Trucking Accidents Are Different Ervin & Ervin is the Team You Need

FAQ for Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyers

The Help You Need to Move On

A collision with a commercial vehicle will leave you facing a lot of questions. Get the answers you need from our team of Oklahoma truck accident attorneys. We have the experience necessary to help you navigate the complex aftermath of your accident.

If you don’t find the answer to your question below, contact Ervin & Ervin by calling (918) 994-0880 today.

  • What is subrogation?

    Subrogation is the right of an insurer to seek reimbursement for money paid on a claim from the responsible party. It is commonly seen when someone is injured in a collision and their health insurance pays for medical treatment. The law gives that health insurer the right to get their money back from the person who caused the injury. Medicare and Medicaid also have statutory rights of subrogation.

    Your uninsured motorist insurance carrier has a contractual right to subrogate for benefits it pays out. These "subrogation interests" must be dealt with in the process of resolving your case. You may need to obtain a waiver of subrogation from your UM carrier before you accept the liability insurance policy limits from the responsible party. Failing to obtain a waiver of subrogation can bar your claim for UM benefits under your own insurance policy.

  • What are the legal minimum age requirements for someone to become a truck driver in Oklahoma?

    In addition to all other CDL criteria, Oklahoma requires a driver to be over the age of 18 to operate a commercial motor vehicle intra-state (operation completely within the boundaries of the state), and 21 for inter-state (state to state operation).

  • Why is a lawsuit necessary after a trucking accident?

    Frequently after a collision, the other driver’s insurance company becomes an obstacle to gathering information and settling your claim in a timely manner. Insurance adjusters want information about the claim from you but refuse to provide information in return. They also know that the passage of time pressures you to settle your claim. In many cases, lawsuits are filed because there is no other way to compel production of the evidence a person needs to make an informed decision. There may also be no other way to move a stalled claim forward. An insurance company will tell you they cannot settle your claim before they have all the facts but they often expect you to settle your claim without knowing very basic information. Through litigation we discover how and why the collision occurred – many of our clients need this information before they can move on with their lives.

  • How do I pay medical or funeral bills after an accident?

    One of the primary concerns many people have after an accident is how the medical or funeral bills will be paid. We collect information about all of your medical expenses and speak with each medical provider. Many of them will understand the liability insurance claim process and will defer collection efforts until a future date. There may also be insurance resources available to you under your own insurance coverage or the policy covering the vehicle you were in at the time of the collision. Many of our clients have medical payments or med-pay coverage on their own auto policies. This coverage pays medical bills as they are incurred. This coverage is also available to pay certain funeral costs in fatal accidents. Your health insurance, Medicare, Soonercare, or Medicaid can also make conditional payments which can later be repaid under the policy’s subrogation provisions or applicable law.

    The important thing is to manage these costs and to ensure effective communication. This relieves the pressure on you and your medical providers so that everyone can focus on the task that really matters: Getting you the medical treatment you need.

  • What are some of the common causes of truck accidents?

    There is a variety of causes of trucking accidents. Many fall under the general categories of maintenance/mechanical failure, driver error/inattention, or fatigue/substance abuse. More specific causes of truck and bus collisions include:

    • Aggressive or reckless driving
    • Improperly pulling out/creating a roadway obstruction
    • Wide turns/off-tracking
    • Blind spots/failure to install blind-spot mirrors
    • Defective brakes/brake failure
    • Bald tires
    • Electrical system failure
    • Unsteady loads/poor cargo securement
    • Drugs or alcohol
    • Fatigue/sleep deprivation
    • Unrealistic schedules/speeding or hours of service violations
    • Failure to inspect tires, brakes, and lights
    • Tailgating
    • Long shifts
    • Cell phone use/distracted driving
    • Jackknifing/rollover
    • Speeding and ignoring reduced truck speed limit

    The list is almost endless. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates large commercial vehicles because of the complexity of the vehicles themselves and the danger that they present to the public when not properly maintained or operated.

  • How much is my case worth?

    Every truck accident case is different. The value of your case depends on several factors and accident investigation is critical. There are often layers of insurance coverage, excess coverage, umbrella insurance policies, or sister corporations. There can also be different entities, such as shippers and load brokers, who may also be responsible and have additional insurance coverage.

    Truck accident victims may be entitled to compensation for any physical, emotional, or financial losses suffered in an accident. Victims are entitled to consideration of the following:

    • Medical expenses (past and future)
    • Physical and physical pain and suffering (past and future)
    • The victim’s age at the time of the accident
    • The victim’s physical condition immediately before and after the accident
    • The nature and extent of the injuries
    • Whether the injuries are permanent
    • The level of physical impairment or disfigurement
    • Loss of earnings/impairment of earning capacity

    The bottom line is that there is no direct answer to how much your case is worth. It takes hard work and dedication to properly value your case. Remember that we are talking about the justice your family deserves, not just dollars and cents. Call us at (918) 994-0880 to discuss your particular case further.

