Let’s say you’re driving down the Broken Arrow Expressway in Tulsa, and in slowing traffic, a tractor-trailer rear-ends you at high speed. You suffer severe whiplash, and over the course of your recovery, several herniated disks are discovered. You’re unable to work from the pain, and the medical bills are piling up. The carrier’s insurance company isn’t cooperative, and you’re unsure what to do next.
That’s where we come in.
Nix Patterson’s Tulsa truck accident lawyers are committed to leveling the playing field and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Let’s look closer below at Tulsa truck accidents and some common issues that accident victims face. If you have truck accident injuries, a Nix Patterson truck accident lawyer in Tulsa is ready to fight for your recovery.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Oklahoma state government have many rules to make the roads safe for commercial truck drivers and motorists. These regulations include truck driver training, hiring and supervising drivers, truck maintenance, driving rules, hour of service rules, and more.
If a truck driver or company violates these rules and injures you, you could be entitled to compensation in a truck accident lawsuit. Your attorney is intimately familiar with federal and state trucking laws and will check if any rules that led to the accident were violated.
Many who have never been in a truck accident might think they are the same as other motor vehicle accidents. This isn’t true. Truck accidents are in an entirely different class of motor vehicle crashes for many reasons:
Did you know that a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds? This tremendous weight is up to 20 times greater than most passenger vehicles. It’s easy to imagine which vehicle takes the brunt of the impact when a big rig slams into a passenger car. The damage to the vehicle and occupants in a truck crash can be devastating. What might have been a fender bender between two cars could be a fatal accident when a tractor-trailer is involved.
If a huge commercial truck hits your small passenger car, you could have devastating injuries that necessitate months or years of recovery. The worse your injuries — brain trauma, back and neck injuries, broken bones — the more critical it is to work with an experienced Tulsa truck crash attorney.
You need a confident, skilled negotiator and litigator to stand up to the insurance company to get the money you need. The insurance company wants to pay you as little as they can get away with, but that won’t happen with Nix Patterson advocating for you.
In a conventional car accident, the defendant is usually the at-fault driver and their insurance company. When a tractor-trailer smashes into your car, you’re up against more fearsome adversaries.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may need to sue the negligent trucker, the employer, the truck manufacturer, the maintenance company, etc. Unless the truck driver acted negligently, he may not be at fault.
Instead, it could be his employer, the company that loaded the trailer, or even mechanics who neglected essential repairs. You must determine who was liable before a claim or lawsuit can proceed. Your Nix Patterson truck accident attorney is skilled in finding every negligent party and holding them liable for your losses.
Truck accidents in Tulsa are unfortunately common and occur for a variety of reasons, including:
Truckers and their employers are constantly pressured to deliver their goods on time. The regular schedule demands may lead drivers to abuse the hours of service rules established by the FMCSA. Drivers are only allowed to drive and be on the job for so many consecutive hours before they are required to rest. Unfortunately, many drivers are paid by the mile, and the temptation is strong to drive longer than they should. Nodding off behind the wheel of a huge tractor-trailer can have horrifying outcomes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 3,522 people died in traffic accidents nationally because of distracted driving. Truckers often drive long distances in Oklahoma with little to entertain themselves. Negligent truck drivers may yield to temptation and turn to their cell phones to pass the interminable hours behind the wheel. However, just looking away from the road for two seconds can lead to a horrific truck crash that severely injures or kills an innocent motorist.
Truckers may rely on drugs to keep awake or may have other problems with drugs and alcohol that endanger others. Impaired truck drivers are especially hazardous because it’s more difficult for them to control their huge vehicles while drunk or high.
Nix Patterson’s Tulsa truck accident attorneys will carefully check if the at-fault truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they injured you. Our attorneys will also review the driver’s record for any previous alcohol- or drug-related violations.
Trucking companies and drivers must maintain their vehicles to fit the road. Sadly, it’s too common for defective tires, brakes, and other failing truck equipment to be ignored to save money and time. If a significant mechanical failure occurs on the road, the driver could lose control and injure or kill others.
If a mechanical or maintenance issue caused your truck accident, you could have a personal injury and a product liability lawsuit. The former claim would be against the negligent driver or trucking company, while the latter would be filed against the company that made the defective part or maintained the truck.
It takes a tractor-trailer about 40% longer to stop than a typical passenger vehicle. If the trucker is speeding, it can take much longer for the massive rig to come to a complete stop. Our truck accident attorneys will review the crash evidence, including tire marks and the truck’s black box, to determine if speeding or reckless driving was a factor in the accident.
Trucks cause more severe injuries because of their massive size and weight. Now, let’s delve into the specifics of some of the horrifying injuries you could stem from a truck driver’s negligence:
These injuries, such as whiplash, sprains, and strains, could be relatively minor. Or, they could be severe, including ruptured spinal discs and spinal cord damage.
Head trauma in a truck accident can cause severe brain injuries, which could change your life forever. If this happens, you will need plenty of compensation in a truck accident lawsuit to receive much-needed medical care and rehabilitation.
Trucks carry a lot of fuel, and a collision could rupture fuel tanks in either vehicle. In seconds, your vehicle could be engulfed in flames, and severe burns could result. These are excruciating injuries that require years of treatment and recovery.
Blunt trauma from the truck impact could damage your organs, blood vessels, and other vital tissues. You could, for example, have damage to your spleen, kidneys, stomach, pancreas, liver, etc. These injuries might not be initially apparent, so you should always be checked by a doctor immediately after a truck crash.
You could have limbs crushed or torn off just from the truck impact. Or, you could have severe burns on your face that disfigure you for life. If you have these types of injuries, working with an experienced truck accident lawyer is vital to your recovery and future.
The legal process after a truck crash is often complex and overwhelming for the layperson, especially someone with severe injuries. It’s critical to understand the legal process for the best-case result:
Your attorney is tasked with proving another driver or party was at fault in your truck accident. Nix Patterson is highly skilled in building robust truck accident cases that demonstrate the following elements that are essential to most negligence claims:
If these elements are proven in your truck accident case, you could receive compensatory damages in a settlement or lawsuit.
One challenge with truck accident lawsuits in Oklahoma is the short time you have to file your claim. You have only two years in Oklahoma to file a personal injury lawsuit from the accident date. If you wait beyond that, you may be unable to collect damages for your injuries.
If your truck accident claim or lawsuit is successful, you could be entitled to some or all of the following damages:
Economic damages in a truck accident can be substantial because of the severity of injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for your past and current medical bills, future medical care and rehabilitation, lost earnings, and any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident.
Non-economic damages in a truck accident also can be considerable. These damages are more challenging to quantify and include physical pain and suffering as well as mental anguish. Your attorney will use your doctor’s statements and your medical records to show the level of pain and suffering you have endured.
You could be entitled to punitive damages if the trucker or at-fault party was incredibly reckless and disregarded your safety. These damages are meant to punish the negligent party and serve as a warning to others.
A truck accident is almost always a terrifying ordeal. In an instant, you could suffer devastating injuries that prevent you from caring for yourself, working, and enjoying your everyday life.
The truck accident attorneys at Nix Patterson understand. We have stood up for Tulsans injured by negligent trucking companies for years. Contact us today and learn how we can fight for you.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
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