Rear-End Truck Accidents

Tulsa Rear-End Truck Accidents

Rear-end accidents are the most common type of traffic collision. Large trucks can be involved in two types of rear-end accidents.

The first involves a commercial vehicle hitting a car that is stopped at a light, stop sign, or due to traffic. The second type consists of a truck hitting the car ahead while both vehicles are moving. Both types of rear-end truck accidents can lead to serious injuries.

Why Are Rear-End Truck Accidents More Dangerous?

Rear-end truck accidents are more dangerous than other collisions involving commercial vehicles. A rear-end accident refers to the front bumper of a large truck colliding with the rear-end of a passenger car. When a car accident occurs between two vehicles of similar size, the damage can be significant.

However, a commercial truck is massive compared to most passenger cars. A typical tractor-trailer can weigh between 33,000 and 80,000 pounds. Passenger cars may weigh as little as 3,000 pounds, according to data from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.

When 80,000 pounds of cargo and metal crash into the back of a 3,000-pound car, the force can easily crush the smaller vehicle. In some cases, the smaller car may be pulled underneath the large truck.

Injuries in rear-end truck accidents can be life-threatening. Most fatalities involving large commercial trucks are the occupants of the passenger vehicle. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in the last reporting year:

  • Motor vehicle carriers were responsible for 11% of all fatal traffic accidents
  • In two-vehicle accidents involving a large truck, 97% of fatalities were passenger car occupants

Survivors of rear-end truck accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries that require a lifetime of medical care.

What Are the Common Injuries Associated with Rear-End Truck Accidents in Oklahoma?

Victims in rear-end truck accidents often suffer serious and catastrophic bodily harm. Injuries are considered catastrophic when they happen suddenly and have life-altering consequences. For example, losing a limb or becoming paralyzed are life-changing injuries associated with truck accidents.

The most common injuries accident victims suffer in a rear-end truck crash include:

  • Neck and spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord is a delicate part of the body that communicates with the brain. Damage can result in paralysis or paraplegia, leaving a victim to need lifelong specialized care. In addition, sufferers experience tremendous emotional distress coping with limited mobility and permanent injuries.
  • Head injuries: Truck accidents can cause a range of head injuries, from concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI can result in permanent brain damage, causing cognitive, behavioral, and physical disabilities. Sufferers may have severe memory problems or may need to relearn basic tasks, like brushing their teeth or writing.
  • Amputation or loss of limb: Losing an arm or a leg in a rear-end truck accident can happen two different ways. The immediate impact of the collision can cause a victim to lose a limb, or a limb can be so damaged in the accident that there is no medically reasonable way to save it. Severe burns and crushing injuries can cause extensive damage, requiring a limb to be surgically amputated.
  • Broken, dislocated, and fractured bones: While bones heal, some require intense medical treatment and surgery. Painful rods and pins may be needed to hold the bones together, sometimes requiring multiple surgeries. Severely broken and fractured bones may never heal completely, leading to a lifetime of pain.
  • Internal injuries: Internal organs are at a high risk of suffering damage in a truck accident. The force of the collision and tendency to cause crushing injuries often leads to reduced organ function, a collapsed lung, or internal bleeding from a ruptured artery or punctured organ.

Extreme physical trauma usually has lasting mental and emotional implications. Some truck accident victims may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a collision. Others may develop problems sleeping or severe anxiety while in recovery.

Truck Drivers Undergo Safety Training to Prevent Accidents

Motor carrier vehicles are inherently hazardous on the road. Operating a tractor-trailer or semi-truck is an enormous undertaking. Truck drivers must pass rigorous testing to earn a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Like teenagers first developing spatial awareness for their vehicles, truck drivers must undergo special training to accurately judge their truck’s size and relation to other objects. Drivers must understand braking distance, turning a 72-foot long semi without rolling over, and straight-line and offset backing (i.e., backing up properly without causing the trailer to jackknife).

Additionally, a CDL driver must know how to properly inspect their vehicle for potential problems. The average semi-truck drives over 45,000 miles per year, requiring frequent maintenance checks and servicing. Pre-trip inspections include:

  • Steering mechanism
  • Engine compartment
  • Tires (e.g., tread, air compression, alignment)
  • Suspension
  • Devices on combination units
  • Braking system components (e.g., air compression, caliper alignment, pads)

Routine inspection can prevent a brake failure truck accident or a tire blowout accident. When an issue is discovered, a truck driver is required complete a vehicle inspection report and fix the problem before continuing on the road.

