Portland Trucking Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents continue to be a serious problem in Portland and throughout the United States, due to the increase of large tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and other massive vehicles on the road. Yet, it only takes one serious car accident to create a multi-vehicle collision that results in numerous severe injuries and death. If you have been involved in a similar accident in Portland, we recommend you call our experienced truck accident lawyers at DuBois Law Group for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Portland Trucking Accident Resources
- Why Choose A Portland Truck Accident Lawyer From DuBois Law Group?
- Portland Truck Accident Injuries
- Who Is Liable In A Portland Truck Accident?
- Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In Portland
- Essential Evidence In A Portland Truck Accident Case
- Portland Truck Accident Statute Of Limitations
- Dealing With Insurance Companies After A Portland Truck Accident
- Portland Truck Driving Laws
Why Choose A Portland Truck Accident From DuBois Law Group?
- Our accident attorneys in Portland have a strong track record of successful settlements and verdicts on vehicle accident cases. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our truck crash clients.
- Truck accident cases often result in severe, life-threatening injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Our firm’s medical department and legal representation can connect you to the treatment and specialists you need for your injuries.
- Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis for maximum affordability. You will only be charged legal fees if we secure compensation on your behalf. To limit your or your loved ones’ out-of-pocket expenses, our Portland truck accident attorneys will take an agreed-upon percentage of your award as payment.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Commercial trucks are significantly larger and heavier than the average motor vehicle. As a result, collisions between these trucks and smaller cars, pedestrians, or cyclists can be catastrophic.
Victims of truck crashes can suffer from many types of losses, such as the following common injuries:
- Brain injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Internal organ injuries and bleeding
If you were a pedestrian and were struck by a commercial vehicle, please reach out to our Pedestrian accident lawyers in Portland and seek medical attention immediately. We help all forms of injured victims.
Who Is Liable in a Portland Truck Accident?
Truck accidents can occur due to several factors. In some cases, dangerous weather conditions or poor visibility may lead to collisions. Negligent driving behavior or failure to follow safety regulations may also cause these accidents. Poorly maintained roads, blind spots, vehicle defects, and business negligence could also contribute to these crashes. Identifying the cause of your truck crash is very important—by knowing the cause of your accident, you can identify the at-fault party and know if you have a case.
Multiple parties may be liable for an Oregon truck accident, including the following.
- Truck drivers: If the accident occurred due to negligent driving behavior or violations of federal trucking regulations on the truck driver’s part, he or she would be liable for the accident. Driving under the influence, faulty safety equipment fatigued driving, unsafe lane changes, and reckless driving are common examples of truck driver negligence.
- Trucking companies: If the truck driver is an employee of a trucking company, his or her employer would also be liable for any accidents he or she causes on the job. Some accidents may also occur due to negligence on behalf of the trucking company; for example, the company may hire unlicensed drivers, encourage truckers to break regulations or fail to maintain its vehicles. In these situations, the company would be liable for the accident.
- Manufacturers: If the accident occurs due to a defective auto part or a defective truck, or improper maintenance, the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the defective product would be liable for the accident. If this is the case, please contact one of our product liability lawyers in Portland.
- Government agencies: If a government agency is the employer of the truck driver, it may be liable for any accidents these drivers cause while performing their job duties. Additionally, if the accident occurred due to poorly maintained or designed roads, the agency in charge of that road would be liable for the collision, which our premises liability lawyers in Portland can also help with.
If you are unsure who is liable for your accident, the attorneys at DuBois Law Group can help. Our injury lawyers in Portland will conduct a full investigation into your collision to determine how it occurred. We may also enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, who can help identify the liable party.
What Are Some Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In Portland?
Truck Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving in Portland
Distracted driving is a common cause of truck accidents in Portland. Drivers are more tempted than ever by electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops, iPads, and GPS devices. Even though drivers are aware of the dangers of texting while driving, many Portland drivers continue to text or talk on the phone while driving. Distracted driving does not always involve electronic devices, however. Drivers can become distracted by children, pets, talking to passengers, or merely staring out the window.
