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Carefree Truck Accident Lawyers

Arizona has over 307,000 registered commercial vehicles. Once you add all the out-of-state and foreign heavy vehicles that travel through the area, truck drivers log millions of miles every year in Arizona.

In 2022, this level of activity led to 14,759 truck crashes. These collisions caused hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and millions of dollars in property damage.

Accident victims face an uphill battle after a truck crash. Trucking companies are reluctant to admit liability because a poor safety record can endanger their operating permits. For that reason, their insurers and sureties will employ every tactic at their disposal to avoid paying claims.

The Carefree truck accident lawyers from Torgenson Law have over 20 years of experience standing up to truck operators and their insurers for fair injury compensation. Contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can help you with your personal injury case after suffering an injury.

What Do You Need to Prove in a Commercial Truck Accident Claim?

Truck accident claims are based on negligence law. To establish negligence, you and your truck accident lawyer must prove four elements:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Damages
  • Causation

All drivers owe other road users a duty of care to drive carefully. They breach this duty when they expose other drivers to unreasonable risks by violating traffic laws or engaging in other dangerous driving behaviors, even if they’re legal.

Trucking companies also owe a duty of care to load, maintain, and repair their trucks in a reasonably safe manner. Breaches of this duty can happen when trucking companies violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations or otherwise endanger the public with unsafe practices.

The damages from a truck crash encompass both your economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses represent the financial impact of your injuries, while non-economic losses come from the diminishment in your quality of life due to your injuries.

Causation has two components. First, the breach of duty must fall logically in the sequence of events that ended with your injury. Second, the breach must be the type of act or omission that could foreseeably injure someone.

The trucking company and driver do not need to foresee your exact injuries. Instead, you and your Carefree truck accident lawyers only need to prove that a reasonable person would have foreseen that someone could get injured by their carelessness.

What Makes Truck Accidents More Complicated?

Several factors complicate truck accident claims. First, trucking companies often have several insurance policies and surety bonds to cover the costs of any injuries, property damage, and environmental cleanup. As a result, we may need to file several claims with different insurers and sureties.

Second, trucking companies, insurers, and sureties have a lot of money. They will often use their extra funds to try to delay and deny your claim in order to frustrate you into giving up or accepting a low-value offer.

Third, it can often be difficult to unravel what happened during a truck crash. Causes can range from equipment failures and shifting loads to unfit drivers and beyond.

To prove what happened and who bears the liability for it, you may need access to the trucking company’s records and documents. Most companies will not give up these documents easily, so it’s often necessary to file a lawsuit to gain access to what we need.

Compensation After a Commercial Truck Crash

Under Arizona law, you can pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses refer to the expenses and unearned income that resulted from your injuries. Examples of economic losses include:

  • Past and future expenses for treatment, therapy, and medication
  • Lost income due to time off from work
  • Diminished future earnings from long-term disabilities
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses arising from your injuries

You will track and document these losses using financial records. Bills, receipts, credit card statements, and canceled checks can show how much you spent and the reason you spent it.

Non-economic losses aim to account for how your injuries have impacted your daily life. Some examples of non-economic losses include the following:

  • Pain
  • Mental suffering
  • Disability
  • Dismemberment
  • Disfigurement

You will illustrate the impacts of your injuries on your quality of life using witness testimony. You and your family members can testify about how your life has changed due to your injuries. Insurers and jurors can then use this testimony to arrive at a fair value for your non-economic losses.

How Is Fault Determined in a Commercial Truck Accident Case?

Fault is determined by applying the principles of negligence law to the facts surrounding your accident. Unlike car accidents, the fault for commercial truck accidents can come from a wide variety of sources and causes. The grounds for finding a trucking company at fault for an accident could include negligence in any of the following areas:

Driving Trucks

Truck drivers may be at fault for an accident when they violate traffic laws. Thus, speeding, tailgating, and running red lights will result in liability for any resulting injuries.

Truck drivers may also bear the fault for accidents that result from dangerous but still legal activities. For example, Arizona does not have any laws against eating while driving. That said, truck drivers may bear the liability for crashes they cause when doing so.

Hiring Drivers

Reasonably prudent trucking companies will review a truck driver’s work history and driving record before hiring them. When a company fails to identify potential problems in a truck driver’s past, they may be liable if those problems resurface and result in a crash.

For instance, there are instances in which a trucking company might bear the fault for an intoxicated driving crash. In that case, they might be responsible if they hired a driver who had recently failed several drug tests.

Training and Supervising Drivers

Trucking companies that fail to provide new drivers with reasonable levels of training might bear the liability for any resulting crashes. Similarly, an insurer or jury might find a trucking company at fault when it fails to ensure that drivers follow safety rules.

Lapses in supervision that might support a finding of fault include the following:

  • Failing to administer drug or alcohol tests as required by federal law
  • Failing to monitor a driver’s hours of service
  • Failing to watch for health conditions that might affect a driver’s abilities

Federal laws require trucking companies to keep detailed records. False or misleading records that cover up a training or supervision issue might provide a “smoking gun,” proving the company did something it shouldn’t have.

Loading Cargo

Drivers are responsible for checking their loads. They must make sure the weight is properly distributed and that the load is stable.

They also need to secure the load or double-check that those loading the truck have secured it. A negligently loaded truck or trailer can throw off the vehicle’s balance and even tip the vehicle over. An unsecured load can end up on the road or falling on other vehicles.

Maintaining and Repairing Trucks

Federal law requires trucking companies to maintain their vehicles in a safe condition. When they negligently allow unsafe vehicles on the road, they bear the fault for any resulting crashes.

Trucks are much more susceptible to crashes caused by faulty equipment. About 10% of crashes blamed on trucks result from faulty brakes, tires, or other equipment.

