Lake Oswego / Portland Semi Truck Crash Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a crash involving a commercial truck you may need the assistance of an attorney to help with your insurance claim arising from the trucking accident.Learn More
Semi Truck Crash Injury Cases in Oregon
If you have been injured in a crash involving a commercial truck you may need the assistance of a semi truck crash accident attorney to help with your insurance claim arising from the trucking accident. There are various forms of accident insurance that may provide benefits that you are not aware of. An injury lawyer can help you find sources of coverage and help with your recovery.
Case StudiesBelow are a few examples of trucking accident injury cases we have resolved for clients recently.
Information About Trucking Accidents in Oregon
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation crash data there were 1,309 Oregon crashes involving commercial trucks in 2013 that involved a fatality, injury or disabling damage to a vehicle. Of these crashes 598 were determined to be the fault of the commercial truck driver. 476 people were injured as a result of a crash with a commercial vehicle. There were 34 deaths caused by trucking crashes.
The number of crashes involving commercial trucks has steadily risen from 934 in 2009 to 1,309 in 2013. Injuries caused by truck accidents steadily increased from 358 in 2009 to 534 in 2012. Thankfully, 2013 saw a reduction in injuries to 476.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents:
In 2012 (the latest year for detailed data) there were 147 crashes caused by a commercial truck driver speeding, 106 caused by the truck driver following a vehicle too closely, and 127 cause by an improper lane change. Of all crashes invoking commercial vehicles, the commercial driver was at fault 55% of the time while the other driver was at fault 39% of the time. Other causes include mechanical issues with the commercial vehicle.
Over the last five years speeding, following too closely and improper lane changes were the leading causes of crashes caused by commercial truck drivers.
The Costs of Oregon Trucking Accidents:
In 2011 (the latest year for detailed data) trucking crashes were responsible for over $55.7 million in property damage, $29.6 million in costs related to injuries, and $64.3 million in costs related to fatalities. The total cost to Oregonians for trucking crashes in 2011 was $149.7 million. This figure was $140.9 million in 2010 and $103.9 million in 2009.
Oregon and Federal Trucking Regulations Attempt to Prevent Accidents:
The Oregon statutes and regulations addressing trucking safety require that numerous precautions be taken by motor carriers and truckers to prevent trucking accidents, deaths and injuries. These include requirements to properly inspect and maintain truck safety equipment like brakes, etc. The regulations also require that truckers not be required to drive too many hours without getting adequate rest to ensure that they are not driving when sleepy. These regulations and the general Oregon motor vehicle code also make it illegal for truckers to drive while impaired or distracted by things such as mobile phones.
Oregon has formerly adopted and incorporated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The federal Department of Transportation has instituted numerous rule requiring truckers and trucking companies to ensure the safety of the motoring public and avoid trucking accidents. A violation of these Oregon and federal rules can be the basis for civil liability if an injured party seeks redress.
Important Issues in Semi Truck Crash Cases:
Trucking accidents resulting in injury or death present unique issues. In trucking accident cases it is crucial to preserve evidence before it is lost or destroyed. This includes the trucker’s driver logs and daily vehicle inspection reports, any faulty equipment like brakes or bad tires, mobile phone records, photographs and video, and any GPS vehicle tracking data. Even if the police respond to a trucking accident there is no guarantee that the trucker or trucking company will preserve relevant evidence that may establish the cause of the crash. Regulations require that some of this evidence only be preserved for a set period of time.
When a trucker is involved in a crash they are required to report it to their company and state regulators. They also usually contact the trucking company’s insurance company immediately to start preparing their defense of any forthcoming injury or death claims.
Because of these issues it is important to have your injury or death case investigated by an injury attorney soon after the accident. Witnesses, the accident scene evidence, and crash data are often lost with the passage of time. An injury attorney can assist you in gathering this very important information to preserve your claim so that it is handled fairly. For additional information see: Evidence of Trucking Safety Rule Violations – Don’t Let It Slip Away. You should also be aware that trucking accident injury and death cases are subject to strict time limits. If a claim is not brought within this time it is forever lost.
At our law firm we are experienced in investigating trucking accidents by gathering relevant data from law enforcement, state and federal trucking regulators, and using licensed private investigators to gather photos, video, and witness statements. We use only highly qualified and experienced crash reconstruction experts and engineers to learn exactly what happened. We can gather all the relevant medical records and work with insurers to ensure your claim is properly addressed. Our office is located in the convenient Portland area suburb of Lake Oswego, where parking is free and there is little traffic to deal with. We are easy to get to from I-5, I-205 or Hwy 43.
Keith Dozier is an attorney member of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice and the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. Each of these organizations is dedicated to making our highways safer for everyone and helping injured parties and their families. Keith has handled trucking cases of all sizes in Portland and across Oregon and is experienced in handling these injury cases in both state and federal courts of law.