Committed to Recovering Damages for Persons Injured in Phoenix Truck Accidents as Well as Surrounding Arizona Areas Including Kingman, Bullhead City, and Mohave County
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Phoenix due to the fault of another, Arizona law may entitle you to compensation for your various injuries. Truck accidents — particularly those involving employers and third-party defendants — can be rather challenging to litigate. To improve your prospects, it’s important that you work with an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer who has a proven track record. Call 602-535-1900 today to set up a free initial consultation with one of the skilled injury attorneys at Hirsch & Lyon.
Arizona Truck Accident Statistics
In the state of Arizona, and throughout the United States, truck accidents are not only among the most common personal injury incidents (giving rise to a lawsuit), but are also among the most dangerous. Victims involved in a truck accident may sustain serious injuries, such as paralysis, brain damage, decapitation, and other trauma, or even death. Truck accident statistics reveal the inherent dangers of truck accident. In a 2015 study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were approximately 3,598 fatal crashes and 83,000 injury-causing crashes linked to large commercial vehicles in the United States. Those involved in truck collisions may be eligible for compensation, and a Phoenix truck accident attorney at our firm can help victims recover their maximum due damages.
Why Are Truck Accidents More Serious Than Other Types of Accidents?
When a large truck collides with a passenger-sized car, the outcome can be disastrous. The sheer size of these commercial vehicles alone contributes to the extensive damage that truck accidents can result in. Truck accident victims often suffer serious injuries that can shatter their lives and the lives of the people they love the most. The Phoenix truck accident lawyers at Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law P.L.L.C. know far too well just how life-changing a trucking accident can be. Our lawyers have decades of collective experience assisting people who have suffered devastating injuries because of a trucking accident.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
One of the most common trucking accidents that we see in our legal practice occurs when a truck driver makes an unsafe lane change and collides with a car either passing on the left or right. Serious accidents also often happen when a truck is making a right turn from the left lane. Although the truck is supposed to remain in the right lane keeping the trailer as close as possible to curb and only swinging out into the left lane long enough to complete the turn, truck drivers often make right turns all the way from the left lane. When a truck driver swerves the trailer into the left lane to make a right turn, a car or bicycle with the space to pass on right is likely to be struck when the truck attempts to complete the right-hand turn.
Other types of truck accident claims that come across our desk involve cars that are rear-ended by semitrailers and other large trucks, as well as truck drivers who turn left in front of passenger vehicles, resulting in a serious collision.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Phoenix: The Role of Negligence in Commercial Vehicle Crashes
Large trucks and buses are uniquely dangerous in the accident context, thanks to a number of different factors: a) trucks tend to be heavier than other vehicles, so the impact force is more substantial and can cause more damage to others; b) trucks require a longer distance than smaller vehicles to come to a complete stop, and this difference is further compounded in poor weather conditions; and c) trucks may be improperly loaded, thus leading to a serious rollover risk.
Negligent actions that may lead to a truck accident – and subsequent personal injury – includes, but is not necessarily limited, to:
- Failure to drive cautiously given the circumstances of the road
- Failure to adapt driving to poor weather conditions
- Excessive speeding, particularly when turning
- Failure to properly maintain truck (brakes, engine, etc.)
- Failure to load cargo in a safe configuration so as to minimize rollover risk
- Driver under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Violations of federal and state regulation pertaining to truck driver scheduling and maintenance requirements
- Failure to adhere to road signals
- And more
Negligence in the truck accident context can be quite varied, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. Because there are so many factors involved in a truck accident case – and because trucking companies will likely fight the claim – it is imperative that victims seek legal counsel with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Phoenix who can protect their rights.
Arizona Has a Statute of Limitations: Don’t Wait to Pursue Your Truck Accident Claim
If you do not file your lawsuit in a timely manner, you may not be eligible to sue and recover damages in a court of law. Because Arizona’s statute of limitations sets a two-year max for filing a personal injury case, it is critical that you seek the counsel of an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer soon after your injury so that your claims can be fully assessed and your lawsuit filed before the statutory deadline.
Once you have consulted with a personal injury attorney and your case is taken on, your legal representative will investigate the facts (sometimes in conjunction with a professional investigator) and determine potential indications of negligence.
Vicarious Liability in Arizona
In Arizona, as in many other states, employers can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees, so long as the negligent employee committed the acts at-issue within the course and scope of their employment. Vicarious liability can be a bit confusing, so let’s take a look at how it works in the truck accident context.
