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Tucson Truck Accident Lawyers

For the majority of drivers, sharing a road with a truck can be worrying. You may find yourself tensing up and wanting to get away from the larger vehicle as quickly as possible. There’s a good reason for feeling apprehensive, too, with truck accidents occurring regularly throughout the United States.

There are 12.5 million registered commercial trucks in the U.S. Every year, the country sees more than 168,000 accidents in which a truck is involved, 32% of which result in injuries and 3% in fatalities. In Arizona alone, approximately 10,700 commercial trucks are involved in accidents each year.

If you’ve been in an accident in Tucson with a truck that occurred because of the truck driver’s negligence, you could get compensation for the injuries and property damage you’ve suffered. Where do you start? Begin by calling our Tucson truck accident lawyers at Torgenson Law to help you prepare and file your claim.

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

In a civil lawsuit, which is what a personal injury suit is, you need evidence to prove your claim. You have to establish negligence by the truck driver or the trucking company so that it’s clear who’s liable.

This is a crucial point because Arizona follows comparative negligence law, which means that you can receive compensation in proportion to how liable you were for the accident. If the truck driver or company was entirely at fault, you have the chance to receive more compensation.

It can be tough to prove fault on your own. That’s why relying on a personal injury lawyer is vital.

What Makes Truck Accidents More Complicated?

Even if the accident appears cut-and-dry, filing a claim and getting the compensation you deserve can be very challenging if you don’t have truck accident lawyers helping you.

One factor that makes truck accidents more complicated is that there can be more liable parties than in a regular car accident. The truck driver may be liable, but so may the truck owner and the truck company. Trucking companies also have whole law teams and considerable resources to fight your claim.

There are more levels of negligence, too, when a truck is involved. Proving that the driver of a regular car was negligent involves finding out whether they violated a traffic law.

With trucking accidents, violations aren’t always obvious. Sometimes, crashes occur because of obscure violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines.

The complicated nature of truck accidents makes getting a lawyer on your side crucial. Doing so gives you the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve.

Compensation After a Commercial Truck Crash

If you’re in a commercial truck crash, you have the chance to receive economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to quantifiable losses that you suffered as a result of the accident. These include any medical expenses and property repair or replacement costs.

A crash that involves a truck can easily lead to serious injuries that require you to go to the hospital and potentially receive ongoing care. If that’s the case, you’ll need compensation to cover medical expenses for things like hospital bills, rehabilitation, the purchase of special devices and medications, and so much more.

In addition, most cars that are involved in an accident with a truck suffer substantial damage. In some cases, the crash could total the car. You can get compensation for the repairs or for the purchase of another vehicle. If you lost other property in the accident, you can also be compensated for the cost of those items.

If the injuries you sustain prevent you from working, you’re missing out on the wages you would normally receive. Economic damages cover lost wages as well. These can encompass future wages for people who will not be able to work as they used to, if at all.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages deal with intangible losses that can’t be easily quantified. They include emotional suffering and physical pain. Being in an accident can leave you with trauma, depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. All of these lower your quality of life, so you might be able to receive some compensation.

The burden of dealing with an injury is more than just paying for treatments. It includes the hours you will have to spend managing pain and discomfort because of someone else’s negligence. Compensation for non-economic damages won’t erase the pain and suffering, but it can help you better manage your day-to-day worries.

Non-economic damages also include compensation for disability and disfigurement. Because you will have to live with these lasting conditions, which affect your quality of life, getting compensation is a possibility.

How Is Fault Determined in a Commercial Truck Accident Case?

To determine fault, you need evidence, including the kind of evidence required for any vehicle accident. This includes medical records, eyewitness accounts, and the police crash reports. You must also, however, provide additional proof that a truck caused the accident.

To do so, you may have to get black box data. The black box is a device that records data relevant to a truck’s performance and movement, including:

  • How long the driver drove without a break
  • How fast they were going
  • Whether the trucker applied the brakes

Most trucks also have in-cab cameras that record the driver’s behavior and habits. These can help show whether the trucker was distracted or following a vehicle too closely.

Cell phone records are another important type of evidence. These can show whether the driver was on the phone or texting at the time of the accident.

There are many other kinds of potentially relevant evidence as well, including witness statements, expert witnesses, and more. You may need some or all of them to prove your claim and make it clear that the truck driver caused the accident.

Keep in mind that evidence is not easy to gather, and trucking companies can put obstacles that prevent you from getting this information. That’s why you need a truck accident lawyer on your side.

Who Can Be Held Responsible?

Many people can be held responsible after a truck accident. The truck driver tends to be the first person on which blame lands. If the driver was behaving in a negligent manner, such as by engaging in distracted, intoxicated, or aggressive driving, they are certainly at fault. In some instances, however, they may not be liable.

Instead, the trucking company might be liable. If they do not train their drivers correctly or if they hire people who are not qualified for the job, they bear responsibility. Trucking companies also often break the law by offering incentives for drivers who violate the hours of service rule.

Another party that can be held liable is the trucking manufacturer. Many parts make up a truck. If just one of these parts doesn’t function as it should, it could cause the vehicle to malfunction and lead to a crash.

Loading companies can be liable, too. Many trucking companies rely on third-party companies to load and unload cargo. If this isn’t done correctly, the cargo can shift as the truck moves, throwing the vehicle off-balance. Often, this results in the driver losing control of the truck.

