Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer
Securing Recovery for Truck Accident Victims
An out of control truck is a site that will strike fear in the hearts of any driver on the road. Because of its size and weight, a commercial truck has the power to cause significant damage to most other vehicles on the road. Commercial trucks can tip the scales at 80,000 pounds or more as compared to a standard sedan which weighs in at 3,000 pounds. In 2017 alone there were 148,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks, including 4,761 fatalities.
If you were injured in a truck accident, it is important to understand what caused the accident. If the negligence of the truck driver, trucking company, or manufacturer contributed caused the accident, they are responsible for your injuries. The Phoenix attorneys at the Suzuki Law Offices have deep experience assisting clients with recovery for injuries sustained in truck accidents. Call us at (602) 842-6762 to request a free consultation.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many things about semi-trucks that increase the likelihood that they will be involved in a serious crash in addition to their size and weight. Common causes of accidents include:
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, making fatigue a concern. Studies have shown that 13% of commercial truck drivers were fatigued at the time of a crash. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued regulations meant to combat driver fatigue, setting daily driving limits and requiring mandatory breaks.
- Distracted Driving: With long stretches of time spent driving, truck drivers are especially prone to distracted driving. Anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road is distracted driving, including texting, managing a GPS system, or eating. More than 70% of commercial truck accidents involve a distracted driver.
- Lack of Driver Training: Truck drivers in Arizona are required to secure a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) which requires a driver to pass a written test and take a road/skills test. Employers may have additional training requirements for drivers. Even with these requirements, many commercial truck drivers are inexperienced and uncomfortable handling stressful situations behind the wheel of a semi-truck.
- Mechanical Failures: Commercial trucks must be well-maintained in compliance with federal regulations and standards. Failure to adhere to these standards can result in blown tires, brake system failures, or other dangerous conditions that could lead to an accident.
In addition to those mentioned above, there are many other federal rules and regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies must adhere to. It is clear that many accidents are caused because of some action or inaction on the part of the truck driver, trucking company, or vehicle manufacturer.
Establishing Fault After a Truck Accident
In order to establish that you deserve recovery after a truck accident, you must be able to demonstrate that the other party acted negligently. Negligence can take many forms and is any action that falls below the normal standard of care required for the circumstance.
Because of the risk associated with semi-trucks, the federal government holds truck drivers and trucking companies to high standards of safety. These standards are documented in regulations, and any failure to satisfy one of these requirements is strong evidence of negligence. After a commercial vehicle accident, the truck driver, trucking company, and manufacturer will all face heightened scrutiny for any negligence that contributed to the crash.
If a truck driver failed to follow any federal or state regulations, this is compelling evidence of negligence. This means that truck drivers must comply with rules that apply to all drivers, such as obeying speed limits and traffic signals. Drivers must also comply with the FMCSA regulations including:
- Securing and maintaining a CDL;
- Complying with limitations on driving hours;
- More strict standards around alcohol consumption; and
- Specific maintenance obligations
If a driver failed to adhere to any requirements, and this failure caused or contributed to the accident, the truck driver is responsible for your injuries.
If the truck driver is employed by a trucking company, they are responsible for the acts of their employees. Additionally, the trucking company is responsible for establishing and enforcing compliant policies around driving hours, drug testing, and maintenance. The trucking company may not be responsible, however, if the employer was not acting in the normal course of their job obligations when the accident occurred.
It is often preferable to pursue recovery from the trucking company as they have more comprehensive insurance policies and resources for paying out any recovery.
Commercial trucks are large and complicated vehicles, and the proper functioning is essential to their safety. Vehicle manufacturers are required to perform appropriate testing of any vehicle and to manufacture the vehicle to comply with safety standards. If a vehicle failure caused the accident, the manufacturer may be responsible. Determining whether a vehicle malfunctioned often requires input from experts which an attorney can help coordinate.
Establishing which party is responsible and compiling supporting evidence is a complicated and important aspect of any lawsuit after a truck accident. An attorney can work with you to understand the strength of your case, gather evidence to support an allegation of negligence, prepare a damages claim, consider any settlement offers, and bring a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Contact Our Firm Today
The lawyers of the Suzuki Law Offices are available 24/7 to support truck accident victims in Phoenix, AZ and surrounding areas. Our team is staffed with experienced attorneys who are dedicated to advocating for their client’s recovery. Our team offers in-house private investigators, lawyers fluent in both English and Spanish, and a history of success including recovery of millions of dollars for our clients.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious trucking accident, it is important to understand that you have rights. With the help of a Phoenix truck accident attorney from Suzuki Law Offices, you can seek justice for the losses you have suffered.
Contact our firm today at (602) 962-2017 for a free consultation about your case.