Arizona Truck Accident Lawyers
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If a truck driver fails to take proper care to avoid accidents, these large vehicles may cause devastating consequences for occupants of smaller passenger vehicles unable to withstand the size and force of the truck. A truck accident can leave you with serious or life-threatening injuries and mounting bills.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident in Arizona, you should contact the experienced Arizona truck accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation to explore your options. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
TRUCK ACCIDENT STATISTICS
In Arizona, over 12,000 accidents involving trucks occurred in 2019. More than 3,000 of these crashes resulted in injuries, while 92 were fatal. The number of crashes reported in Arizona has risen over the past few years as well. Indeed, Interstate 10 from Phoenix to California is one of the deadliest roadways in the United States, along with Interstate 19 from Tucson to the Mexico border. Nationally, truck accidents have risen sharply since 2009, with the number of accidents increasing by 45% between 2009 and 2018. Most of these accidents occur in rural areas and on interstate highways.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
First, drivers should pay attention to the highway as well as nearby vehicles while driving. It should go without saying, but drivers who use mobile devices, eating, adjusting the radio, or engaging in other distracting activities may not pay proper attention to the road. Truck drivers must take special care to avoid any distractions to protect other vehicles from the deadly consequences of a trucking accident.
Next, drivers who do not get the proper amount of rest may become tired, drowsy, or even fall asleep while driving. This sometimes causes accidents, as a distracted driver may be unable to pay proper attention to the road. Trucking companies seek to ship their goods to their destination as fast as possible, and this urgency often pressures drivers to forego sleep and rest to make their delivery on time. Many regulations, such as “hours-of-service” rules, require drivers to rest for set amounts of time, and drivers who fail to follow these guidelines may be more likely to cause a serious accident.
Driving While Intoxicated
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, but it is also extremely dangerous. Drivers under the influence risk impaired judgment, altered perception, and may not be capable of safely driving their vehicle. An intoxicated driver may be unable to properly control a large commercial truck, creating a dangerous threat to other drivers on the road.
Improper Braking Techniques
Large trucks are much larger and heavier than other vehicles, and due to their size and weight, special care must be taken when braking. Improper application of brakes by a truck can result in the driver losing control or suffering brake failure.
If cargo is improperly loaded, it shifts during transit. Shifting cargo can cause a driver to lose control of the truck, which may result in an accident.
Trucking companies must ensure that parts and equipment, such as the brakes, are properly maintained. If not, these parts may fail, which may cause an accident. However, even properly maintained vehicles may suffer an equipment malfunction or failure due to faulty parts.
As with any vehicle, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and changing lanes erratically increases the likelihood of accidents. However, truck drivers must take extra caution, as their vehicles are less maneuverable and take longer to come to a stop in normal circumstances.
Read More: Speeding Accidents
WHO MAY BE LIABLE?
In many trucking accidents, the driver may often be liable. If a truck driver drives negligently and causes an accident, the truck driver may be liable for any injuries or damage caused by the collision.
Trucking companies must ensure their drivers are properly trained and take rest when needed. They should also provide proper maintenance for their vehicles to help prevent an equipment malfunction. Further, trucking companies must avoid improperly urging drivers to violate safety regulations in an effort to maintain tight shipping schedules. Trucking companies that fail to take the proper precautions risk liability in the event of an accident.
If a truck is improperly loaded, causing an accident, the company responsible for loading the truck may be liable for any injuries or damages.
Equipment or Parts Manufacturer
Finally, If the truck accident was caused by a faulty piece of equipment, the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT
1. Seek Medical Attention
First, seek medical attention after an accident. Ensure any injuries you and any passengers sustained are properly diagnosed and treated. Even if you do not think you have been injured, you should be examined by a physician, as some injuries may not be obvious, such as internal injuries, and these injuries may be serious and even fatal if left untreated.
2. Report the Accident
Next, report the accident to the proper authorities, such as police, sheriff, or highway patrol. Once you have reported the accident, an officer may be dispatched to the accident to complete an accident report and gather statements and information from both drivers. The accident report may contain details about the vehicles and people involved in the accident, as well as details concerning the nature of the accident.
3. Document Evidence
Document as much evidence as you can. If possible, take photos of any injuries you may have sustained, as well as pictures of the vehicles involved. You should try to get multiple angles of the surrounding area, as it may help provide information about the nature of the accident. You should also collect the contact information of potential witnesses. Finally, keep any medical bills or records related to the accident because you will likely need them later.
4. Contact an Attorney
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you should contact a semi truck accident lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible. Insurers tend to settle for as little as possible and have lawyers dedicated to this purpose. A truck accident lawyer in Arizona may be able to help you level this playing field, as they are familiar with the complexities surrounding such claims.
Importantly, contact an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. If your attorney is able to examine the evidence while it is still fresh and readily available, this may help them to build a stronger case to support your claim, as well as ensure legal time limits are met.
To successfully seek compensation, you must generally prove the other party is liable for your injuries and damages. Four elements must typically be proven to establish liability:
1. Duty of Care
First, negligence claims typically require that you prove the at-fault party owed you a duty of care. A duty of care is an obligation that another party has towards you to take certain precautions to prevent an accident.
2. Breach of Duty
Next, it must be proven that this duty of care was breached. A breach of a duty of care occurs if the at-fault party failed to take the obligatory precautions.
Even if it can be proven that the other party breached a duty of care to you, the breach must have been the proximate cause of the accident. In other words, if the at-fault party had not failed to take certain precautions, the accident would not have occurred.
Finally, it must be proven that the accident actually resulted in injuries or damages to you. In wrongful death cases, this element is typically satisfied by showing that the victim was killed in the accident.
In Arizona, you may be able to seek compensation for financial damages as well as non-economic damages. As each case involves a unique set of circumstances and details, the amount of compensation provided by a truck accident settlement in Arizona varies.
You may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses arising from injuries suffered in the accident, including doctors’ visits, diagnosis and treatment of injuries, medications, hospital stays, and therapy.
You may also be entitled to compensation for damage sustained to your vehicle as a result of the accident. This may cover the cost to repair your vehicle, or if repair is not possible, you may be able to seek compensation in the amount of the fair market value of the vehicle.
Lost Income and Loss of Potential Income
If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may be able to seek compensation for these lost wages. If your injuries make it so that you are no longer able to perform your job duties, you may be able to seek compensation for this loss of future income as well.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for the physical and emotional pain caused by injuries suffered in a truck accident may also be sought. The severity of your injuries and their impact upon your quality of life will factor into the amount of compensation that you may be entitled to for pain and suffering.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
In Arizona, you have two years from the date of the accident within which to file a personal injury claim. Consult an 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Arizona as soon as possible after your accident to ensure you are able to meet this deadline.
GET HELP FROM A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER IN ARIZONA TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our truck accident attorneys in Arizona may help you pursue your claim. Our attorneys have years of experience helping our clients pursue maximum compensation after they or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident. Our Arizona attorneys practice in Phoenix, Tucson, and all across the state.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.