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Disabled Truck and FMCSA Regulations: Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers

FMCSA Regulations Governing Disabled Trucks are to Protect Other Motorists: Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers

The trucking industry is an interstate business, meaning that it takes place across many different states.  Because of this, it can be difficult to regulate the conduct, equipment, and other elements of commercial trucks and truck drivers.  This is why there is a federal agency in charge of promulgating regulations relating to the conduct of truck drivers and trucking companies.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created many different regulations which apply to commercial trucks and truck drivers.  One of the most important sections of regulations include those governing disabled trucks.  Our Oregon trucking accident lawyers share the dangerous, regulations, and liability regarding disabled trucks and FMCSA violations.

Why are Disabled Trucks so Dangerous?

Commercial trucks like 18 wheelers, tankers, logging trucks, delivery vans, and other box trucks are huge.  They are hard to miss given their massive size.  However, it is actually very common for disabled trucks to pose a very serious risk to other motorists.  This is particularly true during inclement weather such as rain, snow, sleet, fog, or other weather vents.  And it is even truer during the night, especially on dark roads that are not well-lit or lit at all.

When a large commercial truck is in the shoulder of a roadway at night or during inclement weather, it is a hidden trap.  It is simply not expected to be there.  But when that truck is sticking out into the right-of-way or even blocking a lane of travel, a disabled truck is a very serious threat and hazard to motorists.  Indeed, it is not uncommon for innocent drivers to t-bone, rear end, or otherwise collide with a disabled truck.  Since these trucks are massive and very heavy, it is usually the innocent person that is injured.

FMCSA Regulations Regarding a Disabled Truck

The FMCSA recognizes how dangerous disabled trucks really are to other motorists.  This is why the FMCSA has promulgated an entire section of law just to disabled trucks.  The goal is to make disabled trucks less dangerous by increasing their visibility and warning oncoming traffic about their presence.

The important section of law is 49 CFR section 392.22 which creates two important responsibilities of a truck driver of a disabled commercial vehicle.  First, as soon as a commercial truck becomes disabled the truck driver must immediately turn on his or her vehicular hazard warning signal flashers.  This is done to immediately warn all other vehicles coming from either direction that there is a commercial vehicle there.  Second, a truck driver must within 10 minutes of being disabled place certain warning devices.  Under the sections, the warning devices or signals must be placed in the following locations:

  • 4 paces/10 feet from the disabled truck towards oncoming traffic;
  • 40 paces/100 feet from the disabled truck towards oncoming traffic; and
  • 40 paces/100 feet from the disabled truck towards approaching traffic.

Warning devices and signs could be reflective signs or triangles, flares, flashing signs, or other warning devices that clearly indicate there is a hazard coming up.

Disabled Truck Liability for Violating FMCSA Regulations

When a commercial vehicle violates a FMCAS regulation that is meant to keep other people on or around the roadways safe, the truck driver and trucking company may be liable for the Oregon trucking accident.  A victim may even use the violation of an FMCSA regulation as evidence of negligence against the truck driver and trucking company under the doctrine of negligence per se.  This is a powerful doctrine which allows a victim harmed by the violation of a statute or regulation meant to protect them.  

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers Explain Why Bad Weather is Not an Excuse for an Oregon Trucking Accident

Bad Weather is Not an Excuse for an Oregon Trucking Accident: Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers

A truck driver that blames bad weather for an Oregon trucking accident is possibly negligent.  This is because bad weather is simply not an excuse for an 18 wheeler wreck on Oregon’s roadways.  It does not matter if it was a blinding snow squall or heavy fog, slippery and icy roads or the blazing sun, any weather-related conditions that cause a big rig crash are the fault of the driver.  Usually that is the driver complaining about the weather.  This is because Oregon vehicle and traffic law and federal regulations require all motorists to take into consideration the weather and condition of the highway.  This means possibly driving slower than the posted speed limit or even stopping until driving can be safely resumed.  Learn more from our Portland trucking accident lawyers and how bad weather is not an excuse for personal injuries.

Oregon Vehicle and Traffic Law Does Not Allow Bad Weather as an Excuse for a Trucking Accident 

It may seem like a plausible idea to blame an “act of God” like bad weather on a trucking crash.  However, Oregon vehicle and traffic law points the onus on the motorist to take the weather into consideration when operating a motor vehicle.  This includes commercial vehicles like big rigs, tractor trailers, logging trucks, and other box trucks.  

