semi-truck accidents

Uninsured Semi Truck Accident Victim Makes Full Recovery

Our client in this accident was the passenger in a semi-truck that was towing a trailer. The defendant was driving a car that crossed the center-line and collided with our client’s semi head-on. The collision flung our client into the dashboard, which seriously injured her. Directly following the crash, our client was transported by air ambulance to a local emergency room, where she was examined and tested prior to being released.

Oregon Semi-Truck Accident AttorneysOur client sustained injuries to her neck and back, in addition to breaking several fingers and experiencing a seizure after the accident. Several months went by before she obtained additional treatment from several clinics in Idaho for approximately two months. After a gap of approximately seven months, she returned to Oregon and was seen at several clinics.

Because she was a passenger in the semi at the time of her accident, no personal injury protection (PIP) benefits were available to pay our client’s medical bills. Our experienced Oregon semi-truck accident injury attorneys immediately went to work getting our client on the Oregon Health Plan. OHP eventually paid the majority of her Oregon medical bills and we were also able to get Idaho Medicaid to pay the majority of the bills she incurred there.

Because no action had previously been taken in our client’s case, we were able to quickly establish a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and to establish an under-insured claim with the semi’s insurance carrier. Our team was able to obtain a policy limit settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance as well as an under-insured settlement through the semi’s insurance company. Our client was thrilled to have landed in the capable hands of Richard at Dwyer Williams Dretke Accident Injury Attorneys.

Evidence Disappears and is Tampered With in Semi-Truck Cases

Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys in OregonSemi-truck accident cases are unique for several reasons, some of which I have discussed in previous posts in this series.  They cause qualitatively and quantitatively more damage than other accidents on Oregon’s roadways, and they regularly end in fatality.  Another reason why these cases are unique is that critical evidence in semi-truck accidents often conveniently “disappears” or gets tampered with.

Disappearing Evidence 

Trucking companies have been known to send their investigators and experts to the scene of a semi-truck accident within minutes of a collision occurring.  Big-rig trucks can be moved and evidence at the scene can be altered, which makes it much harder to prove what caused the accident.

Tampering With Logbooks and Data Records is Common

Drivers’ logbooks and trucks’ on-board data recorders are often tampered with in Oregon semi-truck accident cases.  Driver logbooks are maintained by drivers to record the number of hours that they have been on the road and compliance with mandatory rest period requirements. There are specific “hours of service” regulations that a driver is not supposed to violate, which includes the requirement that drivers rest for mandated periods of time. A truck driver’s violation of these rules may be important in establishing negligence and proving that driver fatigue was a cause of the semi-truck collision.

Data from trucks’ on-board data recorders can also provide valuable information regarding hours of service, sudden braking, maintenance issues, and more.  This data will typically be erased unless your Oregon semi-truck accident lawyer takes immediate steps to put the trucking company on notice that the data must be preserved.

Proving Negligence in Semi-Truck Accident Cases

Semi-truck accidents are very dangerous and they create more damage than any other kind of accident on Oregon’s motorways.  Litigating semi-truck accident cases is different from litigating other personal injury and auto accident cases because the stakes are so much higher.

Semi Truck Accident Attorneys in OregonTrucking accidents can be classified as rear-end collisions, sloshing accidents, battery fire accidents, fuel oil fire accidents, rollover accidents, and more.  As is the case in any type of motor vehicle accident, in order to make a recovery in any of these kinds of trucking accident cases it will be necessary to prove negligence on the part of the semi-truck driver and/or the trucking company.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Oregon state law heavily regulate the trucking industry.  A violation of these regulations can constitute negligence so it is critical that you work with an experienced Oregon semi-truck accident law firm rather than a law firm that only occasionally handles trucking accidents.

Insurance companies each have a team of adjusters, investigators, and semi-truck accident attorneys whose primary responsibility is to limit the insurer’s liability and to minimize the amount of money paid out to injured parties. It is imperative for semi-truck accident victims to have a similar teams watching out for their needs.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi truck accident, contact the experienced semi-truck accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke PC today.  You need and deserve the best.

What Makes Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuits Unique?

Oregon Semi Truck Accident Injury AttorneysMy previous blogs on the subject of Oregon semi-truck accidents describe how dangerous these accidents are and explains why semi-truck accidents usually result in fatality.  In this blog, I want to focus on why, from a legal standpoint, semi-truck accidents are unique among personal injury cases.

Semi-truck accidents are complicated from a legal point of view.  They are affected by state rules, federal laws, science, industry practices and thoughts expressed by trucking experts.  Trucking accidents involve complex and highly specialized litigation that requires:

  • A thorough understanding of the complex rules governing the commercial trucking industry
  • An awareness of unethical industry practices, which include destroying and altering evidence
  • Access to trucking accident experts who can quickly be dispatched to the scene of semi-truck accidents
  • Years of experience and specialized training in handling commercial trucking accidents
  • An intimate familiarity with trucking industry customs and practices

If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi-truck accident, it is vitally important that you have a team of insurance adjusters, investigators, and personal injury attorneys looking out for your best interests.  Trucking companies have enormous resources and experts at their disposal and you need experts in your corner, too.  The Oregon semi-truck accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke PC have extensive knowledge of and experience with trucking regulations, trucking industry practices, and trucking litigation defense strategies.  Let us help you.