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We Handle Car Accident Claims Involving Semi Trucks, 18-Wheelers &
Other Large Trucks in Hillsboro!
truck accident cases
Due to the significant growth, the city has seen over the years, and the fact that there is so much beautiful green space, Hillsboro has become known as “Silicon Forest.” The area is also known for the Hillsboro Hops, our minor-league baseball team, and some of the biggest annual events, such as the Washington County Fair. With so much activity, commercial trucks are essential to Hillsboro’s economy, as they deliver the products households and businesses use every day. As trucks roll into the city on a regular basis, accidents between them and smaller vehicles do occur.
A truck accident will leave you in an immense amount of pain, and it will place a strain on your family’s finances. Even if you do not have to return to work right away, you will still have many medical bills piling up. When another person’s negligence, or carelessness, is to blame for the crash, you can file a claim against them for damages. A Hillsboro truck accident attorney can help you recover the full settlement you deserve.
Truck Accidents in Hillsboro
Fortunately, the vast majority of trucking entities in Hillsboro engage in safe practices, such as properly supervising drivers and maintaining the vehicles properly. However, there are times when trucking companies and drivers are negligent and people suffer serious harm as a result. The most common causes of truck accidents in Hillsboro are as follows:
Drowsy driving: The trucking companies drivers work for place immense pressure on drivers to get their cargo to a certain destination by a specific time. Both state and federal law limit the amount of time a truck driver can be on the road for before they must take a break to rest, eat, or just relax. Trucking companies often offer incentives to truckers to stay on the road longer, or drivers may choose to on their own for increased profits.
Distracted driving: Commercial trucks are made up of many moving parts. A truck driver may have to operate a clutch, communicate with other truckers on a CB radio, and they also often eat and drink while on the road. All of these distractions take a truck driver’s focus and attention off the road, which can lead to a serious accident.
Inadequate training: Trucking companies do not always train their drivers properly. They may place inexperienced drivers behind the wheel in an effort to get more drivers on the road, or they may fail to ensure a trucker has a clean driving and criminal history. These are negligent hiring and training practices that can result in an accident.
Improper maintenance: Like all vehicles on the road, trucks require proper maintenance and regular inspections. Trucking companies often fail to provide this training and inspection, which can cause the truck, or parts of the truck, to break down and cause a crash.
The above are just a few of the most common causes of truck accidents in Hillsboro. It is important to determine what caused the crash, as only then can accident victims determine which party is liable for paying damages.
Who Will Pay Damages After a Truck Accident?
There are potentially many parties that can be found at fault for a truck accident and therefore, are liable for paying victims damages to compensate for their losses.
If the truck driver acted negligently, such as driving while impaired or while distracted, their insurance company will typically pay out on the claim. In these instances, trucking companies cannot usually be found liable for the truck driver’s actions. This is because most truck drivers are independent contractors, and so, trucking companies cannot be held vicariously liable. In rare instances, when the trucker is an employee of the trucking company, the corporation may also be held liable in some cases.
There are times when trucking companies can be held liable even if the trucker was an independent contractor. For example, trucking companies are sometimes responsible for providing commercial trucks to drivers. If they fail to ensure these vehicles are properly inspected and maintained, the company could be held liable if a breakdown caused a crash. When truck drivers are employees of a trucking company, the corporation can be held liable for negligent hiring and training practices. For example, if a trucking company allowed an inexperienced driver to drive on their own, that is a negligent hiring practice.
Truck drivers, trucking companies, and other motor carriers used for commercial transportation of goods are heavily insured. Under the law set forth by the Federal Department of Transportation, these entities must carry minimum liability limits of $750,000.
Although truck drivers and trucking companies are often to blame for truck accidents, there are other liable parties, as well. These include negligent inspection and maintenance companies, manufacturers, and cargo loading companies.
Time Limit on
Truck Accident Claims
It is important to file a claim for damages after a truck accident, as a crash will place a physical, emotional, and financial strain on your life. However, you only have a limited amount of time to do so. In Hillsboro, as throughout the rest of Oregon, you have only two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. This is known as the statute of limitations and if you allow it to expire, you will likely lose your legal right to claim any financial compensation at all. It is critical to speak to a Hillsboro truck accident attorney who will make sure your claim is filed on time so you can claim the full damages you are entitled to.
Call Our Experienced
Truck Accident Attorney in Hillsboro for Help
The aftermath of a truck accident is traumatic. As you try to make a full recovery, you should not have to worry about the legalities of filing a claim against the negligent party. At Johnston Law Firm, our Hillsboro car accident lawyers will identify the liable party and hold them fully accountable for paying the maximum settlement you deserve. Contact us now at 503-272-6108 or contact us online to request a free consultation.
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.
What To Do If You Sustain
Truck Accident Injuries
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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