Understanding Flat Bed Truck Accidents and the Negligence That Causes Them

Accidents involving large flatbed trucks are much more devastating than regular passenger vehicle crashes. However, these crashes happen all the time in the United States and in Oregon. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tells us that there were approximately 148,000 people injured and 4,761 people were killed in large truck crashes during the latest reporting year. In Oregon, there were nearly 3,000 truck crashes during that same year.

You see flat trucks everywhere. They are the ones that are big semi-trucks without walls and a roof used to transport a range of heavy goods. In some cases, the flatbeds are trailers that are detachable from the cab. In other cases, they are part of the frame of the truck and not detachable.

What are the dangers posed by these trucks?

Flatbed trucks come on various shapes and sizes and can weigh anywhere from around 10,000 pounds upwards of 60,000 pounds, depending on the cargo being hauled. There are many ways in which these trucks become a danger on the roadways in and around Oregon.

Driver negligence is a major concern when it comes to large trucks. While all commercial truck drivers are tightly regulated by the FMCSA, there are times when they do not follow the rules. Consider the following:

  • Improperly loaded trailers can lead to improper weight distribution that makes the truck difficult to maneuver or stop. If the load is not properly secured, it could fall off of the truck altogether and pose a danger to motorists.
  • Impaired or distracted driving should never occur when a commercial truck driver is operating their vehicle.
  • Failure to follow hours of service rules can lead to fatigued driving.

Vehicle failure can also cause serious flatbed truck accidents. It is up to truck owners/operators to perform periodic inspections and maintenance on each vehicle to ensure no system fails while the driver is operating.  

Flatbed truck accidents can cause major injuries

We mentioned above the thousands of injuries drivers sustain each year due to large truck crashes. In many cases, these injuries are severe and can include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Loss of or damage to a bodily organ
  • Dismemberment or amputation
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Other injuries that inhibit a person’s daily activities

Medical treatment for these injuries can enter into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that is only part of the overall picture. Flatbed truck crash victims may lose their income of they cannot work while they recover. In many instances, victims report significant emotional and psychological suffering. Victims’ families are often left wondering how to pay regular household bills.

Will I be able to get compensation for a flatbed accident?

If a truck driver or trucking company was negligent in their duties and caused your injuries, you could be entitled to significant compensation. This can include:

  • Coverage of medical expenses related to the truck crash
  • Recovery of lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Coverage of physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against the negligent driver or company

It is important that you speak to a qualified and experienced Portland truck accident attorney about your specific case.