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We Handle Motor Vehicle Claims Involving Semi Trucks, 18-Wheelers & Other Large Trucks in Eugene and Throughout Oregon
Look around just about anywhere in Gresham and you will see nature’s beauty at its finest. Whether you are hiking, camping, running or biking through Oxbow Regional Park or the Springwater Corridor Trail, you will be surrounded by some of the most gorgeous scenery in the state. As Oregon’s fourth-largest city, there are also many businesses in Gresham that provide many goods to the over 100,000 people who call the city home.
Everyone in Gresham relies on commercial trucks to deliver the products that are so vital to the economy. Unfortunately, as these massive vehicles make their way through the city’s roads and highways, they also pose the biggest threat to the motorists who share the infrastructure with them. Truck accidents will result in much more serious and even life-threatening injuries than other types of crashes on the road. When they occur, victims need compensation for their injuries and a Gresham truck accident attorney can help them get it.
Common Causes of
Truck Accidents in Gresham
Truck accidents happen in a second and it is not always clear to those directly impacted how they occurred. Identifying the cause of the crash is one of the first steps in any truck accident claim, as that will determine which party to hold liable. The most common causes of truck accidents in Gresham are as follows:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Improper checking of blind spots, or no-zones, on the commercial truck
- Improper truck maintenance
- Negligent truck inspections
- Negligent hiring or training procedures
- Defective trucks or truck parts
- Defective roadway conditions
The parties responsible for the above negligent actions or inactions include the truck driver, the trucking company, inspection and maintenance companies, manufacturers, and government entities.
Common Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents in Gresham
When fully loaded, a commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Passenger vehicles, on the other hand, weigh on average approximately 4,000 pounds. It is easy to see why the injuries are so severe when these two types of vehicles are involved in a crash. The most common injuries caused by truck accidents in Gresham include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Deep lacerations that could result in scarring
- Accidental and surgical amputations
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
These injuries impact accident victims for many days, months, and even years following a crash. If you have been hurt, you can file a claim to recover damages that will offset the financial burden these injuries impose. A Gresham truck accident attorney will help ensure you receive the fair settlement you deserve.
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What Compensation is Available
After a Truck Accident?
In Gresham, as throughout the rest of the state, you can claim many different types of damages, or financial compensation, after a truck accident. No one can determine exactly what your claim is worth without first fully reviewing the facts of the case. However, there are some types of damages that are more common than others.
The most common type of compensation awarded in truck accident claims is known as economic damages. These damages are meant to compensate you for any financial loss you suffered as a result of the crash. The most common types of economic damages include:
- Past and future medical bills and expenses
- Lost income, bonuses, benefits, vacation pay, and sick pay
- Loss of earning capacity, if you are unable to return to the same line of work in the future
- Rehabilitative services
- Assistive medical devices and equipment
- Property damage
- Other incidental costs, such as transportation to and from medical treatment
Due to the fact that the above damages have an actual dollar value, they are fairly easy to calculate. You will sustain other losses during a truck accident, though. You will suffer from extreme pain and other injuries that you deserve compensation for, but that are more difficult to calculate. These are known as non-economic damages and the most common of them pursued in truck accident claims include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress and mental suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
Regulation of the
The trucking industry is regulated by many different laws that do not apply to other auto accidents in Gresham. Knowing these laws is vital for your claim, as they can help prove another party was to blame for your crash. A few of the most important laws outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division are as follows
- Weight limits: Commercial trucks cannot weigh any more than 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded. There are different weight limits depending on whether a truck operates on a single axle or a tandem axle.
- Drug and alcohol testing: Under state law, commercial carriers must have in-house alcohol and drug-testing programs according to the FMCSA guidelines. Truck drivers must submit to this testing before heading out on the road and they must take a test afterward if they are involved in an accident that results in bodily injury or property damage.
- Hours of service rule: Truck drivers are only allowed to remain on the road for a certain amount of time before they must stop to take a break. The breaks truck drivers take also must be for a certain amount of time. Drivers violate these rules so they can deliver their cargo more quickly.
The above are just three of the main regulations that govern truck accident cases. It is critical to work with a Gresham truck accident attorney who remains updated with the law, and the many changes made to it, so you have the best chance of success with your claim.
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.
Why You Need the Help of a
Truck Accident Lawyer in Gresham
After a truck accident, you may feel helpless and vulnerable. You need a Gresham truck accident lawyer who can review your case, calculate your losses, and advise you of your legal options. At Johnston Law Firm, our seasoned attorney will act as your legal advocate and ensure your rights are upheld throughout the entire personal injury process. Contact us now at 503-272-6108 or contact us online to request a free consultation.
What To Do If You Are
Injured In A Truck Accident
Truck 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 personal 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 accident in Portland 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 Portland truck accident attorneys 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 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 truck 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, truck 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 Truck Accident
The Oregon Department of Transportation warns drivers that truck accidents in Portland 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 our Portland 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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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
Oregon 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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