What to Do After a Commercial Trucking Accident
Being involved in a car accident that involves a commercial truck in Lake Oswego can be a traumatic experience. Knowing what to do in such situations can help you protect your legal rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Here are the steps to take after a crash with a semi:
- Stop Your Car, Exchange Information, and Report the Crash: Pursuant to Oregon law, you should stop your vehicle, exchange information with other parties, and report your truck accident to law enforcement. Injury crashes must be reported. There will be a crash report of all car accidents. This truck accident evidence can help in you with your case.
- Seek Immediate Medical Care for Injuries (Emergencies Come First): Your health and safety should be your top priority after trucking accidents. Seek immediate medical care if you or anyone else involved in the accident has sustained injuries. In an emergency, call 911 for medical attention. Medical records are required to bring a successful legal claim.
- Do Not Agree to Give a Record Statement to an Insurance Company: You should expect to hear from the trucking company—or most likely, its insurer—relatively shortly after a crash. Do not agree to give a recorded statement at that time. They are looking for information that they can use against you during the truck accident lawsuit. Take time to recover from your injuries and don’t give any statement.
- Get Help from a Top Lake Oswego Truck Accident Attorney: Going it alone after a commercial truck accident is generally not the correct approach. Consult with a top Lake Oswego, OR tractor-trailer accident attorney as soon as possible after a collision. Your lawyer will ensure that your rights and your interests are properly protected.
The Most Common Truck Accident Injuries
- Whiplash: This is a neck injury that is caused by a sudden back-and-forth motion of the head, which can happen during a truck accident.
- Broken Bones: The force of a truck accident can cause fractures in the arms, legs, ribs, and other parts of the body.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: A truck accident can cause head injuries that range from concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal Cord Damage: These injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity of the injury.
- Internal Organ Damage: The force of a truck accident can cause internal bleeding, damage to organs such as the liver or kidneys, and other serious injuries.
Oregon Law: Commercial Truck Accidents
Oregon law and federal law both impose regulations on commercial trucking. Along with other things, these rules aim to improve safety and reduce accidents. For any person involved in a semi-truck accident in Lake Oswego, it is crucial to understand how state laws impact the claims process. Here are key points to be aware of:
- Legal Liability for a Truck Accident is Based On Fault: In Oregon, fault plays a crucial role in determining legal liability in commercial truck accidents. For example, if the crash was caused by the trucker’s negligence, the trucking company may be responsible for the damages. All truck accidents should be thoroughly investigated by a Lake Oswego attorney.
- Multiple Parties May Share Liability (Comparative Negligence): Under Oregon law (ORS § 31.600), truck accident claims are handled based on comparative negligence. Multiple parties may share liability in a truck accident. For example, if the truck driver was partially responsible for the accident, but the injured party was also partially responsible, the damages may be split between the parties based on their percentage of fault.
- A Two-Year Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim: In Oregon, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident (ORS §12.110). What will happen if you wait too long to bring a truck accident injury claim in Lake Oswego? You may not be able to recover compensation at all. Be proactive.
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