Truck accidents are easily the most severe collisions on the highways, given the size, weight, and force of commercial trucks. When a large truck collides with a smaller vehicle or a pedestrian, the consequences can be devastating.
Victims often experience more severe injuries and damages after collisions with large commercial vehicles. However, a truck accident lawyer in Tucson can help you recover.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, call Zinda Law Group for a free consultation. Out Tucson personal injury lawyers will review your case and explain your legal rights.
How a Lawyer Can Help With Your Truck Accident Claim
Dealing with injuries after any auto accident is hard enough; figuring out how to file a lawsuit and the potential involvement of trucking companies adds further stress to an already tense situation.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking crash, consider contacting an attorney who will guide you through the financial recovery process.
An experienced lawyer may assist you in determining how much you may be entitled to for your injuries based on each party’s percentage of fault. They may also help you determine who may be responsible for your injuries.
Collect and Organize Evidence
Time is of the essence for injury victims following a truck crash, as evidence can deteriorate quickly. An attorney will help you collect as much evidence as possible, which includes:
- Names of witnesses and other parties involved in the collision
- Medical records
- Costs of treatment
- Photos of the accident scene
By organizing and presenting the available evidence effectively, our lawyers can strengthen your case and increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement With the Insurance Company
A lawyer will understand how much your case is worth and assist you in negotiations with the insurance company to help you seek a fair settlement amount.
Insurance companies function like businesses; they are driven by profit. Thus, the insurance agents will try to offer you as little money as possible. However, your attorney will protect your interests and ensure the insurance company will not exploit your vulnerable position.
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Identifying the Liable Party for a Tucson Truck Accident
When a truck accident occurs in Tucson, it can be difficult to determine who is liable for the damages. However, an experienced attorney can help investigate the crash and identify the liable party. This is important because it can determine who is responsible for covering the accident-related expenses.
When dealing with a truck crash, many parties may be responsible for a victim’s injuries, including:
The Truck Driver
Drivers who fail to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicles can be held responsible for a crash. If the truck driver engaged in any of the following driving behaviors, they may be liable:
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
The Trucking Company
Companies must regularly check trucks and their loads for potential problems and address any repairs before a truck leaves on a trip, including all accessories and features.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
Both manufacturing and repairs of commercial trucks are government regulated to ensure quality control. If there was a defect in the truck involved in your accident, then you may have a claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or the truck’s mechanic.
The Person or Entity Responsible for Loading The Truck
Truck operators and cargo loading teams must follow industry regulations concerning the weight, size, length, height, and width limits of each truckload. If a shipment was not fully inspected, a heavy load could fall onto passing vehicles or cause a truck to roll over.
There may be several vendors that take on outsourced work. This may include administrative work, such as recruiting drivers, conducting background checks of employees, and conducting alcohol and drug tests.
Essentially, any third-party vendor associated with the trucking company may be responsible if their negligence contributes to a truck accident.
Government Agencies and Contractors
If a roadway hazard, such as broken pavement, contributes to a truck crash, the local or state government responsible for maintaining that stretch of road may be responsible.
A negligent maintenance contractor hired by the government may also be responsible if their work created a hazardous road condition or if a work zone was improperly set up and contributed to a collision.
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Proving Negligence in Trucking Accidents
After determining the liable parties, you must prove negligence through an insurance claim or a personal injury suit. A negligence claim involves situations where a person or entity did not act how they should have, and as a result, you have suffered compensable harm.
Specifically, the four main elements of negligence necessary to prove are:
- The other party had a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person
- The other party breached this duty of care
- The other party’s breach caused your injuries
- You have suffered injuries that may be compensated by the other party
To obtain proof of liability and negligence, your trucking accident attorney from Zinda Law Group will rely on:
- The police report relating to your accident
- The driver’s background, such as driver training and driving records
- The truck’s maintenance records
- The driver’s service hours records
- An expert’s opinion
- The driver’s cell phone records
- The truck’s data recorder, otherwise known as a “black box”
Available Compensation for Tucson Truck Accidents
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages. These are also known as compensatory damages, which aim to reimburse victims for accident-related expenses.
Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses suffered by the injured party. They can encompass various elements, with medical expenses and lost wages being the primary types of economic damages.
Medical expenses may encompass costs such as:
- Ambulance transportation
- Physical therapy
- Future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work due to your injuries from the accident. These may include:
- Vacation time
- Lost earning capacity
You may also be entitled to compensation for repairing or replacing your vehicle after an accident. This may include the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is undergoing repair.
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries suffered by an accident victim but are not defined in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
- Mental anguish
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you may file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. These damages recognize the immeasurable grief and emotional suffering experienced by the family due to the untimely loss.
Our compassionate Tucson wrongful death lawyers can help you recover wrongful death damages, including:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical bills before the victim’s death
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of consortium
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Unique State Federal Laws Regulate Truck Driver Conduct
Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow federal and state laws that establish strict safety standards.
For example, the State of Arizona enforces the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These aim to ensure the safe operation of all commercial vehicles within the state.
Under the FMCSA, trucking companies and drivers must follow several laws, including:
Commercial Driver Licenses
Licensing and permitting requirements are in place to ensure that drivers possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and qualifications to operate large trucks safely. If the truck driver involved in your accident did not have the proper license or permit, it may affect your case against them.
Maximum Weight Permitted
Overloading a truck is dangerous. Determining what the vehicle was carrying and when it was last weighed could be important factors to consider when evaluating the crash.
Both manufacturing and repairs of commercial trucks are regulated to ensure quality control. If there was a defect in the vehicle involved in your accident, you may have a claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or the truck’s mechanic.
Regulating Hazardous Waste
The FMCSA has developed safety regulations for transporting hazardous materials. If you have been injured by a truck driver who did not follow those guidelines, you may have a claim against them, their employer, or the company loading the hazardous material.
Hours of Service
The amount of time a commercial truck driver is permitted to drive without taking a break is regulated. This is referred to as the “hours of service.” These regulations are implemented to prevent driver fatigue, which is a leading cause of collisions.
By enforcing these regulations, authorities aim to enhance road safety by reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by exhausted truck drivers. Violations of HOS regulations can have legal consequences and may be used as evidence of negligence if an accident occurs.
Common Injuries Suffered by Truck Accident Victims
The speed and size of semi-trucks often make injuries from accidents more severe than the average car crash. Victims who survive these accidents may suffer devastating and debilitating injuries, including:
- Head and brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Arizona Truck Accident Statistics
Trucking is an integral part of the American transportation industry, so you’ve likely encountered these vehicles at some point. However, while American industries rely on these vehicles to transport goods, it’s important to be aware of the dangers they may pose on the road.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2020, 4,998 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 5% decrease from 2019. Furthermore, between 2019 and 2020, there was a 3% decrease in fatal collisions involving large vehicles.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, out of the 14,225 accidents involving trucks and buses during 2020:
- 119 accidents were fatal, with 21 people killed.
- 3,317 accidents involved injuries, with 1,454 people injured.
- 10,789 accidents involved property damage only.
Contact the Experienced Tucson Truck Accident Lawyers at Zinda Law Group
Never attempt to settle a truck accident claim alone, especially after suffering serious injuries. The potential for multiple negligent parties and multiple avenues of financial compensation can make truck accident cases complicated; who you choose for legal counsel matters.
Call Zinda Law Group today for a free consultation with one of our Tucson truck accident lawyers.
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AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO