Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck Accidents FAQs
Truck Accident Injuries In Phoenix
Have you been injured in a truck accident? Are you now facing medical bills, lost wages, disability, or other issues, injuries or damages? If you were a passenger or driver in an accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle, you need an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer to represent your interests. The Lebovitz Law Group specializes in helping people just like you.
What You Should Know About Accidents Involving Trucks and Other Commercial Vehicles
Most people think all accidents that take place on the road or highway are essentially the same whether they involve a motorcycle, car(s), or an 18-wheeler. This is NOT the case. When commercial vehicles are involved in a collision, the entire nature of the accident is different. Not only can these trucks inflict an incredible amount of damage, but truck drivers are subject to different rules and regulations than the average driver.
Determining the cause(s) of the accident, establishing negligence and liability, and providing proof of fault are often very different for truck accidents than for standard car crashes.
Quick Facts about Truck Accidents
- Thousands of truck accidents occur each year in Arizona, resulting in thousands of injuries and causing untold levels of physical and emotional damage.
- Large trucks make up a small percentage of the vehicles on the road but are involved in a significantly larger percentage of crashes.
- There is no such thing as a minor “fender-bender” when your vehicle is struck by an 80,000-pound commercial truck. The extent of injury and property damage is often proportional to the large size of these vehicles.
- People whose vehicles or property are struck by large trucks are 4-5 times more likely to be injured or killed in the accident than the driver of the truck.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Driver error is the leading cause of truck accidents. Driver error can occur in many ways.
- Lack of training, carelessness, and driver fatigue are major contributing factors in many truck crashes.
- Many truckers regularly ignore speed limits in an effort to increase the number of loads they haul and to shorten their delivery time.
- Blind spots increase with vehicle size, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
- Drivers may fail to account for hazardous weather conditions and the limitations they place on their trucks; truck braking and control are more affected by weather than a standard vehicle.
- There may be further violations of traffic laws.
Federal law requires truck drivers to properly maintain their vehicles and equipment, but many drivers ignore these regulations, leading to equipment failure that my cause an accident.
Truckloads have a significant effect on the operation of the vehicle.
- Overloading can place stress on tires and brakes, leading to more dangerous conditions while driving. Rollovers can also occur from a heavier load than the truck is meant to bear.
- Improperly secured loads can become detached during truck operation and fall off into the roadway, causing traffic accidents.
Trucking companies have an obligation to the public, including you, to make sure that their drivers are properly trained and licensed. Their failure to do so can establish negligence, and therefore liability.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Were the rules and regulations followed?
There are a host of Arizona and federal regulations that govern the operation of large trucks. Locating violations of applicable regulations can often mean the difference when establishing liability on the part of the driver and his/her company. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict guidelines that determine how long truckers may stay behind the wheel. Your injury may be a direct result of the driver’s failure to adhere to these rules or others.
Proving a violation of the FMCSA’s hours of service rules may involve an examination not only of gas and toll receipts (to show at what times the rig was present at a particular location), but also cell phone records, logs, bills of lading (which show the times and locations of the pickup and drop off of the truck’s loads), accident reports, onboard systems with GPS capabilities, alcohol and drug tests, and other data. This requires investigation by a knowledgeable attorney who knows what to look for and where to look for it.
Finding the accountable party.
Others besides the driver and his/her company may be at fault. It is not unusual for accidents to occur because of the manner in which the truck’s cargo was placed and secured in/on the truck. Overloading an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicles can cause it to overturn or be operated in an unsafe manner. It is possible for a truck driver to have driven perfectly safe and yet still cause an accident because of cargo issues; negligence in loading cargo that can support a verdict of liability in your case.
Numerous aspects of truck accidents, and other commercial vehicle accidents make your case unique. It is essential to find an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer who understands the special issues that arise when you suffer personal injuries in a collision with a large truck.
Truck Accident FAQs
How soon after a truck accident should I file a claim?
The sooner you consult with an experienced Phoenix truck accident attorney, the better. Evidence needed to build your case is more likely to be available soon after the accident, and witness statements should be taken while the facts and circumstances are still fresh in their minds.
How do large truck accident claims differ from car accident claims?
Fatalities and serious injuries are often more serious in accidents involving large commercial trucks. The stakes are therefore generally higher in the insurance claims and the lawsuits that result from a truck accident. Unlike passenger vehicles, commercial trucking is under strict federal regulation. Additionally, while the driver-at-fault is usually the only liable party in a car accident, there may be several parties subject to liability in a commercial truck accident.
Who is liable for injuries in a commercial truck accident?
Each case is different. It is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck. Potentially liable parties may include the:
- Truck driver;
- Trucking company;
- A company that owns or leases the trailer;
- Shipping company;
- Truck manufacturer;
- Truck repair shop; and
- Parties responsible for road maintenance.
In what ways do commercial motor vehicle drivers cause accidents?
Commercial truck drivers may not have enough training in driving skills or safety. They are often motivated by compensation systems that reward longer driving hours and faster speeds. Drivers may also be under pressure from the company to meet an unrealistic schedule, resulting in driver fatigue. According to a study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a number of factors, including the following, contribute to accidents involving large commercial trucks:
- Traveling too fast for conditions;
- Cargo shifts;
- Driver loss of control; and
- Poor road conditions.
How much will it cost me to hire a personal injury attorney for my truck accident case?
Attorney fees for a truck accident injury case are typically paid for on a contingency fee basis. You pay nothing up front, and the attorney is paid a percentage of any settlement you receive. For more information about truck accidents or to schedule a free case evaluation, call Lebovitz Law Group now at 602-975-5550.
Call the Lebovitz Law Group at 602-975-5550
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