Types of Truck Accidents in Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix is one of the most heavily populated U.S. cities and a transportation hub of the Southwest, where major interstates and highways intersect. Thousands of heavy commercial trucks pass through town every day, all with the potential to cause serious accidents and deadly injuries.
The laws of physics dictate that when an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer collides with a car, the smaller vehicle suffers the greatest impact. This explains why most people hurt in truck accidents are the occupants of passenger cars, not the truck driver. Many victims sustain severe injuries that leave them physically, financially, and emotionally drained.
If you were hurt in a Phoenix truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation to help with your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. Let Swenson & Shelley help. Our experienced Arizona truck accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim demanding the money and justice you deserve. Call or contact us today for a free case review.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Common types of truck accidents in Phoenix include:
- Rear-end collisions – These crashes occur when the front of a truck hits the rear end of another vehicle (or vice versa). Many rear-end truck accidents happen when truckers follow too closely or fail to check their blind spots.
- Underride accidents – An underride collision occurs when a car strikes a tractor-trailer from behind and slides underneath the truck. These crashes carry a high fatality risk because the top of the car gets crushed or cut off from the vehicle completely.
- Override accidents – Often a fatal truck accident, an override happens when a large truck runs over a smaller vehicle, often leading to crushing injuries. Override truck accidents often occur when truck drivers follow too closely or fail to monitor their blind spots while turning or merging.
- Rollover accidents – Semi-trucks have a higher center of gravity than most other vehicles, making them prone to rollover accidents. Many rollover truck accidents happen when truckers lose control while navigating sharp turns or stopping too quickly.
- Jackknife accidents – A jackknife truck accident happens when a truck’s trailer starts going faster than the cab and folds in, much like a closing jackknife. Like rollover accidents, jackknife truck accidents commonly occur when drivers take turns too sharply or brake too hard.
- Head-on collisions – Head-on truck accidents happen when the front end of a truck collides with the front of another vehicle coming in the opposite direction. Many head-on collisions occur due to distracted driving, driver error, or mechanical failure.
- Sideswipe accidents – A sideswipe truck accident occurs when the side of a commercial vehicle hits the side of another car heading in the same direction. These collisions often happen when truck drivers change lanes without signaling or checking for smaller vehicles.
- T-bone accidents – A T-bone truck accident occurs when the front end of a truck collides with the side of another vehicle, forming an angle resembling the letter T. Many T-bone crashes happen at intersections when drivers run red lights, ignore stop signs, or otherwise fail to yield the right of way.
- Unsecured cargo accidents – Federal regulations require a truck’s cargo to be fastened securely to prevent shifting or spillage. But if a cargo loading company fails to secure to load correctly, the truck can get thrown off balance, leading to a rollover crash or spill accident that sends hazardous materials and objects into moving traffic.
Personal Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Anyone struck by a commercial motor vehicle is vulnerable to life-threatening injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Facial injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Seat belt and airbag injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Arm, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries
- Dislocated or broken bones
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
- Leg, knee, ankle, and foot injuries
- Road rash
- Toxic exposure to flames, fumes, and hazardous materials
- Emotional and psychological injuries, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Multiple parties could be liable for a truck accident, depending on the circumstances. Potential defendants include:
- The truck driver – A negligent truck driver could be liable if they engaged in reckless behaviors like speeding, drunk driving, or other traffic offenses. Drivers are typically only personally responsible if they are contractors or self-employed.
- A trucking company – Motor carriers may be liable on behalf of a truck driver employee who causes an accident. They might also be liable for their own negligent practices, such as failure to train or monitor their drivers.
- A cargo loading team – If overloaded, unsecured, or unbalanced cargo contributed to the accident, the company that loaded the truck could bear responsibility for the wreck.
- Parts manufacturers – If the failure of a defective truck component or system caused or contributed to an accident, victims may be able to hold the automaker or parts manufacturer responsible.
- Government entities – An agency responsible for road maintenance could be liable if poor road conditions contribute to a truck accident in Phoenix.
Are There Federal Regulations for Truck Drivers?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) monitors and regulates the interstate trucking industry. Key FMCSA regulations for truck drivers include:
- Hours-of-service (HOS) requirements – HOS regulations limit how long truck drivers can operate their vehicles or remain on duty.
- Medical standards requirements – FMCSA regulations require drivers to meet certain medical standards and carry valid medical examiner’s certificates (MECs).
- Alcohol and drug testing requirements – Truckers must submit to alcohol and drug tests randomly, after an accident, or with reasonable suspicion.
- Truck maintenance and inspection rules – Drivers must inspect their vehicles before and during each trip to ensure the trucks are safe to operate.
- Cargo securement requirements – Truckers must ensure that all cargo is secure, balanced, and within the truck’s load limits before hitting the road.
Why Should a Truck Company Be Held Liable for a Driver’s Accident?
A trucking company can be liable for an accident involving one of its drivers because, as the employer, they are legally responsible for the actions of its employees while they are working. Truck companies must hire, train, and supervise their drivers properly. If a company fails in these responsibilities and its driver contributes to an accident, it could also be liable for negligence.
Our Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyers Ensure Your Rights Are Protected
The stakes are high after an accident involving a large truck. Don’t enter settlement negotiations with the insurance company without talking to an attorney first. Call Swenson & Shelley. Our compassionate and attentive team will listen to your story and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us now for a free consultation.