While it is critical that all drivers avoid distractions, it is especially critical for drivers of large trucks, who have a heightened duty to maintain safety on the road by avoiding distractions. Trucks are larger, harder to steer and stop, and collisions involving them lead to a great many injury and fatality crashes each year. When a distracted truck driver causes a collision and injuries, the driver and often their employer should be liable for the damages caused by the accident.
When you or a loved one is injured in an accident with a commercial truck, whether or not the truck driver was paying attention to the road will be one of several significant factors when determining liability. One source of distraction for commercial drivers is a trucker’s passengers, who can take a driver’s attention from the road.
Knowing what questions to ask to determine whether the truck driver was distracted can help with the success of your claim, and a Tulsa truck accident lawyer can assist with this entire process.
Being in an accident with a driver who is distracted generally means that the distracted driver will be found liable for the damages caused in the accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “distracted driving” is doing some other activity while driving that takes your attention away from the task of operating a vehicle safely. A passenger in a truck who is taking the truck driver’s eyes or mind off of the road would be a distraction, and the truck driver would be engaging in distracted driving. When a truck driver is engaging in distracted driving, it is more likely that a truck accident will happen.
Distracted driving, whether due to a passenger or the use of a smartphone, radio, or other device, is dangerous. To help frame this, consider that when a driver is moving at 55 miles per hour, having their eyes off the road for one second means they have traveled the distance of a football field without looking at the road. A Tulsa truck accident lawyer can help determine whether a truck driver was distracted or was otherwise driving irresponsibly.
As noted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large trucks were involved in some 112,000 injury crashes in a recent year, and also in 4,862 fatal crashes. Large trucks are, of course, significantly larger than passenger vehicles, and most fatalities with large trucks occur when the truck impacts, or is impacted, with a passenger vehicle.. When truck drivers fail to drive responsibly on the road and injuries occur, they should be liable for the damages that result.
When you have lost a loved one in a truck accident due to distracted driving, you may be entitled to damages through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. A wrongful death claim is available when the negligent or reckless act of another party led to a fatal injury to your loved one, and given that they cannot bring suit on their own, their family can.
Damages available for wrongful death lawsuits include the lost earnings potential of your loved one, which is their projected earnings from the time of their loss through retirement age. Recovery for the loss of their companionship is available, and also punitive damages if the at-fault party was engaging in prohibited behavior, like possibly distracted driving or drunk driving.
Knowing when you do or do not have a claim can be difficult to determine, especially when you are dealing with your injuries and losses from the crash. The Tulsa truck accident lawyers at Wandres Law have worked on many truck accident cases and know what to look out for to determine when a driver is at fault and identify when other parties, such as the trucking company, might also be liable for your losses. Time is a significant factor in these types of crashes, as critical evidence regarding whether a truck driver was legally operating the vehicle can disappear in a matter of weeks. That’s why it is important to contact an attorney well-versed in handling truck accidents as soon as you are able to following the crash., so that this evidence can be preserved.
Reach out to schedule a consultation with one of the Tulsa truck accident lawyers at Wandres Law today. We can evaluate your rights for free and help you pursue the compensation you deserve from dangerous truck drivers and companies.