If you suffered an injury in a vehicle accident in Oklahoma, you need to prove that the other party was “at fault” to recover compensation for damages. In the case of an injury, damages can include physical pain and financial losses due to loss of income or medical expenses.
In the event of a passenger vehicle accident claim, determining who is at fault is relatively easy. However, when it comes to truck accidents, claims are more complicated. This guide looks at liability in the event of a truck accident and your eligibility to claim for damages.
The 50 Percent Rule
Oklahoma law operates under a “50 percent rule.” This rule allows a plaintiff to recover damages if their responsibility for the accident is less than 50%. If you are partially responsible for the accident, the damages you receive will decrease by your percentage of liability, provided that it is lower than 50%.
When Is a Company Liable for Damages?
A trucking company might be liable for a truck accident if the driver acted within their scope of employment.
For example, if a driver uses their employer’s truck to run a private errand after hours, the driver is not within the scope of employment. In this case, the company is not liable for any accident that occurs. On the other hand, if the accident occurs while the driver is transporting products as part of their regular duties, the company can be liable.
Other conditions that may create liability for trucking companies include:
- Failing to keep maintenance logs for each truck
- Extending drivers’ hours on the road, violating safety regulations
- Violating the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Failing to appoint qualified drivers or do background checks on drivers
Suppose any of the above situations results in an accident, wrongful death, or injury. In that case, the truck accident victims may have the right to file a lawsuit against the truck driver’s employer.
Other Parties May Be Liable
Trucking companies are not automatically liable in the event of a truck accident. A truck driver might be at fault if they caused the accident by:
- Failing to comply with FMCSA regulations
- Acting with the intention of causing an accident
- Failing to adhere to the rules of the road
The truck manufacturer may be at fault if a defective component, such as a failing brake line, caused the accident. If the accident is due to spilling cargo, the loading company may be liable.
Schedule a Consultation with a Truck Accident Lawyer
Proving liability is critical if you want to file a successful truck accident lawsuit. At Bryan Garrett PLLC, we have extensive experience in truck accident claims.
We can gather all the necessary information to determine who is at fault for your accident. Our legal team can also help you file a trucking accident lawsuit to claim compensation for damages.
If someone else’s negligence resulted in physical pain, trauma, and financial losses, contact us at (405) 358-2342 to schedule a complimentary consultation.