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Truck Accidents

Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyers, Arizona

Holding truck companies and drivers liable when their negligence harms others in Maricopa County, Arizona

Truck accidents are much more dangerous and deadly than automobile accidents. The size, weight, and dimensions of the truck create huge amounts of physical force that are simply no match for cars and lighter vehicles. Accident victims who survive often suffer injuries that last a lifetime. Traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and damage to internal organs are just some of the serious results of truck accidents. Semis, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks tend to cause the most serious injuries.

It is essential to hold truck drivers and the companies that hire them liable, not just to compensate victims, but also to force the responsible parties to take corrective action. The Phoenix truck accident lawyers at Plattner Verderame, P.C. are a team of litigators that clients and other lawyers refer cases to because of our first-rate skills, resources, and professional networks.

How can we help?

Why do commercial vehicle crashes happen in Arizona?

Trucks were involved in large numbers of traffic accidents that caused injuries or fatalities in 2020. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, trucks (including truck tractors, garbage trucks, tankers, and other types) accounted for more than 10,000 accidents. More than 2,500 of these accidents caused injuries, and over 100 people died. Commercial trucks with or without semis were involved in most fatal truck accidents.

The reasons for tractor-trailer and big-rig collisions are often different from the reasons passenger cars and motorcycles crash. After all, a commercial vehicle can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This makes for slower acceleration and deceleration times. A truck driver who jams on the brakes risks jackknifing the vehicle or tipping it over. The heights of the cargo on back can make it difficult to maneuver under bridges and overpasses, too, which might lead a driver to attempt a short-cut on a local road. This can increase the risk you have of getting into a truck accident.

There are many aspects of these cases that differ from other vehicle crashes. These include:

  • Unsafe tractor-trailers.Sometimes, the equipment itself is to blame for the horrid effects of a commercial vehicle crash. Improper equipment or equipment failure is one of the top two reasons for commercial vehicle accidents.
  • Driver was over hours.In the fast-paced world of trucking and shipping, drivers are oftentimes compelled to finish their routes by going over the allotted number of safe hours to drive. Driver fatigue is one of the most common reasons for commercial vehicle accidents.
  • Truck was overweight.Many times, transportation companies will overload their cargo to save money on shipping. This can directly impact the severity of a crash, and your lawyer will need to obtain the weight information of the vehicle in question.
  • Driver logbooks and maintenance records. Trucks are supposed to undergo inspection prior to getting on the road. Additionally, drivers are supposed to keep logbooks and maintenance records.
  • Black box recorder data. Commercial vehicles, like planes, are often equipped with a “black box.” If the vehicle responsible for your accident has this — and it should — your lawyer will need to know how to get it and how to read it.

Dangerous truck accidents include truck rollovers, jackknifes, wide-turn accidents, underride accidents, and multi-vehicle accidents.

When there has been a catastrophic commercial vehicle accident, you need high-quality legal representation from dedicated, honest lawyers who can help explain and navigate the complexities of these cases.

When there has been a catastrophic commercial vehicle accident, you need high-quality legal representation from dedicated, honest lawyers who can help explain and navigate the complexities of these cases.

Are there federal rules and regulations for truck drivers?

The federal rules enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were put in place to regulate driver fitness, alcohol use, fatigue, and safety. For example, if you drive your own car, you can be arrested for a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher. For a commercial driver, that limit is .04 percent.

The FMCSA also regulates a trucker’s Hours of Service, which is how long a driver may be on the road. If a driver is carrying cargo, he or she may drive for 11 consecutive hours (after 10 hours off-duty); if he or she is transporting people, like a bus driver would, then the limit is 10 consecutive hours after nine hours off-duty.

Why should truck drivers be held accountable for Phoenix truck accidents?

Truck drivers are not only prone to many of the mistakes auto drivers make; they have unique pressures that often cause more severe accidents. All truck drivers need to follow Arizona traffic rules on speeding, passing, tailgating, and other safety rules. All commercial drivers are required to have a valid commercial driver’s license and meet a more rigorous standard for drunk driving than other drivers.

Some of the unique truck driving problems that drivers must anticipate are:

  • Driver fatigue.Drivers are often forced to drive long hours with little rest. The FMCSA rules mandate how much rest drivers should get.
  • Driver distraction.It is easy to get bored on long trips, but that is no excuse for texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, or eating while operating a truck. Drivers should take steps to minimize distractions, such as using GPS systems that are voice-activated so both hands are always on the wheel.
  • Truck control.Trucks are more difficult to operate than other vehicles. Drivers should regularly inspect their trucks before they get on the road and should fully understand the dangers of rollovers, truck jackknifes, and cargo spills. They should make sure they are trained on how to use the truck and what to do in an emergency.
  • Blind spots. Most trucks have terrible sightlines. Drivers must rely on mirrors, cameras, and video to see behind them and to the right and left sides. Even seeing directly in front of a tall truck can be difficult.

