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Compensation for Brain Damage Victims in Trucking Accidents

Closeup of a CT scan of the brain.

Commercial truck accidents in Oklahoma and across the U.S. often result in severe and debilitating injuries. This is because semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, dump trucks, and other large commercial vehicles are much bigger than passenger cars on the road. And when it comes to truck accident injuries, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common outcomes.

When truck accident victims suffer serious head and brain injuries due to a trucker or trucking company's negligence, they have the right to seek financial compensation for their accident-related expenses. But how does the compensation process work? How much money can traumatic brain injury victims expect to receive?

Our Oklahoma truck accident lawyers at Lawter & Associates, PLLC have years of experience handling complex legal cases involving varying degrees of traumatic brain injuries. Here's what you need to know.

How common are TBIs in truck wrecks?

The short answer? Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by truck accidents happen far too often. Specifically, 14 percent of all brain injuries occur due to motor vehicle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That 14 percent figure works out to roughly 210,000 brain injuries every year caused by motor vehicle accidents, including truck accidents. This is because an estimated 1.5 million people sustain a brain injury every year, according to the CDC.

Some of the most common traumatic brain injuries victims sustain in truck accidents include concussions, contusions, diffuse axonal injuries (DAI), penetrating brain injuries, skull fractures, and cerebral lacerations.

Why do truck accidents cause so many brain injuries?

Tractor trailers, tanker trucks, delivery trucks, and other large commercial trucks are some of the largest and heaviest vehicles on the road. When fully loaded, an 18-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. In contrast, most passenger cars weigh around 4,000 pounds. So when a large truck hits another vehicle, passengers in the smaller vehicle are at risk of suffering severe injuries, including TBIs.

Who's responsible for paying for my brain injury?

Oklahoma has an at-fault car insurance system. That means the at-fault party and, by extension, their insurance company is liable for the victim's damages. However, liability can fall on multiple different parties in an accident involving a commercial truck, making the process of pursuing compensation for crash victims more difficult to navigate.

Depending on the circumstances of the truck accident, liability can fall on:

  • The truck driver (e.g., they were distracted, fatigued, driving under the influence, or violating traffic laws).
  • The trucking company that employs the driver, especially if they hired a driver with a history of causing serious truck accidents (negligent hiring). Other ways trucking companies can be held liable involve improper training, failure to maintain the truck, or pressuring the trucker to work beyond their legal hours to meet unrealistic deadlines.
  • Other parties, such as the company that loaded the truck's cargo, third-party contractors, or the company that was responsible for the semi-truck's maintenance.
  • A truck manufacturer, especially if a manufacturing defect with the truck's tires, brakes, or another truck component contributed to the collision.

How much is my brain injury claim worth?

The value of a brain injury claim stemming from a truck accident can be substantial, reflecting the wide array of costs and losses incurred by the victim. Under Oklahoma's at-fault insurance system for truck accidents, you're entitled to compensation covering all related expenses. However, securing the full amount you deserve can be challenging, given the significant financial impact of such claims. Potential expenses include:

  • Ambulance fees: The immediate costs of emergency transport to a medical facility.
  • Emergency medical care: Initial treatment received in the emergency room.
  • Medical tests: Diagnostic procedures to assess the extent of the brain injury.
  • Surgery: Operations required to address the brain injury, which may involve multiple procedures.
  • Replacement income: Compensation for wages lost during the period you're unable to work due to recovery.
  • Lost future income: If your brain injury prevents you from returning to your previous employment, you may be compensated for future earnings lost.

Moreover, many victims of brain injuries require long-term care, which could include additional surgeries, physical therapy, speech therapy, and other rehabilitative services. When these expenses are combined, the total value of your brain injury claim could be significant, depending on the severity of the injury and its impact on your life.

Why should I hire an Oklahoma truck accident attorney?

Brain injury claims involving commercial truck accidents are often some of the most complicated legal cases. Along with establishing liability, the severe nature of brain injuries requires a detailed understanding of the victim's immediate and long-term medical care needs. These cases demand thorough investigations, expert testimonies, and a deep understanding of both state and federal transportation laws.

At Lawter & Associates, PLLC, our Oklahoma truck accident lawyers have years of experience handling complicated legal cases. As a result, we're familiar with the state and federal laws governing commercial truck accidents and understand how the legal system works in such cases. Our goal is to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve and provide the support you need for your recovery and future well-being.

Get a law firm that you can trust to make things right. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation. We have offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

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