Most fatal truck accidents are tragedies that could have been prevented entirely. Sadly, the most recent statistics on truck crash fatalities do not show consistent signs of improvement, despite efforts by the U.S. Department of Transportation to reduce the number of truck wrecks nationwide. There was an 8.7 percent increase in the number of people killed in large truck crashes in 2010, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Losing a loved one in an Oklahoma truck crash can have far-reaching consequences for the people left behind. No one can put a price on their emotional losses. But grieving families often experience financial strife due to lost income, medical bills, funeral expenses and property damage resulting from the truck accident, among other damages. A qualified Oklahoma truck accident attorney can help victims of truck wrecks to recover the money they need to move on with their lives.
Contact the Rode Law Firm in Tulsa today. For over two decades, the law firm’s skilled attorneys have helped individuals and their families obtain compensation for injuries suffered in deadly Oklahoma truck accidents. With experience in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, the firm’s lawyers fight to protect the rights of victims and survivors. They refuse to settle until justice is done.
If we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.
Don’t worry about having a long, drawn-out initial consultation. Just answer a few questions by phone and complete a small amount of paperwork. We can assess your truck accident claim quickly and accurately. Our priority is getting started on your case as fast as possible.
If we can help you, we’ll promptly begin investigating your claim. There is no fee unless we win your case.
Call the Rode Law Firm at (918) 599-8880 or fill out our online form for a free case review. We represent clients in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Norman, Broken Arrow, Lawton, Edmond, Moore, Midwest City, Enid, Stillwater, Muskogee, Bartlesville, Shawnee, Owasso and Ponca City.
Truck Accident Fatalities And Wrongful Death
Every 16 minutes, one person is killed or seriously injured in a truck wreck in the United States. Trucks – also known by various names such as commercial motor vehicles, tractor trailers, semis, 18-wheelers, tankers and single- or double-wides – have a distinct advantage on the roads because they can outweigh standard cars by many thousands of pounds. Trucks pose an even greater threat to motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists, who have virtually no protection from harm in a collision.
According to NHTSA, 3,765 people died in large truck accidents in 2010, compared to 3,380 the previous year. Nearly 98 percent of the time, it is the driver of another vehicle – not the truck driver himself or herself – who suffers the worst of the injuries. That fact can be confirmed in the 2010 data from NHTSA. Of those killed:
- 2,790 were occupants of passenger cars, up 9.1% from 2009;
- 356 were non-occupants such as pedestrians or pedalcyclists, a 10% increase;
- 499 were truck drivers, a 26% jump.
Historically, Oklahoma has been named one of the most lethal states in the nation when it comes to truck accident fatalities. Oklahoma had the third-highest number of deaths from crashes involving trucks, with 3.19 per 100,000 population in 2005, according to the Truck Safety Coalition. Over the past 10 years, there has been an average of 100 fatal truck accidents each year on the state’s roads.
Although it may seem intuitive to think that the larger the truck, the more likely it is to be involved in fatal accidents, that is not the case. In 2009, 61% of the trucks involved in fatal crashes nationwide were tractor trailers pulling a single semi-trailer. Doubles (truck tractors pulling a semi-trailer and a full trailer) accounted for 3% of fatal crashes. Triples, or truck tractors pulling three trailers, were involved in dramatically fewer wrecks, at less than 0.01%. Instead, what seems to play a role in most deadly truck accidents involves driver fatigue, driver error and poorly maintained rigs, among other causes.
Because of the heavy weight and momentum of trucks in fatal accidents, head-on collisions are usually the most deadly. However, the height difference between a truck and a passenger car increases the risk of “underrides,” when a vehicle slides underneath the big rig and causes fatal injuries. Rear-end collisions and jackknife wrecks are also common in truck accidents, usually due to braking errors or brake failures.
Numbers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about truck crashes in 2009 also found that:
- The top three driver-related factors for large truck drivers involved in fatal collisions were driving too fast, failure to stay in the proper lane and inattention.
- Large trucks accounted for 10% of all vehicle miles traveled and 7% of vehicles in fatal crashes in 2009.
- Two percent of large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes were legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. FMCSA limits the truck driver BAC to 0.04.
About Wrongful Death Accidents In Oklahoma
When a truck accident causes a fatality, the Oklahoma Wrongful Death Act allows surviving members of the victim’s family to file a lawsuit against whoever is at fault for the wreck. Typically a personal representative or spouse of the deceased person files suit, but, depending on the family’s circumstances, another next-of-kin may be able to make a wrongful death claim.
Oklahoma’s wrongful death statute allows family members to recover compensation for economic and non-economic losses resulting from the truck accident, including medical bills, burial expenses, pain and suffering and loss of companionship for the victim’s family or children and punitive damages, if applicable.
Need A Tractor Trailer Wreck Attorney In Oklahoma? You’ve Reached The Right Firm
Truck accidents are complicated because a number of parties may be responsible for the crash that ended your loved one’s life. The Rode Law Firm assists family members in wrongful death actions by preparing, packaging and presenting a factual case based on police reports, witness statements, doctors, economists and testimony from other experts.
Located in Tulsa, our firm represents clients throughout Oklahoma. For a free consultation, fill out online form or call our office (918) 599-8880. Remember, there is no charge if we do not win your case.