What should an accident victim due after a tractor trailer crash in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma?

Mar 5, 2020 11:05 PM ET

Highway congestion.

Three of the country’s major highways converge into Oklahoma City, causing commuter traffic to flow along the same trail as travelers from across the country, coupled with thousands of semi-trucks hauling freight. Oklahoma City’s population is close to 600,000 making it the biggest city in Oklahoma and more than 140,000 Oklahomans commute for work in and out of Oklahoma County each day. Traffic data for Oklahoma in 2017 revealed 655 fatal highway accidents where 131 involved trucks. 

 

Post-accident.

If you are involved in an accident with a big truck in Oklahoma City Oklahoma, you should:

Check on the condition of the people involved in the accident, is possible;
Call the police or emergency responders if needed;
Get a written accident report;
Remain at the accident scene;
Exchange driver and insurance information;
Get witness contact information;
Call your insurance company to set up a claim;
Seek out medical treatment if necessary;
Take pictures of the scene, and the vehicle damages;
If the truck is a commercial vehicle, get State Trooper report;
Do not make any statements regarding the fault or liability at the scene or when making a complaint;
Call an accident attorney to determine “fault” and actions toward a proceeding to address damages and injuries sustained. 

 

Insurance required.

Specific insurances are required for semi-tractor trailers by the State of Oklahoma and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If you have your own authority, some coverages are mandatory, like primary liability, but if  you are leased to a motor carrier, you may have to carry physical damage truck insurance, bobtail coverage, and non-trucking liability.

“At fault” pros and cons.

Oklahoma is an at-fault state, meaning drivers face financial liability after an accident if it is determined they are to blame. According to the Oklahoma Insurance Commission, all drivers are state mandated to carry a certain amount of vehicle insurance in the event of an accident. If you are involved in an accident where the at fault driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of your injuries, your own insurance may be able to help.

Advantages in an “at-fault” insurance state are that: 1) reckless drivers are held accountable for their actions, and 2) insurance premiums do not increase when drivers are involved in accidents, but they are not to blame.  The cons of an “at-fault” insurance state include: 1) time spent determining liability after an accident may delay settlements and funding necessary for certain medical and personal injury treatments as well as replacement of a vehicle; and 2) compensation for damages and injuries may be limited if the other driver is under-insured or not insured at all.

 

Seek legal counsel.

Hiring a legal profession to assist with the burden of collecting and analyzing the data that will determine fault is very important so choose wisely based on personal injury experience and a thorough  knowledge of the trucking industry laws and requirements in the state.  Determining the percentage of fault is a matter for those who have reviewed police reports, witness reports, car damages, roadway marks and other factors present at the time of the accident.

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