Gresham Truck Accident Lawyer
One of the biggest threats to your safety while on the road is large trucks, such as 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers. Due to their larger size and weight, accidents involving these kinds of trucks can cause significant or life-changing injuries. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact Rizk Law’s Gresham truck accident attorneys. We have the skills and resources to help truck accident victims bring a claim against the at-fault party responsible for their accident. Since 2001, our dedicated Gresham personal injury attorneys have helped recover millions in compensation for our clients injured in accidents caused by negligence. We will fight for your rights every step of the way as we work to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our firm was included in ThreeBestRated® in 2018. Founder Richard Rizk is also a former insurance defense and coverage lawyer who knows the tactics insurers use to avoid paying out the settlement you and your family need.
Learn more about your options during a free, no obligation consultation. There is no risk to find out if you have a case that entitles you to compensation. We only work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge upfront legal fees for our services unless we recover compensation for you.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Negligence is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. In 2017, there were almost 1,700 truck collisions in Oregon resulting in 628 injuries and 52 fatalities. A Gresham truck accident lawyer at our firm is ready to provide thorough and aggressive representation to help truck accident victims recover compensation for all types of driver negligence, including:
- Driving too fast
- Driving under the influence
- Not checking blind spots
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Driving without a license
- Driving while distracted, such as texting
- Failing to safely change lanes
- Driving while tired or drowsy
- Putting too much cargo on the truck
- Violating right-of-way laws
- Driving in bad weather
- Poorly maintaining the truck
- Inadequate experience or training
- Driving too closely to other vehicles
Owners and drivers of commercial trucks are required to follow certain safety protocols, rules and regulations to prevent a truck accident that can be devastating for others sharing the road.
If you suspect your injury was caused by these or any other forms of negligence, our lawyers are ready to help. We can determine if you have a valid truck accident claim or if your claim has been denied or devalued, we can help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit for your losses.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Truck Accident Cases We Handle
Our truck accident attorneys in Gresham take truck accident cases involving many different types of trucks and commercial vehicles, such as:
- Dump trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Tanker trucks
These vehicles are involved in a variety of accidents including, but not limited to:
Some of the most dangerous truck accidents occur when a truck and another vehicle crash head-on. Either driver could have been drunk or tired and traveling the wrong way or distracted and crossing the center divider into oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions at high-speed can prove to be deadly for any driver, their passengers and other motorists who have to stop to avoid crashing too.
Compared to smaller vehicles, trucks have a higher center of gravity. This means a truck is more likely to tip and rollover on its side and cause an accident if the driver is speeding or not slowing down when approaching a turn. Driving too fast can cause the truck driver to over-correct the steering wheel and lose control of the truck, endangering the lives of other motorists on the road.
Large trucks require more time to slow down and come to a complete stop. If a truck driver is tailgating another vehicle or not paying attention, there is less space and time to react to avoid a hazard. This can result in the truck crashing into the back of a smaller vehicle, causing a rear-end crash. These types of crashes are often fatal for any victims involved due to the size and weight difference between a truck and a car.
Trucks also have larger blind spots on all four sides. If a truck driver is not carefully looking out for other vehicles traveling in or around these blind posts, it could cause a collision. This usually happens when a truck is trying to change lanes. It is critical that motorists try to stay out of a truck’s blind spots to help avoid an accident. If you cannot see the truck driver in his or her mirror, the truck driver cannot see you.
Jackknife accidents can happen when a tire’s brakes lock up after the driver slams on them, causing the truck’s trailer to swing out at a 90-degree angle from the cab. An out-of-control trailer can also hit other vehicles traveling past and cause victims to suffer serious and life-threatening injuries.
Lost-cargo accidents can occur when the cargo company fails to properly secure a load onto a truck. The cargo ends up falling off the back of the truck, hitting other vehicles or creating obstacles on the road that can be difficult to maneuver around in time to avoid an accident.
The backs of some trucks are generally higher than other smaller vehicles, this makes crashing into the back of the truck highly dangerous. If a car is following too closely behind a truck and the truck slams on its brakes, the vehicle could get lodged underneath the rear trailer of the truck. This type of crash can lead to some of the most severe and deadliest types of injuries.
Truck accidents can happen anywhere at any time, especially on major highways in the Gresham area like Interstate 84 and U.S. Route 26. Victims of these types of accidents can also suffer life-altering injuries including neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, broken bones, pelvic fractures, internal bleeding and brain damage.
Contact Rizk Law at 503.245.5677 for free consultation to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
Liability for a Truck Accident
Truck accident cases can be difficult because there are several parties that could be held liable. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident and what traffic laws or trucking regulations were violated, one or more of the following parties can be held responsible for your injury:
- Truck driver
- Owner of the cab or trailer
- Employer of the truck driver
- Cargo company that loaded the truck
- Company that performed maintenance on the truck
- Manufacturer of the truck or trailer
- Company that leased the truck
Our Gresham truck accident attorneys are knowledgeable about the commercial trucking industry and can help you try to hold any of these parties liable for the accident. To file a valid truck accident claim, we can help you prove the four elements of negligence. This includes determining if:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care not to cause you harm
- The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care by failing to act in a reasonable manner
- Your injuries are directly linked to the at-fault party’s breach of duty
- You suffered monetary damages due to the at-fault party’s actions, such as medical bills
If we can prove all four elements in your case, you may have a valid claim against the at-fault party.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
How is the Trucking Industry Regulated?
