Whether you’re a new driver or an old hand on the road, driving past a truck can be an intimidating experience. Trucks are large and difficult to control, even for experienced drivers. A flicker of negligence behind the wheel can see you and your loved ones forced to contend with an onslaught of new bills, not to mention serious injuries.
When you find yourself asking, “how can truck accidents be prevented?” understand that there’s a balance you can find on the road. You can take steps, for example, to minimize your risk of an accident on the road. That said, you can also better understand the duty of care that truck drivers owe you. If you’re in an accident, you can bring a violated duty forward in court.
Taking Caution Around Trucks on the Road
If you want to protect yourself from a truck accident, it’s in your best interest to exercise caution when driving past or around a truck on the interstate. You can specifically:
- Stay out of a semi truck’s blindspot
- Give a truck a lot of space to move on the road
- Watch for a truck’s signals
- Make your own intention to pass clear by signaling your intentions
- Pass a truck quickly but carefully
- Avoid using your brights when behind a truck at night
It’s also in your best interest to keep an eye on the weather and try to avoid driving on the interstate in heavy rain or snow. Trucks have a lot of force operating behind them and don’t always have the means to stop carefully when the weather takes a turn.
Your Duty of Care on the Road
While you are responsible for how you behave around trucks on the road, you’re not responsible for how truck drivers or other motorists decide to interpret roadway laws. If a truck driver engages in negligent behavior, they can cause an accident that you have no power to stop. Truck drivers can specifically be found culpable for roadway misconduct if they:
- Drive distracted
- Drive under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Ignore the speed limit
- Pass you without using a turn signal
- Fail to give you enough space to navigate on the road
Similarly, other drivers can behave negligently around a truck, forcing the truck driver to react to that bad behavior. If another motorist’s negligence causes a truck to crash, bringing you along with it, you may have to divide the fault for your accident among the negligent parties.
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How to Hold Truck Drivers Responsible for Roadway Accidents
If you make every effort to protect yourself from a truck driver and still find yourself involved in an accident, don’t worry. There’s a path to justice available to you. You can work with a truck accident attorney to bring a civil claim forward in court. If your civil claim moves forward, you can demand damages for your losses from the party responsible for your accident.
That said, you must take legal action within the deadline established by Oklahoma Statute §12-95, Oklahoma’s personal injury statute of limitations. This statute limits your actionable time to two years. This means that you must bring a complaint forward within two years from the day your accident takes place.
What’s more, your truck accident complaint needs to be relatively comprehensive. This means that it needs to detail the nature of the negligence that resulted in your accident as well as the identity of the party that owed you a duty of care. You should be prepared to bring forward evidence to back each of your claims, whether you go before a judge or negotiate a settlement.
Trucking Contracts Change Liability After an Accident
If you want to take legal action against a truck driver after an accident, you need to name the party responsible for your losses. However, contracts can make the process of establishing liability more complicated than it initially seems.
For example, truck drivers who work as independent contractors are responsible for their own accidents. These parties’ independent insurance providers must help you if a judge approves your civil complaint. Comparatively, a truck driver who works as an employee of a larger company may rely on that employer to help address your post-accident care.
To establish liability after a truck accident, take a look at the evidence you have on hand. Our truck accident attorneys in Oklahoma can investigate your case. It’s our job to decipher the contracts that might otherwise stand between you and your right to post-accident financial support.
You Deserve Damages After a Truck Accident
It takes a lot of resources to recover from an accident with a semi-truck. Fortunately, you can include all of the bills related to your recovery in your demand for truck accident damages. A personal injury claim specifically lets you recover economic and non-economic losses like:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Restoration of lost property
- Property repair
- Lost wages while recovering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Truck accidents that result in the wrongful passing of a loved one are more than devastating. These accidents can rob your family of essential income while also putting you through unimaginable grief. You can work with a wrongful death attorney in Oklahoma to file a claim on a loved one’s behalf should they die in a truck accident.
Let Our Attorneys Know About Your Recent Truck Accident
You can take steps when you hit the road to limit your risk of a truck accident. You can’t, however, control how other people behave on the road. If a truck driver engages in roadway negligence, you instead have the right to hold that party accountable for any of your losses that stem from their behavior.
For help holding a truck driver or their employer accountable for roadway misconduct, call on the attorneys with BDIW Law. Our experienced team can work with you to assess your circumstances and calculate the possible value of your case. You can reach out to our team today by calling our office or contacting us through our website.
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