Blog

Semi-truck crashes into car

A commercial truck, a semi or tractor-trailer, wreck devastates everyone involved because of the size and weight of those vehicles. And, truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to work long hours and haul more loads at maximum speeds while sharing our highways and roads with passenger cars.

There’s always a reason for a truck crash. And, the damage goes beyond medical bills and vehicle damage. The harm includes lost wages, loss of use of your car, scarring or disfigurement, disability (temporary and permanent), along with pain and suffering, both mental and physical. Also, the victim’s family suffers as any recovery period lingers or due to the death of their loved one in a truck accident.  

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” found driver performance to be the critical reason in about 9 of 10 wrecks where the truck driver was the primary cause of the crash. At fault truck drivers were often speeding and/or unfamiliar with the road. Some faulty truck drivers were using over-the-counter drugs, were poorly supervised, fatigued, under work pressure to over perform, distracted or just not paying attention. Mechanical truck problems that helped cause a truck accident included brake problems, tire problems, and shifting cargo.

Commercial vehicle accident statistics involve semi-trucks, dump-trucks, box trucks, and multi-axle flat-bed trucks that ordinarily drive our highways hauling big loads. Buses and light commercial trucks account for a significant number of commercial vehicle accidents too. Whenever a commercial truck is involved in a wreck the truck driver and the truck driver’s employer can be responsible, along with any contractors involved with the truck’s load.

An experienced truck accident lawyer identifies everyone and every entity that is liable or responsible for the negligence. If a settlement out of court cannot be reached, an experienced injury lawyer can go to court for just compensation.

Under federal, and state, laws and trucking regulations, an experienced personal injury attorney proves the truck driver and his/her employer:

  • had a duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care,
  • failed to exercise that duty, and
  • that failure caused injury and loss to the plaintiff(s).

An experienced injury lawyer can prove negligence from: police reports and investigations, witnesses, driver’s logs, truck maintenance logs, truck company training or financial records. Expert witnesses are often used to establish a truck driver’s duties and how trucking transportation companies typically meet their duties to hire good drivers, supervise them and maintain semi-tractor trailer trucks.

Insurance and trucking companies will sometimes hold a “carrot” out and offer a quick settlement. But, be aware that someone who settles early is unable to collect costs and damages later discovered. All the medical bills might not arrive for weeks after related treatment ends. And, in a serious accident, care providers might recommend additional or future care.

Tim Gilpin of Gilpin Law Office has been successfully representing victims of trucking accidents and highway crashes for over 34 years. Of course, there is a free consultation and no attorney fee is there is no recovery.  

cervical spine fusion with plates

What’s Pain & Suffering?

If you’ve been in a car crash, truck wreck or any personal injury accident (including slip and fall), then you know what pain and suffering feel and look like. However, pain and suffering often goes beyond a broken bone, injured spine and stitches. It also includes the mental distress and turmoil that you and your family endure, along with earning impairment, wage loss, job loss, physical impairment or disability and disfigurement or scarring. The law allows for recovery of physical and mental pain and suffering when someone else is negligent and harms you. And, in a wrongful death case, the pain of a loved one, suffered before death, is also recoverable; along with the survivors’ loss of companionship and relationship to the deceased.

But, how do you put a dollar figure on pain and suffering? Under Oklahoma law, a jury ultimately decides a physical and mental pain and suffering claim in a court trial. But, before you get to a jury, even before a lawsuit is filed while trying to settle your claim, an experienced lawyer goes to great effort to collect evidence in medical records that indicate or record: pain levels, pain medication and sedation prescribed and taken and care providers’ notes that memorialize symptoms. Further evidence of pain and suffering comes from the hurt person regarding their changed life and activities, loss of work time and loss of enjoyment of life and family. Other witnesses to pain and suffering include family members, friends, and care providers as they note changes, facial expressions, complaints of pain, inability to function and change in personality.  The more severe the injuries, the greater the worth of any claim.

Spouses and children of an injured or dead person can claim loss of consortium. That is the loss of the companionship, financial support and services of a spouse or parent due to an injury or negligently caused death. Services includes all that a husband, wife or parent would typically do around the home or in life for their loved one or family and loss of their income and support that should have occurred.

Objective Evidence of Pain and Suffering

Beyond the medical records, witnesses and testimony, an experienced attorney uses photos of the accident or wreck scene, injuries, bruising, stitches, swollen limbs and videos of the injured person attempting to recover and get along in everyday activities with the impairments left behind by the injury. Also, x-rays, MRI or CT scans can show the dramatic nature of the injury and thus the illustrate the pain one would expect. In addition, photos of the life before and after the injury help show the effects of an auto accident, medical malpractice and mesothelioma to the injured person and their family. Journals of the pain and recovery along with statements from friends and family can also help prove the case.

