Some of the most horrifying injuries sustained on the road today are those resulting from commercial truck accidents. Big rigs, semi-trucks, and 18-wheelers are huge and heavy. Many commercial truck accidents result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries to people in many vehicles. There are numerous regulations in place to reduce or prevent truck accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident on an Arizona highway, you should consult Phoenix truck accident lawyer Freddy Saavedra. He understands the common causes of truck accidents and can investigate your crash to find out what may have caused it.
Truck accidents can be utterly devastating to multiple victims. Often, many victims try to make a claim against the truck driver’s insurance policy, which means that the policy limits may be reached too quickly, and some accident victims may not be fully compensated for their harm. It is important to retain an experienced truck accident attorney who can look closely at the circumstances related to an accident and determine the cause or causes of the accident since all responsible parties should be brought into the lawsuit.
Often, a truck accident is a result of negligence. To establish a case for negligence, you will need to show that the defendant owed a duty of care and breached the duty. A breach of duty can happen in many ways. A truck driver may breach the duty of care by behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, improperly loading the truck, taking a turn too fast, making an improper wide turn, failing to check for blind spots, or failing to obey traffic signs and signals.
Truck drivers must abide by a greater range of rules than drivers in smaller vehicles. For example, under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, interstate truck drivers are allowed to operate their trucks for up to 11 continuous hours over a 14-hour workday. After that, they need to rest for 10 continuous hours before getting behind the wheel to drive again. They cannot drive after 60 hours on duty spanning seven days in a row or after 70 on-duty hours spanning eight days in a row. The seven- or eight-day period can be restarted after taking 34 or more hours off duty.
Violating the rules is one of the common causes of truck accidents. For example, many truck drivers fail to abide by the hours of service rules and wind up driving while fatigued. If a truck driver’s violation causes an accident, this is strong evidence of the truck driver’s negligence.
Additionally, trucking companies owe a number of duties in connection with the hiring, supervision, and training of truck drivers. Sometimes truck accidents result from a trucking company’s failure to adequately conduct background checks or train a truck driver in various skills necessary for the operation of a large commercial truck. A trucking company may be held, vicariously or indirectly, liable for a truck accident. It may also be held directly liable for a truck accident if its negligent hiring, negligent training, or negligent supervision caused the accident.
Other common causes of truck accidents include bad weather, mechanical failure, and improperly loaded cargo. The circumstances will determine whether it is possible to recover damages. For example, if there was bad weather, your truck accident attorney in Maricopa County, AZ, can look at whether the truck driver acted reasonably, given the bad weather. If the truck driver did not slow down, for example, this may be negligence that is actionable. If there was a mechanical failure, it may be appropriate to hold accountable a truck manufacturer. If the cargo was improperly loaded by a company hired to load the cargo, and the imbalanced or unsecured cargo caused the accident, it may be possible to hold that company liable.
If you or a loved one has been struck by a truck on an Arizona highway, you should discuss the matter with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Freddy Saavedra assists accident victims in Phoenix and elsewhere in Maricopa County. Call us at (602) 878-6625 or contact us via our online form.
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