Truck Accident Attorney in Portland
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Commercial trucks on the highways of Oregon can cause serious accidents to smaller vehicles. Commercial trucking has become a necessary aspect of life and manufacturing in the nation. Unfortunately, however, with the increase of semi- and big-rig trucks on the roads, the number of accidents has increased.
Due to the sheer tonnage of these semi-trucks, what might have been just a minor fender bender between two cars in a typical car accident can be deadly when a commercial truck is involved. Because commercial 18-wheeler trucks are so much bigger and heavier than other vehicles, it is no wonder that about 85% of individuals killed in collisions with semi-trucks are drivers or passengers of smaller vehicles.
Oftentimes, the driver of the tractor-trailer only suffers minor injuries. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident involving a semi truck, a Portland truck accident lawyer at our firm may be able to help.
To learn what steps you can take to seek legal recourse, call (503) 862-8666 or email us today!
About Commercial Trucking Accidents in Oregon
In our society, we depend on the trucking industry to transport automobiles, lumber, commercial goods, and fuel all over the country. We depend on commercial truck drivers to maintain their vehicles, ensure loads are secure, and drive safely. As commuters, we daily trust trucking companies to properly train their drivers and supervise driver conduct.
Oregon requires very alert commercial driving due to inclement conditions caused by rain, sleet, or snow. When a mistake is made or a driver loses control of the tractor-trailer truck, life-changing injuries or even death can result. Our truck accident attorney in Portland is dedicated to helping the victims of such collisions hold the commercial trucking company accountable. We take a client-oriented compassionate approach to get compensation in cases involving serious injury or the loss of a loved one due to a collision with a negligent semi-truck driver.
Types of Trucks Commonly Involved in Accidents
There are a variety of different commercial trucks on the road and they all carry their own set of risks and liabilities. Tractor-trailers are most commonly known as semi-trucks or big rigs and are intended to carry cargo. These trucks are some of the biggest on the road and their size makes them a force to be reckoned with. Big rigs have massive blind spots, making it difficult for drivers to safely change lanes, as well as a much greater stopping distance than the average passenger car.
Flatbed trucks have open trailers, making them useful for loading and unloading big shipments. If not secured properly, the cargo on flatbed trucks can come loose and damage other cars.
Dump trucks and garbage trucks are typically used to carry construction site material, such as sand, dirt, or gravel. Similar to semi-trucks, these trucks have serious blind spots and poor visibility. Because they are so common in neighborhoods, dump trucks and garbage trucks can be a great liability for pedestrians.
Investigating a Commercial Truck Accident
When a motorist or passenger is injured in Oregon due to an accident with a large commercial truck, it's very important to quickly find out what happened. A Portland truck accident attorney at Angel Law, P.C. can work with investigators and accident re-constructionists to determine the cause of an accident.
Truck drivers or companies can be held liable for the damages if the following were present:
- Truck driver fatigue from driving outside the federal trucking safety regulations
- Inexperienced driving of an 18-wheeler due to inadequate training
- Aggressive or reckless driving such as speeding or failing to yield
- Driving while impaired from alcohol or other intoxicants
- Negligent hiring by the truck company
- Unsecured loads, improper maintenance, and/or failure to properly inspect loads and equipment
While all truck accidents are serious, there are several accidents that are more likely to cause severe injuries. Rollovers can be particularly frightening, as they can occur if a driver is speeding or when a tire goes off the pavement. Once a truck begins to roll over, it is almost impossible to control. Semi-trucks are especially susceptible to jackknifing because of the trailer attached to the cab. When the trailer swings out and creates a 90-degree angle to the cab, it is considered a jackknife.
Underride accidents are particularly dangerous for small passenger cars. This is when a passenger car crashes into the back of a truck and slides underneath due to momentum. Underride accidents can damage entire cars. It is important for truck drivers to pay attention to every little detail when driving and to keep enough distance between themselves and the smaller cars they share the road with.
Fatigued Truck Drivers Cause Fatal Truck Accidents
Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue associated with accident fatalities on highways all over the country. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have repeatedly cited driver fatigue as a major factor in truck crash causation. Serious truck crashes due to driver fatigue don't have to occur as frequently as they do if big rig operators are forced to drive fewer hours.
How many hours do commercial truckers drive in an average shift, though? It might shock you to find out that many are scheduled to work 14-hour days with up to 11 hours behind the wheel. It comes as no surprise, then, to find that many truck drivers are experiencing fatigue while working, which usually starts to set in around hour 6 or 7 of driving.
What does truck driver fatigue do?
- Slows down reaction time
- Blurs vision
- Dulls hearing
- Worsens steering control
If the average driver starts to feel exhausted at roughly 6 hours spent behind the wheel, then it can be assumed that truck drivers are feeling downright fatigued for a large part of their shifts. No amount of experience or training can counteract what exhaustion does to the human body and mind, either. Some truck drivers make things worse by using over-the-counter stimulants to keep themselves awake, not realizing that drug impairment can be just as dangerous, especially when the drugs wear off and exhaustion rushes back in.
Retain Our Portland Truck Accident Lawyer
You can count on Angel Law, P.C. to pursue the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost income, pain, and other conditions caused by an accident due to another's negligence. Frequently, victims of truck accidents have to completely change their lives because of the consequences of a negligent truck driver. Oregon and federal laws protect victims in such situations.
Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney in Portland.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents
A lawyer from the trucking company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
Any offer should be reviewed by an experienced truck accident attorney that has your best interests in mind. The trucking company's lawyer will have the company's best interest in mind, not yours.
I was in the truck's blind spot when I was hit. Am I still able to file a claim?
You may still have a valid claim, depending on the specific details of your accident. This is why it's best to have your case evaluated by an experienced lawyer. A truck's blind spot is a key reason behind many truck accidents.
What information should I gather to help with my claim?
In any accident, you need to exchange information with the other driver, including their license and insurance information. If you're able to, taking pictures at the scene of the accident is incredibly helpful. Having visual evidence makes itmore difficult for the truck company's insurance company to dispute your claims. Take pictures of your vehicle, the road, conditions, and any injuries. Every detail helps!
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