Injured in an Accident With a Semi Truck?
Our attorneys can guide you through the process
A semi truck is made up of two separate parts - the truck cab and the trailer. Every year, people suffer fatal injuries in accidents involving semi trucks. Due to the sheer size and weight of these massive vehicles, a single crash can affect multiple passenger vehicles and result in devastating injuries.
Our experienced semi truck accident attorneys at Lawter & Associates, PLLC can help you every step of the way. That's because our Oklahoma semi-truck accident attorneys been doing this work for more than four decades.
There are many different types of semi truck accidents. They include:
- Rear-end accidents: Smaller passenger vehicles can rarely withstand the impact of a rear-end accident caused by a semi truck. These accidents often happen when an inattentive truck driver approaches an intersection or traffic jam.
- Head-on collisions: While head-on collisions are extremely rare, they can be devastating, especially when a semi truck is involved. The combined impact of two vehicles colliding head on with each other can result in serious, and fatal, injuries.
- T-bone accidents: When a truck driver 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 accidents: Due to the raised design on semi trailers, passenger vehicles can get pinned or crushed underneath. Underride accidents usually happen when a truck driver pulls out into traffic or stops suddenly. Slippery road conditions and visual challenges can also cause underride accidents.
- Jackknife accidents: A lightly loaded trailer and poor driving habits can result in a jackknife accident. When a truck 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.
- Rollovers: 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 centrifugal force of the trailer can cause a rollover.
- Lane departure accidents: When a truck driver negligently veers out of his or her lane, other road users can be sideswiped. These accidents are usually caused by tire blowouts, negligent lane shifting or inability to see passenger vehicles due to blind spots.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a semi truck, you may be wondering what course of action you should take. An experienced truck accident attorney can help guide you through the process. Lawter & Associates, PLLC has over 40 years of experience and legal knowledge helping injured motorists obtain the right compensation and care after a semi truck accident. Contact us today so we can discuss your options.
What causes semi truck accidents?
Semi truck accidents are often caused by:
- Driver fatigue: Lack of sleep and long hours spent on the road can cause truck drivers to get tired or fall asleep at the wheel. These accidents can be especially dangerous since they happen at high speeds. That's why the federally mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs) are designed to prevent drowsy driving by restricting the amount of time drivers can spend on the road.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers must keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Using handheld devices, dashboard features or other forms of technology can put motorists and others who share the roadway in danger.
- Drunk or drugged driving: It's not only illegal for truckers to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but also extremely dangerous. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause delays in judgment and reaction time.
- Inexperienced drivers: Semi trucks are dangerous enough because of their size and weight, but if the driver doesn't have enough experience or training, other drivers can be put in danger.
- Speeding and aggressive driving: Semi truck drivers are expected to maintain a safe and reasonable speed and abide by the rules of the road. At a high speed, a semi truck accident can be catastrophic.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Truck companies are required by law to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained and safe to drive. Brake failure, tire blowouts, loose wheels and lack of reflective devices are a recipe for disaster - putting multiple drivers at risk.
- Improper loading of the trailer: The company responsible for loading cargo in the trailer is expected to do so properly. If the trailer is overloaded or improperly loaded jackknife accidents and rollovers can occur.
- Inclement weather: We can't control the weather, but truckers can control the way they drive during inclement weather. Failure to maintain a speed that is reasonable during hazardous conditions puts all road users at risk.
We can investigate and help you build a strong claim
Accidents with semi trucks can be complex, especially when other road users are affected. This means multiple insurance companies, adjusters and attorneys can be involved in a single crash. Additionally, truck companies often launch a prompt investigation using their own team of adjustors and attorneys.
Since a single semi truck accident can cost millions of dollars in damages, truck companies and their insurance providers often go to great lengths to keep their costs down. They might try to deny any wrongdoing of their driver. They might even try to pin the blame on you. Or they might offer you a small settlement that doesn't even come close to covering the costs of your crash. That's why it's important to assert your rights after an accident with a semi truck.
Avoid speaking to the truck company's insurance provider. If they have any questions, tell them to contact us. An experienced truck accident attorney at Lawter & Associates can answer their questions. Remember, anything you say to insurance companies or investigations can be used against you to deny your claim.
As your attorney, we can launch an investigation and find out what caused your accident. We know where to look and what questions to ask to find crucial evidence. We regularly review accident reports. We know how to build a strong claim. If the truck driver, or his or her company, violated any federal mandates, they can be held accountable for their negligence.
We work on a contingency basis fee. That means you won't owe us any money unless we win. There are no hidden costs or gimmicks. Contact Lawter & Associates, PLLC today to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation. We're on your side.