Lawyers experienced in other practice areas often find themselves trying to help a client who is the victim of a commercial vehicle accident. We can help when your client’s needs differ from what you can-or want to-litigate on your own.
We offer flexible referral and co-counseling agreements to protect your investment in the case, while maximizing the final result. We bring value to your case, and the experience and resources to fight for your client. Case referrals and co-counsel relationships are an important aspect of what we do at Ervin & Ervin, Attorneys at Law, L.L.P. We have worked with lawyers from across the country, and have forged lasting professional relationships with many.
We are focused on commercial vehicle collisions and fighting for ordinary people. Joe Ervin is a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer's College in Dubois, Wyoming. TLC is a proving ground for some of the nation’s best trial lawyers. Ervin began his practice as an insurance defense attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, defending trucking companies and their insurers across the state of Oklahoma. He has completed truck-driving school and holds a valid class “A” Oklahoma commercial driver’s license, with endorsements for double and triple trailers and tankers, making him one of the few attorneys in the country that is qualified to operate the vehicle that hit your client. Joe Ervin has extensive knowledge of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and trucking case law, and has remained both a student and a teacher of the regulation, operation, maintenance and inspection of commercial motor vehicles, for more than 18 years. Ervin is a member of the American Association for Justice’s Trucking Litigation Group (formerly the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group), Bus Litigation Group, and Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section. He is also a member of the Association of Plaintiff’s Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA) and the Oklahoma Association for Justice.
Contact us today to discuss the benefits we can bring to your case.
Service to our clients often means finding them the resources and help they need, when and where they need it. In trucking cases the preservation/destruction and collection of evidence moves fast. Violations of safety regulations and industry standards can be vital, and the important evidence is often different than that of typical car wreck cases. This evidence includes:
- Driver Qualification Files
- Driver Training Records
- Hours of Service Documents or EOBR and ELD data
- Driver Inspections
- Drug and Alcohol Testing (pre-hire, random, post-accident)
- ECM and onboard system downloads
- Vehicle Maintenance records
- Vehicle Inspection Records
- Qualcomm, onboard communications, VORAD and GPS systems
- Bills of Lading
- Fuel Receipts
- Trip Envelopes
- Dispatch/Trip Planning, Route Documents/Instructions
- Delivery Documents/Instructions
Correctly evaluating the evidence in a semi-truck crash determines whether the driver and the trucking company were in compliance with safety regulations. This evidence can also show what the truck driver and truck were doing in the minutes, hours and days before a collision. Unlike the story of a car accident, the real story of a truck wreck usually begins much earlier with unsafe planning, processes and policies of the trucking company and/or driver leading up to the crash. “Why” is the most important question in a commercial vehicle crash. It is also often the most difficult.
These cases require active effort to collect valuable evidence that may be lost or destroyed in the hours, days, weeks or months following an accident. Delaying or mishandling early evidence collection/ preservation could damage your client’s case. Thorough investigation, collection, and preservation to prevent spoliation of evidence are three of the things we do best at Ervin & Ervin, Attorneys at Law, L.L.P.
Regulatory compliance is extremely important in semi-truck crash cases. A dedicated attorney can read the regulations and devote significant time and resources to educating himself, but over the years, trucking industry practices have evolved. There are industry practices that are considered best practices and/or industry standards. This makes it important to understand not only the regulations, but also how the industry has responded to the regulations in the form of management and operational practices. These include detailed standards, duties and requirements for:
- Commercial Driver’s License Requirements
- Commercial Driver Qualification
- Operation of a Commercial Motor Vehicle
- Maintenance and Inspection of CMV
- Hours of Service
- Statutory Employer
- Preservation of records
- Lease and Interchange of CMV’s
- Minimum Insurance Requirements
- Hazardous Material Transport
- Substance Abuse Testing
Fighting to preserve and recover this evidence will require experience and skill. Remember defense attorneys try one type of case, over and over. They have honed their processes and procedures over countless CMV accident cases. Doesn’t your client deserve the same level of representation? Every truck accident case deserves an experienced professional truck accident lawyer.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Title 49, Parts 350-399) govern all commercial vehicles engaged in interstate traffic. The State of Oklahoma has adopted Title 49, Parts 382, 383, 384, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, and 399 of the federal regulations, with some modifications, for commercial motor vehicles involved in intrastate traffic. And of course, large trucks and buses also have to comply with all other state driving laws. The Oklahoma statutes relating to commercial motor vehicles can be found at 47 O.S § 161 through 47 O.S. § 230.34b.
Finally, these cases present complex insurance issues including minimum financial responsibility levels, MCS-90 endorsements, tractor policies, trailer policies, bobtailing coverage, layered coverage and broker liability policies. With the potential financial exposure of trucking companies and the potential for insurance losses in catastrophic 18-wheeler wrecks, the insurers have quick response crash-teams of attorneys to protect the commercial drivers and trucking companies. These teams often take exclusive control of the evidence your client needs to win, before you have even been hired.
Consider the benefits Ervin & Ervin, Attorneys at Law, L.L.P. can bring to your case: (1) assistance with case costs ; (2) experience with trucking companies, trucking defense attorneys, and their insurers; (3) access to and contact with top-tier expert witnesses ; (4) decades of collective knowledge and experience in truck and bus wreck cases; (5) critical help with discovery, evidentiary issues, pleadings, and briefing; and, (6) proven Oklahoma trial lawyers who have litigated cases in 64 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, and in the United States Federal District Courts in Oklahoma.
Whether you are an experienced lawyer ready to give your client the advantage of teaming up with professional Oklahoma truck accident attorneys, or whether this is your first time litigating a commercial vehicle accident case, we welcome your questions. Please contact us today to discuss how we can help your client get the justice they deserve.
Additional Information for Attorneys
In 2012 (the last year reported) the State of Oklahoma recorded 4876 crashes involving large Trucks. These collisions resulted in injuries to 1351 people and 94 fatalities. These crashes occurred in both rural and urban areas (Oklahoma City and Edmond, Oklahoma County, Norman and Moore, Cleveland County, Broken Arrow, Tulsa County, Enid, Garfield County, Lawton, Comanche County, Muskogee, County), and major highways including: Interstate 35 (I-35), Interstate 40 (I-40), Interstate 44 (I-44), U.S. Highway 69 and U.S. Highway 81.
Official Oklahoma Collision Reports are available at The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Records Management Division, P.O. Box 11415, Oklahoma City, OK 73136.
Contact us today for assistance with your client’s Oklahoma Truck or Bus Accident case.