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Oregon Wide-Turn
Truck Accidents

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We Manage Wide-Turn Truck Accident Cases Throughout Oregon


Wide-turn truck accidents are among the most serious accidents that kill and injure thousands of Americans each year. In 2021, a total of 5,788 people died in truck accidents, with 9 percent occurring while the truck was making a left or right turn. Left turns were particularly deadly, accounting for 7.6 percent of all fatalities. Additionally, more than 154,000 people were injured in truck crashes. 

Tragically, driver negligence can lead to such catastrophic results. Truckers must take care to operate their large vehicles correctly. Trucks have a much wider turning radius than cars, meaning that every right or left turn can put other road users at risk, and the rear may even cross into other lanes or over pedestrian areas. 

Don’t let a wide-turn truck accident cause irrevocable damage to your life. At Johnston Law Firm, we have extensive experience in representing truck accident victims in Portland, Oregon, and getting great results. Find out what we can do for you or your loved one by calling us or contacting us online for a free case review.

Why Wide-Turn Truck Accidents Happen

Getting a Commercial Driver’s License in Oregon is a complex process, requiring 160 hours of instruction. That is because driving a truck is much more risky than driving a car or SUV. 

For instance, when a truck turns, its rear section can easily encroach on other lanes of traffic. Truckers need to first move over to the left to give themselves enough room to maneuver a right turn. This requires a high level of concentration on the part of the truck driver and other road users.

When a trucker makes a left turn, the rear portion of the truck can move right into oncoming traffic or vehicles traveling in adjacent lanes. Here are some common types of wide-turn accidents that can have fatal consequences.

Squeeze play

This term describes a horrific scenario when a motorist tries to pass an 18-wheeler on the right while it is making a left turn. As the truck starts to turn, the passenger vehicle can find itself squeezed between the truck and the side of the road. 

This can cause the full force of the turning truck to impact the side of the other vehicle, crushing passengers. Due to the height of the tractor-trailer, roofs may even be forced off lower vehicles, resulting in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

A vigilant truck driver should be able to spot the vehicle and avoid this. However, trucks have large blind spots at their front, rear, and sides. If the truck driver fails to check these before committing to the turn, an accident may result. When this was the case in your collision, you may have a valid claim to compensation.

Failure to signal

Most road users know they need to take extra precautions around trucks, but they are not mind readers. Failing to signal can lead to a wide-turn accident. A motorist may believe the truck is continuing to drive forward, only to find, to his or her horror, that it is turning and there is nowhere to go.

Truck drivers must signal early to show what they are about to do. This gives other motorists time to hang back while the trucker has room to complete its maneuver safely.

If it can be proven that the negligent truck driver’s failure to signal was the direct cause of your accident, you may receive a financial settlement for your injuries and damages. Johnston Law Firm can help you do this successfully.

Driver fatigue

As many are aware, fatigue behind the wheel can cause the following:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Poor coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Lack of attentiveness, such as checking blind spots

Oregon has strict laws in place to ensure that tired truck drivers do not get behind the wheel. For example, interstate truck drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours per 14-hour workday. 

A driver can only begin his or her workday after 10 consecutive hours off. Drivers can only drive a maximum of 60 hours in a 7-day period. Additionally, Oregon requires truck drivers to keep logs with them for the current and previous 7 days.

The trucking company must keep logs on file for 6 months. If driver fatigue contributed to your wide-turn truck accident, these logs could help Johnston Law Firm’s truck accident attorneys build a strong legal case on your behalf so you get the compensation you need.

Making wide turns too fast

If a driver takes a wide turn too fast, perhaps on a slippery surface, he or she may lose control. A worst-case scenario might turn into a severe collision such as a jackknife truck accident. 

A jackknife accident can happen when the trailer of a semi-truck pushes the front towing vehicle aside. This out-of-control trailer can careen into other vehicles with catastrophic consequences.

The front section could also be turned around to face the other way. This puts the tractor-trailer in the shape of a jackknife, or pocket knife, which can lead to blocking multiple lanes of traffic or rolling over.

Underride truck accident

As trucks sit much higher than other vehicles, there is a chance that cars can get caught under the body of a truck. This can happen if the car is in a turning truck’s blind spot. These wide-turn truck accidents can cause devastating injuries and even fatalities.

