Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Portland

If you were injured in a truck wreck, you could potentially have a legal claim to recover compensation. These collisions are hazardous due to the size and force of the vehicles and can result in severe injuries to those involved.

Negligence is among the most common causes of truck accidents in Portland. When a trucker exhibits recklessness or carelessness that leads to a crash, an injured driver could pursue claims against them or their employer. Contact a knowledgeable semi-truck accident attorney at Gideon Asen, LLC. to find out more.

Factors That Can Contribute to a Truck Crash

Several situations can cause a truck wreck. Even with uncontrollable factors like thunderstorms or black ice, many collisions can still be traced back to the trucker’s negligence.

Harsh weather conditions, including icy roads and pouring rain, is a common cause of Portland truck crashes. These conditions often require drivers to use heightened awareness and extreme caution. Bad weather can also co-occur with negligent actions and significantly increase the chance of an accident.

For instance, distracted motorists using their cell phones are at a greater risk of a wreck. Driver fatigue, which is typical for commercial truckers working long hours, can also heighten the chances. Similarly, intoxication with alcohol or drugs can fog a person’s judgment and reaction times, quickly causing a collision.

Third-party liability can also be a factor. Vehicle malfunctioning due to faulty equipment or components can create multiple issues with a truck’s operations on the road.

Determining Negligence in a Truck Wreck

Causes outside a Portland truck driver’s control commonly contribute to an accident. However, a person injured can still bring a claim for negligence if they can prove that the trucker breached their duty of care.

For example, state law prohibits drivers from operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or with a blood-alcohol content above 0.08 percent, per Maine Revised Statutes 29 § 2411.

If a truck driver is arrested for drunk driving, a plaintiff will have a stronger case that the trucker failed to follow traffic laws. Even if the driver breached their duty of care, the plaintiff must still show that this caused their injuries.

Recoverable Damages

Along with proving the trucker breached their duty, the injured party must have suffered economic or noneconomic damages as a direct result. Economic damages include measurable financial costs, such as:

  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • An ambulance
  • Hospital bills

Noneconomic damages cover immeasurable losses. These might include the following:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium with a companion or spouse
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

An injured party could also bring a suit against the commercial truck driver’s employer under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Employers in the state are vicariously liable for negligent actions by their employees when performing a task within the scope of their job.

A Plaintiff’s Negligence Can Affect Recovery

The state follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, which could impact a plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation if found at fault based on Me. Rev. Stat. Tit. 14, § 156.

If the court finds that an individual is 50 percent or more responsible for the negligence that caused their collision, the modified comparative negligence rule stipulates that they are barred from recovering any damages.

When the injured party filing suit remains under the 50 percent threshold, the court will allow them to recover damages in proportion to their percentage of fault. For example, a person seeking $100,000 in damages found 40 percent at fault can only recover up to $60,000.

Call a Portland Attorney to Learn More About the Common Causes of Truck Accidents

If you have additional questions about the common causes of truck accidents in Portland, you should speak with a diligent lawyer at Gideon Asen, LLC.

Our hardworking personal injury attorneys can advise you about potential claims you may have for a semi-truck crash. Schedule an initial consultation today to discuss your case.