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Oregon Poor Truck Maintenance
Accident Attorney

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We Handle Truck Accidents Caused by Poor Maintenance Throughout Oregon


In 2021, medium and heavy trucks were involved in 2,336 crashes on Oregon roads. Trucks are the heaviest vehicles on our roads and have the potential to cause the most devastating injuries and fatalities. While factors such as bad weather, driver errors, and poor road conditions are often to blame in accidents involving big rigs, poor truck maintenance can also have catastrophic consequences.

If you have been hurt in a truck accident that was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. An Oregon truck accident attorney can look at what happened from all angles – including whether a lack of truck maintenance is the main reason for your injuries.

At a free consultation with a Johnston Law Firm truck accident attorney, you will have an opportunity to tell your story and receive the legal advice you need. Schedule your free consultation today by calling us or filling out our online contact form.

What Truck Maintenance Involves

Truck companies must follow strict federal statutes regulating the inspecting, maintaining, and repairing of commercial trucks. These regulations are set out in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, chapter 5.2, Part 396. This law states that each truck company must “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) under its control.” 

Additionally, every employee who is directly involved with truck maintenance and inspection must follow the regulations. As expected, the baseline requirement is that all parts and accessories on a commercial truck are in safe and proper working order at all times. 

The FMCSA also requires that truck owners are responsible for maintaining or having others maintain proper maintenance records. These records must show the date and type of all inspections, repairs, and maintenance carried out on the vehicle.

Driver inspection report requirements

The FMCSA requires truck drivers to complete a daily written post-trip inspection report for each driving day. The truck driver must report all defects or deficiencies that could affect the vehicle’s safety or cause a mechanical breakdown. 

The motor carrier must then certify that all necessary repairs have been carried out before allowing the truck to be driven again.

Why poor truck maintenance happens

Following these federal regulations to the letter will greatly minimize the risks of mechanical failures or poor maintenance causing truck accidents. However, on the ground, both truck companies and truck drivers may be under immense pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines. 

In an attempt to save time, truck drivers may cut corners by inspecting their vehicles less thoroughly than they should. Trucking companies may fail to promptly follow up on necessary repairs due to the costs involved. In addition, both truck drivers and truck companies may fail to report a defect if it means the vehicle is off the road for a period of time.

Defective parts

Sometimes, truck crashes happen because of defective parts rather than poor truck maintenance. If a faulty part caused your accident, a Johnston Law Firm truck accident attorney can advise you whether you have a case under product liability law. The truck manufacturer or part manufacturer may be liable in such cases.

However, truck companies should still check for recalls by searching the NHTSA database to ensure that their vehicles do not include defective parts that should be replaced.

Building a Case for Poor Truck Maintenance

Truck accidents are often complex, potentially involving multiple liable parties. That’s why it pays to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who has the skills and experience to take a deep dive into your accident – to find out what really happened. 

Multi-party liability in truck accidents

Federal laws show that both the truck driver and truck company have a role to play in the proper maintenance of commercial vehicles. Therefore, both the truck driver and truck company, along with third-party maintenance companies, may bear a measure of fault. 

Even if the truck driver was at fault for failing to carry out inspections correctly, the truck company may still be a responsible party for failing to oversee its employees correctly.

Joint and several liability in truck accident cases

When there is more than one responsible party, joint and several liability laws may apply. Oregon follows the legal doctrine of modified joint and several liability. According to ORS 31.610, liability in civil actions is several only and not joint. Therefore, each responsible party is only liable for a monetary amount that reflects his or her share of the obligation. 

However, if all or part of any responsible party’s share is uncollectable, the court may reallocate that share among the other parties. So, even though joint liability technically does not apply, each responsible party may have to pay more than his or her initial share of the damages.

This mere glimpse at Oregon laws indicates how complex truck accident laws can be. Rather than trying to go it alone, talk to a Johnston Law Firm truck accident attorney who can successfully navigate these laws on your behalf.

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The Consequences of Truck Accidents Caused by Poor Maintenance

Poor truck maintenance can lead to mechanical failures, including:

  • Brake failure
  • Tire blowouts
  • Excessive tire wear, leading to longer stopping distances due to poor traction
  • Wheel and axle misalignment

Common injuries in truck crashes

Sadly, mechanical failures could lead to serious accidents that cause life-changing injuries. These may include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: May cause long-term disabilities
  • Spinal and neck injuries: Can cause paralysis, ongoing pain, and disabilities that do not allow you to return to the work and daily activities you did before
  • Internal injuries: The huge forces exerted in a truck accident can crush the internal organs, causing injuries that are severe and difficult to treat

Compensation you can pursue

After a truck accident, your medical bills may quickly start to mount up. Time away from work may cause financial hardship due to lost wages. 

In Oregon, you can pursue compensation for these monetary losses, along with non-economic losses such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium (normal marital relationship)
  • Loss of enjoyment in life

Our truck accident attorneys can advise you on the compensation you have the right to pursue during a free consultation.

Poor Truck Maintenance Accidents: FAQs

Accidents involving commercial trucks, from 18-wheelers to small delivery trucks, caused by poor truck maintenance are alarmingly common and raise numerous questions about liability and compensation. In this section, we address the most frequently asked questions related to accidents stemming from inadequate truck upkeep, helping victims understand their legal rights and the steps they can take to secure justice and compensation.

Truck maintenance records are crucial for investigating a truck accident. These records are typically collected by requesting them directly from the trucking company, which is required by law to keep detailed logs of maintenance and repairs. If necessary, legal action, such as subpoenas, can compel the release of these documents. An attorney can assist in gathering these records to establish negligence in maintenance practices leading up to the accident.

Poor maintenance can significantly impact insurance claims following a truck accident. When an accident is linked to inadequate maintenance, it may shift liability more heavily onto the trucking company, increasing the likelihood of a successful claim against them. However, insurance companies may also use poor maintenance as a basis to dispute claims, arguing negligence on the part of the vehicle owner. Properly documenting maintenance failures is crucial to counter these challenges and secure rightful compensation.

To prove negligence due to a truck’s poor maintenance, evidence such as maintenance records, service history, and inspection reports are essential. Expert testimony from mechanics or accident reconstruction specialists can also be pivotal. Photographs of the truck’s condition post-accident and logs from electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) that track maintenance alerts may further support claims of negligence, demonstrating a pattern of disregard for proper upkeep.

In Oregon, commercial trucks are required to undergo systematic inspections and maintenance regularly to ensure safety. Federal and state regulations mandate annual inspections, and more frequent checks may be necessary depending on the vehicle’s mileage and use. Maintenance schedules should adhere strictly to manufacturer recommendations and industry standards to prevent mechanical failures and ensure road safety.

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Seek Justice After a Truck Accident

The truck accident attorneys at Johnston Law Firm have years of experience in fighting and winning truck accident cases for our clients. This includes securing $13.9 million in compensation for a family who was seriously injured due to the actions of a reckless trucking company and property owner. Our strong track record can give you confidence that we are the right Oregon law firm to fight for your rights after a truck accident.

If we agree to take on your case, we will investigate your truck accident from all angles. Our truck accident attorney will look for evidence of driver error, road conditions, poor truck maintenance, defective parts, and other factors that may have contributed to your accident. He or she will then use this evidence to build a strong case for liability.

So don’t delay – schedule a free consultation with Johnston Law Firm today. Call us or fill out our online contact form, and we will get in touch with you soon. 


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