The only thing more frustrating than being involved in a motor vehicle accident is when the other person drives away. Hit and run accidents just add insult to injury. While most people may think this only happens in passenger vehicles, hit and run accidents also happen with commercial vehicles. This includes logging trucks, delivery vans, and even large semi tractor trailers. Sometimes these large commercial trucks do not realize that they collided with another motor vehicle, thus the hit and run is unintentional. Other times these truck drivers know they caused the accident and are trying to escape responsibility. If you or a loved one have been injured in a hit and run accident, please call our Oregon hit and run lawyers to learn what rights to compensation you may have.
Why Do Hit and Run Accidents Occur?
Hit and run trucking accidents occur for several reasons. First, the other motorist may not have realized that he or she hit you. That may seem unbelievable, but with large commercial trucks some inexperienced drivers may not realize that they made contact with your vehicle. This is true if the driver is operating at a high rate of speed or if the driver is backing up. Sometimes innocent accidents happen, and considering that the trailer is separate from the cabin, this can reduce the “feedback” from colliding with an object.
Second, the other motorist may intentionally hit and run to avoid liability. This could happen because of the severity of the accident, because the driver hesitates, or because of embarrassment. A hit and run accident could also happen if the truck driver does not have insurance or other legal requirements. Moreover, a truck driver may also be trying to hide where and what he or she was doing from his or her employer. This could occur when a truck driver is out of the scope of employment and doing personal errands on company time when the trucking accident occurs.
What to Do in a Hit and Run Accident
If you were involved in an Oregon hit and run accident, the first thing you should do is stay come. If you are medically able to look up and try to get a description of the other vehicle, try to do so. But if you are medically injured or you believe that moving or looking up may caused further injury, such as with a cervical neck injury or back injury, do not move. Call 911 and get emergency services to the scene as soon as possible.
If you are able to and your injuries do not prohibit you from doing so, use your cell phone to record or take a photograph of the other vehicle as it drives away. You may also try to honk your horn to flash your lights to try and get that other vehicle’s attention in case the driver is innocently leaving the scene and does not realize there was a collision.
Wait for the police and provide as much of a description as possible. When medical care arrives, make sure to explain everything that hurts—even if just mildly—so first responders can record you injuries. Seek medical treatment too, because some spinal injuries and head injuries may not be immediately apparent or may only be diagnosed with a physician’s review.
Rights in an Oregon Hit and Run Trucking Accident
The hardest part of a hit and run trucking accident is determining who the other vehicle is to pin fault on them. With some commercial trucks, the advertising on the side of the vehicle may make it easy to determine. Other times parts of the truck may be left at the scene which can help identify the vehicle.
Under Oregon law, if the other vehicle cannot be found the victim may have to go through their own insurance for compensation. This is because Oregon requires all motorists to have a minimum amount of uninsured insurance in the case of a hit and run. If a victim of an Oregon hit and run accident is able to identify the other motorist that left the scene, victims may be entitled to an award of triple damages in the form of punitive damages.
Bend/Portland, Oregon Hit and Run Trucking Accident Lawyers
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.