Currently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires trailers to have a rear safety bar to prevent these crashes, but there are no requirements for guards for trucks’ sides. This means that the danger persists when trucks make wide turns. 

A 2019 report by the US Government Accountability Office suggested that the DOT conduct more research into side underride guards, but this comes too late if you have already been injured in an underride truck accident. Let Johnston Law Firm’s truck accident attorneys investigate your case and find legal avenues that could lead to fair compensation.

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.

The Consequences of Wide-Turn Truck Accidents

Sadly, a moment’s negligence by a truck driver can lead to years of pain and suffering for other road users. In 2021, there were some 2,336 accidents involving medium and heavy trucks in Oregon.

Common consequences of these types of accidents include:

  • Fatalities
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Crush injuries
  • Fractures
  • Internal injuries

If you have lost a loved one in a wide-turn truck accident, you have our deepest sympathies. Johnston Law Firm’s wrongful death attorneys may be able to pursue a lawsuit on your behalf to pursue compensation that could help you get your life back on track. 

If you have been injured in a wide-turn truck accident, your injuries may call for extensive, long-term medical care and long periods of time off work. You might find your medical bills and personal expenses spiraling out of control.

Do not despair. Johnston Law Firm’s truck accident attorneys are ready to hear your story and advise you on your legal options.

What Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Do For You

During a free consultation, a Johnston Law Firm truck accident lawyer will listen to you and show compassion. You will be given time to tell your story and explain how your wide-turn truck accident has impacted your life. Our compassionate attorneys truly care about what is most important to you regarding your case and want to hear every detail from you directly.

Our truck accident lawyer can explain the legal avenues open to you and advise you on the route that is most likely to lead to success. If our attorney agrees to take on your case, he or she will use all the legal resources at our law firm’s disposal to pursue justice for you. This will include investigating your accident and negotiating to get fair compensation. If needed, he or she can also represent you in court.

Wide-Turn Truck Accidents
Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the blind spots of a large commercial vehicle, also known as “no-zones,” can significantly contribute to wide-turn accidents. These large blind spots exist on all sides of a truck, making it difficult for drivers to see smaller vehicles nearby. When making wide turns, truck drivers may inadvertently collide with vehicles in these blind spots, leading to accidents. Proper awareness and caution by both truck drivers and other motorists can help mitigate these risks.

To prove the truck driver was negligent in a wide-turn accident, you should:

  • Gather evidence such as photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any skid marks.
  • Obtain witness statements and the police report, which may document the truck driver’s actions and any traffic violations.
  • Review traffic camera footage if available.
  • Check if the truck driver violated any traffic laws or federal regulations, such as failing to signal or improperly checking blind spots.

Additionally, consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney can help you gather and present evidence effectively to establish the driver’s negligence.

Yes. In Oregon, you can recover damages as long as you are less than 51% at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if it is established that you were 25% at fault, your recovered compensation will be reduced by 25%. Consulting with an attorney can help you understand and navigate this process. Also, they may help you reduce the percentage of fault.

Yes. The company could be directly liable if the accident resulted from poor maintenance, inadequate driver training, or violations of safety regulations. Proving the trucking company’s liability often involves demonstrating negligence in hiring, training, or supervising the driver, or failing to maintain the vehicle properly.

Truck drivers must use turn signals well in advance to alert other drivers of their intentions. They must check blind spots and mirrors frequently to ensure the turn can be made safely without colliding with nearby vehicles. Additionally, drivers must adhere to specific guidelines on turning radius and speed. Compliance with these regulations helps prevent accidents and protects both the truck driver and other road users. Violations of these rules can be evidence of negligence in the event of an accident.

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Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

At Johnston Law Firm, we have seen the devastation of many wide-turn truck crashes and are moved to seek justice for victims of these accidents. As a local law firm in Portland, OR, we are dedicated to helping Oregonians regain control of their lives and finances after these life-changing events.

Our Oregon truck accident lawyers will leave no stone unturned as they consider the full impact of your truck accident. This includes fighting for a payout to cover both your economic losses and non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. 

We have already achieved six and seven-figure settlements for our truck accident clients. Contact us today for a free consultation and discover what Johnston Law Firm’s truck accident attorneys can do for you.


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