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We Handle Motor Vehicle Claims Involving Semi Trucks, 18-Wheelers & Other Large Trucks in Eugene and Throughout Oregon
truck accident cases
Eugene is one of the cultural hubs of Oregon. The city’s commitment to the arts is seen in the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, as well as the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. For those who like to find beauty in nature, there are plenty of outdoor trails peppered throughout the city that are perfect for biking, hiking, and other recreational activities.
As the third-largest city in Oregon, Eugene also plays an important role in the state’s economy. To support that economy, massive commercial trucks must regularly make their way throughout the city. These trips do not always end safely and people in Eugene become hurt every year. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Our Eugene car accident attorneys can help you obtain it.
Types of Truck Accidents
Our Attorney Handles
The severity of any car accident will largely depend on the type of crash the truck was involved in. Our car accident lawyer has the necessary experience handling a number of different types of crashes, including:
- Jackknife accidents: Actions such as a truck driver slamming too hard on the brakes can result in the truck folding itself so the trailer sits at a 90-degree angle to the tractor.
- Truck rollovers: Turning too quickly can cause a truck to roll over, crushing nearby vehicles as it does. Truck rollovers are also very common when a trucker loses control of the vehicle.
- Tire blowouts: A truck’s tires have to carry an immense amount of weight. When trucking companies do not perform the proper maintenance and replace tires when necessary, the tire can shred apart, causing a tire blowout accident.
- Rear-end accidents: Fully loaded, a truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If they slam into a smaller vehicle in front of them, it can result in catastrophic injuries.
- Wide turns: Truck drivers typically need to swing left first before they make a right turn. If they do not see traffic around the truck, this can result in a very serious crash.
- Underride accidents: When a truck stops too quickly, the vehicles behind are at risk of sliding underneath the trailer. These accidents are known as underride accidents, and they are usually fatal.
Common Truck/Car Accident Injuries in Eugene
The immense size of commercial trucks, and the fact that they are often traveling at high speeds, means accident victims suffer some of the worst injuries in a crash and accrue some expensive medical bills. It is also almost always the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles that suffer. Some of the most common injuries are as follows:
- Back and neck injuries, including ruptured or herniated spinal discs and whiplash
- Spinal cord injuries, which can include total or partial paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries can range from a mild concussion to permanent brain damage
- Burns, typically caused by exploding fuel tanks
- Amputations, which can occur at the accident scene or be surgically required afterward
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Deep lacerations and severe contusions, can lead to permanent injury
- Internal injuries, including perforated organs and internal bleeding
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.
Truck Accidents in Eugene?
The majority of truck accidents in Eugene are caused by the negligence of the truck driver, or someone within the trucking industry. The most common causes of truck accidents in the city include:
- Poor weather conditions: Eugene experiences many rainy days, and fog is not uncommon. Still, truck drivers are expected to have the necessary experience and skill to navigate these poor weather conditions safely.
- Construction zones: Eugene is continuously expanding, which means construction is ongoing. It is more difficult to navigate construction zones than it is in other areas of the road, but truck drivers have a responsibility to know how to do it safely.
- Lack of training: Trucking companies take shortcuts to preserve their own profits. They may fail to provide the necessary training and put inexperienced drivers behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. Without the knowledge of how to operate a large truck, the driver could then easily cause a crash.
- Unfamiliar roads: Just because a truck driver gets into an accident in Eugene does not mean they know the area. Truckers often have to drive on unfamiliar roads and so, they may turn down one way in the wrong direction or make another mistake that leads to an accident.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers face more distractions on the road than other motorists. They have to use GPS devices, use the radio to communicate with other truckers, and they may also use their cell phone or eat or drink behind the wheel. Any type of distraction can cause a crash that has catastrophic results.
- Improperly loaded cargo: A cargo that is not loaded properly can cause a spill, which will certainly lead to an accident. Even when the cargo remains contained in the truck, if it is loaded improperly, it can throw the balance of the vehicle off, causing a crash.
The Statute of Limitations on
Truck Accident Claims in Eugene
You can file a claim against negligent parties after a truck crash, but you must follow many laws and procedural rules when doing so. Our truck accident lawyer will be able to assist you in knowing what those laws are. One of these laws is the statute of limitations, which is essentially the amount of time you have to file your claim.
In Eugene, as throughout the rest of Oregon, you have only two years from the date of the crash to file your claim. This sounds like a lot of time but it is not. Before filing a claim, a full investigation must be conducted and evidence must be gathered to prove your case. All of this takes time and so it is critical that you speak with one of our car accident lawyers as soon as possible. If your claim is not filed on time, you will forfeit your legal right to claim any damages at all.
Call Our Truck Accident Attorney in Eugene
for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence, our attorneys can help. At Johnston Law Firm, our seasoned attorney knows the devastation these crashes cause and is dedicated to helping accident victims seek the justice they deserve. We will put our experience in legal services to work for you. Contact us now at 503-272-6108 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation
What To Do If You Are
Injured In A Truck Accident
Truck/Car accident injuries have the potential to be severe. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that they claim the lives of more than 5,000 people each year while leaving tens of thousands of others suffering serious injuries. Victims may be unable to work for weeks or even months after while facing mounting medical expenses.
Rather than having to pay out of pocket for these costs, you have the right to hold those at fault accountable in a claim. Steps to take to protect yourself and your rights if a truck/car accident in Oregon happens include:
- Report it to the police immediately;
- Exchange personal and insurance information with the trucker and any other drivers involved;
- Make note of the trucking company they work for;
- Gather evidence, such as the names of witnesses and photos or videos of the scene;
- Seek medical attention right away, regardless of the severity of your injuries;
- Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding follow-up care and work restrictions;
- Speak to our Eugene car accident lawyers before making any statements to the truck company or accepting a settlement.