Under ORS 811.100, it is a violation of the Oregon basic speed rule “if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to all of the following: (a) The traffic . . . (d) Weather.  (e) Visibility.  (f) Any other conditions then existing.”  A commercial truck driver that causes an Oregon trucking accident in inclement weather may automatically be liable to a personal injury victim under the doctrine of negligence per se.  This doctrine finds that a statute violator liable for harm caused to a victim who was supposed to be protected by the statute.

Federal Regulations Under the FMCSA Do Not Allow Bad Weather to be an Excuse for Trucking Accidents

Since trucking is an interstate business, meaning it spans several states across the country, there is a federal agency which promulgated regulations that apply to truck drivers and trucking companies no matter what state the truck is driving through.  These regulations are by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  Unlike the violation of Oregon statutory law, a violation of a FMCSA regulation is only evidence of negligence and not an automatic finding.

The relevant FMCSA regulation is 49 CFR section 392.14, which provides that “[e]xtreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction.”  Further, if a commercial truck cannot be safely operated during the potentially hazardous weather, a truck driver MUST stop and only resume when safe travel and be made.

Victims of Bad Weather Oregon Trucking Accidents Should Call Our Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers

Bad weather is not an excuse for an Oregon trucking accident.  Truck drivers and trucking companies may be liable for serious trucking accidents caused due to bad weather crashes under Oregon statutory law and FMCSA regulations.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

Oregon Rear End Trucking Accidents: Bend/Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers

Understanding Liability for Oregon Rear End Trucking Accidents from Our Bend/Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers

One of the most common motor vehicle accidents is the rear end collision.  While sometimes it can be a minor inconvenience to your day, other times it could result in life-threatening injuries.  This is particularly true when the rear end collision is caused by a large commercial vehicle like a tractor trailer, logging truck, delivery van, big rig, or other box truck.  Oregon rear end trucking accidents can result in catastrophic, permanent, and even fatal personal injuries.  Learn how personal injury victims may be entitled to compensation if they were injured in an Oregon rear end trucking accident from our Bend/Portland trucking accident lawyers.

Liability for Oregon Rear End Trucking Accidents

There are two ways that a victim of an Oregon rear end trucking accident could prove liability.  The first way is through the common law (judge-made law).  As most people already know, it is generally understood that the vehicle which collides with another vehicle from the rear is at fault for the crash.  This is because motorists must exercise reasonable care in the use and operation of their motor vehicle.  Reasonable care includes leaving adequate distance between the next vehicle to ensure that the driver can stop without causing a rear end collision.  When a driver fails to do that and causes a rear end collision, it may be negligence and allow a victim to recover damages for the crash.

Second, a personal injury victim may be able to use the doctrine of negligence per se to automatically prove liability.  This legal doctrine allows a victim who was harmed by the violation of a statute which was meant to protect the victim to hold the violator liable for negligence.

In a rear end collision, the applicable statute is ORS 811.485 which governs following too closely.  This statute has two important subsections which may apply.  The first is subdivision (a) which provides a person is following too closely when he or she:

“Drives a motor vehicle so as to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon, and condition of, the highway.” 

This is the general provision and allows to all motorists, including truck drivers.

In addition, subdivision (b) applies specifically to truck drivers and provides that a person is following too closely when he or she:

“Drives a truck, commercial bus or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle when traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residence district or upon a freeway within the corporate limits of a city and follows another truck, commercial bus or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle without, when conditions permit, leaving sufficient space so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy the space without danger. This paragraph does not prevent a truck, commercial bus or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle from overtaking and passing a vehicle or combination of vehicles.”

If either of these subdivisions are violated, it is possible for a truck driver to be held automatically negligent under the doctrine of negligence per se.  While there are some other legal requirements to use this important doctrine, it is an important tool in a personal injury victim’s arsenal to win his or her case.  This is why it is important to retain a Bend trucking accident lawyer or Portland trucking accident lawyer who knows the law and is able to defend your rights.

Victims of Rear End Collisions and Oregon Trucking Accidents Should Call our Bend/Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers

Rear end collisions are one of the most common motor vehicle accidents and sometimes one of the most devastating.  This is particularly true with large commercial vehicles which could cause catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, nerve injuries, and other serious personal injuries including wrongful death.  