Truck Accidents Caused by Drunk Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to devastating truck accidents. Semi-trucks are more dangerous than passenger vehicles, and it is crucial that truck drivers are alert, rested, and sober when they get on the road. Any kind of impairment, significantly being impaired by drugs or alcohol, can lead to serious injuries or death.
If you have been involved in a truck accident and you suspect that the semi-truck driver is intoxicated, share your concerns with the law enforcement officer at the scene. The officer may decide to conduct a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test on the truck driver. An experienced Portland drunk driving accident attorney can help you gather evidence proving that the truck driver was intoxicated at the time of your accident.
Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigue in Oregon
Long-haul trucking can be exhausting. Despite Federal Regulations prohibiting truck drivers from driving long stretches, many truck drivers do not take their mandated rest periods. Truck drivers who work as independent contractors are focused on getting as many jobs completed as possible in a short amount of time. They do not get paid unless they complete a job. This system makes it tempting for truck drivers to skip their mandatory rest periods and drive while fatigued.
Driving while fatigued is dangerous for anyone, but it is hazardous for truck drivers. Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the United States. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as many as 13% of truck accidents involve fatigue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as six thousand deaths are caused by fatigued driving every year. Physical or mental exertion, long hours, and inadequate sleep can all contribute to dangerous truck accidents caused by fatigue. If a fatigued truck driver has injured you, you need a skilled lawyer at your side who will thoroughly investigate your case.
Other Causes of Truck Accidents in Portland
Drunk driving, distracted driving, and fatigued driving account for many Portland truck accidents. There are various other causes of truck accidents, however. Inclement weather, mechanical failure, or negligent loading of the cargo can also cause truck accidents. Drivers may have been speeding at the time of the accident or making other bad decisions. At DuBois Law Group, our Portland truck accident lawyers thoroughly investigate our clients’ cases to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence.
If a truck accident resulted in the death of a loved one, please reach out to our wrongful death attorneys in Portland.
How Do I Prove a Truck Accident Claim in Oregon?
In a trucking accident lawsuit, you will need to provide sufficient evidence that establishes the at-fault party’s negligence. In cases involving negligent drivers or trucking companies, you will need to prove four important elements pertaining to your legal rights.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act.
- The at-fault party’s breach of duty caused your accident.
- You sustained damages due to the accident that you can collect in your lawsuit.
For example, say that you are driving along a highway when a semi-truck in front of you starts swerving unnaturally. The truck driver suddenly loses control of his or her vehicle and collides with you. In the accident, you sustain broken bones and traumatic brain damage. A subsequent review of the driver’s logs discovers that he violated federal hours-of-service regulations and fell asleep at the wheel.
In this situation, the driver owed you a duty to follow traffic laws and federal trucking regulations. He breached that duty by driving for a longer period than federal law allows, which caused him to fall asleep at the wheel. The accident would not have occurred if the driver had taken his required breaks and respected the regulations process. As a result, he is liable for your accident and damages.
What Evidence Do You Need in a Truck Accident Claim?
To prove a trucking accident lawsuit, you will need to gather several types of evidence. For example, the police report created at the scene, the testimony of witnesses who saw the accident, and surveillance footage are valuable pieces of evidence. Your medical records will also be critical pieces of evidence in your case.
Proving a truck accident claim can be more complex than a typical car accident. This is because the trucking company often has access to many pieces of evidence that could help prove your claim. However, the company may be unwilling to provide you with this information in order to avoid liability. Your Portland injury attorney from DuBois Law Group can use his or her resources, skills, and experience to obtain this evidence from the trucking company and craft a compelling case in your favor.
Some common pieces of evidence in truck accident lawsuits include the following.
- The truck driver’s logs, which include hours-of-service documentation
- The driver’s work history, driving records, and personnel file
- Weigh station and loading dock reports
- Truck inspection reports
- Black box information
- On-board computers and GPS devices
- The truck driver’s phone records
- Dispatch instructions
How Long Do You Have to File an Oregon Truck Accident Lawsuit?
