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Portland Truck Accident Attorney

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Truck Accident Cases

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We Handle Motor Vehicle Claims Involving Semi Trucks, 18-Wheelers & Other Large Trucks in Portland and Throughout Oregon

Heavy trucks can become extremely dangerous on roads and highways when drivers or trucking companies act negligently or when vehicle parts fail. Improper maintenance, negligent hiring practices, improper loading of trucks and defective truck parts can cause devastating accidents. In particular, semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, when fully loaded, weigh about 20 times the weight of the average passenger car. The momentum of a logging truck, construction truck, delivery or dump truck, combined with its greatly increased stopping distance, decreased maneuverability and top-heavy weight distribution make it a recipe for catastrophe in emergency situations and poorer road conditions.

If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, such as a semi truck, it is critical to consult with an experienced Oregon truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we work with independent truck accident scene investigators, truck accident reconstructionists, other medical experts and economic experts to establish the full value of your case. We can dispatch our investigators to the scene of the accident, document, photograph and collect evidence, including witness statements and law enforcement evidence with professionalism and expedient work.

Contact us today before speaking to insurance companies. Unlike insurance representatives, your needs, goals and recovery are our top priority. We can pursue the maximum compensation we think you can achieve for the injuries and damages you sustained as a result of your accident.

Extensive Experience in Handling Oregon Truck Accident Cases

We have handled more than 1,000 personal injury cases, developing the strongest cases possible for our clients based on advanced legal knowledge and strategic application of the unique facts of your case.

We will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation possible for any type of commercial vehicle or trucking accident you have been involved in. We will carefully look at the facts of your case, and do our best to successfully hold responsible parties accountable in cases involving:

  • Distracted drivers
  • Fatigued drivers
  • Drunk drivers
  • Traffic violations
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Drivers with poor driving records or criminal records
  • Poor maintenance/improper inspections
  • Improper safety equipment
  • Improper application of reflective taping (conspicuity tape)
  • Defective vehicle parts
  • Inadequate supervision

Marc is a member of The Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA) – a nonprofit organization whose mission is to recognize, educate and advocate lawyers who represent victims of truck accidents. To achieve membership as a Board Certified member, a lawyer is thoroughly vetted through a detailed process in which real world experience and results handling truck crash cases are verified and skills and knowledge are tested.

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Truck Accident Negotiations

Attorney Marc Johnston’s innovative tactics and on-the-ball response to insurance defense can press for your deserved compensation in negotiation or at trial for the following recoveries:

Compensation For Portland Truck Accident Injuries

Truck accidents are complex events and there are often multiple people involved. The truck driver may have engaged in reckless driving behaviors while the trucking company may be guilty for a lack of oversight and too demanding of schedules. This makes them liable in a claim. Other drivers can also be held responsible if their actions either during or after a truck accident caused you to suffer personal injuries. 

While you may be entitled to compensation through insurance policies those at-fault have in place, filing a truck accident lawsuit can often entitle you to additional types of compensation. Under the Oregon Revised Statutes, this may include: 

  • Economic damages, which compensate you for damage property, medical expenses, lost wages, and other tangible costs you incur;
  • Non-economic damages, which compensate you for intangible losses. This includes pain, suffering, disfigurement, and any loss of enjoyment in life your injuries cause.

Punitive damages, which is an additional amount we can push for if the truck driver or the company they work for acted in a particularly reckless manner. It is designed to punish them and can total more than double other types of compensation in your claim.

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Truck Accidents in Oregon: What You Should Know

Close to 2,500 truck accidents happen throughout the state each year. [source] This makes them the second most common type of crash, falling behind only motor vehicle accidents. Rollovers, underride crashes, and head on collisions are all common types of accidents resulting in serious and catastrophic injuries. Even relatively minor incidents involving truckers can end up impacting multiple drivers on the road, resulting in serious personal injuries.

Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs require skill and experience to operate. Their massive size and bulk makes them difficult to maneuver in traffic and increases the risks of truck accidents. It is important for other motorists to be aware of potential dangers and common types of collisions so that they can take the necessary precautions to avoid them. 

Truck accidents happen on a regular basis and frequently involve nearby drivers. The large size of most big rigs serves to protect the trucker against serious injuries. It is these other motorists involved who typically suffer the brunt of the harm.

Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.

Get the legal counsel you need to guide you through the process of filing an injury claim.

Testimonials

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Sally Martinez September 28, 2020

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– Michelle E.

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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.

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Common Types ofTruck Accidents in Oregon

Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs require skill and experience to operate. Their massive size and bulk makes them difficult to maneuver in traffic and increases the risks of truck accidents. It is important for other motorists to be aware of potential dangers and common types of collisions so that they can take the necessary precautions to avoid them. 

Truck accidents happen on a regular basis and frequently involve nearby drivers. The large size of most big rigs serves to protect the trucker against serious injuries. It is these other motorists involved who typically suffer the brunt of the harm. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), truck accidents can kill close to 5,000 people each year while leaving tens of thousands of others with serious personal injuries. It is important for drivers to know the risks and the ways they can protect themselves. There are four common types of truck accidents all motorists need to be alert for: 

  1. Rollover Truck Accidents

These are one of the most common types of truck accidents. They typically happen due to going too fast around curves, making sharp turns, and carrying uneven loads. Drivers should be wary of traveling alongside truckers at any time, but particularly on curvy roads. Use caution in adverse weather conditions as well, when rollovers are more likely to happen. 

  1. Jackknife Truck Accidents

Jackknife truck accidents happen when the truck driver slams on their brakes, causing the trailer to ride up alongside the cab. This often happens on highways and interstates, when truckers are driving at high rates of speed. Traffic tie-ups or accidents ahead increase the odds of jackknife accidents. Always pay attention to what is going on ahead and give truckers plenty of room on the road.

  1. Rear End Collision Truck Accidents

Rear end truck accidents are common in heavy traffic and when drivers are going downhill. They pose some of the biggest threats to motorists, who often suffer life-threatening injuries as a result. Avoid cutting truck drivers off when attempting to pass, give plenty of indication before braking, and move out of the way if a trucker is tailgating or otherwise following you too closely. 

  1. Side-Swipe Truck Accidents

Side-swipe accidents often happen when truck drivers attempt to pass or swerve to avoid objects in the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) warns motorists to be aware of the large blind spots, referred to as ‘no-zones’, which extend out both sides, in front, and behind the truck. Driving in these areas makes side swipe truck accidents more likely to occur.

What Causes Truck Accidents to Occur

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), close to 2,500 truck accidents happen throughout the state each year. With the number of motorists in our area and major interstate running throughout the city, Portland residents are at increased risk. 

With their massive size and bulk, trucks are hard to maneuver. They require additional room on the road and additional time for stops or responding to sudden changes in traffic conditions. This creates hazards on busy streets in Portland and makes truck accidents more likely to occur. Adverse weather conditions may also be a factor, but underlying causes typically include: 

  • Recklessness on the part of the truck driver, such as speeding, tailgating, and driving while distracted or impaired;
  • Drowsy driving, common in the trucking industry due to overscheduling;
  • Improper loading practices, making rollover truck accidents more likely;
  • Lack of maintenance, resulting in tire blowouts, brake failures, and other dangerous situations;
  • General negligence on the part of trucking companies, such as failing to properly train drivers or restrict driving privileges due to repeated traffic infractions.

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, resulting 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 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 other 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 highway exit 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 of accepting any settlements. 

Truck Accident 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 experiencedPortland 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;
  • Disability;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental distress;
  • Permanent disfigurement;
  • Loss of quality of life; and
  • Wrongful death.

Contact an Experienced Oregon Truck Accident Lawyer

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.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

Contact us today at
503-546-3167

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We’re conveniently located in downtown Portland, and we offer flexible hours by appointment.