utility truck on highway

Motor vehicle accidents involving Portland General Electric (PGE) trucks and other utility trucks happen more often than you may think. Unfortunately, because of the size and weight of these vehicles, these accidents often result in serious or life-threatening injuries.

If the negligence of a utility truck driver caused you harm, do you know what your options are for recovering damages?

Rizk Law discusses various types of local service truck accidents and why hiring an attorney can play an important role in recovering the compensation you need after sustaining injuries and other losses.

Why These Accidents May Happen

Accidents involving utility trucks happen for many reasons, including because these vehicles do not operate in the same way that cars do. The very purpose of these vehicles, such as picking up trash, or doing an electrical repair, means these trucks are required to stop frequently.

Like other motorists, these drivers may also:

  • Be distracted
  • Forget to check blind spots
  • Be inexperienced or inadequately trained to drive a commercial vehicle
  • Suffer a sudden mechanical failure
  • Be operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drive while fatigued

Utility trucks are not subject to the same state or federal regulations as commercial big rig trucks. This opens the door for more accidents due to fatigue and violations of safety rules that commercial truck drivers must adhere to, but which do not apply to utility truck drivers.

Another issue that specifically applies to utility trucks is that they frequently drive through narrow residential streets and other places where they are more likely to be near pedestrians, bicycle riders, motorcyclists and cars.

Common Types of Utility Trucks

Multiple types of utility trucks are used and owned by independent contractors, local government agencies and sometimes by private companies as well. These trucks may be used for servicing your residential power lines, trimming neighborhood trees, cleaning the streets, collecting trash, doing construction or making local deliveries.

Some of the most common types of utility trucks include:

  • Electric utility trucks, such as those used by Portland General Electric (PGE)
  • Garbage and recycling trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Lawn maintenance vehicles
  • Cable trucks

Accident claims involving these trucks quickly become very complex because there are potentially multiple parties who may be liable for the accident, including:

  • The Driver: There must be some negligence on the part of the driver for you to have a case. In some circumstances, you may also have grounds to pursue compensation against that driver’s employer.
  • General Contractor: Sometimes, your local municipality may hire a general contractor to do certain types of construction, trash collection or other work. The agency could be negligent for many reasons, such as if they provided inadequate training.
  • Government Entities: There are special rules, protections and deadlines that apply in accidents involving cases against a government entity. In these types of cases especially, it is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately to ensure that you have someone on your side who understands the legal process.
  • Private Organization: If the driver that caused your accident works for a private company, depending on the contributing circumstances, you may have grounds for a claim against both the driver and his or her company.

Filing a Claim for Damages

Cases against a utility truck driver and/or his or her employer are anything but straightforward. Having an attorney on your side will not guarantee you a specific outcome, but statistics show that those who have legal representation often recover larger compensation awards than those who do not. Insurance companies and corporate agencies, such as PGE, will be working hard to pay out as little as possible on a claim.

Our Portland truck accident attorneys understand the unique nature of truck accidents, including how to identify all at-fault parties and the possible source of compensation. This can be a critical part of helping to ensure you recover full compensation for the injuries you suffered.

Getting Help with Your Claim

Unfortunately, utility truck accidents will continue to happen, such as the most recent incident that happened on October 13, 2020, where a PGE truck driver struck and killed a four-year-old boy in an apartment complex parking lot. While there are no criminal charges against the driver, that does not mean there was no negligence involved.

Rizk Law is prepared to help injured victims and their families who suffer losses after being involved in an accident with a utility truck.

Our firm has recovered millions for our clients, and we are dedicated to pursuing maximum compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, emotional distress and other losses. Our proven track record includes a $225,000 recovery for a motorist rear-ended by a truck driver who was found to have alcohol on his breath.

Contact our firm to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today. If we represent you, there is nothing for you to pay up front or throughout the legal process. You pay us nothing until the end of your case and only if we recover compensation on your behalf.

Author: Rizk Law

Were you injured in an accident that was not your fault? Are your bills piling up while your pain and suffering seem to never end? Is an insurance carrier standing in your way of the money you need to get your life back on track? Then you need a lawyer who knows how insurance carriers think — and can fight them for the maximum compensation you deserve. You need Rizk Law.