Tucson Truck Accident Lawyers
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Because an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a wreck involving a semi-truck can cause devastating injuries and property damage. Victims are often left with not only severe physical pain but also financial and emotional burdens that may take years to overcome.
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler wreck, you need a legal team with the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to pursue maximum compensation for your losses. At Zinda Law Group, our Tucson truck accident lawyers have helped thousands of accident victims get their lives back on track after an injury, and we can help you seek damages for medical bills, lost income, property damage, and more.
YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION
Following a truck accident, there are several steps to be aware of so that you ensure your health is taken care of and also so that you understand and protect your legal position and case should you decide to pursue compensation.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Tucson
1. Seek Medical Attention
It is important to seek medical attention after an injury. Your health is your number one priority. Furthermore, your medical records will be key documents if you seek to file a claim.
2. Report the Accident
Call the police immediately after the accident. The police officer will make a report of the accident, which will be an important document if you decide to file a claim or settle.
3. Document the Accident
If you are able, take photographs to document your accident. Take photographs of your injuries, the vehicles involved in the accident, and the scene of the accident. It will also be useful to have details of the person at fault for the accident, their insurance information and contact details.
4. Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
A semi-truck accident attorney can provide you invaluable advice or help you avoid pitfalls in the settlement process. It is highly recommended that you contact an attorney after a truck accident.
How to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
If you believe you have a strong case and want to pursue compensation, filing a lawsuit may mean you will be better off in the long run. The below steps outline what you need to to to file a lawsuit in Tucson:
1. Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
Deciding to file a truck accident lawsuit on your own can be a daunting task. Because a truck accident involves not only the drivers but also the trucking company as well, the litigation can become extremely complex. A lawyer can guide and assist you in the process.
In the investigative stage, your lawyer will collect all of the relevant documents and evidence necessary to file a claim. These include medical bills, witness statements, official reports, employment reports, etc. Your lawyer will then use this information to build the strongest case possible for you.
3. Case Settlement
There will generally be a discussion for settlement before any lawsuit is filed. Once the insurance company sends you an offer, be sure to discuss the offer with your lawyer. Do not simply accept the offer as your lawyer may able to negotiate with the insurance company to seek a better offer.
Who is liable?
As the person most directly involved in the accident, a claim against the truck driver may be the way forward, however, there are times when another party might be at fault:
The Trucking Company
If actions by the trucking company contributed to the accident, a claim against the company may be brought forward.
The truck manufacturer may also be sued if you can show that there were defects in the truck, and the manufacturer is responsible for those defects.
Proving Truck Driver Negligence
To have a successful negligence claim against a truck driver, you must show the following:
You need to first show that the truck driver owed you a duty. Though truck drivers have many duties, they have a fundamental duty to drive safely, not recklessly.
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty simply means that the truck driver violated a duty owed to you. For instance, because a driver owes you a duty to not engage in reckless driving if he or she decides to drive under the influence, then he or she would breach the duty to not engage in reckless driving.
You must suffer an injury on your person if you wish to seek injury compensation.
To show proximate cause, you must be able to prove that the breach of duty caused your injury. So using the example given above, you would have to prove that the accident that led to your injury occurred because the truck driver was driving under the influence.
Accident compensation is essentially money given to compensate you for your losses. Compensation is provided for economic losses and non-economic losses.
Economic losses include the following:
– medical bills
– lost wages
– damaged property
– loss of earning capacity
Non-economic losses include the following:
– emotional anguish
– loss of enjoyment of activities
A lawyer may be able to help you better value your case. Remember that an insurance company may want to settle for as little as possible and as quickly as possible. This may mean that they may not do as thorough an investigation as your lawyer would. This can mean that your lawyer’s investigations may uncover aspects of compensation that the insurance company may miss – which could lead to an increase settlement figure. Speak with an attorney today for more information.
How long do I have to file a claim in Tucson?
In Arizona, there is a legal time limit on how long you have to make a claim after an accident. This time limit is called the ‘Statute of Limitations’. In Tucson, you have two years from the date of injury to file a claim. If you are filing a wrongful death claim, you have two years from the date of the death to file a claim.
If you are filing on behalf of a child, however, you have until he or she reaches the age of eighteen to file a claim. Once your child reaches the age of eighteen, he or she has two years to file a claim. For instance, if your child was eleven when he or she received the injury, you and your child will have nine years to file a claim.
Types of Truck and 18-Wheeler Incidents
With so many commercial vehicles on the road, an informed driver should be aware of the various types of trucking accidents that occur on Tucson roadways. Below are some of the types of incidents that are particular to commercial vehicles. If one of these happened to you or a loved one, you could be entitled to compensation.
