A truck driver from California died last week in an Oregon truck accident on I-84 near Rufus, east of Portland, according to The Oregonian.
The victim, identified by police as Lino Domingo Lopez-Hernandez, died as a result of an unusual chain of events that began with a blowout on his own vehicle. Sorting out any resulting Oregon personal injury or wrongful death claims that may eventually arise from the accident is likely to be a complex business.
According to the newspaper, the accident began to unfold shortly after midnight last Thursday as Lopez-Hernandez was driving his big-rig west on I-84. The truck lost two tires and an axel for reasons that remain unclear. Lopez-Hernandez immediately pulled over. He was walking along the side of the road looking for the missing pieces of his truck when a pick-up, also traveling in the westbound lane, hit the truck debris, hurling it into Lopez-Hernandez. “The flying debris sent him over a guardrail and about 200 feet down an embankment, where authorities found his body,” The Oregonian reports.
The potential legal issues raised by this tragedy are legion. Could the driver of the pick-up reasonably have avoided the debris? Was Lopez-Hernandez searching for the lost pieces of his truck in a reasonably safe way? Was the truck itself defective or improperly maintained – a fact that, if it were proven to be true, could leave the truck’s manufacturer or owner subject to an Oregon industrial accident claim (exactly who might be liable would depend on who owned and serviced the truck and their legal relationship to the victim).
In cases like this, it is the role of a Portland truck crash lawyer to sort through exactly these sort of complex issues, helping victims and their families achieve the justice they deserve. Our legal system can be confusing for outsiders, but that does not mean that victims should surrender their rights. An Oregon personal injury attorney can act as both our advocate and your guide through every level of our court system.
The Oregonian: Police identify California trucker killed on I-84 near Rufus
Salem Statesman-Journal: 1 dead in early morning crash on I-84