Who Can Be Held Responsible?

Trucking companies and independent owner-operators are typically responsible for crashes. If a driver works as an employee for a trucking company, a doctrine called “vicarious liability” applies. Under this rule, the company is liable for the negligence of its employed drivers.

However, not all trucking companies hire drivers as employees. When a company hires independent contractors to transport their loads, the fault may fall on the owner-operator working as a contractor.

In other words, the business, whether the trucking company or the driver’s business, will bear the liability for any crash. Individual drivers are typically not liable as long as one of these types of companies employs them.

Shippers and Repair Shops

Other entities that may be responsible for crashes include shippers or repair shops. In many cases, trucking companies load their trucks and trailers. But if they were loaded by someone else, like a shipper or factory, these entities might bear the liability for any load-related crash.

Similarly, many trucking companies handle maintenance and repairs in-house. If a company outsources these tasks, though, the outside repair shop could be liable for negligently performed repairs.

Insurers and Sureties

Although a trucking company may bear the liability for a crash, insurers and sureties pay the damages up to an agreed-upon amount. Under federal law, trucking companies must carry at least $750,000 in financial resources to pay for crashes. The two primary methods for meeting these requirements include insurance policies and surety bonds.

Insurance policies are contracts between the trucking company and an insurer. Under this contract, the insurer pays any liabilities incurred by the trucking company due to a collision.

Surety bonds are similar to insurance policies because they cover the trucking company’s liabilities from collisions. Unlike insurance, though, the trucking company must reimburse the surety for any amounts paid.

In both cases, we begin your case by filing a claim with the insurers and sureties. They then assign your claim to an adjuster who investigates it and determines whether to pay. If the adjuster accepts your claim, we negotiate with them to reach a fair settlement amount. If the adjuster denies your claim, we can respond to the denial or file a lawsuit to keep your claim moving forward.

How Long Do You Have to File a Commercial Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Every state, including Arizona, has a statute of limitations that sets a time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Arizona’s statute gives most accident victims two years from the injury. However, depending on your specific circumstances, you might have more or less time than that to file. The sooner you contact your Carefree truck accident lawyers, the quicker they can determine your exact deadline and get working on your case before time is up.

You should also keep in mind that contacting a lawyer from Torgenson Law is only the first step in recovering compensation. The time to settle the claim or litigate the case in court will add even more time to your wait. If you face financial hardships from your injuries, you should speak to us as soon as possible.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Carefree

Truck crashes happen for many of the same reasons as car accidents. Common causes of truck accidents in Arizona include:


Truck drivers must stick to a schedule. The time pressures they face can influence drivers to speed. Indeed, speeding is a leading cause of truck accidents. Excessive speed increases the likelihood that a truck driver will lose control of their vehicle. This is particularly true when you combine speeding with faulty equipment, slick surfaces, or poor visibility.

Crash energy increases with velocity. When truck drivers speed, they are more likely to cause a catastrophic or fatal injury.

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers are susceptible to the same temptation to multitask as other drivers. Common distractions include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Texting
  • Watching videos
  • Talking on the radio or phone
  • Programming or watching a navigation system

Distracted truck drivers can miss changes in traffic or road conditions. Even if they spot them, they might not be able to react in time to avoid a collision.

Intoxicated Driving

Trucking companies must conduct drug and alcohol tests at several points during a driver’s employment, including:

  • Before hiring
  • Randomly
  • After a crash
  • Upon completing a return-to-work program after a failed drug or alcohol test

Despite this rigorous testing program, some intoxicated drivers still slip through the cracks. Drivers can also suffer impairment from prescription medications that dull their senses or reflexes.


Federal law sets the number of hours drivers can work before they need to take breaks or sleep. These rules are designed to reduce the risk of fatigued driving.

But these regulations do not always work. Drivers and trucking companies might try to get around them and drive for longer periods than allowed. And even when drivers comply with the rules, the stress of meeting delivery deadlines can still cause mental and physical fatigue.

Common Injuries Caused by Commercial Truck Accidents in Carefree

Truck accidents often involve enormous forces. Commercial motor vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds without a permit. Trucks with oversized or overweight permits tend to carry even larger loads.

Your passenger vehicle may be as small as 1/40th of a fully loaded truck’s weight. The energy transferred from the truck to your vehicle and your body will crush bones, tear your soft tissues, and rattle your brain. Common injuries from a truck crash include:


A heavy truck can mangle your vehicle, twisting or bending your bones until they snap. It will also throw you around inside your vehicle, fracturing your bones as they strike the interior surfaces.

Brain Injuries

A truck accident can injure your brain in a few ways:

  • The truck smashing your windows and driving foreign objects into your skull
  • Blunt trauma from hitting your head on the door, steering wheel, etc.
  • Violent whipping and shaking of your head

Brain injuries produce physical symptoms such as clumsiness, headache, and dizziness. They also cause cognitive symptoms, including confusion and amnesia. Severe brain injuries can even lead to permanent brain damage, coma, and death.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord carries almost all of the signals between your brain and body. When it gets severed, you can experience permanent paralysis and loss of sensation. A compressed spinal cord can cause weakness, pain, numbness, and loss of coordination.

Contact The Carefree Truck Accident Lawyers at Torgenson Law Today

A truck accident can cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Complicating matters even further is the fact that the trucking company might possess many of the documents that prove the cause of the crash. As a result, you may need a truck accident lawyer to battle the trucking company and its insurers and sureties for compensation.

Torgenson Law has been representing accident victims for over 10 years. Our Carefree truck accident lawyers have over 20 years of combined legal experience. Contact us to learn how we can take the burden of your truck accident claim off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your health.