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Oregon Underride
Truck Accidents

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We Handle Underride Truck Accidents Throughout Oregon


An underride truck accident may be one of the most difficult experiences in life. The sheer size and weight of a commercial truck or tractor-trailer can contribute to serious injuries and other losses in a collision. In the event of an underride accident, the damages can be catastrophic – even deadly.

In the aftermath of such a terrible accident, you may be facing a lengthy physical recovery, mounting medical bills, and emotional trauma. You can make your life easier by hiring professional legal representation to file your injury claim – while you get back on your feet after the incident. 

The compassionate legal team at Johnston Law Firm, P.C. is adept at handling all manners of truck accident cases in Oregon, including underride accidents. We have the experience you need to achieve a successful case resolution. Plus, with Portland-based attorney Marc A. Johnston on your side, you can rest assured that every step will be taken to maximize your claim and get you the restitution your family needs.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an underride truck accident in Oregon, call Johnston Law Firm or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. A member of our legal team is standing by 24/7 to speak with you.

Types of Underride Accidents

An underride truck accident typically happens when a passenger vehicle collides with a large truck and slides underneath it. Since commercial trucks are significantly higher than most cars, smaller vehicles can be crushed underneath a large truck in such collisions.

There are several ways underride accidents happen, including:

  • Rear underride accidents: Rear-end underride accidents occur when a vehicle crashes into the back of a truck or trailer and goes underneath it. 
  • Side underride collisions: In a side-impact collision, the larger vehicle may crush or shear off the passenger car’s roof.
  • Offset underride crashes: Offset underride accidents happen when a rear vehicle strikes the back of a truck or trailer on one of its corners rather than head-on. Such an impact can cause the hard metal corner of the truck to enter the passenger compartment of the vehicle with significant force. 

Underride truck accidents in any form can have devastating consequences. After such an accident, make sure to seek immediate medical attention and follow through on your treatment plan. In the meantime, leave the legal proceedings to our personal injury lawyers. We always prioritize our clients’ recovery and put what they need first. 

Various Causes of Truck Underride Accidents 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes extensive safety regulations on the trucking industry. That being said, when appropriate caution is not taken by the driver or others, an underride accident can occur.

A number of factors can contribute to a truck underride accident, such as: 

  • Improper backing, lane-changing, wide-turns, or U-turns: When large trucks maneuver through traffic, drivers need to be sure that there is adequate room and that other drivers can anticipate their actions in advance. When truck drivers fail to take reasonable precautions, a car can easily hit the side of the trailer.
  • Illegal parking: A truck illegally parked on a ramp or on the side of the road can become a hazard to other vehicles. This is especially the case if the truck driver fails to use the hazard lights or otherwise maintain visibility.
  • Improper braking: When a trucker unexpectedly slams on the brakes, a vehicle following behind may crash into the back of the trailer.
  • Inadequate lighting or reflectors: Large trucks are federally required to keep their lights and reflectors in proper working order. Failing to do so reduces visibility and increases the risk of an accident. 
  • Lack of or improperly installed underride guards: An underride guard is designed to prevent a smaller vehicle from sliding under a truck in an accident. If the larger vehicle is lacking these guards or they are not installed correctly, there is nothing to stop the smaller car from being crushed in a crash.
  • Inadequate vehicle maintenance: The trucking company, the truck’s owner, and the driver may share responsibility for properly maintaining the vehicle. Any failure in this regard can increase the chances of an underride accident.
  • Inclement weather: Poor weather conditions (such as fog, heavy rain, or snow) could reduce visibility on the road, contributing to an underride crash.
  • Dangerous road conditions: Inadequate lighting and signage or poorly maintained roads can lead to a truck collision.
  • Negligent or reckless driving: When a driver is distracted, aggressive, speeding, or tailgating, he or she may inadvertently cause an accident.
  • Secondary collision: If a large truck jackknifes or is in another type of accident, the stopped truck can become a danger to everyone else on the road. Simply attempting to avoid one accident could result in a more serious underride collision.
  • Third-party involvement: Many underride collisions include third-party involvement, such as a vehicle that rear-ends the victim’s car, pushing him or her under the truck.

Underride truck accidents are complicated, and determining liability can be challenging. While it may seem straightforward to blame the truck driver or the trucking company, additional parties may be found partially liable for the incident.

