Phoenix Trucking Accident Attorney

The Phoenix truck accident lawyers at Torgenson Law are here to help victims of these accidents. We are here to help explain your rights and to file lawsuits on your behalf for compensation if you or someone you love was injured as a result of a serious truck accident. We fight for you against the insurance companies to ensure that you can receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages that resulted from your truck accident. Call the attorneys at Torgenson Law today to discuss your accident with a dedicated Phoenix truck accident attorney and find out if you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim.

Why Choose Torgenson Law

  • We have a reputation for results, securing millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements with a 99% case success rate.
  • We are a full-service law firm dedicated to consistent client communication. All of our clients have a direct line to our attorneys when they need it — not a paralegal or junior associate.
  • We focus on personal injury law — and only personal injury law. This gives us a unique, deep understanding of all the laws, processes, and practices necessary to secure the maximum possible compensation for your needs.

Truck Accident Statistics in Phoenix

While you may not hear about semi-truck crashes in Phoenix on a regular basis, these incidents do occur. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there are more than 500,000 total commercial vehicles registered in the state. This number does not take into account the total amount of tractor-trailers that travel through our state on a regular basis from elsewhere throughout the United States.

The Arizona DOT states that there were 2,247 total semi-truck crashes during the latest reporting year of data available. Out of these incidents, there were 58 fatal crashes and 536 injury crashes.

Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that there were approximately 148,000 injuries and more than 4,700 fatalities caused by large commercial truck crashes during the latest reporting year across the United States.

Common Types of Truck Accidents in Arizona

Truck accidents are, more often than not, devastating due to the sheer size of the vehicle in question. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, causing significant damage upon impact with a vehicle. In many cases, we find that truck accidents are the result of the negligence of a truck driver or truck owner/operator. The most common kinds of accidents in which semi-trucks are involved include:

  • Head-on Collisions
  • Truck Rollovers
  • T-Bone
  • Jackknife
  • Wide Turns
  • Blind Spots
  • Rear-End Crashes
  • Lost Loads
  • Under Ride

Common Injuries In Truck Accidents

While truck accidents may not make up a majority of the total crashes in and around the Phoenix area, the incidents that do occur are often devastating for those involved. At Torgenson Law, our Phoenix tractor-trailer accident lawyers regularly help victims of these incidents who have sustained the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Open head wounds
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Amputations or crush wounds

In many cases, truck accident victims sustain injuries that leave them with permanent scarring or disfigurement. We regularly help victims who are suffering from disabilities following a severe truck accident.

However, the physical wounds are just the most visible type of injury that truck accident victims will suffer from, but they are not the only type. Victims of 18-wheeler accidents in Phoenix also regularly sustain tremendous emotional and psychological trauma due to the incident. It is not uncommon for these victims to suffer from extensive fear, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Truck accident victims can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may need to be treated by a trained mental health professional.

Federal Trucking Laws and Legislation

There are regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that are made particularly for the commercial trucking industry. These rules are applied to every trucking company within the United States, as well as all their commercial drivers. These regulations are concerned with various issues that range from who can qualify to drive commercial vehicles to how companies in the industry are mandated to react in the event of an accident involving the company’s vehicles or drivers.

If a company or driver violates a federal regulation, this can be used as evidence of negligence in the event of a trucking accident. There are important laws to know about after being involved in a commercial trucking accident. These include:

  • Commercial driver requirements – All commercial truck drivers must obtain a valid Class C driver’s license. They must also consent to pre-hiring drug tests, which then extends to random testing. Drivers must also concede to drug testing after accidents themselves, as well as if the company has a reasonable cause against the driver. There is a requirement that operators fulfill physical and mental qualifications to drive commercial vehicles, and all drivers are required to pass background checks.
  • Regulations for Hours of Service – These restrictions mandate the length of time a commercial truck driver can operate a vehicle before requiring him or her to take a break. Generally, commercial truckers are not able to exceed more than 11 hours after ten consecutive hours off-duty. Drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after 10 hours off. They can only operate if eight hours or fewer have passed after a half-hour sleeper berth period.
  • Rules involving heavy loads and cargo securement – Commercial truck companies are required to adhere to all securement regulations to make sure that cargo is safely attached to the truck while in transit. Securement regulations mandate how a company must tie, harness, or restrain the cargo in open and closed truck beds. This is to minimize the chances of cargo getting loose and falling off the vehicle. Securement regulations change according to the type of shipment.

Commercial trucking companies typically have plenty of resources at their disposal in the event they face liability for an accident. Not only do they have the ability to hire skilled legal representation, but their insurance carriers will also vigorously fight any claims. This gives trucking companies an unfair advantage over to those who have been wrongfully harmed by the actions of truck drivers and companies. A skilled and experienced Phoenix truck accident attorney from Torgenson Law will level the playing field for victims of these incidents. We will handle every aspect of your case. This includes conducting a full investigation into the incident, properly calculating your losses, and negotiating with all parties to receive the compensation you deserve.

