What To Do After a Truck Accident in Portland

According to the Oregon Crash Summary for 2021, there were 255 crashes involving trucks in Portland, reflecting a 23.79% increase compared to the 206 crashes reported in 2020. [1]

Being involved in a truck accident can be a highly traumatic experience, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next. In Portland, immediate action is important after a truck accident to ensure safety, protect your rights for fair settlement, and gather necessary information for insurance and legal purposes.

By following the immediate steps outlined below, you can navigate the aftermath of a trucking accident effectively and efficiently.

Immediate Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Portland

A truck accident can happen in the blink of an eye, leaving you shaken and unsure of what to do next. However, taking immediate action following such an incident is paramount.

Call 911:

Calling 911 in the event of a truck crash is of utmost importance as it not only fulfills the legal requirements set forth by Oregon law but also ensures that necessary assistance is promptly dispatched to the scene. By dialing 911, individuals signal the need for police and emergency medical services to address the incident and provide aid.

Check for Injuries:

When dealing with injuries, it is essential to prioritize your health and well-being. Seeking immediate medical attention, especially for serious injuries, is vital. 

Even if injury is not readily apparent, some physical consequences of an accident may take time to appear.  Whiplash symptoms often take days to become present.  Internal injuries may not be obvious, but they can be life-threatening, so follow up with medical care after even minor accidents. 

Move to a Safe Location:

Move to a safe location after a collision to prevent further harm or potential accidents. Look for any nearby parking areas where you can safely park your vehicle. It will help remove your vehicle from traffic and minimize potential risks.

If a parking lot is not available, pull over to the side of the road. Activate your hazard lights to warn other drivers of your presence. Find a safe spot to temporarily park your vehicle, ensuring it is not obstructing traffic.

Gather Information at the Scene:

At the scene of an accident, gather specific information that can assist in determining the cause of the incident and assigning liability. It includes identifying details of the vehicles involved, such as make, model, year, and license plate number, even if only partially visible.

Documenting visible injuries, including any physical harm suffered by drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in the accident, is also essential. Documenting skid marks- the traces of tires sliding across the road can be helpful with legal action later on. 

Gather Information at the Scene

Exchange Information with Commercial Truck Drivers:

When involved in a truck accident, exchange information for insurance. Begin by calmly approaching and requesting their contact information, including their full name, phone number, and email address. Be sure to provide your contact information as well.

Get Contact Details of Witnesses:

To effectively gather contact information from witnesses at an accident scene, approach them politely and ask for their cooperation. Request contact details and if they are willing to wait for the arrival of the police.

When the accident occurs on private property, it is advisable to seek out security personnel or a manager to make an official statement. They can document the accident and provide any necessary information for insurance or legal proceedings.

Take Photos of the Accident Scene:

Taking pictures of the accident scene can be significant for insurance claims and legal purposes. Photograph the damage sustained by each vehicle from all angles, including close-ups and wide shots, to provide a comprehensive view. Ensure that the license plates of all vehicles are visible in the photos. Taking detailed images of the weather conditions and traffic patterns will provide you with vital evidence to support your case.

Report the Accident:

Reporting the truck accident to the Portland Police Bureau or the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office promptly ensures an official report is filed, providing vital information for insurance claims and potential legal actions.

Notify your Insurance Company:

After experiencing a commercial truck accident, notify your insurance company promptly. This allows the insurance company to assess the situation and determine the best course of action moving forward.

Notifying the insurance company ensures that you can file a potential claim and receive compensation for any damages or injuries sustained during the accident.

Notify your Insurance Company

Filing Claim After a Truck Accident in Portland

Filing claims after commercial vehicle accidents, including large or semi-truck, in Portland requires carefully gathering evidence, determining the cause of the accident, and identifying the at-fault driver. 

  • Statute of Limitations: In Portland, the Statute of Limitations for filing a truck accident claim is generally two years from the accident date. [2] You must take legal action by initiating the claim within this timeframe or you may not be able to take legal action.

Compensation Options for Truck Accident Victims in Portland

In Portland, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover your losses and damages.

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for past and future medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident, including medical care, surgery, rehabilitation, medications, and therapy may be covered.
  • Lost Wages: This is reimbursement for income lost due to time taken off work for recovery from injuries sustained in the accident, including any reduction in future earning capacity.
  • Property Damage: You can seek compensation for repair or replacement costs for damaged or destroyed property, including vehicles and personal belongings.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages can be recovered for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish experienced as a result of the accident and injuries sustained.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the negative impact the accident and injuries have on the victim’s relationship with their spouse including loss of companionship, support, and intimacy.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases involving extreme negligence or intentional misconduct by the at-fault party, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: In cases where the accident results in the death of a loved one, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional toll of their loss.
Compensation Options for Truck Accident Victims in Portland

Contact Goldberg & Loren’s truck accident attorneys in Portland for hard-hitting legal representation on a contingency basis.


Yes, exchanging information with the other drivers involved in the accident is significant. This should include names, contact information, driver's license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information.

If the police respond to the accident scene, request a copy of the accident report. It usually contains essential details, witness statements, and a preliminary assessment of fault.

It is generally recommended to consult a truck accident lawyer before speaking with the other party's insurance company to protect your interests and ensure you don't inadvertently compromise your legal claim.


[1] 2021 OREGON TRAFFIC CRASH SUMMARY. (n.d.). OREGON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. Retrieved March 3, 2024, from https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Data/Documents/Crash_Summary_2021.pdf

[2] ORS 12.110 – Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract. (n.d.). https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_12.110

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