Tulsa Truck Accident Lawyer
Hurt in a Truck Accident in Tulsa?Contact the McGuire Law Firm Today At McGuire Law Firm, our Tulsa truck accident attorneys have more than six decades of combined experience fighting for injured victims and their families. As a small firm that gets big results, we know how to hold large trucking companies and their commercial insurers accountable. If you or your loved one was hurt in a semi-truck collision, we are here as a legal resource. To set up your free consultation with a top Tulsa truck accident lawyer, contact us today.
What to Do After a Trucking Accident in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The scene of a commercial truck accident can be hectic, stressful, and confusing. By knowing what to do, you can put yourself in the best position to move past the accident and put the pieces back together. Your rights and your interests matter. Here are four of the most important steps to take after a semi-truck accident in Tulsa:
- Stop Your Vehicle and Report the Truck Accident: You must stop your vehicle as close to the accident scene as possible. Get yourself into a safe position. Exchange information with the trucker and any other parties. Notably, in Oklahoma, it is a legal requirement to report a collision if it results in injuries, deaths, or damages exceeding $300. Contact a law enforcement agency, such as the Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, or the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
- Seek Immediate Medical Care for Any Injuries: All truck accident injuries should be evaluated and treated by a licensed physician. Of course, an emergency always takes priority over anything else. Beyond that, non-emergency injuries still require professional care. Not only does seeing a doctor ensure that you get prompt attention, it is a necessary step to be able to bring a successful personal injury claim in Oklahoma.
- Carefully Document the Trucking Accident: Truck accidents should be proactively documented. You can be sure the truck company and its insurers will waste no time conducting their own investigation. Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and damages to your vehicle. Obtain contact details of any eyewitnesses and note down the truck's license plate, driver details, and company information. Documentation will serve as important evidence in your case.
- Consult With a Tulsa Attorney Before an Insurer: You cannot trust any insurance company to look out for what is best for you and your family. Do not take on the claims process alone. Consult with a Tulsa semi-truck accident attorney right away after a serious collision with a tractor-trailer. Among other things, your attorney will be able to help you take action to ensure that your rights are protected.
Large Commercial Trucks Cause a Disproportionate Share of Catastrophic Injuries
A fully loaded tractor-trailer in Oklahoma can weigh up to 40 tons. These vehicles dwarf the size of passenger cars. Unfortunately, when large semi-trucks are involved in collisions, the consequences are often catastrophic, even deadly. For reference, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that more than 5,700 large commercial trucks were involved in fatal accidents nationwide in 2021. Tens of thousands more tractor-trailers were involved in crashes that resulted in severe injuries. While trucks make up only 5% of licensed vehicles in the United States, they make up approximately 10% of vehicles involved in deadly crashes.
The Most Common Reasons Why Semi-Truck Accidents Happen
Large commercial truck accidents happen for a wide range of different reasons. The core commonality that the overwhelming majority of truck accidents share is that they could have been prevented with proper care. Some of the most common reasons why tractor-trailer crashes happen in the Tulsa area include the following:
- Driver Fatigue: One of the leading causes of semi-truck accidents is driver fatigue. Long hours on the road can result in tiredness and decreased alertness, impacting the driver's ability to react quickly to sudden changes in road conditions or traffic. Notably, there are federal regulations in place that limit service hours by truckers.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving: Like any other vehicle, semi-trucks can be involved in accidents due to excessive speed or reckless driving. Due to their size and weight, trucks need a longer distance to stop, and speeding exacerbates this issue. Speed is a serious issue.
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is dangerous driving, especially for large commercial trucks. Broadly explained, distracted driving includes any activity that diverts attention from driving, such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, or using a navigation system. Any of these distractions can lead to a severe accident.
- Inadequate Training or Experience of Drivers: Driving a semi-truck requires specialized skills and knowledge. Inexperienced or inadequately trained drivers are more likely to make errors that could result in an accident.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUIs): While it is less common due to stringent regulations, some semi-truck accidents still occur because of drivers operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Semi-trucks require regular maintenance due to the heavy wear and tear they experience. Poorly maintained trucks can result in mechanical failures such as brake failures or tire blowouts, leading to accidents. If you have any questions about crashes caused by inadequate truck maintenance, a Tulsa attorney can help.
- Improper Loading (Overloaded Trailers): The cargo on a semi-truck must be appropriately loaded and secured. Improperly loaded cargo can shift during transport, causing the truck to become unbalanced and potentially leading to a rollover.
