Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyers Who Deliver Results
Lawter & Associates has a strong track record of success
Truck accidents in Oklahoma often cause serious and sometimes even fatal injuries, especially along the state’s most traveled highways — I-40, I-44, and US routes 74, 169, 64, and OK-51. Because of the sheer size of these large vehicles, car and motorcycle crashes involving semi-trucks often require medical attention and legal advice.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one died in a crash with an 18-wheeler, it’s important to act fast to protect your rights. Make sure you have an experienced truck accident lawyer who can work with you and help you hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Get Lawter & Associates, PLLC, on your side.
Our law firm knows what it takes to win significant payouts because we've been doing this work for more than 40 years.
No case is too complicated for our firm
Experiencing a collision with a fully loaded, 80,000-pound tractor-trailer takes you into an entirely different realm compared to cases involving passenger vehicle crashes.
Even seemingly straightforward claims can get complicated. After a serious crash, the at-fault trucker, trucking company, cargo owners, and other parties involved, are trying to avoid responsibility, often by pinning the blame on each other – with the victim caught in the middle.
In this scenario, things move fast, and not always in your best interest: stories can change, evidence goes missing, documentation gets misplaced, important resources dry up.
- Types of semi-truck accidents
- What are the common causes of truck accidents
- Hit by a truck? Here's what to do next.
- Investigating trucking companies
- FAQs about truck accidents
- Underride Truck Accidents
A semi, otherwise known as a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, is made up of two separate parts — the truck cab and the trailer. Every year, people suffer fatal injuries in accidents involving semis. Due to the sheer size and weight of these massive vehicles, a single crash can affect multiple vehicles and result in devastating injuries. There are many different types of semi-truck accidents, including:
Rear-end — Smaller passenger vehicles can rarely withstand the impact of a rear-end accident caused by a semi. These accidents often happen when an inattentive trucker approaches an intersection or traffic jam. Among Oklahoma City’s most dangerous crossroads are
- North Walnut Avenue at East Sheridan Avenue in Bricktown
- Northwest 23rd Street at North Meridian Avenue in Crestwood
- Southeast Grand Boulevard at Southeast 29th Street
T-bone — When a trucker fails to stop at a traffic light or stop sign, a T-bone accident can occur. These accidents usually happen at four-way intersections: When one vehicle strikes another vehicle from the side, the accident can form the shape of ‘T.’
Underride — Due to the raised design on tractor-trailers, passenger vehicles can get pinned or crushed underneath the larger vehicles. Underride accidents usually happen when a trucker pulls out into traffic or stops suddenly. Slippery road conditions and visual challenges can also lead to underride crashes.
Head-on collision — While head-on crashes are rare, they can be devastating, especially when a semi is involved. The combined impact of two vehicles hitting head on with each other can result in serious and fatal injuries. Fatal accidents happen every year in Oklahoma. In recent years, deadly accidents have happened on:
- Memorial Drive in Tulsa near Bixby
- Turner Turnpike in Sapulpa
- Routes 351 at 51 in Coweta
- East Alameda Street in Norman
Jackknife — A lightly-loaded trailer and poor driving habits can result in a jackknife accident. When a driver swerves, brakes, or takes a turn too fast, the trailer can swing out and form the shape of an ‘L’ or jackknife, trapping other vehicles in the gap and causing serious injuries.
Rollover — When cargo is improperly loaded, the trailer’s center of gravity can be thrown off. When making a turn or driving around a curve, the force of an improperly stocked or overloaded trailer can cause the semi to flip over. A tractor-trailer can tumble over multiple times in this type of wreck.
Lane departure — When the driver of an 18-wheeler negligently veers out of the lane, other road users can be sideswiped. These accidents usually happen when there’s a tire blowout, a negligent lane change, or a trucker makes a maneuver while unaware that there is a passenger vehicle in a blind spot.
Commercial vehicle crashes happen for many reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Distraction —Big rig operators often attempt to multitask while driving. They’ll try to operate a GPS device, talk to dispatchers, eat, change the radio station, even watch videos while driving. As a result, accidents happen.
- Speeding — Truckers face pressure to deliver products as quickly as possible. That’s why many drivers exceed the speed limit. When they do, they put everyone at risk of being in a high-speed accident.
- Trailer overload — Strict weight limits exist for commercial vehicles. When truck drivers, trucking companies, or cargo owners ignore those limits, they put everyone at risk of being injured. Overloaded tractor-trailers have a hard time stopping or turning as intended, often resulting in rollovers.
- Inexperience — Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire skilled drivers. When they fail to do so, they put other motorists at risk. There’s no room for error when it comes to an 80,000 lbs., fully loaded tractor-trailer speeding down the highway.
- Exhaustion — There are strict federal laws requiring commercial drivers to take mandatory rest breaks every day. These laws exist to reduce the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Even so, many drivers ignore these laws or receive pressure from trucking companies to drive beyond the maximum time allowed, resulting in dangerously fatigued drivers.
We strongly recommend taking the following steps if you’ve been involved in an accident with a commercial truck in Oklahoma:
Call the police and report the accident. Depending on where the accident happened, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) or local police, like the OKCPD, will respond.
