Common Negligent Acts Giving Rise to a Truck Accident

Truck accidents are not only quite common, but they tend to give rise to more severe injuries than other types of auto accidents, in major part because the impact force caused by a truck tends to be much higher on average.  As such, it’s critically important that truck drivers are considerate of unique the risks involved in operating their vehicles, and that they drive appropriately so as to minimize those risks to the best degree possible. If you have suffered injuries in a truck accident scenario, then you may have a right of action against the truck driver — and potentially even their employer — for damages under Arizona law.  In Arizona, and elsewhere, truck accidents (whether involving a commercial truck or a personal vehicle) may be caused by a range of negligence-related factors. Consider the following. Improper Cargo Loading Improper cargo loading is perhaps one of the most common causes of truck accidents, as it can lead to rollover risks.  Truck drivers — along with cargo loaders, supervisors, etc. — must make reasonable efforts to ensure that cargo has been loaded appropriately so as to avoid a heightened rollover risk.  This applies to non-commercial contexts, too.  For example, if the defendant has rented a U-Haul truck, and decides to load all their heavy furniture to one side of the truck, then that could lead to a rollover accident. Failure to Properly Maintain Vehicle Trucks must be adequately maintained to prevent mechanical issues that could lead to an accident on […]

The Legality of Lane Splitting in Arizona

In Arizona, and elsewhere, motorcyclists sometimes attempt to split lanes in an effort to cut through traffic and avoid the gridlock.  This is perfectly natural, of course — many motorcyclists see lane splitting as a maneuver that is meant to take advantage of the unique dimensions of a two-wheeled vehicle.  Motorcyclists (like most others on the road) tend to also see themselves as exemplary operators and may therefore find any restriction on lane splitting to be questionable. In reality, however, lane splitting can expose both motorcyclists and others to a significant risk of injury.  It should come as no surprise that Arizona and most other states have regulated lane splitting in an effort to minimize the occurrence of motorcycle accidents (and the injury claims that may result from such behaviors).  As per section 28-903 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the state imposes a complete ban on motorcycle lane splitting. How does this effect damage recovery in a motorcycle accident?  Let’s take a look. Recovering Damages in a Lane Splitting Accident Given that lane splitting is banned in Arizona by statute, if you are involved in an accident while you are splitting a lane (i.e., riding between two lanes of traffic or between adjacent rows of vehicles), then you will be found negligent per se. Importantly, however, the fact that you are negligent for violating the lane splitting prohibition is not — in and of itself — enough to prevent you from successfully recovering damages in an accident.  Arizona implements the […]

Survival Actions vs. Wrongful Death Actions

In Arizona, and elsewhere, the surviving family members of an individual who has died due to the negligence or wrongful misconduct of another party are entitled to sue and recover damages pursuant to a wrongful death action — and in some cases, pursuant to a survival action.  Though the two actions are closely-related in many respects, there are fundamental differences that are worth evaluating. Consider the following. The Basis of the Action is Different Survival actions are brought on behalf of the deceased with the intention of recovering losses that were suffered by the deceased directly (prior to their death).  If the deceased dies instantly in an accident, for example, there would likely not be an actionable claim on this basis.  On the other hand, if the deceased is injured in a car accident, and their condition worsens over the course of a month before they die, then their estate would likely be entitled to bring a survival action for significant damages. Wrongful death actions are independent of survival actions, and meant to account for the losses suffered by the surviving family members of the deceased — for example, damages for wrongful death may cover the mental anguish suffered by a surviving spouse after the death of their husband. If you believe that you may have a legitimate survival action or wrongful death action, it’s important to get in touch with a qualified Phoenix wrongful death attorney for further assistance and an evaluation of your claims. Debtors, Creditors, and Liabilities […]

Defendants Must Keep Their Car in a Reasonably Safe Condition

If you are injured in a car accident where the collision is caused by the defendant’s failure to maintain their vehicle in a reasonably safe condition, then you may have a right of action against the defendant for damages.  In Arizona, and elsewhere, drivers have a duty to maintain their vehicles — failure to do so could expose them to significant civil liability in the event of an accident. Defendants Have a Duty to Properly Maintain Their Vehicles In Arizona, all drivers have a duty to maintain their vehicles in a reasonably safe condition so as to minimize the risk of injury to others.  Ensuring that one’s vehicle is properly maintained and free of defective conditions (that could pose an injury risk) may require a wide range of active behaviors, such as regular inspections, professional servicing and repair, and more. Whether the defendant has done enough to maintain their vehicle will depend on the circumstances of the case.  For example, if the defendant notices that their engine is acting up quite a bit, and they refuse to inspect the condition to determine whether the engine is faulty and in need of repair, then that may constitute negligence (if the engine fails and leads to a collision). Knew or Reasonably Should Have Known Critically, you can only hold a defendant-driver liable for the failure to adequately maintain their vehicle (in a safe condition) if you can prove that the defendant knew of the defective condition at-issue, or reasonably should have known […]

Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In Arizona, and all other state jurisdictions, the surviving family members (i.e., the surviving spouse, child, parent, guardian, siblings, grandparents, etc.) of the deceased may bring a wrongful death action against the defendant whose negligence or other misconduct caused the death of their loved one. For example, if your loved one died in a car accident involving a defendant-driver who was intoxicated at the time of the accident, then you would likely be entitled to bring a wrongful death action for damages. Wrongful death actions can give rise to significant damages.  Specifically, such actions are intended to compensate the surviving family members of the deceased for the losses they suffered due to the death of their loved one.  These losses are quite varied, and are certainly not limited to emotional losses — in fact, surviving family members may be entitled to recover for a range of damages that include lost financial support and lost companionship. Wrongful Death Damages — Basics Wrongful death claims can vary significantly from case-to-case, as the individual bringing the action may have a more interdependent relationship with the deceased (than others with a wrongful death claim).  For example, if you are completely financially dependent on your spouse, and your spouse dies in a car accident (involving the defendant’s negligence), then you would be entitled to wrongful death damages that account for the lost financial support that you would have otherwise received had your spouse survived. Wrongful death damages include, but are not limited, to: Funeral, burial, […]