Tucson 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers
Call (800) 863-5312 to Speak with a Tucson Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
Semi-truck accidents are easily the most harrowing collisions on the highways, as no typical passenger vehicle or pick-up truck is a physical match against a big rig or a commercial container vehicle. Box trucks can be just as dangerous as tractor trailers in certain situations, even though 18-wheelers can jackknife when they go out of control. This is a common occurrence in many truck accident investigations.
There are also many other factors that could cause a trucking accident, and numerous areas must be examined when compiling evidence. However, time is of the essence for injury victims following an 18-wheeler accident, as evidence can evaporate quickly.
Trucking companies step in quickly in an attempt to control the accident investigation from the very beginning. What this means for truck accident victims is that they need an experienced Tucson 18-wheeler accident attorney investigating the collision.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a Tucson trucking accident attorney.
TRUCK ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Trucking is an integral part of the American transportation industry, so you’ve likely encountered and/or shared the road with one of these vehicles at some point in time. 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 Safer America, in 2016, large trucks accounted for 8% of vehicles in fatal accidents. Of these, 71% were semi-trucks.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9% increase from 2016.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, out of the 13,722 accidents involving trucks and buses during 2018:
- 118 accidents were fatal with 21 people killed.
- 3,329 accidents involved injuries with 1,713 people injured.
- 10,275 accidents involved property damage only.
FILING A CLAIM FOR A TUCSON TRUCK ACCIDENT
Dealing with injuries after a trucking accident is hard enough as it is, and figuring out how to file a lawsuit on top of that only makes your recovery more difficult. If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you may want to consider contacting an attorney, who may:
Assist you in determining liability
An experienced lawyer may assist you in determining how much you may be entitled to for your injuries based upon each party’s percentage of fault. A lawyer may also help you determine who or what may be responsible for your injuries.
Assist you in collecting and organizing evidence
An attorney may help you collect as much evidence as possible, which includes: names of witnesses and other parties involved in the accident, medical records and costs of treatment, and any photos of the accident scene.
Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster
A lawyer may understand how much your case is worth and may assist you in conducting negotiations with the insurance company in order to help you seek a fair settlement amount.
WHAT MAKES TRUCKING CASES UNIQUE?
There are many aspects of truck accidents that make your case unique. Here are some important factors you may want to consider:
1. Unique State Federal Laws Regulate Truck Driver Conduct
Truck drivers are regulated by federal and state laws that establish standards that must be followed by all trucking companies and drivers. For example, the State of Arizona has adopted and enforced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which ensures the safe operation of all commercial vehicles and operators within the state.
Under the FMCSA, trucking companies and drivers must follow many laws, including:
Commercial Driver Licenses
If the truck driver involved in your accident did not have the proper license or permit, it may affect your legal case against them and the driver’s employer.
Maximum Weight Permitted
Overloading a truck is dangerous. Determining what the truck was carrying and when it was last weighed could be important factors to consider when evaluating your accident.
Quality of Trucks
Both manufacturing and repairs of commercial trucks are 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.
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 the truck driver, their employer, and/or the company shipping the hazardous material.
Rest for the Driver
The amount of time a driver of a commercial truck is permitted to drive without taking a break is regulated. This is referred to as the “hours of service.”
2. INJURIES IN TRUCK ACCIDENTS TEND TO BE MORE SERVERE
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 & Disfigurement
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
3. DETERMINING LIABILITY OF TRUCKING COMPANIES AND DRIVERS CAN BE COMPLEX
When dealing with truck accidents, there are many parties who may be responsible for a victim’s injuries, including:
The Truck Driver
Truck drivers are usually found to be negligent when they become easily distracted or fatigued. Distracted driving increases the risk of error as the driver’s attention is focused on something other than the road.
The Trucking Company
Companies must regularly check trucks and their loads for potential problems, as well as address any repairs before a truck leaves on a trip, including all accessories and features.
The Manufacturer of The Truck
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 even cause a truck to rollover.
There may be several vendors that take on outsourced work. This may include administrative work, such as recruiting drivers, conducting background checks of drivers, 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 accident, 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 the work they performed created a hazardous road condition or if a work zone was improperly set up and contributed to a crash.
Proving Negligence In Trucking Accidents
After determining the liable parties, you must prove negligence through an insurance claim or through a personal injury suit. A negligence claim involves situations where a person or entity did not act how it should have, and as a result, you have suffered compensable harm. Specifically, the four elements of negligence necessary to prove your claim 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
In order to obtain proof of liability and negligence, your trucking accident attorney will help you compile:
- The police report relating to your accident
- Witness statements
- The driver’s background, such as driver training and driving records
- The truck’s maintenance records
- The driver’s service hours records
- Photos of the scene of the accident, including photos of the damaged vehicles and any injuries you may have sustained
- An expert’s opinion
- The driver’s cell phone records
- The truck’s data recorder, otherwise known as a “black box”
COMPENSATION FOR TUCSON TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages.
The two main types of economic damages are medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital fees
- Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs for possible future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work due to your injuries from the accident. Lost wages may include:
- Vacation time
- Loss of earning capacity
You may also be entitled to compensation for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident. This may include the cost of a rental car while your own vehicle is undergoing repair.
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries that are 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
- A lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
Learn More: How To Calculate The Value of A Case
Contact The Experienced Tucson Truck Accident Lawyers At Zinda Law Group
Never attempt to settle a truck accident claim personally, especially when there are serious or fatal injuries. Not only can wrongful death claims arise from a trucking accident, but in many instances, families of accident victims may also have legal standing for loss of consortium claims. The potential for multiple negligent parties and multiple avenues of financial compensation can make truck accident cases both valuable and complicated, and who you choose for legal counsel matters.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.