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‘Inexperienced’ Driver Led To Portland Area Truck Accident. Could the Truck Company Be Liable?

Operating a semi truck or tractor trailer is no easy task. You need to be familiar not only with how these types of big rigs operate, but also how they should be loaded. A thorough knowledge of the laws that apply to commercial drivers is required as well, both in specific circumstances and in general practice. Accomplishing all of this takes time, and truck driving is a skill that often takes years to master. Unfortunately, even a minor mistake can result in truck accidents, which can have disastrous consequences for others on the road. A recent truck accident right outside Portland highlights the potential dangers when trucking companies allow inexperienced drivers to get behind the wheel. Depending on the circumstances, the company itself may be held liable for any damages involved.  

Chicken Delivery Accident No Laughing Matter

A recent rollover truck accident along SR 502 in nearby Clark County, Washington caused heavy traffic delays for drivers commuting to and from Portland, as road crews struggled to clear up debris and contain the more than 5,000 chickens the driver had been carrying. KOIN 6 News reported that the incident, which occurred in late June 2018, may have seemed humorous to some, but animal rights activists considered it no laughing matter. While highway patrol did not provide an estimate on the number of animals that died as a result, local groups questioned the company’s practices and pointed to the crash as an example of the exploitation that occurs in the animal agriculture industry.

Foster Farms, which was where the truck was en route to when the crash occurred, issued a statement assuring the general public that they train employees in humane practices when it comes to their livestock. However, the bigger concern may be how well the trucking company involved trained the driver before placing him on the road. Police claim the accident occurred due to truck driver inexperience, and that the truck overturned during a u-turn on a tight section of roadway where such maneuvers are prohibited. No motorists were injured as a result of the accident, but had traffic been heavier at the time it likely would have had a far more tragic outcome.

Holding Trucking Companies Responsible

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), inexperienced truck drivers who are not adept at maintaining, loading, and operating a big rig put themselves and others in danger on the road. Depending on the circumstances, the driver along with the trucking company may be held liable when accidents happen. Ways in which these companies put other motorists at risk include:

  • Not doing background checks upon hiring;
  • Hiring drivers with serious past traffic violations;
  • Failing to provide adequate training upon hire;
  • Forcing drivers to meet unreasonably tight deadlines and to work long schedules;
  • Not providing regular vehicle maintenance.  

When truck accidents do occur, it is often other motorists who suffer the most severe damages. In these situations, the Johnston Law Firm can guide you in how to hold responsible parties accountable. Call us at (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online and request a consultation to discuss how we can help you today.

About

Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.