There are lots of big trucks on the roads these days. Big rigs and large delivery trucks deliver goods to our stores, our homes and our workplaces. When an Oklahoma truck accident occurs in Tulsa, the impact can be severe.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 nationwide, 3,921 people were killed and 104,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks (those weighing more than 10,000 pounds.)
Because of the weight of the vehicle, it can take a long time to stop the truck once the brakes are applied.
In addition, when an Oklahoma truck accident occurs, the weight causes a greater amount of property damage to the car it hits and that causes greater injury to the occupants.
What is Settlement Valuation?
Settlement numbers are difficult to arrive at. Coming up with a settlement figure is something more than just multiplying your damages by a factor of two or three or four. Each case is unique because each person’s injuries and damages are unique.
And the purpose of tort damages is to make you whole again, or as whole as a monetary award can. A settlement is a substitute for a jury award. We may not understand all the reasoning that goes into a jury award, but one thing is certain, juries are swayed by a number of factors in their awards.
Settlement Valuation for an Oklahoma Truck Accident
Because these trucks can cause so much damage, truck drivers are required to follow a number of federal and state regulations and are required to carry insurance with higher limits than standard vehicle drivers. Greater insurance coverage allows for higher Oklahoma truck accident settlement values.
In proving a claim for damages, you must be able to show that the driver of the truck was negligent; that is, that the driver’s actions fell below a standard of care.
Sometimes, negligence is straightforward. If you have been driving in front of a truck from a long period of time in the same lane, and stop suddenly because the traffic in front of you has stopped, if the truck rear-ends you, negligence is easy to prove. But often, it is more difficult to prove.
Because truck drivers are mandated to certain standards by federal and state law, their deviation from those standards, if that deviation involves an accident, may make negligence easier to prove.
For example, a truck driver must not exceed a certain number of hours of driving before the driver is mandated to rest. If the driver has exceeded that number and is slow to react, or falls asleep at the wheel and causes an Oklahoma truck accident, negligence is much easier to prove.
Finally, the actions of the driver can open the driver up to punitive damages. This same truck driver knows that he or she is tired. Pushing beyond mandated driving hours puts the public at risk. If that same driver has ingested any drugs or alcohol, the risk of injury is even greater.
Knowingly putting the public at risk is reckless behavior and can open a driver up to an award of punitive damages, increasing the value of an Oklahoma truck accident settlement.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Car Accident Attorney
To get help determining who is liable after an Oklahoma truck accident, contact an Oklahoma personal injury attorney at the Personal Injury Law Office of Tulsa today.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 918-924-5528 or send your question using the email form on this page.