The owners of trucks can also be held liable for the actions of their drivers. Some trucks are owned by the trucking companies and operated by hired drivers, while some drivers own their own trucks.

Why should truck companies be held liable for their driver accidents?

Trucking companies often place profit before public safety. The more goods their truck drivers can deliver in the least amount of time, the more money they can make. The greed of trucking companies is one reason the FMCSA was created.

Our Phoenix commercial truck accident attorneys hold shipping companies liable when they:

  • Hire untrained workers or workers without a valid commercial driver’s license
  • Force their drivers to operate their vehicles without proper rest
  • Overload their trucks with cargo or fail to properly secure the cargo
  • Fail to inspect and adequately maintain the trucks
  • Pressure their drivers to speed
  • Ignore evidence that the driver has a record of prior accidents or driving while intoxicated

The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) regulates how truck cargo should be safely loaded and unloaded.

Often, reviewing the appropriate documentation, such as driving logs and inspection records, can bring these violations to light. Our lawyers understand where to look to find the evidence that the shipping company was at fault. Our legal team reviews whether the truck company complied with vehicle repair and inspection requirements.

Who else may be liable for a Phoenix truck accident?

In addition to the driver, owner, and truck company, other parties may be responsible for injuries or deaths resulting from a truck crash. A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of a defective truck or truck part can be held liable for the deaths or injuries the defect causes. Examples of defective truck parts include hydraulic systems, fuel lines, tires, and brakes. Many truck manufacturers are now working on autonomous trucks. If these trucks fail to operate correctly, the manufacturers may be liable for product defects.

Restaurant and tavern owners who serve alcohol to a truck driver knowing he/she was intoxicated can also be held accountable if a truck crash occurs.

How do your lawyers fight for truck accident victims?

Our experienced lawyers will work with you, in addition to investigating your accident, to assess potential sources of compensation and restitution to help you obtain the best possible outcome. We will want to work with your doctors and medical care team to properly characterize your injuries for the courts. Our dependable and knowledgeable Phoenix commercial vehicle accident attorneys will tirelessly work to accurately quantify the losses you have suffered, whether due to personal injury, long-term injury that will incur future medical costs, lost wages, or other losses. We know that your family life and your work life have been impacted by this horrible truck or commercial vehicle crash, and we will aggressively advocate for settlement or litigation.

Our goal in your commercial vehicle injury case is simple: we want to restore as much normalcy, independence, comfort, and convenience to your and your family’s lives as soon as possible. We possess a thorough understanding of the complexities of these cases, including the possibility that the driver, the trucking company, and even the truck’s manufacturer might all share fault in your injuries.

We will work with a team of experts to accurately assess what your medical needs might be over time, and we can hire these people to help you devise a treatment plan for long-term restoration of mobility, normalcy, or the ability to work.

All too often, commercial vehicle accidents end in brain trauma, paralysis, amputation, or wrongful death. Our attorneys put a primacy on high-quality representation and honesty, and we have the experience to account for your losses and these complexities as we seek just compensation for you. We are committed to helping you find a new normal for your life after a commercial vehicle accident, and we want to do everything we can to foster that sense of well-being.

Remember: generally speaking, you only have two years to file a claim if you have been injured in a crash with a commercial truck. That countdown starts on the day you were injured, though there may be exceptions to the rule. Contact our firm to find out if you are entitled to file a claim.

What types of truck accident cases does your Phoenix law firm handle?

Our attorneys handle a variety of accident cases, including:

Do you have a Phoenix truck accident lawyer near me?

At Plattner Verderame, P.C., we meet clients at our office located at 316 E Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85012. We can also meet clients who are ill or immobile at their homes or other locations when necessary. We have an additional office in Tempe for your convenience.

Make an appointment with a dependable Arizona truck accident lawyer today

If you were injured in a truck-trailer accident or a loved one was killed, you need a strong, skilled lawyer on your side. At Plattner Verderame, P.C., our partners are top-rated by peer review agencies. Many lawyers refer clients to our firm because they trust and respect our ability to take on the most complex cases. Our savvy Phoenix and Tempe truck accident attorneys are ready to investigate the cause of your accident and injuries and prepare your case for trial. We are respected across Maricopa County for our strong record of successful settlements and jury verdicts.

To review your case, phone us in Phoenix at 602-266-2002. You can also complete our contact form for a free consultation. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis. If your case does not settle, you owe us nothing.

 


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