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

Most truck accidents have a statute of limitations of two years in Arizona. Keep in mind, however, that the circumstances of the accident play a role in the exact amount of time you have to file a claim. In some instances, you may have a significantly shorter period of time.

Because the statute of limitations is a hard deadline, you want to have a lawyer who can ensure that you don’t miss it. Experienced attorneys will manage all of the paperwork as well as present your case in its best light so that you have the highest chance of getting the compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a combination of factors can lead to a collision.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a problem all over the country and with all types of vehicles. Indeed, 25% of all vehicle accidents occur because of some form of distraction.

Distractions usually involve cell phones, but eating, talking with other passengers, and fiddling with the radio or GPS can all be an issue. In Arizona, the Hands-Off Law makes it illegal to use standalone electronic devices while driving unless the device is in hands-free mode.

Fatigue

Truck drivers generally spend numerous hours each day driving. There are, however, laws in place to prevent truckers from driving for too long without resting. These regulations are often violated.

Someone who drives while they’re battling fatigue will pay less attention to the road. Doing so can make concentrating more difficult as well. Extreme fatigue could additionally lead to truckers falling asleep at the wheel, which can be extremely dangerous for everyone on the road.

Driving While Intoxicated

Truck drivers must hold a commercial driving license, which has much stricter limits when it comes to driving after drinking. For most people, the blood alcohol concentration cut-off is 0.08%. But for truck drivers, it’s 0.04%.

Having just one drink can make a driver less focused, affecting their reflexes and coordination. This means that they have more trouble reacting to changes on the road, increasing the likelihood of an accident.

Equipment Failure

A truck that doesn’t function as it needs to puts everyone on the road in danger. Even a minor mechanical breakdown can make the driver lose control.

Common types of equipment failure include:

  • Poorly maintained or faulty brakes
  • Transmission failure
  • Worn tires
  • Defective lights
  • Overall poor maintenance

Trucking companies are supposed to perform inspections of each truck before they make a trip. If a company cuts corners and allows the truck to go on the road without an inspection, it could be liable.

Driver Error

Truck drivers who don’t receive the right amount of training can make errors that lead to accidents. Even experienced drivers can make mistakes when they have to travel along routes they don’t know while following an inflexible schedule.

Poor Cargo Loading

If the loading company doesn’t arrange the cargo correctly, it can move around while the truck is in motion. The weight shift makes it more difficult for the driver to manage the truck, potentially causing them to lose control of it. As a result, they risk veering into other lanes or even tipping over.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving refers to a combination of traffic offenses that endanger other people and property. It means engaging in risky behavior while knowing that doing so could lead to accidents. Some types of aggressive driving include tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights and stop signs, and speeding.

Common Injuries Caused by Commercial Truck Accidents in Tucson

The intense force generated by the collision of a truck with another vehicle leads to severe and even fatal injuries. Broken bones, especially ribs, are a common result of these types of crashes. Broken ribs can often heal on their own, so many don’t bother getting medical help. But that’s never a good idea. You want to make sure the ribs haven’t punctured an organ and that there isn’t more serious damage.

Back and neck injuries are also common. Whiplash is the type of injury that most frequently occurs during collisions of any sort. It happens when your head snaps forward and backward rapidly, damaging the muscles in your neck. More severe back injuries include dislocated discs.

Injuries to your spine can be extremely serious as well. They occur when the force of the impact damages spinal tissues. Spinal injuries often produce life-altering consequences, including partial or complete paralysis.

Disfigurement and amputation can also occur as a result of the high-impact crash. These injuries will affect you for the rest of your life, so getting compensation for that type of pain and suffering is vital.

Internal injuries are another common occurrence. In some instances, you may not even notice any signs of these at all, apart from a bit of bruising. Blunt force trauma to organs can present as bruising that doesn’t get better. If you notice this or any other symptoms, reach out to your doctor.

You can experience head and brain injuries, too, including traumatic brain injuries. Even if you don’t hit your head during the accident, whiplash that is severe enough may lead to brain injuries. Because brain injuries are not always apparent right after the accident, you have to watch for signs like:

  • Nausea
  • Vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Headaches that don’t go away
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting

If you have any of these symptoms, you must seek medical attention immediately. And if you do experience head trauma during the accident, let the emergency medical personnel know at the scene of the collision so they can check you out.

Although they’re not visible, psychological issues can arise after a truck accident. PTSD is one such example; this condition makes it difficult to get through your days without flashbacks and the panic they can cause. You may even be scared to get back on the road. It’s possible to get compensation for this type of injury.

Unfortunately, truck accidents can lead to fatalities. If your loved one died as a result of the accident, you could file a wrongful death claim. This kind of case is especially complex, so it is crucial that you have an attorney helping you present your case.

It doesn’t matter what type of injury you have or whether you think you have no injury at all. You should still accept help from the medical personnel who arrive at the site of the accident.

Torgenson Law: Offering Assistance for Tucson Truck Accident Personal Injury Claims

Being in a truck accident that left you with injuries and property damage can be a traumatic experience. Of course, getting compensation will not undo the damage the accident caused. However, it can help you pay for some of the bills that could be impacting your life.

At Torgenson Law, we bring over 20 years of experience to the table, offering reliable assistance. We will fight in your corner against insurance companies and other parties.

We help clients throughout Arizona get the compensation they deserve after suffering because of someone else’s negligence. Whether you’ve experienced catastrophic injuries or are dealing with some cuts and scrapes, it’s possible for you to get compensated for what you’ve been through.

Contact Torgenson Law today to learn more about how we can help.