If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Metier Law Firm's legal team has assisted truck accident victims throughout the Pacific Northwest in receiving the compensation they deserve and in a timely manner. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.
What Will an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Do Differently than a Car Accident Attorney?
Car accidents are far less complicated than truck accidents. Typically, a car accident attorney must demonstrate that their client's injuries were caused by the other driver and support the damages with expert testimony. Truck accident cases are never that simple and necessitate all of the skills and knowledge of a car accident lawyer, intimate knowledge of Federal and State laws applicable to truck drivers on the road, and trucking and shipping company business practices.
Your attorney will conduct their own investigation into your collision in addition to the official police report. They will hire experienced investigators to conduct a more detailed investigation into the circumstances of the crash. Your attorney will investigate whether any of the aforementioned preventable factors contributed to the accident. They will also investigate the driver and his or her suitability to operate a tractor-trailer truck.
In addition, your Portland truck accident attorney will hire accident reconstruction experts who will create a virtual simulation of how the accident occurred using data collected at the scene. The defense will employ the same methodology in the hopes of contradicting your and the police accounts, so we must be thorough in our investigation.
We'll also consult with medical experts about the nature and severity of your injuries, as well as how the truck accident is the only possible explanation for how they occurred. Many people have been injured at some point in their lives, and the truck company's defense attorneys will try to link any previous injuries to those caused by the truck crash. We must be prepared to fight any attempts to reduce your claim.
Every case is unique, but one thing remains constant: trucking cases necessitate a significant amount of resources to properly litigate. While a car accident attorney may do a good job of keeping up with the defense, our Portland truck accident attorneys understand that in order to win your case, they must do more than just keep up with opposing counsel.
How To Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
We handle a lot of truck accident cases in Oregon and are frequently approached by people who have been injured in a truck crash of some kind, whether they were in a passenger car or the truck drivers themselves. To find a great Portland truck accident lawyer, look for someone who has a lot of experience with trucking cases. We've had that experience. We've handled a lot of trucking cases over the years and have helped our clients win the maximum compensation to which they’re entitled in truck accident cases.
Your truck accident injury lawyer should also understand that a trucking case is a systems case. In other words, if you're up against the trucking company, it's all about the driver's training and qualifications, as well as the driver's supervision. You need someone with experience in those cases, someone who has received extensive training in those cases, and someone who has contacts with a wide range of other attorneys across the country. At Metier Law Firm, we have decades of experience representing our clients and advocating for their rights against the truckers that changed their lives. That is something to consider when choosing a trucking case attorney. If you have any additional questions, please contact our office.
All truck accident claims require a thorough investigation, expert witness testimony, and creative use of the discovery process. It's critical to investigate the accident scene as soon as possible. The trucking company will dispatch its own investigators to the scene of the accident as soon as it learns of it, sometimes arriving before first responders. You require someone who will do the same for you.
Metier Law Firm investigators are quick to arrive at the scene of an accident and, more importantly, to protect critical evidence. Our team will search the scene for evidence and take notes on skid marks, broken glass, and oil, gas, and radiator fluid stains. Our investigators will also obtain police reports, trucking company records, witness statements, photographs, and safety logs. We will safeguard the big rig's "black box," which contains vital information, as well as any physical evidence on the truck.
In many cases, time is of the essence because evidence can vanish quickly and permanently without the intervention of an experienced attorney.
How Are Truck Crashes Different From Car Accidents?
In a truck crash case, you must always deal with the issues of driver supervision, driver training, and the driver's qualifications prior to taking the job. Those are important considerations that don’t apply to a passenger car crash.
Other ways truck crashes are different than car accident include
Injuries are almost always much worse – most are life-altering.
There may be multiple liable parties, and the majority of them will not even be present during the crash.
There may be multiple insurance policies, the majority of which are much larger than passenger car insurance policy limits.
The legal teams will be much larger and more aggressive than in passenger car accident claims.
Truck accidents are far more dangerous and complicated than car accidents. This is why you should always consult with a Portland commercial truck accident attorney who has the experience, knowledge, and track record to defend your claim and fight for your rights.
What To Do in a Truck Crash?
There are two things you need to get done to ensure you are doing everything you can to get justice:
Get your injuries diagnosed and treated.
Hire a lawyer.
First and foremost, a doctor will be able to relieve your pain or establish a medical treatment plan for your recovery. Nobody wants to suffer. Do not put off going to the doctor; instead, go as soon as possible. Most passengers in passenger cars are seriously injured and will be taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Second, you cannot handle a trucking accident case on your own. Hire a Portland truck accident attorney as soon as possible. In these cases, timing is everything, and the longer you wait, the more likely you are to lose critical evidence. For example, modern big rigs, like airplanes, have "black boxes" that continuously collect data about the truck and the driver’s condition. The black box will reveal if the driver was speeding or never attempted to slow down until after the collision. Some truck manufacturers overwrite the data after a certain number of engine restarts, and without the intervention of an attorney, the trucking company will attempt to repair their equipment to keep business moving forward, erasing this critical evidence.