When trucking companies hire drivers without the proper training or drivers fail to complete their pre-trip inspections, they can be found liable in a rear-end truck accident.

What Causes Rear-End Truck Accidents?

The primary causes for rear-end truck accidents can vary from mechanical failure to driver negligence. Errors that lead to rear-end collisions include:

  • Speeding: Large, heavy vehicles need time and space to stop. Even with the best braking system on the market, speeding above the limit or too fast for conditions will likely result in a rear-end truck accident.
  • Following too close: For the same reasons above, a large truck needs adequate time and space to stop. If a driver is following too close to a passenger car, any sudden stop will inevitably result in the truck hitting or crushing the smaller vehicle.
  • Distracted driving: Truck drivers are just as capable of being distracted on the road as other motorists. Distracted driving is a major problem on Oklahoma roads. However, a truck driver’s career is based on safely operating a commercial vehicle. Texting, eating, and adjusting controls can lead to rear-end collisions.
  • Brake failure: Large commercial trucks must be inspected regularly, especially the braking system. Skipping inspections can have devastating consequences. Rotors may have a crack, or the pads may be worn thin. Braking components may also have a manufacturing or design defect that can lead to brake failure.
  • Drowsy or impaired driving: Truck drivers spend long hours on the road. Driving fatigued or under the influence of alcohol can significantly slow down a trucker’s reaction times and lead to a major rear-end accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates a truck driver’s hours of service to prevent drowsy driving accidents.
  • Multi-vehicle collision or pileup: : A multi-vehicle pileup occurs when there is a series of consecutive rear-end accidents. A large, fully-loaded semi-truck will need the length of a football field and a half to stop, the equivalent of 540 feet. If a multi-car collision happens abruptly, the truck driver may not have left enough room to stop before hitting the wrecked cars ahead.
What is Negligence Per Se in a Rear-End Truck Accident?

Negligence per se in a truck accident refers to liability. In most truck accidents, a claimant must prove that the driver acted negligently and caused the rear-end collision.

Negligence can be difficult to establish, even in rear-end truck accidents. If a car pulls in front of a tractor-trailer and brakes hard, the passenger car driver may be found liable for the accident and not the truck driver.

However, negligence per se may be proven if a trucker violates the laws and regulations set by FMCSA. Speeding, driving under the influence, or failing to yield the right-of-way may result in a truck driver being found negligent per se, i.e., inherently negligent by breaking the law.

Why Are Truck Accident Claims Frequently Denied?

Large tractor-trailers and semi-trucks can be especially destructive when colliding with other vehicles. Injury victims often require intensive medical care. Healing can take several months to over a year.

Filing a claim through the responsible party’s insurance company should recover most property damages and medical bills. Unfortunately, many truck accident victims have their claims denied.

Truck accidents typically involve multiple parties that may be potentially liable in a rear-end accident, including:

  • The owner of the truck, if the company is leasing the vehicle
  • The truck driver
  • The truck’s maintenance company
  • The truck’s manufacturer

If an insurance company suspects another party is responsible for the crash, they will deny the claim. Claimants are then forced to undergo a complicated appeals process or try again and file their claim through a different party. When each potentially liable party can deny responsibility and pass it off to the next, injury victims can run out their statute of limitations and never receive the settlement they need.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Tulsa Rear-End Truck Accident Claim?

For claimants facing denials and delays from the insurance company, it is important to know when the statute of limitations runs out. The statute of limitations for a Tulsa rear-end truck accident claim is two years.

A statute of limitations is a set window for accident victims to file a personal injury claim. The two-year statute in Oklahoma starts on the date of the truck accident. At Graves McLain, our Tulsa truck accident lawyers can assist with the claims process and avoid many denials and delays. Schedule a free consultation by dialing (918) 359-6600.

