We think of tow trucks as helping us out after an accident–and they usually do. But sometimes, tow trucks can cause accidents on Oklahoma’s roads. Other times, when stopped on the roadside after an accident or to collect a broken-down vehicle, the tow truck and its driver become accident victims themselves.
Whether you are another driver involved in a tow truck accident or a tow truck driver hit by another vehicle, get in touch with an Oklahoma City truck accident lawyer from BDIW. Truck accidents come with their own set of complexities, and it is important to secure knowledgeable representation from an Oklahoma City tow truck accident lawyer who will work to get you fully compensated for your losses.
Oklahoma City Tow Truck Accident Victims
Large trucks of all types were involved in accidents causing fatalities or serious injuries in large numbers for a recent year of data collection, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). These accidents led to 4,174 deaths. Of these deaths:
- 68% were occupants of passenger vehicles
- 16% were truck occupants
- 15% were pedestrians
The National Safety Council reports that 136 fatal accidents occurred in Oklahoma. For the year prior, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported 415,000 truck accidents nationwide. Of these accidents, 4,444 caused fatalities, and 101,000 caused injuries.
Tow Truck Drivers as Victims
While occupants of passenger vehicles comprise the highest percentage of victims in truck-involved accidents, tow truck drivers face serious risks as well.
According to Hard Hat Training Provisions, Inc., 1,280 tow truck drivers are injured each year, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 60 truck drivers per year, about one every six days, are killed while working, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Many of these incidents occur when the tow truck operator is
- hit by the towed car
- hit by passing vehicles while working
- hit while driving the tow truck
- Hurt by faulty equipment or maintenance-related situations
- Injured (or killed) in a tow truck tip-over
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An Oklahoma City Tow Truck Attorney Will Determine Fault
Determining fault for an accident is the first step in filing a claim. In Oklahoma, which operates under a modified comparative fault system for personal injury cases, victims of a tow truck accident can file a claim against the at-fault party if they, the victims, are less than 50% responsible for causing the accident. If the victim is eligible to file but still holds some percentage of fault, their compensation is reduced according to that same percentage.
Further, victims can only collect a settlement by proving the at-fault party’s negligence. Identifying that party and gathering evidence to prove negligence requires an extensive investigation. Your Oklahoma City tow truck accident attorney from BDIW has the experience, resources, connections, and other elements needed to carry out this detailed examination of your case.
While the at-fault party may seem obvious to you, often, there are other less-obvious factors contributing to the accident. If you file against the wrong party, you ultimately will not be able to prove your claim or collect a settlement. Trust your lawyer to uncover all relevant factors and file appropriately.
Possible At-Fault Parties in a Tow Truck Accident
The list of potential negligent parties is significant, though some scenarios are more commonly seen.
The Tow Truck Driver
Tow trucks are large, cumbersome vehicles with several blind spots. Operators may make driving errors, fail to see other vehicles, or lose control of the vehicle.
Truck operators can also make mistakes in loading vehicles for towing. If they do not lock the vehicle’s wheels or use security chains and other mechanisms correctly, the loaded car can literally roll or fall off the truck.
Tow Truck Companies or Manufacturers
Companies must ensure their vehicles undergo proper inspection and maintenance and take unsafe trucks out of use. Manufacturers must produce safe, operational vehicles and vehicle parts free of potential malfunctions that could injure the driver or others on the road.
tow truck companies must also ensure their drivers are thoroughly trained and comply with all safety and driving regulations.
Tow truck drivers and other first responders who provide aid at the scene of an accident or breakdown have been hit by cars passing by the scene. Too often, passing drivers do not slow down or change lines in compliance with the “move over” laws enacted in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Though states have penalties in place for breaking the law, many drivers remain unaware of the consequences and of the laws themselves, and tow truck drivers pay a high price for this lack of awareness.
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Securing Damages from a Tow Truck Accident in Oklahoma City
A tow truck accident attorney in Oklahoma City will file your claim, collect evidence to support your claim and prove the at-fault party’s negligence, and calculate a settlement demand to cover the damages you sustained in the accident.
The amount of your settlement depends on a variety of factors, including the extent of your injuries and their consequences, your suffering, the degree of the at-fault party’s negligence, and others. While it is not possible to predict the amount you will collect, your attorney will seek compensation for:
- Property lost or destroyed
- Wages lost during recovery time
- Future lost income and benefits if you cannot go back to work
- Medical expenses already incurred and projected costs for future treatment
- Other expenses related to the accident
- Your physical suffering and emotional trauma
- Losses to your overall quality of life
Your tow truck lawyer in Oklahoma City will assess your losses with precision, working to ensure you are thoroughly compensated.
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Maximize Your Compensation and Get Justice
If you have been hurt in a tow truck accident, the team at BDIW is here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call or send an electronic message to arrange a free consultation with a tow truck accident lawyer in Oklahoma City who will treat you with compassion and respect, but fight fiercely to uphold your victims’ rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
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