Most professional drivers operate their vehicles responsibly. However, drivers who are negligent can cause devastating accidents with their careless actions. A common example is truckers driving long beyond what their shift limits allow, eventually becoming fatigued or even falling asleep at the wheel.
If you or one of your loved ones was injured by a truck driver, or was hurt in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, the Oklahoma City accident attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook may be able to recover compensation or your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other hardships you’re struggling with because of the accident. With more than 75 years of combined experience representing accident victims in the Oklahoma City area, our highly knowledgeable legal team is more than ready to aggressively confront any company or individual who thinks traffic laws do not apply to them.
Call our law offices at (405) 698-3040 to talk about the legal remedies that may be available to you and your loved ones in a free consultation. Hasbrook & Hasbrook will keep your information confidential.
Commercial Truck and Bus Crashes: Injury and Death Statistics
A commercial vehicle is any vehicle used for the transportation of paying passengers or consumer goods, like food products, lumber, or steel beams. School buses, charter buses, semi-trailer trucks (“big-rigs”), and 12- or 15-passenger vans, which are frequently used to transport church groups, wedding parties, and sports teams, are all examples of commercial vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, tracks annual data on accidents, nonfatal injuries, and fatalities involving buses and large trucks. According to FMSCA data, in 2011 there were:
- 3,341 fatal large truck crashes
- 3,757 large truck fatalities
- 60,000 large truck injuries
- 242 fatal bus crashes
- 283 bus fatalities
- 13,000 bus injuries
Most of these injuries and fatalities involved vehicles transporting freight across interstate lines, with smaller numbers attributed to interstate passenger vehicles and vehicles carrying hazardous materials in-state. Highways where accidents frequently occur in the Oklahoma City area include:
Common Automotive Accident Injuries in OK
The majority of death and injury victims in accidents with commercial vehicles are the people driving or riding in passenger vehicles. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out, commercial trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than passenger cars and trucks. Survivable injuries are often severe and debilitating, burdening the victim with a lifetime of pain, disability, and medical expense. Some common, severe injuries which are frequently caused by commercial vehicle crashes include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Whiplash Neck Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Broken Noses
- Broken Ribs
- Fractured Wrists
- Fractured Ankles
- Broken Arms
- Broken Legs
- Crush Injuries
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Head Injuries
- Organ Damage/Organ Failure
- Shoulder and Back Injuries
- Herniated Discs
- Bulging Discs
- Thoracic Spine Injuries
- Chronic Pain
- Vertebral Fractures
- Seat-belt Syndrome Injuries
- Bowel Perforations
- Lumbar Spine Fractures
- Abdominal Injuries
How Negligence and Driver Error Causes Preventable Collisions
The devastating truth is that many automotive accidents, including those involving commercial transportation vehicles, are preventable. In Oklahoma and throughout the rest of the United States, a disturbingly large number of crashes and collisions result from negligent motorists’ reckless, aggressive, or careless driving habits, such ignoring right-of-way, speeding, failing to pay attention to the road, or making improper turns.
Proving driver negligence is a very important element of a wrongful death or personal injury claim or lawsuit. An individual or business is negligent when their actions – or in some cases, their failures to act – don’t meet the normal standard of care, or duty to drive safely, that a reasonable person would expect considering all the relevant facts and circumstances.
While most accidents are caused by a driver making an error, issues like road defects and vehicle defects can also cause avoidable crashes, even if the driver performs their duties adequately. Just as truck and bus drivers are obligated to comply with shift limits and other industry regulations, truck and bus carriers also have legal obligations, such as performing regular vehicle inspections, vehicle maintenance, and adequately screening their potential employees with the appropriate background checks. Likewise, highways and other roads must be properly maintained and kept reasonably free of hazardous conditions that could foreseeably lead to a death or injury.
At Hasbrook & Hasbrook, it’s our firm belief that the innocent victims of careless drivers deserve answers and accountability for their losses. We are aggressive and unrelenting in our pursuit of justice for Oklahoma accident victims, and are not afraid to take your case to court should negotiations fail to bring about an acceptable resolution to your claim.
Call our law offices at (405) 698-3040 to set up a free and confidential legal consultation about the options which may be available to you and your loved ones. We represent injury victims in Oklahoma City and the surrounding area, including Moore, Edmond, Norman, Newcastle, Del City, Bethany, Piedmont, and Shawnee.