Common Injuries from
Truck Accident Cases
Among the most common types of truck/car accident injuries include:
- Broken bones and multiple fractures;
- Burn injuries, due to contact with hot engine parts or fluids;
- Crushing injuries, causing damage to body limbs and internal organs;
- Head injuries, which can result in traumatic brain injuries;
- Injuries to muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues;
- Spinal cord injuries, result in partial or complete paralysis.
When these and other types of motor vehicle accident injuries happen, you have the right to hold those at fault accountable. This includes the truck driver, the trucking company they work for, and other motorists on the road who may all share a portion of the blame.
Know What To Do If You
Encounter a Truck Accident
In Oregon, drivers regularly encounter trucks of all sizes on the road, and accidents involving these vehicles can happen in a number of ways. Whether you are involved in a collision with a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or another big rig, or happen to witness one, serious personal injuries can occur as a result and you should know what to do in such an event.
Recognizing Truck Accidents
While accidents involving large trucks may seem infrequent, the fact is that it is challenging to control a truck of any size and even a minor problem the driver experiences could end up impacting numerous others. Among the most common, and potentially dangerous, car accidents include:
- Head-on collisions: These often occur near the highway exits and entrance ramps. Being unfamiliar with a specific area is a contributing factor.
- Rear-end collisions: Considering the massive weight of most trucks, they require more time to come to a stop. Rear-end collisions are common in heavy traffic or when truck drivers engage in tailgating.
- Rollover accidents: These can happen to pick-up trucks, delivery vans, and large 18-wheelers, impacting other drivers on the road. Uneven loads and going too fast around curves are common causes.
- Side swipe accidents: Visibility is reduced when driving a truck. Swerving into another driver’s lane or attempting to pass can cause these crashes.
- Side-impact accidents: These are common when truck drivers run red lights or stop signs, often leaving other motorists with life-threatening injuries.
How to Handle a Personal Injury Law Case
The Oregon Department of Transportation warns drivers that motor vehicle accidents in Oregon happen on a regular basis. If you are involved in this type of crash, take the following steps to protect yourself and your rights in filing a claim:
- Report the accident immediately to police;
- Get the name of the driver and the company they work for, if applicable;
- Take pictures of the damages you suffer at the scene;
- Get contact information for any witnesses;
- See medical attention immediately, regardless of your symptoms;
- Follow your doctor’s advice regarding treatment and activity restrictions;
- Consult with our Oregon truck accident attorneys before making any statements about accepting any settlements.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have driven on the roads in Oregon, you know that large commercial trucks are a common sight. All of the trucking companies using our roads have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Unfortunately, that does not always occur. When semi-truck accidents do happen, the consequences can be truly catastrophic.
At the Johnston Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling truck accident injury claims. Our law firm holds negligent trucking companies liable. Here, our experienced portland semi-truck accident attorney answers some of the most frequently asked questions that injured victims have regarding truck crashes.
According to the most recent data from the Oregon Department of Transportation, there were 2,174 semi-truck accidents reported in the state in 2015. Altogether, these crashes resulted in at least 880 injuries and 54 fatalities. The commercial truck crash rate is similar in Washington. With more total traffic on the roads, the Washington State Department of Transportation reported that more than 6,000 ‘heavy’ trucks were involved in wrecks in 2015.
Following a truck crash, you need to take immediate action to protect your health, your safety, and your legal rights. Specifically, you should:
- Seek immediate medical attention;
- Report the accident to law enforcement officers;
- Exchange information with the truck driver;
- Try to take photographs of the crash; and
- Consult with a truck accident lawyer before talking to an insurance company.
Under the Oregon state statute of limitations (Oregon Revised Statutes section 12.110), injured semi-truck accident victims have two years to file their legal claim. In Washington state, victims have three years to bring their claim. In either case, there is no benefit to waiting: you should initiate your truck accident claim as soon as possible.
When Can Trucking Companies Be Held Liable for a Crash?
Semi-truck accident claims are typically brought under state law. If you were involved in truck wreck in Portland, your claim will be controlled by Oregon law (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 31.600). On the other hand, if you were involved in a truck crash in Vancouver, your personal injury claim will be governed by Washington law (R.C.W.A. §§ 4.22.005-015). In both states, victims must prove that the trucker, trucking company, or some other party was negligent, and that their negligence contributed to the accident in order to prevail in a personal injury claim.
Yes. Trucking companies must follow strict federal and state safety rules. If a trucking company violated safety regulations, and an accident occurs as a result, the company must be held accountable for their misconduct. As trucking regulations are notoriously complex, it is crucial that injured victims work with a personal injury lawyer who can conduct a thorough investigation of their crash.
Semi-truck accident victims are entitled to financial compensation for the full extent of their damages. If you were hurt in a trucking crash in Portland, OR, Vancouver, WA, or any of the surrounding communities, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical bills;
- Rehabilitative care;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Permanent disfigurement;
- Loss of quality of life; and
- Wrongful death.
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– Michelle E.
Mr. Johnston and his firm were incredibly thorough in getting us a fair settlement from our insurance company with little to no pressure. We really appreciated having someone who truly cared about us every step of the way. I would highly recommend the Johnston Law Firm to anyone in need of personal injury representation.
Contact an Experienced
Eugene Truck Accident
Call us at the Johnston Law Firm today at 503-546-3167 or fill out our free confidential case evaluation form on our website. We offer a free initial consultation and flexible hours by appointment. For directions, click here.
The Johnston Law Firm, LLC proudly represents clients in all cities and counties in Oregon: Portland, Gresham, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas.
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