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.