Truck Drivers, Operators And Owners Are Held To A Higher Degree Of Safety In Oklahoma
Trucks, such as tractor trailers and 18-wheelers, are on the same roadways as much smaller cars and motorcycles. Because these trucks are so large, safety is key. There are several checks needed to ensure that the drivers, the trucks and the delivery expectations meet safety standards.
At Swain Law Group in Norman, our team of experienced truck accident attorneys can explain why and how truck accidents are different and what your options are. We will work with you and your loved one to ensure that you get the medical care you need and that compensation is pursued with your best interests in mind.
We Offer The Guidance And Answers You Need
After a serious or fatal truck accident, you and your family need answers. We have provided answers to the most commonly asked questions below. Please call our office to get answers to other questions or more information: 405-546-1292. Your initial consultation for truck accidents is free.
Because truck accidents are different than car crashes, does that mean I will need an attorney?
Generally speaking, yes. In order to pursue compensation after a serious accident, you must prove liability. This often means hiring experts to reconstruct the accident scene, procuring detailed medical records and enlisting the help of expert witnesses. It also means having the legal experience and knowledge necessary to prove both liability and negligence.
Unlike car crashes, commercial truck drivers must be properly trained to drive safely in all conditions. A trucking manager must create realistic schedules and must not allow impaired drivers out on the route. Trucking company owners must ensure that each truck is given a thorough safety check. The truck must also be loaded correctly before it takes off. When any of these fail to happen it can cause an accident due to negligence.
How do I calculate what my case is worth?
At Swain Law Group we work as your advocate. That means we help you understand your rights and options. We also “do the math” so that you know what your case is truly worth. Doing the math means we can let you know what your lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering are typically worth.
Doing the math also involves deep dives into legal precedent. We will research the cases like yours. We will research the trucking company, their drivers, their training, their ledgers and logs. We will take into consideration Oklahoma trucking and insurance laws. This way we can keep you informed as to the compensation that is historically paid out in cases similar to yours.
When we partner with you, you are able to understand when a settlement (an agreed upon amount of financial compensation that happens outside of court) may be in your best interest. Having this knowledge also gives you a good idea whether it’s worth litigating (taking your case to court and having a judge or jury decide the outcome).
When considering hiring an attorney to represent your best interests, do not worry about payment. Injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay us NOTHING unless we take your case and win a settlement outside of court or a verdict in court. When we win we take an agreed-upon percentage of the compensation.
What are the most common injuries after a truck accident?
Unfortunately, given the weight of big trucks and the speed at which they typically travel, many collisions result in the death of the driver or passengers. When this happens a spouse or family member of the person who died may want to pursue a wrongful death case.
Many injuries after a collision are obvious: broken bones, cuts and bruises. What people don’t realize is that our bodies often go into a state of shock right after an accident. We may think we are fine, when in reality we have internal, back or head injuries. After any accident that is more than a slight fender-bender you should seek medical attention to ensure that you did not suffer:
- Soft-tissue injuries to the back or neck
- A concussion
- An internal injury
Serious injuries require extensive time off from work and cause excruciatingly high medical bills. Insurance company representatives may at first make you an initial settlement offer that seems like a large sum of money. However, with more serious or long-term injuries that settlement may only be a fraction of what your case is really worth. In our experience, the bigger the trucking company, the more often they are willing to put up a fight. This is because they have a team of full-time lawyers working for them to protect their bottom line.
The insurance company representative or the company’s attorney may even insinuate that it is a one-time settlement offer and you must decide right away or lose it all. This is almost never the case. Instead, it is overwhelmingly in your best interest to consult a qualified personal injury attorney before agreeing to ANYTHING the insurance company offers. We will always do the math and then negotiate or litigate per your best interests.
Will I ever need to use my own insurance after an accident? What if I have MedPay?
If you own an insured car in Oklahoma you may have certain types of coverage that offer extra protection in an accident. A trucking company typically has big insurance coverage. So it is not that they do not have the money to pay out, it is that they will put up a longer fight in order to pay little or nothing. Because a third party is often involved in these cases, it can complicate the path to compensation. Here is where having a dedicated personal injury attorney on your side can really make a difference. Part of what may affect who pays what is liability–or who was at fault for the accident. It’s advised that you review your policy and consult with an attorney before pursuing any claim with your own insurance carrier. However, you should know that:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) covers you and passengers and the costs related to your injury. These costs may include lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses and funeral costs.
- MedPay covers medical costs that happen due to a car accident, funeral and burial expenses. These are covered no matter who caused the accident. There are no copays or deductibles. See more on our car accident page about MedPay.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) covers many types of harms and losses. UIM would only be used if the truck driver or the driver’s company had little or no insurance which is highly unusual.
Find out more about your particular case in a free initial consultation. We are happy to answer your questions and let you know how we can help.
Work With A Team Who Will Protect Your Best Interests After A Truck Accident Of Any Kind
Protect your best interests. Work with the team who will take care of you and your case. Call our team in Norman at 405-546-1292 or send us a contact email telling us that you’d like more information. We have offices in six locations across Oklahoma to serve you.