truck accident lawyers at the Cain Law Office, you can trust that our team will take the time to listen to your story and go over all your legal options. We will:
- Meet with you for a free, no-obligation case consultation during which we can answer all your questions and explain what to expect
- Investigate your accident and gather all the evidence to show who was at fault
- Identify all possible sources of compensation
- Document the full extent of your losses to ensure we pursue the maximum compensation you deserve
- Consult with medical experts, economists, life care planners, accident reconstruction professionals, and other specialists to build a strong case
- Negotiate aggressively with insurance companies as we work toward a potential settlement
- Provide powerful and persuasive representation in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached
Please do not hesitate to get the legal advice you need. Contact us now to get started on your claim. Our Oklahoma truck accident attorneys stand ready to fight for you.