Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents which people experience in Oklahoma. Many of these crashes involve large commercial vehicles or tractor-trailers. Far from being minor “fender benders,” many rear-end truck crashes result in serious injuries. They may leave families without their transportation and facing expensive medical bills and loss of income.
At Cain Law Office, we believe that negligent truckers and trucking companies should be held accountable for their actions. If you recently lost a loved one or suffered serious injuries in a rear-end collision involving a large truck, contact us to discuss your case. We have offices in Oklahoma City and Edmond, and we can provide timely and free consultation.
What Causes Rear-End Truck Collisions in Oklahoma?
A rear-end truck accident occurs when a truck driver strikes your vehicle from behind. This can happen for a lot of different reasons. Serious injuries can result from these crashes – even at slower speeds. It can be a traumatic and frustrating event that puts your whole life on hold.
No two truck accidents are the same. Still, some common causes can be seen in these crashes in Oklahoma:
- Speeding – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lists speeding as the leading driver-related factor in fatal large truck accidents in the U.S. A driver of a massive 80,000-pound-plus rig typically lacks time and distance to stop or swerve on time in order to avoid a rear-end crash.
- Distracted driving – Think it’s just texting? Think again. Truck drivers can become distracted by signs, images on the road, passengers, radio dials, making phone calls, eating or drinking, smoking, and yes, even texting while behind the wheel. It’s important to note that the FMCSA bans texting while driving as well as talking on a hand-held phone.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – Drug and alcohol impairment makes truck drivers unable to judge speeds and distances, which can easily lead to rear-end accidents. In Oklahoma, a truck driver is deemed to be legally impaired with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher.
- Fatigued driving – Truck drivers work long hours each week – even when they comply with the FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations. Some drivers get up early and hit the road before they are fully alert, or they may drive long distances. Drowsy and fatigued driving can be lethal when drivers are at the highly complex controls of a tractor-trailer.
- Following too closely – In heavy traffic, truckers can be tempted to tailgate the car in front of them. If a truck driver follows another vehicle too closely, the driver may lack the time and distance to avoid a crash.
- Mechanical failure – Not all rear-end truck accidents are due to human error. Sometimes, truck manufacturer defects or mechanical failures can play a role. In these cases, a manufacturer or mechanic may be liable. In many cases, truck drivers simply fail to get their brakes properly serviced.
Injuries in Oklahoma Rear-End Truck Crashes
A rear-end truck crash can be minor or severe. Speed and a host of other factors can all play a role in how badly people are injured. Common injuries tend to include the following:
- Concussion – Concussions are nothing to disregard. They are considered a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). They can have lasting effects.
- Severe brain Injury – TBI happens when the brain suffers a physical injury such as bruising or a fissure. This happens when you strike your head. It can even happen due to a very aggressive shaking action that a rear-end collision with a truck can trigger.
- Whiplash – When the neck and head are shaken violently in a crash – as is common in rear-end truck collisions – the muscle and ligament structures of the neck and upper back become inflamed, which can often cause excruciating pain. This is known as whiplash.
- Spinal cord Injury – In severe truck accident cases, people have even been paralyzed due to nerve damage and spinal cord injuries.
- Broken Bones – Broken bones are also not uncommon in rear-end collisions with tractor-trailers. Fractured arms, legs, ankles, feet, hands, and collarbones are quite common – often from impacts that result in the person’s body striking the dashboard. Seat belts can break bones in some cases. (They are still much safer to wear than not to wear.)
- Disfigurement – Whether from actual injuries or from surgeries that are required due to the injuries, scarring and permanent disfigurement are also serious injuries that occur in these types of truck accidents.
Who Is At Fault in a Rear-End Truck Collision?
Liability for a rear-end truck accident depends on the facts. A common scenario is getting rear-ended by a tractor-trailer while stopped in traffic or at a light. This is usually caused by the truck driver who hit you from behind. In fact, except in situations where the lead vehicle stops abruptly without any reason, the rear vehicle is normally going to be held responsible in a rear-end accident. The theory is that a reasonable driver would keep enough distance to be able to safely react in the event that there’s an emergency or in the event that the lead car has to stop.
The negligent truck driver may be liable for a rear-end collision. The trucking company may be liable for the driver’s negligence or for its own negligence. For instance, the trucking company may have hired an unsafe driver without conducting a proper background check, or the company may have failed to adequately supervise the driver. In some cases, a mechanic who made a faulty repair, or the manufacturer of a flawed truck or truck part may be to blame. At Cain Law Office, we will thoroughly investigate a rear-end truck accident and identify all parties who should be held accountable.
Get Help from an Oklahoma Rear-End Truck Accident Attorney Today
At Cain Law Office, we will take the mystery out of the insurance claims process by handling everything for you after a rear-end truck accident, starting with a prompt and thorough investigation of the crash. We never charge our clients for a consultation, and our fees are completely based on our ability to recover funds for you. If there is no recovery, you will pay no fee. Contact us today to get the legal help you need in Oklahoma.