Recent Accident Statistics.
The United States Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Administration announced in October 2018 that 2017 highway fatality numbers decreased from 2016 but still claimed over 34,247 lives, and combination trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 5.8 percent. Most of the time the truck accident is caused by a passenger vehicle and approximately 16% of the time the fault falls with the driver of the truck.
Oklahoma City’s population is close to 600,000 making it the biggest city in Oklahoma. Three of the country’s major highways converge into Oklahoma City, causing commuter traffic to flow along the same path as travelers from across the country and thousands of semi-trucks hauling freight. More than 140,000 Oklahomans commute for work in and out of Oklahoma County each day. Traffic data for Oklahoma in 2017 revealed 655 fatal highway accidents where 131 involved trucks. Trucks fall into two classes, those weighing 10,000 pounds or less, and those weighing more than 10,000 pounds which may move them to the Commercial Motor Vehicle category and change some of the laws and damages to be sought after in personal injury situations.
If you are in an accident in Oklahoma City Oklahoma, you should:
- Check on the condition of the people involved in the accident;
- Call the police or emergency responders if needed;
- Get a written accident report;
- Remain at the accident scene;
- Exchange driver and insurance information;
- Get witness contact information;
- Call your insurance company to set up a claim;
- Seek out medical treatment if necessary;
- Take pictures of the scene, and the vehicle damages;
- If the truck is a Commercial Vehicle, get State Trooper report;
- Do not make any statements regarding the fault or liability at the scene or when making a complaint;
- Call an accident attorney to determine “fault” and actions toward a proceeding to address damages and injuries sustained.
Oklahoma and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have specific insurance requirements for semis. If you have your own authority, some coverages are mandatory, like primary liability. If you are leased to a motor carrier, you may be looking for physical damage truck insurance, bobtail coverage, and non-trucking liability.
Oklahoma is an at-fault state, meaning drivers face financial liability after an accident if it is determined they are to blame. According to the Oklahoma Insurance Commission, all drivers are state mandated to carry a certain amount of vehicle insurance in the event of an accident. If you are involved in an accident where the at fault driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of your injuries, your own insurance may be able to help. The pros in an “at-fault” insurance state are: 1) reckless drivers are held accountable for their actions, and 2) prevention of insurance premiums increasing when drivers are involved in accidents where they are not to blame. The cons of an “at-fault” insurance state are: 1) the amount of time spent determining liability after an accident may delay settlement and funding necessary for certain treatments in personal injury and car replacement, and 2) compensation for damages and injuries may be limited if the other driver is under-insured or not insured at all.
Hire an Attorney.
Hiring a legal professional to assist with the burden of collecting and analyzing the data that will determine fault is very important. Determining the percentage of fault is a matter for those who have reviewed police reports, witness reports, car damages, roadway marks and other factors present at the time of the accident. Seeking effective legal counsel who have experience in truck accident cases in Oklahoma is in your best interests to get the proper attention to your case, and a good settlement for damages to your individual situation.