Get medical attention
Don’t try to diagnose yourself. Even if you don’t feel injured, let the medical experts at the scene of the accident check you out. After that, see a doctor. Emergency medical responders can miss a serious injury amid all the chaos of a crash. A doctor has more time, training, and equipment to give you a thorough examination. They may be able to spot internal injuries or other serious damage that you cannot feel yet.
Get photos and video
Take photographs and video of the accident scene, injuries, and damages from multiple angles and distances.
ID the driver
Get the following information from the other driver: Name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance information, name of trucking company driver works for, phone number and address of trucking company.
Statements from witnesses can be vital to your claim. Make sure to get the witnesses’ full names, addresses and phone numbers so you or the police can reach them later.
Notify your insurance company
Most policies require you to inform your insurance company after an accident within a certain timeframe. As soon as you are able, inform your car insurance company of the crash, but do not provide details of what happened. Insurance adjusters — even the ones you pay — don’t work for you. Their job is to protect the company bottom line and that means shortchanging you and other accident victims’ claims.
An experienced truck accident lawyer from Lawter & Associates can investigate your crash and aggressively negotiate with insurance companies for the maximum compensation you rightfully deserve. We don’t accept too-small settlements and we don’t back down. When the insurance companies refuse to make you a good offer, we take them to court. We enjoy the opportunity to beat the insurance companies in front of a judge and jury.
Lawter & Associates has a track record of winning big truck accident claims for our clients. One of the keys to our success is our thorough accident investigation.
Trucking companies can be especially difficult to investigate after a truck accident. Simply contacting the company and finding someone you can talk with about the crash can be a challenge. That’s because many trucking companies are often located far away and don’t answer their phone.
In addition, many trucking companies refuse to release information. Trucking companies are required to keep logs detailing repairs and routine maintenance to their fleet. These companies should also have information verifying the truck driver has a valid commercial driver’s license and takes mandatory breaks.
The trucking companies usually have investigators at the scene of the accident within hours or even sooner. You will need to level the playing field to protect your interests. If you are represented by our firm, we can vigorously investigate the trucking company involved in your accident. We know how to find these companies and the evidence you need to build a strong case. We will not rest until justice is served!
FAQs about Truck Accidents
Who investigates truck accidents in Oklahoma?
Initially, the police officer who responds to your accident will investigate your crash. This could be either a local police officer or member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Afterward, insurance companies, the trucking company and their attorneys likely will launch their own investigations. Make sure you have someone on your side who will vigorously investigate your accident and make sure your best interests come first.
Should I answer questions if the trucking company contacts me after my accident?
No. Anything you say to the trucking company or its insurance company could be used against you. The same applies to the attorneys who work them. In most cases, these people are focused on one thing – paying you as little as possible.
Who will pay for my truck accident?
Generally, the insurance companies for any at-fault parties cover your losses. If you can prove the truck driver and the company he works for were negligent, you can pursue claims against both. Truck accidents, however, can be complicated. A truck driver who is involved in an accident may not be responsible. Another car driver may have been negligent and caused a truck to swerve. Road conditions may play a role in the accident.
Because of the complex nature of these accidents, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney. Don’t leave your future to chance. Make sure you have experienced lawyer on your side, fighting for your rights.
Should I accept a financial offer from an insurance company after my truck accident?
Before deciding on an offer, it’s wise to consult with an attorney. In many cases, insurance company adjusters offer crash victims far less than the true cost of their accident. Adjusters routinely make low-ball offers that fail to fairly compensate injury victims for medical bills, lost income, lost future earnings, pain and suffering and other legitimate expenses.
If we represent you, we will do everything we can to make sure you receive the compensation your rightfully deserve. We have a strong track record of success, and we’re proud of the verdicts and settlements we have obtained for truck accident victims. Contact us today.
Why should I hire Lawter & Associates to handle my truck accident?
Case results matter, and we’re proud of the work we do for truck accident victims throughout Oklahoma. What’s the secret to our success? We work tirelessly on every case. This often includes:
- Reviewing accident reports and other official records
- Consulting with experts in their fields
- Negotiating directly with insurance companies
- Filing a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary
- Taking other legal action if necessary
Make your case count. Contact Lawter & Associates, PLLC, today. Call (866) 584-1027 for our Oklahoma City office or (866) 584-1028 for our Tulsa office and schedule an appointment today.
Get the results you need
A fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When such large vehicles crash into a car, motorcycle or pedestrian, the consequences can often be catastrophic.
What’s more, trucking companies can be notoriously unresponsive to injury victims. They typically will begin an immediate investigation to limit the liability of the company. Investigators will begin immediately building a defense to their case and look for ways to minimize your claim and its value.
Often, the truck driver who caused your accident will deny responsibility. They might even try to blame you.
Don’t let trucking companies dictate what happens to you. Take back control. Contact us. Our experienced tractor-trailer accident attorneys can work with you and make sure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Remember, you’re not just dealing with another driver and their insurance company. You’re dealing with trucking companies, insurance companies and entire teams of attorneys working for them. Level the playing field. Contact us. We can help.
Protect your rights. Contact us. Lawter & Associates, PLLC, can help. Call (866) 584-1027 for our Oklahoma City office or (866) 584-1028 for our Tulsa office and schedule a free case evaluation.