Truck Accident Attorneys in Beaverton, Oregon
Every 16 minutes, a person is killed or injured in accidents involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers or semi-trucks. Unsafe driving, poor maintenance, oversized loads and various other treacherous practices account for most of these accidents. Because of their large size and freight loads, even relatively minor accidents can severely injure or lead to wrongful death.
Why Is It Important To Hire An Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Right Away?
Major trucking companies will immediately have lawyers hired and working for them to defend your potential claim. They may destroy any critical evidence as soon as they are legally allowed to under federal and state law. Further, if the driver of the truck that caused your accident tests positive for alcohol or drugs, they will do everything within their power to hide this fact from you. Because drug use is so high in the trucking industry, we work from the assumption that the truck driver who caused your accident was in fact intoxicated at the time of your collision and require the trucking company to prove that he or she was not intoxicated by providing their test results.
If the trucking company refuses to provide the drug test results, then we will start a lawsuit and obtain a court order requiring the production of the test results. We have been involved in cases where, prior to filing a lawsuit, the trucking company represented that the truck driver passed the drug test, only to find out after filing a suit that they, in fact, were intoxicated at the time of the collision.
The biggest mistake that a victim of a truck accident can make is to not thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident. There are countless examples of people who have lost rear-end collision cases against trucking companies because they failed to make a claim against all of the different companies responsible for a particular accident. For example, most major trucking companies rely upon independent contractors to perform regular maintenance on their vehicles.
If the rear-end collision was caused by faulty maintenance, rather than driver error, failure to include the maintenance company in your lawsuit may result in an award of nothing. An immediate investigation into the cause of your accident is necessary to protect your rights.
TYPICAL DRUNK DRIVER ACCIDENT LEGAL QUESTIONS
What is the most important thing we do for our clients?
Our first priority is to get your medical bills paid, start your disability payments and help you take care of your property damage so that you can take as much time as you need to get better before you try to settle your case. One of the most important things that we do for our clients is to figure out what problems they are going to have in the future as a result of their accident. After we are certain about your future, we can obtain fair compensation for everything you have gone through and everything that the accident will cost you in the future.
Why is it important to hire an Oregon attorney who specializes in traffic collision cases?
Your case will settle when the insurance company, or whoever you are making a claim against, fears that you will take them to court and force them to fairly compensate you for your injuries. A demand is simple: “Be fair with me or else I will take you to court and have a jury force you to be fair.” Without an attorney, you pose no risk to the insurance company. Our past results in court can benefit you because insurance companies in Oregon know that if they are unfair, then The Law Office of Clayton H Morrison will take your case to court. This is why we are able to fairly settle most of our cases as quickly as possible.
Can I talk to an Oregon attorney for free, even if I plan on handling my own case?
Yes. The Law Office of Clayton H Morrison's very best clients are the ones who have tried to settle their own cases. These clients are truly grateful when they end up with two to three times the amount of money that they were offered in their cases without an attorney representing them. In a few moments over the phone, we can give you an estimate of what your claim is worth.
Do you need an Oregon lawyer when the other person is admitting they are at fault?
When you settle your case, you will settle for everything that you have gone through to date and for everything that you are going to suffer in the future. The biggest mistake you can make is settling your case before you are certain about how your injury is going to affect you in the future. One of the most important things that we do for our clients is to figure out what problems they are going to have in the future as a result of their accident.
Besides running the risk of settling your case before you are certain about your future, you also run the risk of settling a claim for less than its fair value. In most cases, the party who caused your injury is represented by an insurance company and its experienced adjuster. Their goal is to pay the least amount of money as possible and they have developed effective strategies to achieve this goal. It is to your advantage to have an attorney handling your claim who is knowledgeable and who can protect your rights. Without an attorney, you run the risk of making serious and costly mistakes.
Should you give a statement to the insurance company?
The insurance company for the other driver only needs basic information to begin your claim such as your name, address, and phone number. If you give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster, you are probably outgunned. You are just a regular person trying to give an honest statement, but you can rest assured that whoever is taking the statement is a complete pro in taking statements. Whoever is taking your statement will have two goals: 1) to find out what your story is, and 2) to see if he/she can twist your words around to make you look bad. Our first suggestion is that you call us for some free advice before deciding whether or not to give a statement.
Recorded statements given to the other driver's insurance company are generally used to lessen the amount of money that you receive. For example, most doctors agree that it is common for someone to begin experiencing pain two to three days after an accident. Imagine if the insurance company contacts you within 24 hours of the accident, which they usually do, they ask if you are in pain, and you tell them that you are not in pain. Fast forward a year or two when you have accumulated thousands in medical bills for injuries that became apparent a few days after you gave the recorded statement, and you are in the middle of a trial. It is extremely damaging to your case when the recorded statement is played and the judge or jury hears your voice telling the insurance company that you are neither hurt nor in pain after the accident. Keep this in mind when you are considering whether to give a statement.