Truck Driver Fatigue Can Cause Serious Accidents

Above, we mentioned the hours of service regulations put in place by the FMCSA. These regulations are a vital part of Phoenix 18-wheeler safety because they work to prevent drivers from operating while fatigued behind the wheel. Various factors, such as impractical deadlines and erratic sleep schedules often leave drivers feeling like they must begin or continue routes while exhausted. In general, the following regulations are in place for drivers:

  • 11-HOUR LIMIT. Drivers can drive for a maximum of 11 hours after being off duty for 10 straight hours.
  • 14-HOUR LIMIT. Truckers cannot drive more than 14 hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Spending more hours off duty does not extend this 14-hour limitation.
  • MANDATORY BREAKS. Truck drivers are only allowed to drive if eight hours or less have passed since their last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
  • 60/70-HOUR RULE. Drivers are prohibited from driving after spending between 60 and 70 hours on duty over a period of seven or eight straight days. The seven or eight consecutive days restart after the driver takes 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

These rules are continuously updated and altered. Additionally, truckers are required to maintain detailed logbooks reflecting compliance with these rules. These records are all now required to be logged electronically as well.

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Compensation In Truck Accident Claims

There are various types of compensation that may be available in the aftermath of a Phoenix 18-wheeler accident. At Torgenson Law, we have a long history of recovering the following types of economic and non-economic damages for victims in these cases.

  • Coverage of all medical bills related to the truck accident (past, present, future)
  • Recovery of any lost wages a victim incurs they cannot work
  • Coverage of any out-of-pocket expenses caused by the truck crash
  • Pain and suffering as well as mental anguish damages
  • Loss of personal enjoyment damages
  • Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence

There is no set amount of money awarded to victims of Phoenix truck accidents. Rather, the total compensation that a victim receives will depend on various factors related to their particular case. This can include the severity of the injuries, total medical bills, whether or not the victim is disabled in any way, whether a victim contributed to the accident at all, and more. A skilled Phoenix personal injury attorney will thoroughly investigate each case and properly calculate total expenses.

Arizona Truck Accident Statute of Limitations

Every state is responsible for setting time limits for how long victims of injuries have to file lawsuits against an alleged at-fault party. These time limits are called the statute of limitations. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for a Phoenix semi-truck accident is two years from the date the incident occurs. This means that those who are harmed due to the negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company have two years from the day the accident occurs to file a lawsuit. Failing to file a lawsuit within this two-year time limit will result in the victim being unable to recover compensation for their losses.

Please understand that this two-year window is for civil personal injury lawsuits against alleged at-fault drivers or trucking companies. This time frame does not apply to insurance claims. It is vital that victims not wait to begin the process of recovering compensation. Insurance claims need to be filed as soon as possible after an accident occurs, particularly when dealing with a commercial vehicle.

Who Will Be Held Liable In Truck Accident Cases?

When a truck accident occurs, the most important part of your case will be determining liability. With help from a Phoenix truck accident lawyer, you will need to prove that the truck driver or the trucking company contributed to the crash in some way. A trucking company is likely going to be held liable for the actions of their driver, so long as the driver was operating within the scope of their duties at the time the accident occurs.

However, there are times when a truck driver is not an employee of a company, but rather an independent contractor. This means that the company will generally not be held liable for wrongful actions on the part of the truck driver. Regardless of where liability falls in these cases, there is most certainly going to be an insurance carrier involved. This will either be the insurance carrier of a company or the carrier of the independent contractor.

How Long Will a Phoenix Semi-Truck Accident Case Last?

Understandably, one of the first things that victims of semi-truck crashes need to know is how long their case may last. After all, Phoenix truck accident victims often incur tremendous medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses that they need to be covered. Understanding how long a truck accident crash case will last can be difficult and will depend on the details of your particular incident.

A thorough investigation will need to be conducted into the case to ensure you receive proper compensation. What you may find is that the trucking company, or their insurance carrier, will try to place some or all of the blame for the accident on you. An investigation into the incident by your accident attorney in Phoenix will help combat these tactics, but this could lead to the final settlement taking longer.

Generally, cases that are settled out-of-court and through insurance carriers will not take as long as truck accident cases that go to trial. If a case is settled out-of-court, it could take a few months to a year to settle. Cases they go to trial could last a year or more before a settlement or verdict is finally reached. Typically, the biggest factor associated with how long it takes these cases to settle will be related to the extent of your injuries and how long it takes you to recover. You want to wait until the doctor releases you from their care so that you have a full picture of how much your claim is worth.

Contact Our Phoenix Truck Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been affected by a commercial truck accident, please contact the offices of Torgenson Law today at (602) 759-0012 today to get the compensation you deserve. We are here to help you in your time of need, and we want you to know that we care about your recovery.