Many lawyers will advise you to obtain the truck driver's information or gather evidence, but we've discovered that most people involved in truck accidents are unable to do much at the scene. If you were taken away in an ambulance and unable to take pictures or gather evidence, your attorney, not a friend or family member, should go to the scene. A friend is unlikely to know what to look for or how to collect it.
What are Common Causes of Portland Truck Accidents?
One of the most common causes of collisions is driver error. Sleeping at the wheel, driving while impaired, distracted driving, and driving or taking a turn at an unsafe speed are just a few of the mistakes that truck drivers are prone to making.
Another danger that drivers face is cargo shifting within the trailer. When cargo is improperly loaded or secured, or if it is inherently dangerous and moves within the truck, the weight can shift while the truck is traveling 70 mph or more on the highway.
If the cargo shifts, a truck driver may not be able to maneuver safely and in some cases, lose control entirely.
Sometimes the truck itself has a faulty component. Nothing is more frightening than a truck driver applying the brakes only to find that they have failed. A serious tire blowout while driving down the highway can be just as dangerous.
In some cases, an accident would never have occurred if a trucking company had not made a mistake. Examples of such errors include
Other Drivers’ Dangerous Behaviors
- Failing to inspect or service trucks
- Failing to properly train or hire drivers with clean driving records
- Pressuring drivers to breach hours of service requirements
Other drivers on the road can also contribute to Wyoming truck accidents. Aggressive driving, cutting off a large truck, driving in blind spots, and attempting to pass a large truck illegally are all dangerous behaviors that can result in a crash.
What are Common injuries from truck accidents?
Metier Law Firm has represented and won cases for clients with a wide range of injuries in our 40+ years of practice. Even injuries that appear minor at first glance can turn out to be much more serious. Metier Law Firm has represented people who have suffered devastating injuries from truck accidents nationwide.
Healing times vary depending on the nature of the injury, and we understand that during this time, your case and mental health are just as important as your physical health. Anxiety and depression are common after a car accident and can slow healing.
As a result, seeking assistance from an experienced Portland truck accident attorney is one of the most important and healthy steps to reducing the impact of post-accident stress. With the assistance of a truck accident lawyer in Oregon handling your case, you can reduce emotional and financial stress while healing from your injuries, which can include any of these:
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Seat Belt injuries
- Broken bones
- Rib and torso injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Burn injuries
Large commercial trucks also significantly increase the possibility of a fatal collision. If a person was killed in a commercial truck accident, family members of the deceased may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent truck driver and the company that employed the driver.
Who Is Liable in a Portland truck collision?
Many different types of negligence can lead to a Portland commercial truck accident. This negligence can occur from any party on the road, including those who are not.
Your truck accident attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into all potential sources of liability, such as the following:
The truck driver whose carelessness caused the accident -
Truck accidents can occur as a result of tired drivers, driving too fast for the conditions on the road, failing to check their blind spots, or having vehicles with maintenance issues that should have been detected during the pre-trip inspection.
The trucking company that employs the driver -
Trucking companies are required to insure their trucks and drivers. They must also ensure that their drivers are properly trained to operate the truck. When they hire unsafe drivers or push them to take unsafe risks, truck crashes happen and crashes occur.
Third parties -
If the accident was caused by a mechanical issue that should have been detected and corrected by the mechanic performing routine service for the trucking company or the owner/operator, this entity is responsible for performing maintenance services on the truck.
Not every truck accident case has a single source of liability. A truck driver is frequently held responsible, but so is another driver, the truck driver's company, or even a manufacturer or mechanic. Your Portland truck accident attorney will thoroughly investigate your claim to determine all potential sources of liability. Each of these sources will also look for liability insurance policies that can be used to compensate you.
Are Truck Accidents Caused by Tire Failures Preventable?
Yes. Tire failure on commercial trucks is often a combination of speed, tire damage, friction, and pressure. Heavy loads increase the pressure on the tires and make them more likely to fail. Driving a commercial truck through Oregon’s diverse terrain and elevation can cause the pressure inside the tire to fluctuate, resulting in a blowout. After a truck accident involving a tire blowout, your Portland truck accident attorney will want to see the pre-trip inspection records for the driver to ensure that the driver had performed this inspection as the law requires.
Commercial trucks travel many more miles, often at higher speeds and carrying up to 80,000 pounds in a loaded trailer. This causes the truck's parts to wear more quickly, such as the engine, brakes, and tires.
Three types of truck tire defects can result in a liable manufacturer, including design defects, manufacturing defects and packaging defects. Manufacturers and those in the manufacturing chain (such as distributors and retailers) are responsible for ensuring that the parts they make for use on commercial trucks are safe when used per packaging instructions. Some tires are defective and prone to failure regardless of the inspections and maintenance performed on the truck due to manufacturing defects. Some tires are defective and prone to failure regardless of the inspections and maintenance performed on the truck due to manufacturing defects.