Collisions between 18 wheelers and passenger vehicles are a widespread danger on America’s roadways, revealing 4,657 fatal crashes in 2017 data, outlining high levels of damage to property, physical injuries and life altering losses. Truck accident attorneys are instrumental in negotiations with insurance companies, and court action to settle damage awards necessary to address accident victim losses.  A skilled Lake Oswego truck accident attorney experienced with trucking regulations can help.  

Commercial driver license (CDL).

Commercial driver training must be completed before the granting of a commercial driver license (CDL) because of the difficult maneuverability and specialized mechanisms in big rigs and tankers. In the United States there was a 9% increase in fatalities caused by truck accidents in 2017, and 72%  of those people were occupants of other vehicles.  Tanker trucks may be more dangerous than regular large trailer carriers because of the weight distribution and the type of substance they are carrying, such as flammable liquids, pressurized gases, or highly toxic chemicals that are difficult to clean up after an accident.  Individuals should contact a truck accident attorney to discuss legal options after an accident involving a big rig, or tanker.

Federal restrictions.

Commercial motor operators that drive big trucks carrying cargo are restricted by the federal government regarding the maximum hours driven; minimum hours off duty; and required rest periods after 60/70 hours of driving over 7/8 consecutive days. Commercial motor vehicle drivers that are carrying people have more stringent restrictions.  The United States Department of Transportation, 49 C.F.R. part 387, subpart A, mandates minimum levels of financial responsibility to address accident losses.

Loss calculation.

Economic and non-economic losses, such as lost wages, medical bills, legal fees, property replacement and pain and suffering are addressed in loss valuations with punitive damages in some cases.  Expenses for medical bills and lost wages from work are simply calculated in a claim for damages, but estimates for pain, scarring, emotional harm, or short and long term psychological and physical limitations are not as easy to calculate.  Valuations are determined with input from Oregon truck accident lawyers, insurance companies and juries who must consider what is a fair and reasonable amount of money to cover the loss, based on a compilation of evidence provided to the court. 

Additional parties.

Lake Oswego Oregon truck accident lawyers are skilled at identifying additional parties to an accident claim, separate from the truck driver, including trucking companies, mechanics, or manufacturers of a truck and/or parts, and understand the trucking industry and relevant regulatory laws.  They can determine the best legal approach to individual cases such as mediation, arbitration or going to trial, while staving off unnecessary pressure from insurance companies who want to swiftly close out a claim.  

Hire legal counsel. 

Tractor trailer truck accidents involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry, extensive experience of civil laws, and sophisticated investigative capabilities to collect evidence and analyze it to support a negligence claim by a skilled Oregon truck accident attorney.

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/191544/fatal-large-truck-crashes-in-the-us/

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief

https://www.truckinfo.net/trucking/stats.htm

https://www.fasigbrooks.com/tallahassee/