Pain and suffering changes a person’s life and that of his/her family. Get local expert legal help from a lawyer with over 34 years of experience. You can get an experienced free consultation from Tim Gilpin with Gilpin law Office. And, no recovery means no attorney fee.  

Just because you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident doesn’t mean you have to take whatever the insurance company first offers you. In fact, just that situation is not in your best interest. You may feel vulnerable because the medical bills are mounting up, you’re hurt and the insurance company is offering some money right away. And, of course, you want to get on with your life and get the interruption of an auto wreck out of the way. But, don’t fall for the first offer of money. It’s likely a trap.

Soon after a car accident, and sometimes for months depending on the nature of the injuries, it’s impossible to know the full extent of your personal injuries or how long a full recovery will take. Insurance company adjusters are experienced and trained to take advantage of an injury victim’s need for money. Often they make a quick lowball settlement offer. Sometimes in your first or second conversation with them. Insurance adjusters hope you’re desperate and will snatch up anything rather than wait for the full picture to develop and demand what you really deserve.

Fast relatively small settlements may include an enticing offer to pay more on down the road, particularly in cases where fault is clearly on the other driver. This is a trap.

 

Once a settlement release is signed by you, it’s impossible to go back and ask for more money. That’s the case even if you later learn your injuries are more severe than first thought or your medical bills turn out to be more than anyone thought.

Tim Gilpin at Gilpin Law has been helping injury victims for over 34 years. That experience tells him that it can take months for a car or truck wreck victim to know the full nature of the required medical care or, maybe, if a surgery is needed. Even in simpler injury cases, it takes some time to know how much the medical bills will finally be. The first weeks or months after an auto accident or truck crash should be spent finding out the extent of the injury and getting the needed care. Diagnostic testing, including x-rays, MRI and CT scans, often are not ordered for weeks after a car wreck. Taking an insurance company’s first offer at the beginning often is a disaster for injury victims.

Agreeing to a quick low ball settlement can cost an injury victim thousands of dollars needed for medical care and lost income. Experienced and skilled motor vehicle accident attorneys, like Tim Gilpin of Gilpin Law, rely on years of handling just these cases, and reputable medical experts, to know the nature and extent of your injuries and estimate costs of future care. Tim Gilpin looks out for the best interests of his injury clients and ensures they get the settlement they deserve.

 Initial consultation is always free and any fee is dependent on a recovery.

Child wearing mask

Asbestos is a deadly carcinogen, no amount of exposure is safe. Asbestos causes cancer of the lung lining and other deadly diseases. Asbestos lung disease is called Mesothelioma, and it kills an average 15,000 people a year in America. Asbestos fibers are strong, resistant to heat and many chemicals, and don’t conduct electricity. Due to these qualities, asbestos was used as an insulating material for hundreds of years.

Inhaled asbestos fibers is a common way to be exposed. Although not as common today, asbestos was frequently used during the early part of the 20th century and, as a result, asbestos inhalation is still a risk. 

Preventing Asbestos Inhalation

Asbestos risks can be found everywhere, but you can protect yourself and your family from exposure. 

At Work:

Every employer should follow all OSHA regulations for hazardous materials. But take your own precautions and report unsafe working conditions.

  • Inquire at work about any asbestos-related health risks.
  • Wear protective gear when you may disturb asbestos.
  • Leave work clothes at work that may contain asbestos particles.
  • Dispose of asbestos materials according to all government regulations.

At Home:

Asbestos exposure occurs when homeowners do renovations that disturb it. If tackling home improvement projects, watch out for the following: 
Some of the in-home items that may contain asbestos are: attic insulation, shingles and tar, drywall and popcorn ceilings.

  • In older homes, don’t perform renovations where asbestos may be present.
  • Never remove asbestos yourself. Get a professional abatement specialist.
  • Exposure may occur when you attempt to tear out contaminated products, especially if you cut, saw, sand or drill them.

At School and Public Buildings

Schools built from 1950 to 1969, likely contain asbestos because it was a common construction material. Request to see your children’s school management plan. And, keep an eye out for asbestos-containing materials, including:

  • Damaged drywall or plaster
  • Deteriorated tiles, roofing or ceiling panels
  • Chipped paint
  • Old heating or A/C 
  • Run-down steam pipes or boiler insulation

For more information contact Gilpin law and look here.