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We Handle All Commercial Truck
Accidents in Salem, Oregon
truck accident cases
Salem is known for its many attractions, amenities, and opportunities for those that live and visit here. Situated between the Cascade Mountains and the ocean, there is certainly a lot to do and see in the city. In addition to sites such as Minto-Brown Island Park and Deepwood Museum & Gardens, there is also big business in Salem. The city is known for its advanced manufacturing and technology industry that is changing the way companies do business around the world, as well as its booming agriculture and food processing industry, wood products, and more.
There is no doubt that the state’s capital has much to offer. Distributing the products manufactured here, though, relies on commercial trucks. Residents and visitors also rely on commercial trucks to deliver the goods they use every day. Trucks are an important part of the city’s economy, but they also pose a danger to the people around them. If you have been injured, our truck accident lawyers can advise on your case.
Cases are Unique
Truck accident claims are not like other personal injury cases, and they take a well experienced personal injury lawyer to handle them. They revolve around federal law, such as the hours of service rule, state law, industry practices, science, and trucking experts.
Accidents with heavy and large commercial trucks pose more dangers to other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Additionally, the insurance companies that represent truck drivers and the companies they work for are extremely aggressive. They often contact accident victims just hours after the crash, hoping to take advantage of the individual’s vulnerability and offer a low settlement that will not cover the cost of the injuries. Due to these challenges, truck accident claims involve highly specialized and complex litigation that requires:
- A comprehensive understanding of the many complicated laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry
- An awareness of unethical practices in the industry, including the destruction and alteration of important evidence
- Accessible truck accident experts who can promptly visit the scene of the crash
- Specialized training and years of experience with handling claims involving commercial trucks
- Familiarity with the customs and practices of the trucking industry
Determining Negligence After a Truck Accident
Every truck driver, trucking company, and other parties in the industry are represented by insurance companies. These insurers have teams of investigators, adjusters, and attorneys, all who have the same goal of limiting the liability of the insurance company and minimizing the settlement paid to injured parties. None of these individuals are prioritizing the safety and well-being of accident victims.
It is for this reason that it is imperative that accident victims have the same type of representation. Insurance companies will try to deny liability for the accident, and they will shift the blame to accident victims. If they are successful with this, the victim is left without the necessary compensation they need for their losses.
To claim the full settlement you deserve, you will have to prove another party was at fault, or that they acted negligently. In a truck accident case, you must establish the same four elements of proof required in other personal injury claims. You must show that another party owed you a duty of care, that they breached their duty of care, and that you suffered injuries and other losses as a result.
Truck accident claims are unique in another way, though. Due to the fact that they are governed by so many state and federal laws, these collisions are often caused by a violation of the law. When this is the case, proving the violation is often enough to be successful in a claim. Any time there is an inherent failure to comply with a law that is intended to protect other people, the violating party is considered negligence per se. Essentially, any violation of the law is enough to prove the other party was negligent.
Proving a violation of the law is not always easy. Although you may have seen a cell phone in the truck driver’s hand, that will be difficult to prove to the insurance company or the court because it will be your word against theirs. This is frustrating because even though you know the driver broke the law, you cannot prove it. Our Salem truck accident lawyers will have the necessary resources to prove negligence. In the example with the distracted trucker, a lawyer may subpoena the driver’s cell phone records, which will indicate they were texting while driving at the time of the crash.
The Moments After
a Truck Accident are Important
The immediate moments after a truck accident are incredibly important. You must call medical help to the scene, as well as law enforcement, and you will likely be in shock due to your severe injuries. While all of this is going on, the insurance company is already working against you and is planning to send investigators to the scene. They do this so they can find evidence and potentially destroy or alter it. Even an object as big as a semi-truck can be moved, and other important evidence has been known to disappear in the moments following a truck accident.
For this reason, it is critical that you collect as much evidence as you can while you are still at the scene. Most importantly, take pictures of the vehicles involved, and the accident scene as a whole. Also, locate witnesses and ask them for their contact information so your lawyer can contact them in the future. If you are not able to collect this important evidence, ask an objective third party to gather them for you.
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.
Our Truck Accident Attorney in Salem
Will Protect Your Rights
The truck driver and trucking company at fault for your accident have a team of people working for them and so, you need legal representation, too. At Johnston Law Firm, our Salem truck accident attorney will always look out for your best interests while helping you claim the full and fair damages you deserve. Contact us now at 503-272-6108 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Call Our Truck Accident Attorney
in Eugene for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured as a result of another party’s negligence, our Eugene truck accident attorney can help. At Johnston Law Firm, our seasoned attorney knows the devastation these crashes cause and is dedicated to helping accident victims seek the justice they deserve. We will put our experience to work for you. Contact us now at 503-272-6108 or fill out our online form to schedule 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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– Michelle E.
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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If you have been seriously injured at no fault of your own, please contact us using the form.
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