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

Oregon Trucking Accidents Caused by a Tire Blowout: Bend/Portland, OR Lawyers

Understanding Liability When Tire Blowouts Cause Oregon Trucking Accidents

Large commercial trucks have many wheels and large wheels.  These wheels have a lot of stress on them, both from the heavy weight of cargo and the high speed that the truck travels.  But these wheels are made to be tough and sustain a lot of pressure.  However, they are not impervious to damage and these wheels can be compromised.  Generally, it takes some time for a wheel to show that it is becoming weaker and susceptible to a tire blowout.  This is why both Oregon law and federal regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require truck drivers and trucking companies to routinely inspect and check their vehicles’ wheels.  This is to prevent catastrophic blowouts which could lead to devastating accidents.  But our Bend/Portland, Oregon trucking accident lawyers know that some truck drivers and trucking companies cut corners to save time and money.  When this happens and an Oregon trucking accident is caused by a tire blowout, victims have certain rights to protect.

Who is to Blame for an Oregon Trucking Accident Caused by a Tire Blowout?

A truck driver and trucking company will argue that a tire blowout causing an Oregon trucking accident is a freak accident.  They will complain there is nothing they could have done to stop the crash.  They may even argue that they had no control over the tire which exploded while they were using it.  As a victim, you may begin to think they are right.

But they are not.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Because truck drivers and trucking companies DO have control over their tires because they are in the best place to inspect, repair, and ensure the tires are safe, well maintained, and correctly installed.  It is absolutely certain that you as a motorist on the road do not have any ability to perform these functions, so the blame cannot be passed onto you.

And federal regulations do not do this.  Under FMCSA regulations, a commercial truck driver and trucking company are responsible for the upkeep of their vehicles, including the tires.  Under 49 CFR 392.7(a), “[n]o commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that following parts and accessories are in good working order . . . tires.”  Before a commercial vehicle can go on the roadway, a truck driver MUST inspect the “wheels, rims, lugs, tires.”

What Condition Must a Commercial Vehicle’s Tires be in Before Roadway Use?

FMCSA regulations make it very clear that a large commercial vehicle like a logging truck, 18 wheeler, big rig, delivery van, semi tractor trailer, and other box trucks must be in good working order.  This is particularly true of a commercial vehicle’s tires and wheels.  For instance, under 49 CFR s 393.75 (a), “[n]o motor vehicle shall be operated on any tire that—

  1. Has body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall,
  2. Has any tread or sidewall separation,
  3. Is flat or has an audible leak, or
  4. Has a cut to the extent that the ply or belt material is exposed.

If either of these conditions are present after a trucking accident and an investigator can demonstrate that the condition existed before the accident (which is possible), the truck driver and trucking company may be liable for the trucking accident.  Sometimes an innocent victim will need to retain legal counsel to hire experts to investigate what caused the trucking accident.

Were You Injured in an Oregon Trucking Accident from a Truck Tire Blowout?  Our Bend Trucking Accident Lawyers and Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers Can Help You

Tire blowouts are violent and usually lead to serious and catastrophic trucking accidents, including fatal collisions involving crossing the centerline, rolling over, jackknife crashes, and other types of fatal 18 wheeler wrecks.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

Oregon 18 Wheeler Wreck Caused by Fatigued Truck Drivers – Bend/Portland, OR

Bend/Portland, Oregon 18 Wheeler Wreck Lawyers Explain Truck Crashes with Fatigued Truck Drivers

A fatigued driver is a dangerous driver.  This is particularly true in the case of large commercial vehicle drivers, such as truck drivers of tankers, 18 wheelers, big rigs, logging trucks, and other box trucks.  Our Bend, Oregon lawyers and Portland, Oregon lawyers know that even with a well-rested truck drivers, these large trucks are still inherently dangerous.  But with fatigued drivers, these already dangerous vehicles become deadly instruments.  This is because fatigued truck drivers have a slower reaction speed which increases the distance that a large truck needs to stop.  Fatigued truck drivers are also more likely to cause errors in judgment which can cause or contribute to a serious accident.  This is why there are Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations which were enacted to prevent fatigued driving.

Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations by the FMCSA

The FMCSA is a federal agency which creates regulations that apply to commercial vehicle drivers and truck companies throughout the United States.  These FMCSA regulations apply no matter what state the truck or truck driver is from, where it is going, or where it is presently driving in.  FMCSA violations are a serious issue.

One of the most important FMCSA regulations is the Hours of Service, or HOS, regulations.  These regulations are under Part 395 of 49 CFR.  These regulations pertain to how long a truck driver may operate a commercial vehicle.  The intent and purpose because these regulations is to combat fatigued driving by truck drivers.  This is why the FMCSA regulations place certain requirements on truck drivers whom must monitor their hours in a logbook.  These regulations also place supervisory and monitoring requirements on trucking companies.  