  • If I was partially at-fault for a truck accident, do I still have a case?

    It is possible to win a truck accident lawsuit if you were partially at-fault. According to Oklahoma law, if you are found less than 50 percent at-fault for the collision (or less than the other parties involved in multiple party collisions), you can recover money for your damages; however, your non-economic and economic damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at-fault for the truck accident, you are barred from recovery.

  • What exactly is a commercial motor vehicle or commercial truck?

    Generally, the term “commercial motor vehicles” (CMV) includes vehicles used to transport goods or passengers in interstate (across state boundaries) or intrastate (within the state) commerce. Examples of commercial trucks are semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, delivery vehicles, freight trucks, garbage trucks, and dump trucks. A fully-loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. But CMV’s also include:

    • Vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Vehicles designed to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation
    • Vehicles designed to transport more than 16 passengers (including the driver) that are not used to transport passengers for compensation
    • Vehicles transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring the vehicle to be placarded
  • How long do I have to file a suit?

    Under Oklahoma law, the victim of a car or truck accident usually has two years from the date of the accident to file suit – otherwise their claim is forever barred. This time frame can be shorter if a government agency is involved. The governmental tort claims act requires written notice of a claim to be submitted prior to filing any lawsuit and within one year of the accident. The claims of minor children can be filed within one year after they reach the age of 18.

    The statute of limitations provides the latest date that a case can be filed. Your case should be pursued as soon as possible after the accident. If you wait two years to bring your case, important evidence can be lost or destroyed. Contact us at (918) 994-0880 today to discuss your case.

  • How long will my case take?

    Each truck accident case is different but generally, the time period could be anywhere from several months to three years. Wrongful death cases can move forward without delay but may still involve extensive investigation and litigation. Regardless of the time necessary to complete your case, you should have an attorney who is ready to begin today and prepared to approach the work involved with a sense of urgency.

  • Why should I hire you?

    At Ervin & Ervin, we solely focus our practice on handling crashes between cars and commercial motor vehicles, so we thoroughly understand the importance of the state and federal regulations governing trucking companies. Many lawyers take trucking cases without the experience or knowledge to handle them properly. Ultimately, these firms handle truck accident cases like ordinary automobile accidents and force the client to settle the case for less than the case is worth. These cases require an effective working knowledge of the State and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and should be handled by lawyers who understand commercial vehicle inspection, operation, maintenance, cargo securement, scheduling/trip planning, communications, equipment, and insurance. At Ervin & Ervin, our experienced Oklahoma truck accident lawyers can take care of the investigation and litigation of your claim. Attorney Joe Ervin is both a lawyer and a truck driver and holds a valid Class “A” Oklahoma Commercial Driver’s License – he is one of the few personal injury attorneys in the country who can actually operate a semi-tractor trailer. This level of focus, experience, and knowledge makes us different.

    We work hard for our clients and maximize the value of truck collision cases. We understand that your case is about your family and that you are more than just a number. You can take comfort in knowing that your case will be handled professionally and that the end result will meet your expectations. Every trucking case needs an experienced Oklahoma truck accident attorney. We have successfully represented injured victims across the State of Oklahoma.

  • I can't afford a lawyer. How are you paid?

    We understand that personal injury and wrongful death litigation is extremely expensive and that people injured or killed in serious truck wrecks are the ones who need help the most. We are paid on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid if you receive money.

    We advance the cost of litigation until the case is resolved. This makes it possible for people of all means to hire the Oklahoma truck accident lawyers they deserve. For more information on how contingency fees work and how our approach is different, please call us at (918) 994-0880.

  • Do I need a lawyer? And when do I need one?

    You need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after a commercial vehicle accident to make sure that evidence is not destroyed. Physical evidence at the scene begins to fade within hours after an accident. The trucking company or their insurer can also destroy relevant documents such as ECM data or electronic messages within days of the accident unless action is taken to preserve this evidence. Without the right lawyer, your case can be damaged before it begins.

    Before you sign anything, it is critical to consult a truck accident attorney about your case. Our firm offers a free consultation and we have experience handling commercial vehicle cases across the State of Oklahoma. We understand the monetary damages a family is entitled to recover after a collision as well as the federal safety regulations and industry standards that govern commercial motor vehicles and the conduct that may warrant punitive damages.

    National studies have shown that injured people with lawyers recover over three times as much as those who represent themselves. It is critical to hire an attorney for your case who has the knowledge and experience to properly evaluate your truck accident and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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