  • They were always willing to respond and were very positive

    My orthopedic doctor recommended Graves McLain, PLLC, to me following the need for revision hip surgery due to a hip from Stryker that was putting poison into my system. The doctor took care of the hip, and Graves McLain, PLLC, took care of the legal case. They were very thorough, professional, courteous, and always ready to answer the questions I had throughout the length of the case. In a word, the entire office is fantastic. I’m sure they were tired of my inquiries on the case’s progress, but they did not show it. They were always willing to respond and were very positive. If I ever have a claim in the future, they will be the first group to whom I reach out.

    Robert S.
    Submitted April 1st, 2022
  • Professional, compassionate, and very smooth way

    I have been working with chad McLain for two years. He has helped me get my case resolved in a professional, compassionate, and very smooth way. I wasn’t just a number in this lawsuit which included many others. This firm has made me feel like I was the only one. Amy Cox has also been amazing. She was always so very kind each time I contacted her with questions. Her character shines through, and I’m so thankful she was there for me. I would definitely suggest that anyone who might need a lawyer for a medical lawsuit to choose Graves McLain law firm.

    Kim C.
    Submitted March 31st, 2022
  • I will recommend them to others

    I was referred to Graves McLain through an Uber passenger. I reached out and was connected with Miss Angela, who made me feel so comfortable. She was very upfront with everything and kept a very open line of communication. I got to work with Amy W. & Amy M., who were two fabulous ladies who helped wrap up my case. When I thought I would be screwed with trying to get somewhere with the insurance company, these ladies came to the rescue. Without a doubt, I would contact them again, and I will recommend them to others. Thanks again!

    Alyssia H.
    Submitted March 7th, 2022
  • They worked very hard for us and kept us informed

    Graves McLain was there for us when we didn’t really know how to move forward with our Round Up claim. They worked very hard for us and kept us informed. Couldn’t of done this without them. Thank you Graves Mclain

    Marla H.
    Submitted March 1st, 2022
  • Handled everything PERFECTLY!

    I had 10/10 experience with Rachel and the team from Grave’s McLain. I had been feeling overwhelmed with medical bills from a car accident that wasn’t my fault, and the long list of things that had to be done that I had to figure out how to do myself. They put my mind at ease and handled everything perfectly. I’ll definitely use them again if the time comes!

    Graci W.
    Submitted January 10th, 2022
  • Top-knotch in the realm of customer care

    Graves McLain Law Firm recently handled a difficult legal situation for our family. From the beginning, we were treated with respect and concern. The entire staff is top-knotch in the realm of customer care. Mr. McLain’s knowledge, experience, and counselling was reassuring as our case progressed to the best conclusion achievable. Anyone needing assistance with serious issue should contact Graves McLain….”Serious DOES matter to them!”

    Larry N.
    Submitted January 4th, 2022
  • Very responsive and kind

    I am extremely pleased with how my case was handled at Graves McLain. I hired Chad after fighting with the insurance company for over a year. Feeling defeated and overwhelmed with medical bills, once my case was handled by my attorney, I felt at ease. Chad and his team were very responsive and kind. They answered all my questions and even helped me figure out lost wages based on a commission rate of pay. He was able to get maximum compensation and now I can get back to my life! I would 100% recommend Graves McLain time and time again.

    Aubrey P.
    Submitted January 3rd, 2022
  • Highly Recommend

    My case just settled and I want to thank Rachel Gussman, Janet, Sonia, Emily, Amy, and Margo. This process was definitely a team effort. When I was involved in a car accident last year, I turned to my friend Rachel for guidance. I was thoroughly impressed with their skills, office staff professionalism and friendliness, communication, and of course, the end results. I highly recommend Graves McLain.

    Kimberly M.
    OKSubmitted December 22nd, 2021
  • Top notch experience

    My experience with Graves McLain was first and foremost a top notch experience from beginning to end. Their expertise and professionalism was impressive and thorough. I was completely satisfied with their efforts. In two years I had not one but two accidents . They handled both so that I didn’t become a victim again by the insurance company. I’m satisfied and happy with their handling of both suits. I would highly recommend them if you find yourself a victim of an accident.

    Thank You Graves McLain!

    Ken T.
    Submitted December 14th, 2021
  • Highly recommended

    Graves McLain was so helpful, they communicated with me and gave me frequent updates. I highly recommend them.

    Leanna E.
    Submitted December 14th, 2021

Contact Our Firm &
Request a Free Case Review