If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident in Oklahoma, you know just how devastating truck accidents can be. Truck accidents often result in severe, debilitating, and lifelong injuries, if they do not result in death. To help make up for a victim's losses, the law allows victims and their families to pursue monetary compensation via truck accident injury claims. However, just because the law allows it does not mean that victims automatically receive the funds as soon as their claims are filed. Rather, the personal injury claims recovery process is a complex one, and often more drawn out than it needs to be.
An aggressive truck accident attorney and skilled negotiator can help speed up the recovery process by utilizing investigative resources, proven negotiation tactics, and other resources to prove fault and causation and ensure the victim and his or her family receive just compensation as soon as feasibly possible. For that reason and several others, you should retain the help of a truck accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration , there were approximately 475,000 police-reported crashes involving semi-trucks or other large commercial vehicles in 2015. Of those, approximately 4,440 were fatal and 119,000 were injury crashes. Though the number of fatal accidents has increased by 29% from its low of 3,432 in 2009, it is lower than the number of fatal crashes in 2015. The number of injury, crashes, however, has substantially increased since 2009. In 2002, there were 102,000 injury crashes involving large trucks or buses. By 2009, there were only 60,000 reported instances, a decline of 41%. However, in the past decade, that number has nearly doubled. But why?
Just like car accidents involving passenger vehicle, truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons. That said, there seem to be trends in the why of big-rig accidents. Some of the most common causes of reported truck accidents are as follows:
● Driver Fatigue: Driver fatigue is one of the number one causes of truck accidents. The FMCSA has Hours of Regulations in place to prevent truckers from driving beyond the point of exhaustion. Unfortunately, however, truckers try to skirt these regulations by falsifying driving logs and other records.
● Substance Abuse: Truck drivers are subject to stricter BAC limits than drivers of passenger vehicles. However, despite that, many truckers abuse drugs and alcohol when on the clock.
● Speeding and Reckless Driving: Drivers get paid based on how quickly they can deliver shipments. For many drivers, this type of incentive means speeding and driving recklessly to meet deadline.
● Vehicle Malfunction: It is not uncommon for truck accidents to be caused by maintenance, design, or cargo errors. When these types of errors occur while a truck is on the move, they can have deadly consequences.
An experienced Ponca City truck accident attorney can perform an in-depth investigation to determine the cause of the incident. Moreover, an experienced attorney knows where to look. Truck companies often try to destroy driving logs and black boxes so as to prevent liability. To prevent this from happening, your lawyer may send a spoliation of evidence letter to the trucking company. This letter requires the company to preserve all evidence from the crash until the close of the case. Destruction of evidence can have significant and costly consequences.
Issuing a spoliation of evidence letter is just one of many ways in which an attorney can help you. To discover more ways the right lawyer can help you maximize your compensation, reach out to Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker to discuss your case today.