The most important HOS regulations that a truck drivers must follow include the following:

  • 14 hours maximum on shift;
  • Followed by a minimum of 10 hours off shift;
  • Of the 14 hours, no more than 11 hours may be driving the vehicle;
  • Of the 11 hours driving the vehicle, no more than 8 consecutive hours driving without a 30 minute break;
  • A minimum of 3 hours resting per 14 hour shift;
  • No more than 60 hours on duty during any 7 consecutive days; and
  • No more than 70 hours on duty during any 8 consecutive days.

Ask Our Bend/Portland, Oregon Lawyers for Help with Fatigued Truck Driver 18 Wheeler Wrecks

Fatigued truck driver cases are not normal types of motor vehicle accidents.  If there is an HOS violation, it may be easier to prove that the fatigued truck driver was negligent in operating the commercial vehicle.  However, if the truck driver is complying with the HOS regulations but it is believed his or her fatigued caused an Oregon trucking accident, it may be more difficult to prove that fatigued caused the trucking accident. 

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

Oregon Trucking Accident Caused by Speeding – Bend/Portland Lawyers

Speeding Big Rig Could Cause a Deadly Oregon Trucking Accident

The commercial trucking industry is a “time is money” business model where faster deliveries mean faster paychecks.  This is a business model that creates an incentive for the fastest truck drivers to earn the most money, and that incentive is to speed.  Speeding is one of the most common causes of all motor vehicle accidents, including 18 wheeler wrecks and big rig crashes.  But if cutting corners by breaking the law earns more money for truck drivers and trucking companies, many drivers are willing to put you in danger to make a few extra bucks.  When this gamble does not pay off, many truck drivers and trucking companies are quick to blame traffic patterns, roadway design, or even the victims.  If youor a loved one have been injured in an Oregon trucking accident, ask our Bend/Portland, Oregon trucking accident lawyers to protect your rights.

Why Speeding is Dangerous

If it were not obvious enough, speeding is a very dangerous behavior to engage in while operating a motor vehicle.  This is especially true of large commercial vehicles like big rigs, logging trucks, 18 wheelers, tankers, and other large box trucks.  The most obvious reasons why speeding is dangerous includes the following:

  1. Decreases reaction time of a truck driver by having less time to execute a maneuver;
  2. Increases stopping distance of a truck; and
  3. Increases the momentum and force upon impact which makes big rig crashes more dangerous and deadly.

Driving Over the Speed Limit is Illegal in Oregon Under State Law, and Truck Drivers Must Comply with Oregon Law

Even though many truck drivers and large commercial trucks are not from Oregon when they are traveling through our state, this does not mean they do not need to follow Oregon law.  Under federal regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all commercial vehicle operators must comply with the speed limit in the state they are operating in.  This means that truck drivers from the east coast must comply with Oregon speed limits established by Oregon law.

Under Oregon law, ORS section 811.105 sets basic speed rules and speed limits.  In addition to all posted requirements, this section of law sets forth the basic speed rules in certain areas and on certain roadways.  Violating the basic speed rules or the posted speed limits are a violation of Oregon law.  This means that truck drivers speeding above the speed limit prescribed by this statute are violating Oregon law.

But even if a truck driver if driving under the speed limit, ORS section 811.100 establishes violations of basic speed rules when other conditions on or around the roadway do not make it safe to operate a motor vehicle.  Subdivision (1) provides that a person violates Oregon’s basic speed rule when “the person drivers a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to all of the following” which include the traffic, surface and width of the road, hazards at intersections, weather, visibility, and all other conditions existing.  This standard is flexible and means that a motorist most comply with what is safe at the time of operation.

Our Bend/Portland, Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers Can Fight When Excessive Speed is the Cause of a Big Rig Crash

If a truck driver violates any Oregon law and causes an Oregon trucking accident, the truck driver and the trucking company may be found to be automatically liable for the 18 wheeler wreck through the doctrine of negligence per se.  This doctrine applies when a person violates a statute that is meant to protect a certain person from harm, and the violation of the statute indeed causes that harm.  

Oregon’s speeding statutes seek to prevent individuals from being harmed in motor vehicle accidents caused by motorists who are driving at an unsafe speed.  When a truck driver is operating at an unsafe speed and causes a motor vehicle accident that injuries an innocent person, the doctrine of negligence per se might apply.  This would allow a victim to recover compensation for his or her injuries.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  Our firm offers a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.