We Represent Injured Victims in All Types of Truck Accident in Tulsa, OK
Not only do truck accidents have a wide variety of different underlying causes, but they also happen in different ways. At McGuire Law Firm, our Oklahoma personal injury law firm handles all types of commercial truck accidents in Tulsa, including:
- Rollovers: Rollover accidents happen when a truck tips over onto its side or roof, often caused by sharp turns at high speeds, improper loading, or colliding with other vehicles or objects. These can be particularly devastating due to the size of the truck.
- Jackknife Accidents: A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of a semi-truck swings out into a position that makes it appear like a folding pocket knife. These trucking accidents can happen due to abrupt braking, slippery roads, or equipment failure.
- Rear-end Collisions: A rear-end collision involving a truck can cause significant damage and severe injuries due to the truck's mass and momentum. These typically occur when a truck driver fails to hit the brakes in time.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Large trucks have significant blind spots, or "no-zones," where other vehicles aren't visible. Accidents can occur when trucks change lanes or turn without noticing a vehicle in their blind spot.
- Truck Underride Accidents: These tragic accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slides under the back or side of a large truck, often resulting in severe or fatal injuries.
- Lost Load Accidents: If a truck's cargo is not properly secured, it can spill onto the roadway, causing accidents.
- Head-on Collisions: While less common, head-on collisions with trucks often result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the high speeds and force of impact.
An Overview of Truck Accident Claims in Oklahoma
Were you involved in an eighteen-wheeler accident in Tulsa? It is crucial that you understand your rights and responsibilities under state law. Although federal safety regulations can play a role, truck accident injury claims in Tulsa are largely governed by Oklahoma law. Navigating through the claims process after a trucking accident in Oklahoma can be daunting. Here are four essential points to understand about Oklahoma’s truck accident claims process:
- Truck Accident Liability is Based on Fault: Oklahoma employs a fault-based system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, including semi-truck accidents. The party found to be at fault for the accident bears responsibility for any damages. These damages can be in the form of medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, or even non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In complex cases involving commercial trucks, various parties can be held liable, such as the driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or other firms.
- Oklahoma is a Comparative Negligence State: Under Oklahoma law ( Stat. Ann. Tit. 23 § 13), truck accident cases fall under a comparative negligence standard. In effect, this means that an injured person's compensation is reduced by a percentage equal to their share of fault. Here is an example: If a truck accident victim is found to be 20% at fault for the accident in Tulsa, their total damages would be reduced by 20%. Notably, Oklahoma uses a modified comparative negligence standard. If a truck accident victim is found to be liable for 51% (or more) of a crash, they cannot recover compensation.
- Federal Regulations May Affect Your Case: Commercial trucking is heavily regulated at the federal level. All trucks that operate multi-state—which includes most large commercial trucks in Oklahoma—are subject to federal safety regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets rules on driver's hours, vehicle maintenance, cargo loading, and more. If the truck driver or trucking company violated any FMCSA regulations, it could be a significant factor in establishing their negligence.
- A Two-Year Statute of Limitations to Bring a Claim: Oklahoma law specifies a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including truck accidents. In other words, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Failure to file within this period typically results in the loss of your right to pursue compensation. The timeframe may seem ample, but considering the complexities of trucking accident cases, it is advisable to initiate the process as soon as possible after the accident. Consult with a Tulsa semi-truck accident attorney right away after a serious crash.
We Help Truck Accident Victims in Tulsa Secure Full and Fair Compensation
In Oklahoma, injured truck accident victims have the right to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party. A truck accident settlement or verdict is largely designed to be compensatory in nature—meaning the total value of the compensation will be associated with the actual damages. Unfortunately, trucking companies and big insurance carriers fight to minimize settlements and verdicts. At McGuire Law Firm, our Tulsa semi-truck accident lawyers fight tirelessly to assist victims in securing every dollar of compensation that they rightfully deserve. You may be entitled to recover financial relief for:
- Property damage, including vehicle repairs;
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Medical bills and other health care costs;
- Ongoing or long-term rehabilitative care;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering & emotional distress;
- Disability or disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Why Rely on the Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyers at McGuire Law Firm
Semi-truck accident claims are complicated. We are a small family firm with big firm strength. Kent McGuire and Linda McGuire are always prepared to invest the time, resources, and attention to detail into your case. Among other things, our Tulsa truck accident attorneys are prepared to:
- Listen to your story and answer questions about truck accident claims in Oklahoma;
- Thoroughly investigate your truck crash, gathering evidence and information;
- Handle settlement negotiations with the insurance companies; and
- Develop a personalized strategy designed to maximize your financial recovery.
You deserve an attorney who cares about your case. With testimonials from former clients and a proven record of settlements and judgments across a wide range of cases, our Tulsa truck accident lawyers are standing by, ready to protect your rights and your interests.