When attempting to recover compensation after a truck accident, you will need to prove that another party was negligent or acted with the intent of causing harm. Unfortunately, establishing fault can often be challenging, especially when there are multiple parties all pointing their fingers at one another.
The good news is that you don’t have to attempt to establish negligence on your own. At BDIW Law, our team of Oklahoma truck accident lawyers has the necessary experience to help them quickly get to the bottom of who is to blame for your damages. Contact us today to learn more through a free consultation.
The Elements of Negligence
To recover compensation from another party after a truck accident, you must determine fault. If the liable party acted with the intent of causing harm, you must prove that the purpose of their actions was to do so. However, if the accident resulted from negligence, there are four elements you must establish.
Duty of Care
The first thing you must prove is that the other party owed you a duty of care. If you are attempting to recover compensation from the driver, establishing a duty of care is simple. All drivers owe a duty of care to everyone on the road.
If you were involved in an accident with a truck driver, they owed you a duty of care to act reasonably safely to minimize the chance of a collision. This responsibility works both ways. The truck driver owes you a duty of care while on the road, just as you owe them a duty of care.
Establishing the duty of care of another party not directly involved in the accident tends to be straightforward as well. If the at-fault party was the trucking company or truck manufacturer, both of those parties have a duty of care to ensure that the drivers and trucks they put on the road are as safe as possible.
Breached Duty of Care
After establishing the existence of a duty of care, the next thing you need to show is that the at-fault party breached that duty. When the defendant is the driver of the commercial truck, establishing a breach is possible by showing that they were operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. Types of unsafe driving for a truck driver can include:
- Using a cell phone
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Violating federal trucking safety regulations
This list is far from complete. Any unsafe driving can constitute a breach of the duty of care of a truck driver.
If the trucking company is liable for your damages, showing that they failed to provide their drivers with proper training or did not perform necessary background checks could also constitute a breach of their duty of care.
You Sustained Damages
The third element to establish is that you suffered damages. You can prove the existence of damages through pictures of your vehicle after the crash, an invoice from an auto repair shop, and your medical records.
However, you must seek medical treatment and get your vehicle repaired shortly after the crash. Otherwise, the defense will attempt to argue that any damages you sustained may have resulted from an unrelated incident.
Your Damages Were Caused by the Breached Duty of Care
The last step in proving negligence is tying the first three elements together. You must be able to show that your damages were caused by the liable party breaching their duty of care. An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to help you prove to the court that the defendant is responsible for your damages.
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Don’t Delay When Filing a Lawsuit
When filing a lawsuit against a negligent party, it is critical that you don’t miss the deadline set forth by the statute of limitations. In Oklahoma, accident victims typically have two years to file a lawsuit against the liable party. If you don’t get your paperwork filed on time, it will likely result in the loss of your right to claim compensation.
Because of the challenges that can come with attempting to prove liability, you must hire a truck accident lawyer early. Your attorney will investigate your case to determine who is at fault so that they can file your lawsuit against the correct party before time runs out.
The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the better. Exceptions to the statute of limitations could apply to your case that further restrict the amount of time you have to file. An experienced attorney will be able to identify the deadline that applies to your case and ensure that all paperwork is filed on time.
Damages You Can Recover from the Negligent Party
If you were injured in a truck accident because of another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to claim a wide variety of damages. Some of the available damages you will likely be able to pursue include:
- Diminished quality of life
- Lost income
- Lost earning ability
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
In addition to these compensatory damages, your case may also qualify for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the liable party for their actions or inaction. A judge will only award punitive damages if the negligent party’s actions reached the level of criminal negligence.
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Speak With an Oklahoma Truck Accident Attorney Today
When attempting to prove negligence and recover compensation from the at-fault party after a truck accident, it is essential that you hire the right lawyer to help with your case. At BDIW Law, our team of truck accident attorneys has a long history of securing significant compensation for our clients.
Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help get you the money you need.
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