If you break down or are in an accident and need a tow truck to help, you expect an experienced, professional driver who will safely get you and your vehicle to its destination. However, even experienced, professional tow truck drivers can crash. It may not always be the fault of the tow truck driver. Another vehicle could crash into them, causing you serious injuries.
If you are unsure whose fault the accident was, an Oklahoma tow truck accident lawyer can help you determine who is liable while you recover from your injuries. Contact our truck accident team today for a free consultation.
Hazards for Tow Trucks
Tow trucks are heavier and larger than most vehicles on the road. They may not be as large as a big rig, but they are big enough to do some serious damage if they crash into you.
They have similar dangers as other larger trucks, including:
Due to the length of a tow truck, it must take wide turns. If a right turn is being made by a tow truck, it may be in a 2nd lane. You should never pull up along the right side of any truck turning right because you will be in the driver’s blind spot and go unseen when they begin making their right turn.
Trucks have three blind spots: in the front and rear, as well as along the sides of their truck. If the tow truck has a vehicle on it, its blind spot could be even greater. If you are driving on the side of a tow truck and must pass through its blind spot, you should drive as quickly as possible and avoid staying in the blind spot.
The Need for Additional Stopping Distance
The weight of any large vehicle requires extra stopping distance. A tow truck carrying an extra vehicle needs twice as much stopping time as a regular passenger vehicle. If someone cuts off a tow truck, even if they have impeccable reaction time, their truck is likely to smash into them due to the stopping distance required.
The Ease with Which a Vehicle Could Roll off the Back of the Tow Truck
A tow truck loaded with a vehicle should never be followed behind closely. You should always leave a good distance between yourself and the tow truck in case a chain breaks or the driver does not chock the wheels to avoid rolling. Another cause of rolling is if the cable is not tight or not locked in place or the driver does not use the emergency brake on the towed vehicle during transportation.
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Why Oklahoma Tow Truck Accidents Occur
Here are some of the most common causes of tow truck accidents in Oklahoma:
Even tow truck drivers will talk or text on their phones while behind the wheel. They may also get distracted while smoking, drinking, eating, grooming, or reading maps while trying to drive.
Alcohol and Drug Use
To make more money, some tow truck drivers will abuse prescription medications that help them stay awake in order to work the overnight shift and make more money. Unfortunately, this also leads to using different drugs or alcohol to get them to sleep.
Tow truck companies often try to save time or cut corners by putting inexperienced and unqualified drivers on the road merely because they can underpay them. It takes experience and skill to safely operate a tow truck, especially with the added weight of another vehicle.
Road Rage and Recklessness
Being a truck driver on the highway is nothing less than stressful with impatient drivers, speeders, and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Sometimes, this causes them to lose their cool, and road rage sets in. This causes reckless behavior and uncontrolled driving.
Other common causes of Oklahoma tow truck accidents include driving while drowsy, poorly maintained roadways, improper tow truck maintenance, and inclement weather. An Oklahoma tow truck accident attorney can help you if you have been the victim of a car crash.
Injuries from Tow Truck Accidents in Oklahoma
Injuries that occur from tow truck accidents are often more severe than the typical car accident due to the weight of the truck towing the vehicle behind it. In addition to the weight, the vehicle being towed can move or roll off the tow truck, causing further damage.
Injuries that may occur from tow truck accidents include:
- Sprains and strains
- Bumps, bruises, scrapes, scratches, and cuts
- Torn and pulled muscles
- Hearing injuries, including deafness, if the crash causes a severe explosion
- Eye & face injuries
- Head, shoulder, and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Road rash
- Thermal and chemical burns
- Simple and compound fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries
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What Compensation Can I Get from a Tow Truck Accident?
Like most large vehicle accidents, tow trucks can cause severe damage to the vehicle and the passengers they collide with. Your tow truck accident lawyer in Oklahoma will help you seek the damages you suffer. These damages can include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages have specific monetary value and can include:
- Medical expenses, including surgeries, doctors’ appointments, prescriptions, follow-up appointments, prescribed over-the-counter medicines, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling.
- Injury-related home updates, including widened doorways, handrails, and wheelchair ramps
- Lost wages, including future earning capacity
- Funeral and burial expenses
Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses and can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium- if you are unable to enjoy a physical relationship with your spouse
- Loss of companionship- if you are unable to participate in family events and activities
- Loss of use of a body part
- Loss of use of a normal bodily function
- Amputation of limb or digit
- Permanent disability
- Excessive scarring
- Permanent disfigurement
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Oklahoma Lawyers Proving Liability for Tow Truck Accidents
Proving liability in an Oklahoma tow truck accident can be complicated and is typically much different than proving liability for a motorcycle or passenger car accident. A tow truck accident attorney in Oklahoma has the experience you need to prove liability and get you the maximum compensation possible. Contact BDIW Law today for a free consultation via our secure online form to discuss your case.
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