For example, suppose that you are injured in a truck accident by a commercial trailer truck. The driver negligent at the time of the accident (fatigued, speeding, and disobeying road rules), and as a consequence of this negligence, you were injured. Not only can you hold the truck driver liable for your damages, but Arizona law would also entitle you to sue and recover damages from the employer. You will have to show, however, that the truck driver was acting within the course and scope of their employment at the time of the accident (i.e., by delivering goods in accordance with their job duties).
Vicarious liability is particularly useful in situations where the truck driver defendant does not have the insurance coverage or funds necessary to pay out your total damages. If you have racked up over $1M in total damages, for instance, you may find it easier to get your payout from the employer than from the employee truck driver.
Employers may also be separately liable for their own negligence. For example, imagine that you are injured by a truck driver who was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Further investigation reveals that the driver had a history of alcoholism and drunk driving incidents on their driving record. The employer could therefore be held independently liable for negligently hiring the driver and failing to properly supervise the driver, given the history of alcoholism and drunk driving.
Trucking Companies Have Specialized Insurance Companies
Although truck drivers are sometimes completely at fault for a collision, winning a truck accident case can be an uphill battle. Trucking companies typically work with their own specialized insurance companies that have superior experience in defending truck accident cases. This means that you are likely to have a serious fight on your hands, even in the most straightforward cases of obvious fault. An accident victim who is not represented by an experienced Phoenix truck accident attorney is no match for the expertise of these powerful insurance companies.
We Will Launch a Rapid and Thorough Investigation
When a truck accident victim hires our firm, our legal team will take quick action to investigate the crash. A thorough and rapid investigation is critical to the success of your case. Our Phoenix truck accident lawyers will locate and review all the evidence to determine the cause or causes of the accident. Our investigation will examine many different factors, including possibilities of an overloaded truck, mechanical defects, driver noncompliance with federal break and sleep standards, and impaired or distracted driving at the time of the accident.
Consult With a Qualified Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Hirsch & Lyon is a firm located in Phoenix, AZ that primarily serves clients in car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases. Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our Phoenix truck accident attorneys have over six decades of combined experience obtaining successful results for our injury clients, with the track record to prove it — over the years, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients.
Unlike many other Phoenix injury law firms, we are available 24/7 for our clients. If you have any questions or concerns about your case, feel free to call in and speak with one of our staff members. Additionally, we offer our services at a discounted rate. As such, if you litigate a case with us, you are not only benefiting from best-in-class legal advocacy, but the discounted rate means that you take home a larger amount from the total damages award.
To schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix truck accident lawyer at Hirsch & Lyon, call 602-535-1900 today. We look forward to speaking with you.
Phoenix Truck Accident FAQs
Q: I was speeding at the time of the accident. Can I still recover damages?
A: Yes. First, even if you were speeding, the fact that you were speeding did not necessarily contribute to your injuries. Only if your negligence contributed to your injuries will it affect your ability to recover. Second, Arizona is a pure comparative negligence state. What this means is that you are entitled to recover damages even if you are mostly at-fault for your injuries. For example, if you are deemed 60% at-fault for your injuries, you will still be able to recover 40% of your total damages.
Q: Do punitive damages apply to my case?
A: It depends on the circumstances. Punitive damages are rather uncommon in civil injury lawsuits. Generally speaking, the court will only award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious or malicious in nature, as punitive damages are not intended to compensate the injured, but are intended to “punish” the defendant and discourage others from the same type of conduct. For example, if you are involved in a truck accident with a driver whose employer was violating federal commercial trucking regulations and requiring that their drivers work extended hours (thus leading to dangerous fatigue levels), then a court may find such behavior egregious enough to justify an award of punitive damages.
Q: What damages can I claim?
A: In a truck accident lawsuit, you can claim a variety of damages for losses that include, but are not necessarily limited, to:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Wage loss (past and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- And more
Q: My insurer has offered to settle — what should I do?
A: In most cases, you should avoid settling with an insurer unless you have consulted with a qualified team of Phoenix truck accident lawyers first. Insurance companies are in the business of minimizing their liabilities. Without the aid of a Phoenix truck accident attorney, the insurance company will manipulate the situation to their advantage and coax you into a premature settlement that does not take into account their actual liabilities.