When truck accidents happen, the injuries suffered by other drivers can be severe. Through no fault of your own, you can be left facing a mountain of medical expenses and the need for ongoing care, while being able to work or even perform simple daily tasks. In these situations, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Knowing why truck accidents commonly occur is key in determining who can be held responsible.
How Truck Accidents Often Happen
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), more than 2,000 heavy truck accidents happen throughout the state each year. Considering the fact that Portland is the state’s largest city with numerous highways and interstates running through it, motorists here are among those most at risk for being involved in these accidents. The large size and heavy weight of most semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and other bigs rigs serves to protect the driver in these situations. Unfortunately, other drivers are often the ones to suffer the most serious and potentially life threatening injuries.
When this happens, seeking compensation for yourself and your family members plays a key role in your recovery. The following are four common causes of truck accidents. Uncovering which one is responsible in your case is crucial to filing a successful claim.
- Reckless Behaviors on the Part of the Driver: This includes speeding, going too fast for conditions, disregarding traffic signs and signals, distracted or drowsy driving, tailgating, and driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications.
- A Lack of Proper Training: Operating a large truck or tractor trailer is a complex task which requires extensive knowledge and experience. Without proper training, drivers can make errors in navigation and loading practices that dramatically increase truck accident risks.
- Unreasonable Scheduling Demands: Trucking companies are in business to make money, which means delivering products and materials to clients as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this can result in over scheduling of drivers, not providing adequate rest breaks, and not allowing the appropriate time for transport.
- Maintenance and Repair Issues: Without regular truck maintenance and the proper repairs, malfunctions can occur which can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Determining Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident
When a truck accident happens, a thorough investigation needs to be made to determine how the crash occurred and what was ultimately responsible. Depending on the causes, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) advises that any of the following parties may be at fault and liable in a claim:
- The truck driver, due to their reckless actions;
- The trucking company, for policies which put people at risk;
- Truck manufacturers and maintenance workers, for not properly addressing safety issues.
Let Portland Truck Accident Attorneys Help You
At the Johnston Law Firm, we can help you identify those who may have been responsible for the injuries you suffer. To discuss your options in seeking compensation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online and request a free consultation today.