Portland Truck Accident Lawyers

Have you been injured in a truck accident?

Large truck accidents in Oregon are incredibly complex. Not only are there a mountain of regulations when it comes to the rules of the road for trucks, but the size of the vehicles and the possible force during impacts make a trucking accident much more dangerous.

Any auto accident can lead to significant injuries and a stressful road to compensation. However, property damage tends to be much more severe in truck accidents when compared to standard car accidents, while serious injuries and fatalities are a much higher risk.

If you’ve been injured due to a truck collision, a Portland truck accident attorney can navigate the complicated trucking laws and help get you the settlement you deserve.

Possible Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Portland

It’s been said that truckers are some of the best drivers on the road. While that may be true due to their extensive licensing requirements, training, and long hours logged on the road, truck drivers aren’t immune to accidents. Aside from human error, there’s always the possibility of situations outside the trucker’s control.

Here are some common causes of trucking accidents in Portland that pose a high risk to other drivers on the road.

Driver Fatigue and Unsafe Driving

Commercial truck drivers are still human, and they can make driving errors. Beyond reasonable human error, truckers are often subjected to long working hours and late-night driving that can lead to driver fatigue.

Delayed Stopping

A typical semi-truck that is fully loaded can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s more than 25 times heavier than the average sedan on the road. This means it will take much longer for a truck to make a sudden stop than for a car to do the same. No matter how quick the driver’s reflexes are, a large loaded truck can’t always stop in time.

Rolling and Jackknifing

Semi-trucks are much more susceptible to jackknifing—when the trailer and cab of a truck swivel at the hitch and form an angle. Semi-trucks also roll over more often than standard vehicles. That’s because the trailer’s weight can cause unintended movement when a sudden stop or swerve is performed.

Visibility Issues

Commercial trucks often drive at night when visibility is more limited, but they also have other struggles regarding visibility. For example, large trucks have more blind spots than standard vehicles due to fewer windows.

Overweight Loads

When it comes to rollovers, jackknifing, and slow stops, there’s an even higher risk of these dangerous events occurring if road conditions are poor or the truck’s load is overweight or unevenly distributed.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

There’s a reason federal and state laws require vigorous upkeep and maintenance of trucks. Poorly maintained vehicles of this size can result in significant damages. Some of the most common maintenance issues semi-truck experiences are faulty brakes and defective tires.

Truck Driving Laws in Oregon

Due to the high risk of truck crashes, federal and state laws impose requirements on truckers and trucking companies to help prevent collisions and reduce property damage, accident injuries, and traffic fatalities.

These laws require:

  • Proper maintenance and safety inspections of the vehicles
  • A limited number of hours truck drivers can be on the road without rest
  • Harsh trucker penalties for distracted or impaired driving

An experienced truck accident attorney can harness their knowledge of Oregon laws that pertain to the trucking industry and ensure no stone is left unturned.

What are the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries?

Due to the severity of the crash and the weight of trucking vehicles, severe and catastrophic injuries are often sustained in truck accidents:

Serious injuries can be debilitating and life-altering, so if you or a loved one have experienced any of these injuries, a truck accident attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?

One of the most complex aspects of truck accident cases is determining who is at fault for the accident.

Several parties may be at least partially liable for the accident, and possible at-fault parties including:

  • The truck driver if the driving error was the cause of the accident
  • The trucking company if it was negligent in its business practices
  • The truck owner or mechanic, if poor maintenance contributed to the collision
  • The party that loaded the truck if it was improperly loaded or the weight was over-regulation
  • The truck or parts manufacturer if faulty equipment played a role in the accident

Remember that parties can share fault for a truck accident under Oregon’s Modified Comparative Fault rule. Comparative fault assigns a percentage of liability to multiple parties if necessary, and those parties are responsible for a respective percentage of the personal injury settlement.  Under some circumstances, an at-fault party can be responsible for even more than their respective percentage of fault.  It is important to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to assist in figuring out comparative fault.

What Should I Do if I’m in a Truck Accident in Oregon?

There are several important steps to take after a truck accident:

  • Do not leave the truck accident scene and stay as close as possible without causing risk to other drivers
  • Seek emergency medical treatment by calling 911
  • Report your accident to law enforcement, your car insurance carrier, and the DMV.
  • Collect evidence by taking photos of injuries, damage to vehicles, as well as damage to personal belongings and other property. Don’t forget to get a copy of the driver’s log, truck inspection reports, and GPS tracking.
  • Exchange insurance information and contact details with the truck driver
  • Get medical treatment for non-emergency injuries
  • Contact a truck accident attorney

Contact a Team of Portland Truck Accident Attorneys 

A truck accident is no picnic. These are some of the most destructive and dangerous accidents on the road today. You don’t have to brave this difficult road by yourself through all of the pain and anguish—both physical and mental. Reach out to our team of Portland truck accident lawyers so you’ll have the experts on your side. We’ll work to get you the best settlement possible for your personal injury claim.

FAQ: Portland Truck Accident Lawyers

How long after a truck accident can you sue in Oregon?
In the Beaver State, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the accident. After two years have expired, you normally will not be able to file a claim, and you will not be able to recover damages.  However, there are some exceptions.  For example, if the injured person is under 18 years old, the statute of limitations may be extended. Also, wrongful death cases usually have a longer statute of limitations, and these lawsuits can normally be filed within three years of the accident that caused the fatal injury.

How long does a truck accident lawsuit take?
The time between filing a personal injury lawsuit and receiving a verdict or settlement will depend on several factors. An investigation will likely ensue and will involve examining the trucking company’s practices, the driver’s conduct, and the truck’s maintenance records.
There may also be lengthy negotiations with the attorneys of the trucking company. You should expect the lawsuit to be finalized within six months to a couple of years.

What is the value of a truck accident in Oregon?
How much your truck accident settlement will depend mainly on the severity of the injuries you sustained. Serious injuries often lead to higher medical bills, lost wages, permanent disability, and higher levels of pain and suffering.
That’s why truck drivers and trucking companies are required by federal law to carry between $750,000 and $1 million in liability coverage. The amount of coverage required depends on the cargo the truck is hauling.