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Portland Truck Accident Attorney

Working Tirelessly to Protect Your Rights

Truck accidents can be devastating. A crash involving a large and heavy 18-wheeler can result in catastrophic or fatal injuries and extensive property damage. We depend on truck drivers and the companies that own and manage fleets of commercial vehicles to take every necessary precaution to keep us safe on the road. When they fail to act responsibly and a collision occurs, those who’ve been hurt or who’ve lost loved ones have a right to demand answers and fair compensation.

Unfortunately, truck accidents happen more often than you might think. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, in 2018 there were 411 truck crashes in Portland. Of these accidents, 197 involved injuries while four accidents resulted in fatalities. While commercial trucks perform the important work of transporting goods and ensuring that products we need get to our store shelves and homes, these figures demonstrate that truck accidents remain an all-too-common occurrence on Portland streets and highways.

If you’ve been injured in a truck crash in Portland, you need experienced legal representation. Let a truck accident lawyer from Siefman Law help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve. Our firm will fight aggressively to protect your rights and interests and get you the money you need to rebuild your life after a devastating crash.

Call our offices or contact us online today for a free initial case evaluation to learn more about how an experienced Portland truck accident lawyer can help you get justice.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Operating a commercial truck or 18-wheeler requires specialized training and experience. Unfortunately, even a momentary lapse in judgment or a single act of negligence can result in a devastating truck crash. Some of the most frequent causes of truck accidents in Portland include:

  • Speeding.
  • Driving too fast for road conditions.
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving – many truck drivers spend many hours a day for several days at a time behind the wheel.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Distracted driving, such as due to using a cell phone or the truck’s radio.
  • Unsafe lane changes due to failing to signal or check mirrors and blind spots.
  • Unsafe turning, including failing to yield to oncoming traffic on a left turn, or turning wide left before making a right turn.
  • Improper or deferred maintenance, including failing to conduct pre-trip checks.
  • Inexperience operating certain types of commercial trucks.
  • Unfamiliarity with routes, which can cause drivers to get lost and end up on roads or streets not safe for 18-wheelers.
  • Overloading a truck with cargo or having an unbalanced load.
  • Design or manufacturing defects in the truck or a truck part.

Other external factors that commonly cause or contribute to truck accidents include poor road conditions, including potholes or debris in the roadway, and adverse weather, including heavy fog or precipitation.

Types of Truck Accident Cases We Handle

The experienced Portland truck accident lawyers of Siefman Law are prepared to help those who’ve been injured in a wide variety of truck accidents, including:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Underride/override crashes
  • T-bone accidents
  • Jackknife accidents
  • Falling cargo/unsecured loads

Common Injuries in Truck Accidents

A large 18-wheeler, particularly when traveling at highway speeds, can impart a significant amount of force on a smaller passenger vehicle in a collision. As a result, truck accident victims tend to suffer serious and even life-threatening injuries. Examples of common injuries in truck accidents include:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries, such as herniated discs or strained/torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
  • Burns
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Amputations
  • Internal organ damage or internal bleeding

In far too many instances, occupants in smaller vehicles will suffer fatal injuries in a truck crash. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you and other surviving family members could be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, emotional support, and more.

Who Is Responsible? Proving Negligence After a Truck Accident

The trucking industry involves multiple parties, any one of whom may be responsible for causing a truck accident. Or several trucking parties may each share some portion of fault for an accident. Parties that may potentially have liability for a truck crash include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The truck’s owner (if different from the truck driver or trucking company)
  • The freight company responsible for loading the trailer
  • The truck’s mechanic
  • The truck’s manufacturer, or the manufacturers of parts used on the truck

The reasons why a truck accident occurred may not seem evident at first. Truck accident cases require examining many different pieces of evidence to identify the cause or causes of an 18-wheeler crash, including documents or data such as:

  • The truck driver’s logs, which may show if the driver had exceeded their hours-of-service limits and may have been drowsy or fatigued at the time of the crash.
  • The truck driver’s toxicology report, which can show if the driver was intoxicated.
  • The truck’s electronic data recorder, a “black box” type of device that can provide information about how the truck was being operated in the moments leading up to the accident.
  • The load manifest, which may show if the truck’s cargo had been unsafely loaded.
  • The truck’s inspection and maintenance records, which can reveal if regular maintenance or repairs had not been performed.

Truck Accident FAQs

How long do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit?

In Oregon, the statute of limitations typically requires you to file a lawsuit for a truck accident claim within two years of the date of the crash. If you file suit after the limitations period on your claim has expired, the trucking companies can have your lawsuit dismissed out of court, which means you could lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses from those parties responsible for the accident.

What can I be compensated for in a truck accident claim?

If you were involved in a truck accident, you might seek compensation for expenses and losses that you incurred due to the crash, including for medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost income and earning capacity due to your injuries, pain, and suffering, lost enjoyment, or quality of life if you are left with permanent scarring or disabilities, and repair or replacement expenses for damaged or destroyed property such as your vehicle that was involved in the accident.

What if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Even if you bear some fault for the truck accident or your injuries, you may still be entitled to pursue compensation. Under Oregon’s modified comparative negligence rules, you can still bring a claim for compensation against the truck driver and trucking companies so long as your share of fault for the accident is less than the other parties’ combined share of fault.

The compensation you receive in your case may be reduced in proportion to your share of fault. For example, if you suffered $100,000 in damages from a truck accident that you are determined to have been 10 percent responsible for causing, your compensation may be reduced by $10,000 to reflect your share of fault.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve been severely injured, or if you lost a loved one in a truck crash, you deserve justice. Contact a Portland truck accident lawyer at Siefman Law at (503) 395-2135 or reach out to us online for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re ready to stand up and fight for you.

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