In Oregon, civil lawsuits are subject to laws known as statutes of limitations. These rules set filing deadlines for certain types of claims. If you do not file your lawsuit within the appropriate time period, the court will likely dismiss your claim—preventing you from recovering the compensation you deserve.
For truck accident lawsuits, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit. While there are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations, such as situations involving victims under the age of 18, they are not always common. It is important to speak to a Portland truck accident attorney as soon as possible to identify your filing deadline and protect your right to compensation.
How Can You Recover Compensation Through an Insurance Claim?
After being injured in a truck accident, you may find it difficult to concentrate on your physical recovery while trying to deal with an insurance claim. Insurance companies often begin contacting truck accident victims immediately after the accident, asking them to provide a recorded statement.
In the shock of the accident aftermath, motor vehicle accident victims may unintentionally admit fault in a recorded statement. As a result, the insurance company may use the statement to deny the victim’s claim or offer them an unfairly low amount of compensation. Therefore, working with an experienced Portland truck accident lawyer is essential to receive fair compensation.
At DuBois Law Group, our truck accident attorneys are familiar with all the tactics insurance companies use to avoid truck injury victims’ claims. We will negotiate with them to obtain compensation for your injuries. When insurance companies engage in bad faith practices, we hold them accountable in court.
How Insurance Companies Trick You After Motor Vehicle Accidents
One of the most common questions after a truck accident is whether you should speak to the insurance company. Trucking companies often have insurance carriers that protect their interests in the event of a collision involving their employees.
It is important to remember that an insurance company has a duty to protect its bottom line. Providing a maximum settlement to each and every client would harm this goal. As a result, insurance policies sometimes employ tactics to limit the compensation that you could claim.
After your accident, a representative from the insurance company may contact you and ask for a statement. He or she may claim that providing a statement would help settle your claim faster, or that you are required to provide one.
However, you should never provide a statement or speak to an insurance company until you contact a Portland trucking accident attorney. In the days after the accident, you are not likely to have a clear picture of your injuries or damages. You still have a significant amount of investigation and healing to do.
By obtaining a statement from you at this stage in your case, the insurance company establishes a record that it can use to compare with future statements. If you learn new information, later on, the insurer can point to discrepancies in your story and potentially use it to deny your claim.
Low Settlement Offers
An insurance company may propose a settlement early in your case. As truck accident claims can take a long time to settle, you might want to accept this offer of financial compensation.
You should not accept any offer before consulting with a lawyer. Your attorney will want you to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), or the stage where your condition has healed to the furthest possible point.
At MMI, you are more likely to know what long-term medical care you will need and the extent of other damages. By accepting an early offer, you may face financial hardship in the future.
Oregon Truck Driving Laws
Truck drivers and trucking companies in Oregon need to follow state law. Oregon law states that drivers must adhere to hours-of-service rules, which limit the amount of time that a trucker can operate. Fatigue can contribute to serious truck accidents, so these rules are important.
For drivers who drive across state borders, the hours-of-service rules are as follows.
- Truckers cannot drive more than 11 hours within a 14-hour period after taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Truckers cannot drive after 60 hours of work within seven days or 70 hours over eight days
- The 60- or 70-hour period restarts after the driver takes 34 consecutive hours off duty.
Drivers who operate within Oregon must abide by the following rules.
- Truckers can drive for 12 consecutive hours during a 16-hour workday.
- Truckers may not drive after 70 hours within a seven-day period or 80 hours within an eight-day period.
- The 60- or 70-hour period restarts after 34 consecutive hours off duty.
Contact a Portland Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a Portland truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In Oregon, successful personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to economic damages for their medical bills and treatments, lost wages, and other expenses related to their personal injury cases. They are also entitled to non-economic damages for the pain and suffering they have endured from their injuries. Contact the experienced truck accident lawyers at DuBois Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation. (503) 222-4411