Know the Steps to Take After a Tractor Trailer Accident in Tigard, Oregon
When a large tractor-trailer accident happens in Tigard, the scene can be chaotic. Unfortunately, too many innocent people make avoidable mistakes following an accident that undermines their ability to get justice, accountability, and compensation. Here are four steps that you should take:
- Stop Your Vehicle, Exchange Information, and Notify Police: The first thing to do is to stop the car and exchange information with the truck driver. Obtain their name, their employer’s details, general contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance coverage. Be sure to report the crash to the police. A trucking accident can be reported to the Tigard Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, or another agency.
- Get Immediate Medical Care for a Licensed Physician: The top priority after a truck accident is health and safety. If anyone involved in the accident has sustained injuries, immediate medical care should be sought. Many truck accidents result in non-emergency injuries that still require professional medical care from a doctor. Note: You cannot bring a personal injury claim for a truck accident in Oregon without seeing a doctor.
- Beware of the Truck Company and the Insurance Company: Neither the truck company nor its insurance company is on your side. In the aftermath of a crash, these businesses are looking out for their bottom line—not what is best for you and your loved ones. Do not agree to submit a recorded statement with an insurance adjuster without legal advice.
- Seek Professional Guidance from a Tigard Attorney: You do not have to take on the personal injury claims process alone. Navigating the process is hard—especially so in commercial truck accident claims. The single best step that you can take to protect yourself and your rights is to consult with a top-rated Tigard, OR truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash.
Truck Crashes are Disproportionately Likely to Cause Severe Injuries
- Size and Weight: Trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger cars, which means they have more momentum and force in a collision.
- Heavy and/or Hazardous Cargo: Trucks often carry heavy or hazardous cargo, which can increase the risk of injury in an accident.
- Higher Speeds: Because trucks are often traveling long distances on highways, they are more likely to be traveling at high speeds when an accident occurs.
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers are often under pressure to meet tight deadlines, which can lead to fatigue and impaired driving.
- Limited Maneuverability: Due to their size and weight, trucks are less maneuverable than smaller vehicles, making it harder for drivers to avoid accidents.
What to Know About Truck Accident Liability in Oregon
While federal commercial trucking regulations could affect your claim, the process itself is largely governed by state law. Following a semi-truck accident in Tigard, you must understand how liability works in Oregon. Here are three key points to know:
- Fault Determines Liability for a Truck Accident (Investigation is Essential): Oregon is a fault-based motor vehicle accident jurisdiction, including for commercial truck accidents. The party deemed to be at fault for a crash—as determined by negligence—can be held liable for the damages. A comprehensive investigation should always be conducted.
- Recovery May Be Affected By Comparative Negligence: Oregon is a comparative negligence state (ORS § 31.600). The standard could have a big impact on your claim. Under the law, a truck accident victim can recover compensation even if they are partially responsible for their accident. However, their recovery will be reduced by the same percentage as their “fault” for the crash.
The Statute of Limitations is Two Years: Under Oregon law (ORS §12.110), the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including semi-truck accidents, is two years from the date of the accident. If the deadline passes, you may not be able to bring a claim at all. Consult with a Tigard, OR truck accident lawyer right away after a serious wreck.
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