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Oregon Truck
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We Offer Dedicated Legal Representation for Truck Accident Victims in Oregon


Oregon truck accidents are among the most traumatic incidents that can happen while on the road. Some truck accident injuries take years to heal. Besides the physical pain, survivors also have to bear psychological and financial turmoil.

Getting your life back on track after a truck accident is not easy. From the insurance company representing the at-fault party to the lawyers on the opposing counsel and perhaps even a judge and jury, you might face some intimidating entities on your path to justice. Yet, Johnston Law Firm can help you meet the challenges that stand in your way.

If the devastating effects of truck accident injuries are touching the lives of you and your loved ones, the attorneys of Johnston Law Firm can help you hold the at-fault parties liable for the damages. Contact us to learn how to collect significant compensation for your qualifying truck accident losses.

Confronting Truck Driver Negligence

In 2021, there were over 45,000 motor vehicle crashes in Oregon, with over 2,000 involving medium or heavyweight trucks. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) analyzed the driver errors that contributed to these crashes. 

The top 10 mistakes were:

  1. Failing to avoid a stationary vehicle
  2. Failing to yield right-of-way
  3. Driving too fast for the conditions
  4. Failing to pay attention to the road or the driving task
  5. Following too closely
  6. Failing to decrease speed for a slower-moving vehicle
  7. Driving carelessly
  8. Turning left in front of oncoming traffic
  9. Disregarding traffic signals
  10. Failing to maintain lanes

As you read this list, it is not hard to imagine why trucking accidents cause catastrophic injuries in Oregon. Yet, why do truckers engage in risky behavior that leads to truck accidents? The decisions of negligent trucking companies might contribute to the problem.

Irresponsible scheduling practices

Federal guidelines regulate how trucking companies schedule their workers. The regulations differ for drivers who carry property and drivers who carry passengers. Oregon truck accident lawyers can investigate to determine whether your crash occurred due to a trucking company violating essential rules.

Drivers must:

  • Have 8 to 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • Limit active driving hours to 10 to 11 per day
  • Not drive beyond the 14th or 15th hour on duty
  • Take 30-minute non-driving breaks after 8 cumulative hours of driving when transporting property
  • Not drive after 60 to 70 hours on duty in 7 or 8 consecutive days
  • Spend at least 8 to 10 hours off-duty when taking advantage of a sleeper berth provision

While adverse weather and short-haul runs affect these rules, a trucking company should always ensure that their truck drivers operate large trucks safely. 

Even if a particular scheduling practice is legal, companies should consider the effect that it could have on a truck driver. For example, swing shifts could disrupt drivers’ sleep patterns, making them drowsy behind the wheel.

What happens when a trucking company ignores federal scheduling regulations? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “truck driver fatigue is also a known crash risk.” 

Let’s consider the facts. Under normal conditions, a loaded semi-truck can take 20 to 40 percent more distance to stop than passenger vehicles do. If roads are wet or the truck’s brakes are poorly maintained, this percentage could be even greater. An inattentive or drowsy trucker might not be able to react in time to prevent a semi-truck accident. 

The commercial trucking industry must schedule its drivers responsibly to prevent truck crashes on Oregon roads.

Improper Transportation of Cargo

Loading and unloading semi-trucks requires skill, experience, and very often, finesse. Commercial truck drivers need to distribute the weight evenly when loading items. An improperly loaded truck could tip over or drop cargo on the road.

Some materials are dangerous to transport. For instance, oil and gasoline are flammable. Other substances like paints, chemicals, and acids are toxic to humans if they breathe, touch, or eat them. Therefore, extreme caution is necessary when commercial trucks transport these hazardous materials.

All drivers transporting hazardous material (HM) must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with an HM endorsement. The State of Oregon requires the truck driver to:

  • Ensure the HM is identified, marked, and labeled properly
  • Refuse leaking packages
  • Display placards when loaded when required by law
  • Transport the shipment promptly and safely
  • Follow all specific regulations related to the HM
  • Store HM shipping papers and emergency response information in the proper place
  • Follow a designated safe route, avoiding high-traffic areas, narrow streets, and tunnels as much as possible

State regulations require all drivers to receive proper training and testing before transporting HM and every 3 years to maintain this duty. Each employer must record this training while the trucker works with HM and at least 90 days after the duty ends. 

Truck accident lawyers can determine whether the trucking accident occurred because the company neglected its duties when handling dangerous substances.

Skipped or insufficient inspections and maintenance

Regular semi-truck inspections are crucial for identifying potential issues or defects that could compromise the truck’s performance and safety on the road. 

Maintenance tasks would likely include:

  • Changing the oil, filters, belts, and hoses
  • Rotating, aligning, and replacing tires
  • Checking the state of the brake system
  • Topping off fluids and lubricating joints
  • Testing and servicing the battery and electrical systems
  • Adjusting the suspension system

Trucking companies should ensure that every truck in their fleet is fit for driving before a shift. Yet, some companies make excuses to shirk their duties, claiming they don’t have the time, money, or staff to perform these critical tasks. 

However, the price of neglecting regular maintenance and repairs on semi-trucks is too high. The resulting truck accidents could cost lives, and no amount of saved resources is worth destroying an innocent victim.

The examples discussed above are only a sampling of the many negligent practices that can lead to semi-truck accidents. A truck accident attorney can examine the details of your case to determine its cause. Then, he or she can help you pursue your rights by filing a truck accident claim.

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.

Maximizing Compensation for Preventable Truck Accidents

The State of Oregon requires commercial trucking companies to carry liability insurance. They also must have cargo insurance when hauling loads for hire. 

