Oak Harbor Freight Lines is one of the oldest trucking companies in the Pacific Northwest. Established in 1915, they transport a wide variety of products, including motor vehicles, mobile homes, chemicals, oilfield equipment, and more.
However, the company has been involved in crashes in recent years, some of which have been fatal. Accidents with big trucks are some of the most devastating and confusing for victims. If you or someone you love was harmed in a crash involving an Oak Harbor Freight Lines truck, you should understand your legal options and what to do next.
Oak Harbor Freight Lines Has a History of Dangerous Behavior
Oak Harbor Freight Lines has a fleet of roughly 500 trucks and 1,900 trailers. While the company maintains its reputation as an established freight company operating across the West Coast and county, Oak Harbor Freight is not without accidents.
Between 2018 and 2020, crashes involving Oak Harbor Freight Lines trucks injured nine people and killed two. In addition, Oak Harbor Freight Lines has a history of prioritizing delivery over safety. In 2010, they fired a driver who called in sick, citing poor attendance. The driver was ill and taking a prescribed narcotic cough syrup, which would have compromised their ability to drive safely.
During a whistleblower investigation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found Oak Harbor Freight Lines in violation of the driver’s right to refuse an assignment. The agency ordered the company to pay the driver’s lost wages and remove the incident from the driver’s permanent record.
Hurt in a Big Truck Wreck? Here’s How Liability Works
Truck accidents are incredibly complicated. Commercial trucks are massive vehicles that haul heavy cargo over thousands of miles. The drivers of these trucks often drive many hours without a break, sometimes in violation of federal regulations.
When a tractor-trailer or other large truck crashes, the wreck often results from more than one factor. Common factors that contribute to crashes include:
- Driver inattentiveness, distraction, or fatigue
- Intoxication from alcohol or drugs
- Improper or insufficient driver training
- Cargo that’s loaded in an unsafe manner
- Defective truck parts
- Poor maintenance of critical truck parts such as braking systems
Once you understand the exact causes of the accident, you can begin to hold the negligent parties accountable. However, it can be difficult or even impossible to identify every contributing factor to the crash without the help of an experienced attorney. Determining liability in truck wreck cases often requires in-depth industry knowledge and the resources to go head-to-head with the trucking company and their insurance carrier.
Insurance companies are notorious for denying innocent victims the financial compensation they deserve. An insurance adjuster may pressure you into accepting a settlement that’s not sufficient, or they may use other underhanded tactics to try to avoid paying you for your injuries and losses.
However, when you work with an experienced truck accident attorney, they should be able to compile your medical bills and secure expert testimony that establishes the extent of your losses and disabilities due to the wreck. If the insurance company refuses to offer you fair compensation, your attorney can fight back with evidence and perform a thorough investigation to prove how the truck company’s negligent behavior caused your injuries.
Injured in a Truck Crash in Washington? Call Seattle Truck Law
If you or someone you love is suffering after a truck crash that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for expensive medical bills and damaged property.
At Seattle Truck Law, we help recover compensation for victims who suffer when negligent trucking companies cause devastating crashes. Our founding attorney Morgan Adams is board certified in truck accident law, and every lawyer in our office has driven a tractor-trailer. We know the trucking industry on a level that very few law firms in the country can match.
To learn more about your options after a crash, get in touch with us today. We can speak with you in a confidential, no-risk initial consultation. During your consultation, we’ll listen to your story, answer questions about your case, and offer advice about what to do next.
Company Snapshot: Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. (2020, July 13). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/query.asp?searchtype=ANY&query_type=queryCarrierSnapshot&query_param=USDOT&original_query_param=NAME&query_string=8314&original_query_string=OAK%20HARBOR%20FREIGHT%20LINES%20INC
Magoci, J. (2017, January 6). Top 10 Trucking Companies in Washington. Fueloyal. Retrieved from: https://www.fueloyal.com/top-10-trucking-companies-in-washington/2/
Smith, S. (2014, January 3). Carrier in Hot Water for Firing Driver Who Refused to Drive While Taking RX Narcotic. CDL Life. Retrieved from https://cdllife.com/2014/carrier-hot-water-firing-driver-refused-drive-taking-rx-narcotic/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.