Truck drivers have a strict schedule. Because of this, drivers who may feel like they are behind schedule sometimes drive faster than they should. Unfortunately, speeding increases the risk of an accident. We know that even a regular passenger vehicle driving at high speeds can cause chaos. An 18-wheeler driving at high speeds can only cause an accident many times worse. Where it can be proven that the driver was speeding, then negligence may be established, and a claim for compensation may be brought against the driver.
Accidents caused by Fatigue
Though many people believe that they can function perfectly without the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, research has shown otherwise. Unfortunately, truckers do not always adhere to the recommended hours of sleep. Because truckers are often paid by the mile, there is an incentive for them to drive more to earn more. However, when truckers sacrifice their sleep for money, they become far more prone to causing an accident on the road.
This type of truck accident occurs when the trailer on a big rig skids into a right angle with the cab. This is commonly caused by improper braking by the operator or slick road conditions. In a jackknife, the trailer swings across lanes of traffic, which can sweep any vehicle within range into the moving truck wreck.
Any defect in the highly technical systems that maintain a truck on the road can lead to the driver’s loss of control. A manufacturing defect or failure to properly maintain the equipment can make other parties, like the driver’s employer or the truck’s manufacturer, responsible for damages caused by a truck wreck.
Tractor-trailers are especially prone to roll over because of their high center of gravity. So while most passenger vehicles may slide in a turn or collision, a semi-truck is more likely to roll, which is vastly more dangerous for both the occupants of the cab and other motorists.
These types of accidents occur when a passenger vehicle collides with the side or rear of the trailer of a big rig. As the vehicle slides under the rig, the top of the car is shaved off. Fatalities are unfortunately common with these types of collisions.
The “no-zone” is a designation for the blind spots on 18-wheelers given by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Because of the much larger size of semi-trucks, four “no-zones” surround a semi truck: both sides, the front, and the rear. Vehicles in these four areas surrounding the motor carrier are virtually impossible for the truck operator to see.
Highway hypnosis, which is also known as white line fever, occurs when an individual drives a long distance for a long period. When it occurs, the individual no longer concentrates on the driving but on other thoughts. While preoccupied with other thoughts, the individual appears to be a trancelike state. Obviously, truck drivers are very susceptible to highway hypnosis as they drive for extremely long stretches of time on a road without much variety.
Truck and 18-Wheeler Regulations
There are many regulations for these types of commercial trucks and their drivers. To understand the causes of a truck accident, it is important to have a deep understanding of trucking laws. Without a knowledgeable Tucson trucking accident attorney, you will be at a disadvantage attempting to get the compensation you deserve.
One federal regulation regards the amount of driving hours versus rest hours that are required for truck drivers. Also, there is a limit on the maximum number of hours they can drive per week. Drivers are required to keep logs of their driving and rest hours as well. Often, a lack of sleep and driver fatigue is the cause of an accident. This is an area a Tucson truck attorney will look at when investigating the traffic accident.
There are also regulations on how different items are to be transported and secured in the truck. Items can fall off the truck if the load was not secured properly. Likewise, improper loading can lead to unbalanced weight distribution in the truck. An 18-wheeler can also have problems because maintenance was not done on schedule. In order to save on expenses, a truck owner or truck company may push the usage of the tires beyond the limit set by the tire manufacturer, which can lead to a blowout. A truck accident attorney with experience will know which areas of 18-wheeler maintenance are most likely to be neglected.
If a truck driver is working for a company, there are additional issues that must be looked at. A trucking firm is not only responsible for their drivers when they are on the road but also for their training. If a trucking company has not been providing the proper training, a driver could easily get into an accident. In this situation, the trucking firm may be responsible for the damages.
Get Help from a Tucson Trucking Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured by a semi-truck on Arizona roadways, call the Tucson truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group. We will fight for your rights and provide aggressive representation against the trucking and insurance companies. Given the substantial injuries that can be inflicted by these giant vehicles and the complexity of these cases, getting help from an experienced truck accident attorney from Zinda Law Group of Tucson may help ensure the best outcome for your case. Our firm has the resources to perform a thorough investigation and seek to hold the parties responsible for the injuries caused by their negligence.
Call (800) 863-5312 to get your 100% free consultation with a Tucson trucking accident lawyer today. You can review the details of your accident with our knowledgeable attorneys who can help determine if you have a case and what the best course of action may be. As one of our clients, you will pay absolutely nothing unless we are able to win your trucking accident case. Call today to get started!
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