Though insurance plans vary by insurance company, comprehensive coverage policies generally cover the following:

  • Bodily injury: Medical expenses for injuries caused to others
  • Property damage: Damage to another’s property caused by truck accidents
  • Non-trucking duties: Accident expenses incurred while the truck is not under dispatch (i.e., off-duty)
  • Physical damage or collision: Repair fees for the company’s commercial trucks due to a trucking accident with another vehicle or object
  • Comprehensive coverage: Damage unrelated to a collision (e.g., theft, fire, vandalism)
  • Trailer interchange: Damage or losses for a trailer (for trucking companies or owner-operators who rent or exchange trailers with others)
  • General: Injuries or property damage occurring due to the performance of business activities not directly related to truck accidents (e.g., product delivery, loading)

If you file a personal injury claim, the insurers pay compensation to their clients. Since insurance companies want to turn a profit, they might seek to minimize your payout. Oregon truck accident attorneys can scrutinize the minute details of fleet insurance policies to ensure you get every penny you are due.

What if an insurance company offers you a settlement for your commercial truck accident? Accepting it is only one of your options. Personal injury cases are unique, so there is no rule of thumb to follow when calculating the damages. However, a truck accident attorney can help you determine whether your losses are worth more than insurers would like you to know.

For example, suppose a family member suffered a traumatic brain injury after a collision with a semi-truck. A negligent trucking company might endorse a quick settlement, realizing that such a severe injury will take thousands of dollars every year to treat the accident victim. But how will you pay for professional nursing care, prescriptions, and hospital bills if the initial compensation falls short of what is needed over your loved one’s lifespan?

Getting a legal opinion can save you a lifetime of regret. At our law firm, we offer truck accident case reviews with no cost or obligation. If you decide to hire a truck accident attorney from our firm, you pay nothing until we win money for your truck crash losses.

Truck Accident
Frequently Asked Questions

There’s no shortage of 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks on Oregon’s roads. Every time you’re driving, you’ll encounter at least a few. The trucking companies responsible for them are legally required to operate their vehicles safely. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and truck accidents occur. Needless to say, the results can be devastating.

At the Johnston Law Firm, we have extensive experience in managing truck accident injury claims and holding negligent trucking companies accountable. Our knowledgeable Oregon truck accident attorneys address some of the most common questions that injured victims have about truck crashes.

The most common types of truck accidents in Oregon include rollover, jackknife, rear-end collision, and side-swipe accidents.

  • Rollover truck accidents: These occur when trucks navigate curves too quickly, make sharp turns, or carry uneven loads, especially on curvy roads or in adverse weather.
  • Jackknife truck accidents: These accidents happen when a truck driver slams on the brakes, causing the trailer to skid alongside the cab, often on highways or interstates due to high speeds and sudden traffic stops.
  • Rear-end truck collisions: Are frequent in heavy traffic or on downhill slopes, posing significant risks to motorists.
  • Side-swipe truck accidents: These occur when trucks pass or swerve to avoid obstacles, exacerbated by the large blind spots around the vehicle.

Drivers should exercise caution and maintain safe distances to reduce these risks.

If you’ve been a victim of a truck accident in the state of Oregon, you have two years to file a legal claim, according to Oregon Revised Statutes – section 12.110. Even though there is plenty of time, it is of the essence to take legal action quickly, so that your Oregon truck accident attorney can build a strong case for you.

If you are the victim of a truck accident, it is essential to act swiftly to safeguard your health, safety, and legal rights. You should:

  • Seek medical attention immediately;
  • Call 911 and report the accident;
  • Exchange information with the truck driver;
  • Take photographs of the crash scene;
  • Contact a personal injury attorney before talking to the insurance company.

Yes. Oregon uses a modified comparative negligence system, meaning you can recover damages as long as you are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident. However, your compensation will be reduced proportionally to your degree of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault, your recovery will be reduced by 20 percent.

There are several key differences between truck accident claims and car accident claims. In short, these are:

  • The potential for more severe injuries and damages is higher in truck accidents due to the size and weight disparity between trucks and passenger vehicles.
  • Trucking companies and their insurers often have more resources and legal teams to defend against claims, making the process more complex.
  • Truck accidents may involve multiple liable parties, such as the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance provider, or cargo loaders, adding layers of complexity to determining liability.
  • Federal regulations govern the trucking industry, leading to additional factors to consider (i.e. hours of service, maintenance and inspection records, etc) in a truck accident claim compared to a typical car accident case.
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Contact Our Experienced Oregon Truck Accident Attorneys Today

Most semi-truck drivers do their jobs well. But as long as truck drivers fall short of perfection, commercial truck accidents will continue to cause injuries and death. After a truck crash, victims and their families may feel lost and afraid. Unfortunately, some truck companies will take advantage of the confusion and try to avoid taking responsibility for their negligent actions.

At Johnston Law Firm, we feel strongly about empowering individuals to take on large companies and achieve justice. Our Oregon truck accident lawyers are ready to advocate for you. We can help you build a strong trucking accident case to maximize compensation and secure your future.

Marc A. Johnston is a member of The Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA), a nonprofit dedicated to acknowledging, educating, and advocating for attorneys representing truck accident victims. Membership as a board-certified member entails a rigorous vetting process, verifying real-world experience and successful handling of truck crash cases. Skills and knowledge are thoroughly tested to ensure the highest standards of representation in the field.

Best of all, your initial consultation with us is free. Contact us today, and let’s get on our way to defending your rights.


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