Healy & McCann, PC

Common causes of truck accidents in Oregon

Truck accidents can be caused by a number of things, and drivers in Oregon should be aware of at least five of them. The first and most obvious factor is negligent driving. Truckers can speed, drive drowsy and drive drunk, among other things. It's interesting to note, however, that the majority (about 81%, according to some studies) of truck crashes due to driver error are actually caused by passenger vehicle drivers, not truckers.

Another cause of truck accidents is bad weather, or rather truckers' unsafe maneuvers in bad weather. Drivers of big rigs are supposed to know how to brake properly on wet and icy roads; otherwise, they could skid, hydroplane or even jackknife. Truckers are also required to inspect their vehicles before the start of each shift. Neglecting to do this is a third factor in accidents, as worn brake pads, cracked windshields and other defects can lead to a crash if ignored.

Fourth, truckers may get in a crash because of equipment failure, though this is oftentimes not through their own fault. For example, the manufacturer may have made defective equipment, and the company selling the truck may have been negligent in not identifying the defect.

Lastly, there are rules for loading and securing cargo, and breaking them can lead to accidents. Cargo may spill out if improperly secured.

In those cases where passenger vehicle occupants are injured through no fault of their own in a truck crash, there may be good grounds for a personal injury claim. Plaintiffs can recover damages if they are 50% or less at fault, but the degree of fault will naturally lower the amount they receive. Of course, recovering damages is not guaranteed; one must speak with the other side, preferably with legal representation because there may be attempts to deny the claim.

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