In Oregon, you have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company, including giving them a statement, before they will pay your Personal Injury Protection benefits. Just relax and tell the truth. You can always call us for some free advice before giving a statement to your own insurance company.
Should you sign a medical authorization for the insurance company?
In Oregon, you are not required to give a medical authorization to the insurance company of the driver who caused your accident. You have a duty to give a medical authorization to your own insurance company before they will pay your Personal Injury Protection benefits.
Never sign a medical authorization for the insurance company of the person who hurt you. Most medical authorizations allow the insurance company to talk to your doctors without you being present and they will ask your doctor questions in a way that will damage your case. They will also access copies of all of your medical records going all the way back to your birth. The insurance company can and will use your complete medical history to find excuses to give you less money in your accident claim. There may be a lot of personal and confidential information in your medical records that have nothing to do with your current injury. Why should the insurance company have the right to this information?
What are the important statutes of limitations in Oregon?
In general, Oregon traffic accident cases must be filed with the court within two years of the date of the accident. There are, however, several important exceptions and you should call our office a get free legal advice on your case even if more than two years have passed since your accident.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, special time limits apply. You may have a case against the bar or social host that served the drunk driver alcohol. This is only possible in certain circumstances, but in order to maintain even the possibility of such a suit, a “Dram Shop Notice” must be sent to the bar or social host within 180 days of the accident. Note: 180 days is not 6 months! If you mail the notice just one day late, your case will not be accepted.
If you were hurt by a city employee, a State employee who was on the job, a Tri-Met bus, or any other state, county, or city worker, you will have to file a Tort Claim Notice within 180 days. Again, 180 days is not 6 months! The notice must be sent to the right person and must say the right things. Details are in ORS 30.275, which is also available online.
FEATURED TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE RESULTS
$600,000 – Garbage Truck v Pedestrian Settlement
7-year-old BP was riding his skateboard in a downtown Portland crosswalk when he was struck by a dump truck. Initially, the insurance company for the garbage truck denied responsibility claiming that BP's parents were at fault because they failed to properly supervise BP on the sidewalk. BP suffered a broken pelvis and urethra disruption.
We obtained the services of a nurse to help the parents with his rehabilitation at home and to provide expert testimony for trial. BP healed without a disability. The case settled for $600,000 prior to trial. The settlement proceeds have been placed in an annuity and will be available to BP when he turns 18.
$185,000 – Truck v Pedestrian Settlement
Despite the fact that TK was wearing light clothes and was halfway across the crosswalk, he was struck by a truck making a left turn. As a result of the collision, he suffered a meniscus tear of the knee, requiring surgical repair, an arm fracture, scalp lacerations, and a concussion. We were hired after TK's first lawyer failed to obtain immediate insurance benefits to cover all of TK medical needs and further failed to engage the trucking company in timely settlement negotiations.
$160,000 – Truck v. Car Settlement.
TW was slowing for a red light when, suddenly and without warning, a truck crashed into the rear of another vehicle, causing that vehicle to strike the rear of TW's. TW suffered a shoulder rotator cuff tear requiring surgery.
TRUCK ACCIDENT INTERNET RESOURCES
Oregon DMV: Steps to take after an accident. http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/pages/driverid/acci...
Oregon DMV: Traffic Accident Insurance Report Form PDF http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/32.pdf
Oregon Revised Statutes https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/Pages/ORS.aspx
Oregon State Bar http://www.osbar.org/index.html
Oregon Insurance Division: Complaint Form http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/insurance/gethelp/Pages...
ODOT: Traffic, Bike, Motorcycle & Pedestrian Safety Manuals http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/32.pdf
OLCC's Digest of Violations by Bars & Restaurants http://www.oregon.gov/olcc/Pages/casedigest_finalo...
The Law Offices of Clayton H. Morrison are Oregon personal injury attorneys who represent people injured truck and 18-wheeler accidents throughout all of Oregon and Washington, including, Portland, Beaverton, Aloha, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, West Linn, Clackamas, Damascus, Happy Valley, Milwaukie, Estacada, Sandy, Troutdale, Washougal, Camas, Vancouver, Mill Plan, Orchards, Battleground, Ridgefield, Scappoose, Banks, North Plains, Vernonia, Yamhill, Gaston, Carlton, McMinnville, Sheridan, Wilsonville, Woodburn, Kaiser, Salem, Monmouth, Albany, Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Medford, Ashland, Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford, Bandon, Coos Bay, Reedsport, Florence, Waldport, Newport, Lincoln City, Tillamook, Cannon Beach, Astoria, Longview, Kelso, Hood River, White Salmon, The Dalles, Madras, Redmond, Bend, Burns, Prineville, John Day, Ontario, Baker City, LaGrande, Pendleton, Hermiston, Lakeview, Klamath Falls.