Have you or someone you love been injured in an Oregon Semi-Truck Accident?
Protect your rights and call Kivel & Howard today for help!
Commercial trucks are essential to commerce as they are hauling goods to all corners of our country supplying stores and warehouses alike. You can see semi-trucks on every interstate and highway across the country as they deliver products and goods to consumers everywhere.
These vehicles may be essential for commerce in this country but when one of these massive vehicles is involved in a serious accident, the consequences can be deadly. When these massive trucks are involved in major accidents with average-sized passenger vehicles, the occupants of those passenger vehicles often suffer from catastrophic injuries that can and often do result in death.
Commercial truck accidents can happen with little to no warning. In an instant, these massive vehicles can become unstable and hard to control. There are many reasons that these devastating accidents take place. Each accident is different and unique to the situation and details surrounding the event. Truck accidents in Oregon can be especially complicated because there are usually multiple parties involved who can be held liable depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash.
The dedicated Portland truck accident attorneys at Kivel & Howard have the skills and experience needed, as well as, the time and resources required to handle even the most complex and complicated truck accident. We will handle all communication with the insurance companies and the courts. We will work to gather evidence to support your claim. We will answer all your questions as we progress through the tough waters to get you the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and losses.
Let us handle all the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on your recovery. Call Kivel & Howard today for a free, no-obligation, and completely confidential consultation.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Oregon
There are several different ways a truck becomes involved in an accident in Oregon. From the vast size difference between a semi and a passenger car to the weight difference, these causes can result in deadly consequences. Some of the most common causes of Oregon 18-wheeler wrecks include but are not limited to the following:
- Tailgating- This is a term referring to when a vehicle drives too close to the rear end of another vehicle. This is dangerous especially when a commercial truck is tailgating a passenger vehicle.
- Speeding- Driving over the speed limit, or driving too fast for current weather conditions can result in a deadly crash, especially if a semi-truck is involved.
- Inclement Weather- The weather in Oregon can range from rain to snow, particularly during the winter, causing dangerous conditions on the roads and limiting driver visibility.
- Unstable or Shifting Cargo- If the company that loads the trailer doesn’t properly secure it, shifting cargo can cause the whole trailer to shift and cause an accident.
- Driver Fatigue- Legally, truck drivers are only allowed to drive a certain amount of time per day. Driving over that time limit can result in some hefty fines, and driving while fatigued is dangerous not only to the driver of the semi-truck but to others on the roads around them.
- Uncertified or Inexperienced Drivers- Truck drivers are required to obtain a specific license known as a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) which allows them to drive larger commercial vehicles. Most trucking companies will hire drivers that have a certain amount of experience or will train drivers until they get enough experience to drive on their own in order to avoid an accident.
- Obstacles in the Road- Fallen trees, large boulders, wildlife, and other types of obstacles in the road can create a devastating truck accident if the driver were to spike their brakes. Remember, a fully loaded semi-truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds and needs more space in order to come to a complete stop.
- Distracted Driving- Cell phones aren’t the only thing that can distract a truck driver on the road. Using the CB radio, adjusting controls for the heat or air conditioning, and other various objects in the cab of a semi can steal the driver’s attention and possibly cause an accident.
- Impaired Driving- It is never an option to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The fines for doing so to the driver of a passenger vehicle may be high, but because truck drivers have more responsibility put on their shoulders, these fines could be way higher.
Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in a truck accident in Oregon and need legal guidance? Call Kivel & Howard today to speak with a skilled and qualified truck accident lawyer with a proven record of success.
The dedicated team of semi-truck attorneys at Kivel & Howard has the experience and skill needed to investigate all aspects of your Oregon truck accident to ensure the best possible outcome in your personal injury claim. Truck accidents are complicated with many complex levels that need to be addressed. Make sure that you have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer on your side. Call us today for a no-obligation consultation and let us answer some of your more pressing questions about your situation.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for 18-Wheeler Accidents in Oregon?
Statistically, only 33% of fatal commercial truck accidents are caused by an error made by the driver. Some examples of driver errors that can cause a catastrophic truck accident include:
- Failure to yield
- Impaired Driving
- Lane Drifting
- Careless or negligent driving
Accident reconstruction and an independent investigation done by a knowledgeable truck accident attorney into the circumstances surrounding the accident can reveal outside causes of your accident, such as:
- Defective Parts
- Unsafe Road Conditions
- Failure to Keep the truck in safe running condition
When the driver isn’t at fault, but the truck itself was the reason for the accident, it could be someone else’s responsibility. Each commercial vehicle is an investment and is heavily insured, as is the cargo. That fact alone can make it difficult to obtain the compensation you deserve from the truck driver’s employer. The ways the driver’s employer can be at fault include:
- Irregular maintenance
- Violating safety protocols
- Encouraging or forcing illegal goods to be transported
- Unreasonable expectations of drivers causing them to be exhausted
- Under experienced or under certified drivers
In short, the responsible parties can include:
- The Driver- Improper handling of an 18-wheeler and other conditions caused by the driver can result in a deadly accident.
