Based on their size and speed, trucks will likely cause the most devastating accidents on the road. Whether they merge and do not see you, fail to leave themselves appropriate braking distance or make a turn without the proper lane clearance, these huge trucks can destroy most smaller vehicles on the road. Whether your accident was caused by a construction vehicle, commercial truck, 18-wheeler or delivery truck, you need an experienced personal injury and car accident lawyer on your side.
What Are Some Common Causes of Truck Crashes?
Truck accidents can be caused by numerous reasons, including:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unbalanced loads
- Overweight or oversize loads
- Driver inexperience
- Mechanical failure
While it is true that truckers are professional drivers and carry a special driver’s license, this does not make them infallible. Their pay and continued employment are often tied to making deliveries on time or early. Unfortunately, this can lead to speeding, driving through the night or taking chances on the road to cut precious hours off their delivery schedule. While we understand the enormous pressure they are under, this does not excuse them from reckless or dangerous behavior. Contact our Glendale truck accident attorney for a free initial consultation to discuss your personal injury claim in greater detail. We represent truck accident lawsuits in Glendale, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Peoria, Buckeye and throughout Maricopa County.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Injuries?
Arizona is a fault insurance state, making it necessary to determine fault before you can recover compensation for a truck crash. The law states that the at-fault party will be the one liable, or responsible, for paying for victims’ damages. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine liability in a trucking accident. Many accident cases require full investigations.
Parties that can be held liable for your injuries include:
- The truck driver. An individual truck driver may be liable if he or she was not on duty at the time of the wreck. The driver could be responsible if he or she caused the crash through drowsy driving, drunk driving, distracted driving or negligence.
- The truck company. If the driver was on duty, the trucking company will be vicariously responsible for his or her misconduct. The truck company could also be liable for negligence such as failing to properly train drivers or maintain its fleet.
- The truck owner. Many drivers and trucking companies lease big rigs from third parties. If a problem with the truck itself caused the accident, the owner of the truck may be liable for damages.
A third-party driver, a product manufacturer or the City of Glendale could also be responsible for an accident. Some cases involve multiple at-fault parties. It is important to speak to a lawyer after a truck accident in Arizona for assistance determining fault. A Glendale truck accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies, gather evidence, investigate the cause of the crash and help you name the correct defendant(s).
Common Types of Truck Accidents
In many cases, the type of truck accident can point to the cause of the crash. A tire blowout, for example, points to causes such as poor truck maintenance, a tire defect or a pothole. A jackknife accident usually arises from truck drivers using improper braking techniques. Identifying the type of accident is often one of the first steps in determining liability. A truck injury claim can include any of the following types of accidents:
- Lost cargo
- Underride or override
- Rear-end collision
- Tire blowout
- Wide-turn accident
- Blindspot or merge accident
- Drunk driving accident
- Distracted driving accident
Any type of truck accident could prove fatal for victims. The size and weight of the average big rig make typical passenger vehicles no match. No matter what type of truck collision recently injured you or killed a loved one, contact us for a free consultation with a Glendale truck accident attorney about your case. Our law firm can help you determine the cause of your accident, as well as work with crash reconstructionists to get to the bottom of your truck accident case.
Hours of Service Regulations
Drowsy driving is a significant problem in the trucking industry. Truck drivers are more prone to driving tired than typical drivers due to long hours on the road, night shifts and issues such as sleep apnea. Having to sleep at unusual times in uncomfortable sleeper berths can make it harder for a trucker to get adequate sleep. All these factors make it important for a trucker to obey federal hours of service regulations to ensure sufficient sleep.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has hours of service rules in place for commercial trucks. These rules control how long a truck driver may drive. They give three maximum hours of service rules: a 14-hour driving window, an 11-hour limit and an hours-per-week limit. The 14-hour window states that no trucker may exceed 14 consecutive hours of work. Once the driving window closes, the driver must be off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours.
The 11-hour limit is a daily drive time maximum. Within the 14-hour window, a trucker may drive for a maximum of 11 hours. The other three hours must be spent on breaks. After working for more than 8 consecutive hours, the driver must take a break of at least 30 minutes. The weekly limits impose a maximum of either 60 hours of work on a 7-day schedule or 70 hours of work on an 8-day schedule. Breaking any of the hours of service regulations is a breach of duty that could lead to preventable large truck crashes.
Contact our Glendale Truck Accident Attorneys
If you have questions regarding an accident with a large truck, schedule a free consultation at The Law Offices of John Phebus. Our law firm can be reached by calling (623) 847-7117 or by completing our online contact form. Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; evening and weekend appointments are available based on the needs of our clients. We can handle communication with the insurance company and secure fair compensation for your injuries. Our truck accident lawyers offer legal representation for accident victims in Glendale, Peoria, Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix and other communities in Maricopa County.