Determining Negligence in Truck Accident Cases

A truck accident is a risk that all drivers in Arizona face when they have to share the road with large commercial trucks. Despite federal regulations and other safety laws, truck drivers and truck companies make frequent mistakes that can have deadly consequences. In 2018 alone, 4,862 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in the US, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. To financially recover from a truck accident in Arizona, a victim must determine and prove negligence.

Examples of Negligence By Truck Drivers

Truck drivers have duties of care when operating large commercial trucks. The dangers posed by big rigs is enough to place a serious obligation of safety on their operators and the trucking company. If a truck driver carelessly breaches his or her duty of care, this is called negligence. A truck driver could cause an accident through many different acts of negligence.

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Breaking hours-of-service regulations
  • Driving drowsy or fatigued
  • Driving while distracted
  • Eating and drinking behind the wheel
  • Texting and driving
  • Fiddling with a GPS or radio
  • Watching videos while driving
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Swerving or weaving between lanes
  • Performing illegal or reckless maneuvers
  • Using incorrect braking techniques

Despite being in charge of a dangerous vehicle, many truck drivers become complacent behind the wheel on long drives and engage in careless and reckless acts. Failing to pay attention to the road, misjudging distances and driving aggressively are common examples of truck driver mistakes that can lead to truck accidents. If a truck driver’s negligence causes a collision, the driver or trucking company will be liable, a Glendale truck accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for your damages.

Evidence Used in Truck Accident Cases

Before an injured truck accident victim can recover compensation for his or her losses in Arizona, the victim must prove the case against the defendant based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means enough evidence to prove the defendant more likely than not caused the truck accident. Evidence in a truck accident case can include:

  • The truck’s black box and electronic logging devices. Most commercial trucks are equipped with technologies that record information about the truck and driver, such as the speed of the truck at the time of the collision and driver logs.
  • Documents and records from the trucking company. The trucking company will have internal records such as employee documents, accident histories, and truck maintenance and repair logs to serve as evidence.
  • Evidence from the scene of the truck accident. Eyewitness statements, photographs, a police report, accident reconstruction and other evidence collected from the scene of the crash could help build a case.
  • Evidence of losses. The victim will also need proof of his or her compensable losses, such as medical bills, receipts, medical records and pay stubs.

The amount of evidence saved can make a big difference to the outcome of a truck accident case. Hiring a car accident lawyer right away can help a victim preserve and collect key evidence for his or her case.

Who Could Be Responsible for Your Damages?

Legal responsibility for a truck accident can go to a few different parties, depending on the circumstances of the case. The first option is the commercial truck company. Most truck companies are held vicariously liable for the actions of their drivers, even if they are independent contractors. Therefore, the victim may be able to hold the truck company liable for the mistakes of the truck driver.

In other cases, if the negligent truck driver is an owner/operator, the victim may only be able to hold the individual driver responsible. In still other circumstances, parties such as the cargo company, cargo loaders, a truck part manufacturer, a maintenance team, a third-party driver or the government could bear legal responsibility. A truck accident attorney can help an injured victim determine and prove liability after a harmful crash.