- The Employer- More often than not, the employer owns the truck and is responsible for the upkeep of the vehicle.
- The Shipping Company- It’s not common for the driver to secure their own cargo. If the loads shift, become unstable, or come completely undone it could be the shipping company’s fault.
Our dedicated truck accident lawyers Kivel & Howard in Portland will do everything we can to bring all responsible parties to justice and hold them liable. Injuries sustained in a big rig accident in Portland can be debilitating and devastating. We know how hard getting back to or learning your new normal can be. Let us take the load off your shoulders and fight for you. If you or someone you love has been affected by a commercial truck accident in Portland Oregon, contact us today.
Injuries That Can be Sustained in Oregon Big Rig Accidents
Commercial trucks have an immense size difference when compared to other vehicles on the roadways. As such, the injuries sustained in accidents with these mammoth vehicles, which can weigh up to 80,000 lbs and need at least 350 feet to come to a full stop from a 60 miles per hour cruising speed, can be terribly catastrophic. Passenger vehicles generally weigh around 3,000 lbs and the difference can have dire consequences when sharing the road with a negligent semi driver. Injuries can include:
- Broken Bones- Not only are broken bones excruciatingly painful, but they also take quite a bit of time to heal. Broken bones for most victims mean having to take time off work for recovery time.
- Neck Injuries- One of the most common neck injuries when it comes to a semi-truck wreck is whiplash. This occurs when the sudden stop of a vehicle in an accident causes the head to violently move back and forth, straining the neck.
- Amputations- While not as common as some of the other injuries mentioned in this list, amputations are some of the most severe. The loss of a limb can cause a victim to lose their job, their self-confidence, and even their independence.
- Internal Injuries- It’s always important to seek medical attention after an accident, especially if an 18-wheeler is involved. Internal injuries, including internal bleeding and punctured internal organs, if left untreated, can lead to an untimely death.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries- In an accident, you could seriously bump your head on a hard surface. This could result in what is known as a traumatic brain injury. Brain hemorrhages and concussions are the most commonly known TBIs.
- Disfigurement- Certain types of injuries can lead to permanent scarring or disfigurement of the face or other parts of the body. Counseling is commonly paired with disfigurement as victims seek help to deal with their declining self-confidence.
- Death- Unfortunately, one of the more common sights, when a semi-truck accident occurs due to the carelessness of a truck driver, is the loss of life.
The above-listed injuries and many others can be a devastating result of different types of semi crashes that can occur. Some of the most common accidents involving commercial trucks include:
- T-bone- When the front of one vehicle, in this case, an 18-wheeler, strikes the side of another vehicle, forming a T shape at the point of impact. These are common at intersections when a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or traffic signal.
- Lost or Shifting Loads- As mentioned above, most drivers don’t load their own trailers. It is up to the company that does the loading to ensure that the load inside the trailer is secure. A load that is not properly secured can shift and cause a serious crash.
- Wide Turns- Semi-trucks take extremely wide turns in order to make sure their trailer follows behind smoothly. Most trailers will have caution stickers on the back to warn drivers of passenger vehicles. If a passenger vehicle is too close to a truck as they turn, it could end badly for the much smaller vehicle.
- Head-on Collisions- Head-on collisions occur when the front of a vehicle collides with the front of a second vehicle. If a head-on collision involves a commercial truck, the results could be devastating.
- Truck Rollovers- A common type of truck accident is a rollover. This occurs when a truck driver takes a turn too quickly. Semis have a much higher center of gravity and are more prone to rolling over than a passenger vehicle.
- Rear-end- Rear-end collisions occur when the front end of a vehicle comes into contact with the back end of the vehicle in front of them. If a truck is following a passenger vehicle too closely and the passenger vehicle suddenly has to slow down or stop, this could result in the truck rear-ending the passenger vehicle and causing a domino effect.
- Blind Spot- A general rule of thumb when driving around a commercial truck is if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver is unable to see you. Driving in a truck’s blind spot when they’re trying to shift lanes is a dangerous situation nobody wants to be in.
- Jackknifes- When a trailer swings too wide and folds the entire truck at the fifth-wheel attachment, this is a jackknife. This can be a result of defective brakes or a truck driver taking a turn too quickly.
- Underrides- An underride occurs when the front end of a passenger vehicle collides and slides under the side of a truck’s trailer. Safety equipment has been installed to prevent underrides on the backside of the trailer and is being developed to prevent them on the sides.
Calling a Truck Accident Attorney in Oregon
At Kivel & Howard, our compassionate and dedicated semi-truck accident attorneys understand the stress of sustaining serious injuries due to a truck accident caused by the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of one or more parties. With decades of combined experience, you can depend on our team to keep your best interest in mind while we fight on your behalf to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available for your injuries and losses.
We strive to provide excellent personal injury law guidance for all of our clients with a proven track record of success. Let us help you too. Call us today at (503) 796-0909 for your confidential, free, and no-obligation consultation, or you can visit our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation at your earliest convenience.