Truck Accident Liability - Phoenix, AZ
Were you hurt in a commercial truck accident in Phoenix, Arizona? Are you struggling to pay the bills while you’re unable to work? Depending on what happened, a truck accident injury claim could provide you with the money you need to pay for your medical bills, cover your lost wages, and compensate you for the pain and trauma you suffered.
You must prove that another party is liable, or legally responsible, for your injuries and losses to win a truck accident claim. A Phoenix truck accident lawyer from Swenson & Shelley can build a strong case and collect valuable evidence to prove liability and maximize the value of your settlement. Learn more by contacting us for a free consultation today.
Truck Accidents in Phoenix: Causes and Consequences
Thousands of accidents involving trucks occur throughout Arizona every year. In Phoenix, a metro region of nearly five million people where highways like I-10, I-17, and U.S. 60 cross paths, some of the top causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers who get distracted by their cell phones, GPS readouts, or other electronic devices can cause serious collisions due to inattention.
- Driver fatigue – Long hours on the road can lead to driver fatigue, with one study indicating as many as 13 percent of commercial truck drivers involved in accidents were overtired at the time of their crashes.
- Driving under the influence – Some truck drivers abuse drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress of the job, which significantly increases crash risk.
- Reckless or aggressive driving – Truckers who speed, tailgate, make unsafe lane changes, or commit other traffic offenses can be held liable for any accidents their negligence causes.
- Lack of maintenance – Accidents can happen when trucking companies or drivers fail to inspect, maintain, and repair trucks while they are in service.
- Defective parts – Vehicle manufacturers that produce low-quality or defective vehicle components can be held responsible if an equipment failure results in a truck accident.
- Improper cargo loading – Freight can shift during transport if a cargo team fails to load a truck correctly, destabilizing the vehicle’s center of gravity and potentially causing a jackknife accident or rollover.
- Poor road conditions – Inclement weather, missing road signs, and other bad road conditions make driving more difficult and increase the risk of accidents.
Many truck accident victims sustain life-threatening injuries leading to tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills and other losses. No one should have to pay the costs of an accident that was not their fault. An experienced truck accident attorney can evaluate victims’ losses and help them pursue full and fair compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Who is Liable for Truck Accidents in Arizona?
When someone is liable in a semi-truck accident case, it means they are legally responsible for the injuries and losses stemming from the wreck. A liable party is someone who contributed to the accident in some way and, as a result, must compensate the injured party for their losses.
In Arizona, any one or several of the following parties could be liable for a truck accident:
- The truck driver – The driver may be liable if their negligent or reckless driving behaviors contributed to the accident and they are self-employed.
- Another road user – If the accident occurred due to the negligence or recklessness of another motorist or road user, that individual might be liable.
- The trucking company – Employers are liable for the actions of their employees under the legal concept of respondeat superior. If the driver is an employee, the trucking company may be responsible if it was negligent in its hiring process or encouraged the driver to violate safety regulations. The company that owns the truck might be liable if it failed to properly maintain the vehicle or comply with federal or state laws.
- The truck manufacturer – If the accident occurred due to a defect in the design or manufacturing of the truck, a manufacturer or seller could owe compensation to an accident victim.
- The cargo loader – If the accident occurred due to improperly loaded or unsecured cargo, the party responsible for loading the cargo might be liable.
- A government entity – If the accident occurred due to poor road conditions or unsafe traffic control, the government entity responsible for maintaining local roads or monitoring traffic could be financially responsible for the accident.
Your attorney will examine the facts of the case to determine truck accident liability in Phoenix.
Evidence to Support Your Truck Accident Liability Claim
Extensive evidence is a crucial component of any successful truck accident injury claim. Examples of evidence include:
- Official police accident report of the accident
- Witness statements
- Photos and videos of the crash scene, vehicle damage, and visible injuries
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Data from the truck’s electronic control module (ECM) or black box
- The truck driver’s hours of service and compliance records
- Employment records
- The trucking company’s practices for hiring and background checks
- Records of the truck’s inspection, maintenance, and repair history
- Cargo record, including load weight and distribution
- The truck driver’s cell phone and GPS records from before the accident
- Receipts and other documents from the trucker’s route
Types of Compensation Available for Truck Accidents in Phoenix
A successful truck accident claim in Phoenix could provide compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Incidental expenses, such as out-of-pocket costs for medical travel
- Lost income
- Projected losses in future earning potential due to permanent injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
Time Limits for a Phoenix Truck Crash Claim
In Arizona, you generally have two years from the date of a truck accident to file a claim against the liable party(s). This time limit applies to both personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. If you try to file your truck accident claim once the time limit expires, you lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries.
The time frame is even shorter if you have a claim against a public entity, like a government agency or public employee. You must file a notice for your claim within 180 days of the accident and follow several other strict procedures. It’s always best to consult a trusted truck accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and file your claim by the appropriate deadline.
Get the Help You Need from Our Arizona Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love was hurt in an Arizona truck accident, get the help you need now. Contact Swenson & Shelley today for a free consultation with our Phoenix truck accident lawyers.