Some of the most deadly motor vehicle accidents on Oregon’s roadways involve oversized tractor trailers. These freight vehicles are integral to our state’s economy and commerce, but because they are so dangerous, the Beaver State implements a number of laws to protect citizens from an unfortunate accident. People who drive 18-wheelers for a living must legally comply with a host of rules. These include how long they can be on the road on a given shift, weight distribution of their cargo, regular inspections, and general vehicle maintenance.
Oregon Tractor Trailer Accidents
Anyone who has been involved in a collision with a semi-truck knows it’s completely different than a typical motor vehicle accident. In many cases, these crashes happen on major highways, both parties were traveling at top speeds, and the sheer size and weight of the truck lead to devastating injuries–and death. If you’re blessed to escape the ordeal, Corvallis personal injury lawyers are expertly trained in how to guide Oregon clients through their many legal options.
Attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield often consult with tractor-trailer accident clients in major cities throughout the state of Oregon. They report a number of common factors at play when big rig drivers are at fault in major roadway incidents. From distraction and lack of sleep, to improperly loaded freight and illegal company practices, experienced Corvallis personal injury attorneys will investigate the reasons behind the crash. In these types of accidents, a semi-truck operator’s duty of care is much more pressing than the sedan or SUV driver’s. Unfortunately, easily avoidable catastrophes occur because businesses and individuals are more concerned with making money than with protecting the public.
Common Reasons for Tractor Trailer Accidents
Corvallis personal injury lawyers pursue all types of cases, but in almost all of them, tractor trailer drivers were breaking trucking regulations. Employees will often stay on the roads longer hours, lying in their logbooks in order to impress their bosses and gain a higher paycheck. Experienced attorneys know exactly what kind of information to investigate. With legal representation, you can demand a company’s payroll records to see if the data corresponds with the driver’s on-the-road records. If the driver failed to take a rest or was ordered to meet an unreasonable deadline, they’ll find out about it.
In many instances, various types of distraction cause semi-truck drivers to lose control of their rigs. All motor vehicle drivers meet with hindrances on the roadways, but at the helm of a cumbersome 18-wheeler stocked with freight, a split second of inattention can lead to disaster. Drivers may zone out, or in some accidents, they lose control of their trucks because of failure to comply with important traffic warning signs. Access to professionals who evaluate crash dynamics will make for a more compelling case in court. In seeking your well-deserved damages, Corvallis personal injury attorneys will go beyond the police report and the word of the driver, defending your best interests.
What to Do if You’re In a Tractor Trailer Accident
Expert attorneys recommend you do the following things in order to bolster your claims in court:
- Always call the police. It’s not very often that people wave each other off after a semi-truck accident. Still, if nobody appears injured, call the police anyway. A formal report is necessary if you decide to pursue compensation for medical or property damage at a later time.
- Take pictures. If you are able to move around safely at the scene, take a picture of the truck’s license place. Record the company’s name. Document damage to your car, to the roadway, signs, skid marks, and anything else that may provide insight on the accident and how it happened. This will be valuable in the absence of surveillance cameras.
- Get witness’s contact information. You may also gather information from the driver if he or she cooperates, and take note of any admission of wrongdoing.
- Seek professional medical care. When you’re the victim of a tractor trailer accident, a personal injury claim can help recover legitimate costs you accumulate due to hospital stays, doctor’s visits, ambulance rides, prescriptions, medical travel, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more.
- Most importantly, contact an Oregon attorney and learn more about your rights as a victim. If you’re lucky enough to escape a potentially deadly big rig collision, pursue the compensation you deserve due to the traumatic event.