The commercial trucking industry is regulated under federal and state law. The Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Motor Carrier Transportation Division administers and enforces trucking regulations in the state while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates trucking nationwide.
Both organizations set a wide variety of rules and regulations to help ensure the safety of drivers and others on the road.
In Oregon, a truck’s legal operating weight is determined by its tire size, how many axles the truck has and the distance between its axle groups or wheelbase. The maximum gross weight is 80,000 pounds.
For a single axle truck, the weight limit is:
- Up to 600 pounds per inch of tire width
- Up to 20,000 pounds
For a tandem axle truck (typically two or three-axles), the weight limit is:
- Up to 600 pounds per inch of tire width
- Up to 34,000 pounds
There are certain exceptions to the weight limits. For example, an additional 2,000 pounds is allowed for a truck that uses natural gas as a fuel source. If a truck happens to be overloaded above these weight limits and causes an accident resulting in your injury, you may be able to recover damages from the cargo company that loaded the truck.
There are also weight restrictions made on certain roads and bridges in Multnomah County, including roads in Portland and other cities around Gresham. For example, in Troutdale, the following weight restrictions are in place for large trucks crossing the Sandy River Bridge:
- 21 tons for three-axle single-unit trucks
- 19 tons for four-axle single-unit trucks
- 21 tons for five to seven axle single-unit trucks
- 26 tons for truck tractor/semitrailers
Any vehicles over these weight limits are restricted from crossing the Sandy River Bridge.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Drivers and owner-operators with a commercial driver’s license must take a drug and alcohol test in the event of an accident. Oregon law requires motor carriers to have in-house drug and alcohol testing programs that follow FMCSA guidelines.
This includes motor carriers administering drug and alcohol tests before a driver can operate a vehicle (§382.301) and requiring testing to be done following an accident resulting in a fatality, whether a traffic citation was issued or not; bodily injury requiring medical treatment at a hospital if a traffic citation was issued; or disabling damage to a vehicle that caused it to be towed and resulted in a traffic citation for the driver (§382.303).
If a driver does receive a positive drug test, it must be reported to the ODOT immediately. He or she can be found liable for negligence for causing serious injury, property damage or death of an individual.
Hours of Service Rules
Property-carrying drivers are limited in the number of consecutive hours they can operate their vehicles across state lines. These are known as the hours of service rules. These federal regulations include:
- No more than 11 hours of driving after being on duty for 10 consecutive hours
- No more than 14 consecutive hours after being on duty after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
- Can drive only if eight hours or less has passed since the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper birth period of at least 30 minutes
- Cannot drive after being on duty for 60 to 70 hours over the course of seven or eight consecutive days
Property-carrying drivers traveling only within the state of Oregon are allowed to drive additional hours:
- No more than 12 hours of driving after being on duty for 10 consecutive hours off duty
- No more than 16 consecutive hours after being on duty after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
- Cannot drive after being on duty for 70 hours over the course of seven consecutive days or 80 hours on duty over the course of eight days if the driver operates a truck seven days a week
Truck Insurance Requirements
The FMCSA also requires truck drivers to maintain a minimum level of insurance coverage depending on the type of cargo the truck is transporting across state lines. This includes the following:
- Up to $300,000 for non-hazardous cargo hauled by trucks weighing less than 10,001 pounds
- $750,000 to $5,0000,000 for general freight carriers depending on the cargo hauled
- $1,000,000 for private carriers of oil and some types of hazardous materials
- $5,000,0000 for carriers of different types of hazardous materials
A truck accident lawyer in Gresham can review your case to determine if any state or federal laws were violated. We have detailed knowledge of these laws and how to apply them to the specifics of your case.
Call 503.245.5677 now for our free consultation.
Obtaining Compensation After a Truck Accident
If you have a valid case and decide to pursue it, our Gresham truck accident attorneys at Rizk Law could help you obtain compensation for a variety of damages, including:
Economic damages are the most common type of compensation for truck accident victims. These damages are meant to compensation victims for financial losses suffered after a crash, such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages or income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Rehabilitation services
- Assistive medical equipment
- Property damage
Non-economic damages provide additional compensation for pain and suffering victims and their families experienced after a crash. In other words, these damages do not have a monetary value attached, such as:
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, non-economic damages can only be obtained through a personal injury lawsuit and are not available through an insurance claim. Your attorney will need to build a strong case that proves the at-fault party’s negligence caused your injuries to recover this type of compensation.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form so we can start working on your case.
Why You May Need a Gresham Truck Accident Lawyer by Your Side
Being injured in a truck accident can leave you feeling vulnerable and helpless. This is why you should strongly consider seeking legal representation from a truck accident lawyer in Gresham. He or she can review your case, evaluate your options and determine if you can pursue compensation for your losses.
Request a free consultation with us today. All of our services will be provided at no upfront cost and you will only have to pay if we recover compensation for your case. If you do not recover, you do not pay us.
We look forward to helping you. Call 503.245.5677.