Due to the severity of such accidents and the complex liability issues involved, underride accidents require an in-depth investigation and a well-practiced truck accident lawyer. Find one who can use his or her legal know-how and resources to determine the facts of your case and hold the liable parties accountable for your pain and suffering.

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.

Potential Compensation for a Truck Underride Accident in Oregon

A truck underride accident can have extremely detrimental effects on both your physical and emotional well-being. Further, victims of underride crashes often face excessive medical expenses and loss of income. 

The State of Oregon awards both economic and non-economic damages in truck accident cases. This means that you may be eligible to receive compensation for both monetary damages and losses that do not have a specific dollar value.

In a truck underride collision, you may be able to obtain restitution for:

  • Medical bills
  • Emergency room costs
  • Ongoing treatment costs
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical and psychological therapy
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death

In order to truly move forward after a serious accident, you need to have enough money to meet the challenges you face today and in the future. It is not always easy to calculate how much money you really need for the long term. A knowledgeable truck accident lawyer, though, can evaluate the full impact the accident has had on your life and determine a fair compensation amount that will meet your needs.

Your Legal Needs Are Our Priority

A serious truck underride accident can forever change your life. You may be facing unimaginable physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Pursuing compensation is thus a key step in regaining your quality of life after such a tragic event.

Understandably, the idea of filing an injury claim or lawsuit may feel overwhelming under the circumstances. At the same time, you deserve empathetic and experienced legal support now more than ever. 

At Johnston Law Firm, P.C. based in Portland, Oregon, we fight for our clients like we do our own family members. We will do the legal legwork for you so that you can focus on yourself, your recovery, and those dearest to you during this difficult time – all while we prioritize your successful recovery.

Underride Truck Accidents
Frequently Asked Questions

At the Johnston Law Firm, we have extensive experience handling truck accident injury claims. Our Portland-based law firm holds negligent trucking companies liable. Here, our experienced Oregon accident attorney answers some of the most frequently asked questions that injured victims have regarding underride truck crashes.

Federal regulations significantly impact underride accident claims by establishing safety standards for commercial trucks, including requirements for underride guards. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates that large trucks be equipped with rear underride guards to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath in a collision.

Compliance with these regulations can affect the outcome of a claim; if a truck lacked proper underride guards or failed to meet federal safety standards, it could strengthen the victim’s case for negligence against the trucking company. Additionally, records of regulatory violations can be crucial evidence in proving liability. Understanding these regulations and how they apply is essential for successfully navigating an underride accident claim.

After an underride accident, collect evidence such as photos of the accident scene, including damage to vehicles and any visible injuries, as well as photos of the truck’s underride guards. Obtain contact information from witnesses and the truck driver. Request a copy of the police report. Preserve any physical evidence, such as damaged vehicle parts. Keep records of medical treatment and expenses. Lastly, consult with an attorney who specializes in truck crashes.

It’s generally advisable to avoid speaking directly to the trucking company’s insurance adjuster without first consulting an attorney. Insurance adjusters aim to minimize the payout and may use your statements against you to reduce the claim’s value. Instead, consult with an Oregon truck accident lawyer at our firm. We can handle communications on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Yes. In Oregon, the modified comparative negligence system allows you to recover damages as long as you are less than 51% at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault, your recovery will be reduced by 30%. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your case and maximize your compensation despite partial fault.

In short, this process typically begins with consulting a qualified attorney specializing in truck accident cases. Your attorney will investigate the accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records. They’ll then negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance company for a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. The lawsuit involves pre-trial motions, discovery (exchanging evidence), and possibly mediation or settlement negotiations. If no settlement is reached, the case proceeds to trial, where a judge or jury will determine liability and damages.

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Contact the Compassionate Truck Accident Lawyers at Johnston Law Firm

The founder of our law firm, Marc A. Johnston, is a lawyer for the people. Over the course of his career, Marc has been motivated by his strong sense of justice and concern for clients to handle thousands of injury and accident cases throughout Oregon. 

If you have been injured or a loved one has died in a truck underride accident, our hearts go out to you. There is no reason to go it alone. Our legal team is standing by to answer your questions and guide you through the accident claim process from beginning to end. 

Please reach out to us as soon as possible. Call Johnston Law Firm directly or fill out our online contact form for a free case review. Learn what our award-winning law firm can do for you.


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