Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
If you were recently injured by a tractor trailer, you may need the help of a tractor trailer accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ residents trust. Driving around big rigs and tractor trailers is something that requires due diligence by any driver. But what happens if the truck driver acts irresponsibly, causing significant damage to you and your car? They deserve to be brought to justice and held responsible for their actions. A truck accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ offers can help when truck accidents cause you personal injuries. When you are suffering from injuries because a tractor trailer hit you, a Phoenix, AZ tractor trailer accident lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC can help.
If you are a victim of a tractor trailer accident, here is some more information on what you can do when it comes to next steps and filing a lawsuit.
How is fault determined in a trucking accident?
As with any vehicle accident, the police officer called to the scene will determine fault. They will look at the damage to both the tractor trailer and the car, talk to each driver, and interview eyewitnesses to make the best decision. Once fault is decided, it is usually set in stone as police officers are trained to look for specific clues, and this will hold up in court.
How common are truck accidents?
More common than you would think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Safety Administration, tractor trailers are responsible for 8% of all fatal crashes across the country. To put this number in perspective, that is the equivalent of 29 truck accidents for every 100,000 cars on the highway.
Why Are Truck Accidents So Common?
In many Arizona truck accident cases that result in litigation, the truck driver and/or the trucking company behaved in negligent and/or reckless ways that contributed to the accident in question. An experienced Phoenix, AZ tractor trailer accident lawyer from Kamper Estrada, LLP can investigate whether any such behaviors contributed to the cause of your accident, as not all of these behaviors may be known unless an investigation is set into motion. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver distraction or inattention
- Drowsy driving or truck-driver fatigue (caused by sleep apnea, health problems or simply failing to take sufficient rest breaks)
- Accidents caused by truck driver intoxication (drunk driving or drugged driving)
- Equipment problems (such as worn brakes or other equipment that should regularly be inspected and repaired)
- Unbalanced and unsecured cargo (which can shift or even fall out during transport)
- Violation of traffic laws (behavior such as speeding) and commercial truck driving regulations (like violating hours-of-service regulations mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
When truck drivers are at fault for causing an accident, chances are good that the company they work for is also at fault. Companies are responsible for hiring, training and monitoring drivers to ensure that they are safe and law-abiding. A bad driver is often a sign of employment at a poorly run enterprise. As a result, our Phoenix, AZ tractor trailer accident lawyer team will take care to determine whether you can hold either the driver and/or their employer liable for the harm you have suffered.
Why Are Truck Accidents More Likely to be Injurious or Deadly?
Put simply, there is a huge difference in size and weight between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. These giant trucks take more time and distance to slow/stop and they also have a much higher center of gravity than regular cars. Combined, these factors greatly increase the risks to occupants of smaller vehicles. A crash that might be slightly injurious if it involved two similarly sized cars and easily be catastrophic or fatal if a truck is involved.
Common Truck Accident Scenarios
The size and shape of trucks (relative to smaller vehicles) creates some unique hazards and common accident scenarios. Here are just a few:
Underride accidents: the smaller vehicle crashes into the back or side of a truck’s trailer and partially runs underneath it. The car can become lodged underneath and dragged, or the crash can sheer off the roof of the smaller vehicle. These accidents commonly result in head injuries, paralysis or even death for the occupants of passenger vehicles.
Blind-spot accidents: Trucks have at least three different blind spots, which is why it is so important for truck drivers to be cautious when changing lanes. When they aggressively change lanes or make turns without adequately checking their surroundings, they can easily sideswipe or crash directly into smaller vehicles. Blind spot accidents are common but negligence related to these accidents may be difficult to prove. Know that our Phoenix, AZ tractor trailer accident lawyer can help if you’ve been injured in a blind-spot accident.
Jackknife accidents: Tractor-trailers are articulated, meaning they have a hinge point between the tractor and the trailer. On slick roads or in certain conditions, hard braking can cause the trailer to swing off to the side of the truck and travel perpendicular to the cab as the vehicle skids down the road. This can block an entire highway of traffic and cause other vehicles to crash into the truck.
Rollover accidents: Trucks carry a lot of weight. If the load they are carrying is unbalanced or improperly secured, the truck can tip or roll over – particularly on sharp curves. Like underride accidents, these last two accident types in particular can be catastrophic. Do not hesitate to contact our Phoenix, AZ tractor trailer accident lawyer as soon as you can after you’ve suffered injury as a result of a rollover or jackknife accident.
Who can I hold responsible, the driver or the trucking company?
In some cases you will be able to bring charges against both driver and trucking company. However, there are some legal loopholes with involving the trucking company, so it is best to work with a Phoenix, AZ tractor trailer accident lawyer so they can translate everything and track down the right person/people to bring charges against.
What do I need to bring to my legal consultation?
Try to bring as much evidence as possible. This means photos of your accident, documentation of personal injuries, medical and insurance bills, and witness testimonies. The more evidence you have against the truck driver, the easier it will be to bring a bulletproof claim against them.
Will there be a legal investigation?
Yes. Your Phoenix, Arizona tractor trailer accident lawyer will first ask for the driver’s Driver Qualification File (DQF) from their employer. This is a legal document required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and it will detail the driver’s driving record and medical test results. Then the attorney will take the DQF and compare it with the evidence you have brought them. Once this is all complete, you’ll bring everything to civil and criminal court.
What is the difference between civil and criminal court?
Criminal court is where you will bring the punitive charges against the truck driver, and the judge will determine the punishment whether it is a fine, points on their license, a license suspension, or jail time. On the other hand, civil court is where you will bring your personal injury lawsuit and settle for damages that resulted from the incident. This can include payment for medical and insurance bills, coverage of lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
Get Help From a Phoenix, AZ Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer
If you are a victim of a tractor trailer accident, you do not have to face court alone. Kamper & Estrada, PLLC is here to help you fight for your rights, so contact our agency today to set up a consultation with a tractor trailer accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts today!
[rt-testimonial id=”7150″ title=”testimonial view”]