More so than car accidents, truck accidents can complicate the process of determining liability. Oklahoma residents should know that there are several reasons for this, the first being that truck accidents are more likely to end in serious injuries or death. Trucks weigh more, take longer to stop and take up more space.
There is also the question of truck ownership. Some drive a truck owned by a company, in which case that company may be held liable by victims, while other truckers are owner-operators. A third difficulty arises when victims file a claim against the company: the company and its insurance provider will work hard together to either deny payment or force victims to settle for a low offer.
It will take longer to determine just how a trucker was negligent due to federal regulations. For example, victims will need to understand what the hours-of-service regulations are for truckers. Another complicating factor is the presence of unfamiliar technology like the black boxes that record truckers' speed and other data.
After a truck accident, victims should stay as calm as possible and record all relevant information. Take photographs and write down what happened. If there were eyewitnesses, ask for their version of events. If someone is injured, call 911. Victims should also file a police report.
Lastly, victims may want to hire an attorney with experience in cases involving truck accidents. It all begins with a case evaluation. The attorney might hire third parties like investigators to obtain a copy of the police report and gather any other evidence. Medical experts may determine the extent of injuries and the costs relating to them. The attorney might then begin settlement negotiations, with litigation as an option if settlement talks fail.