Being involved in a truck accident can lead to life-changing injuries or the death of a loved one. Trucking companies in Arizona often have the power to prevent these accidents. At Stone Rose Law, our Chandler truck accident attorneys are passionate about holding trucking companies and other parties accountable for the careless and reckless acts that cause these collisions. Find out how we can help you and your family after a truck accident in Chandler by consulting with one of our semi truck accident lawyers.
Trucking accidents are commonly dealt with by lawyers due to the magnitude of the damage. Victims often suffer severe to catastrophic physical injuries and can benefit from legal representation. If you are unsure whether you need to hire a Chandler personal injury attorney, consider the many ways in which one experienced in handling truck accident claims can help you during this difficult time:
The right Chandler truck accident attorney can give you everything you need in the aftermath of a truck accident. A lawyer will be aggressive when necessary to fight for the results that you deserve. While you and your family concentrate on healing, an attorney will handle legal issues on your behalf.
Determining the cause of a truck accident is required for liability, or financial responsibility, to be proven. According to Arizona’s fault-based insurance law, the person or party most at fault for causing a collision pays for the damages. A skilled Chandler car accident attorney can identify the cause of your truck accident by returning to the scene of the crash and analyzing evidence. Some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents in Chandler are:
It takes a great deal of attention, care and skill to safely operate a big rig. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers take their jobs or responsibilities seriously. Many make mistakes behind the wheel that lead to devastating traffic accidents. In other cases, a trucking company fails to use a reasonable amount of care, resulting in accident risks such as bad brakes or tire blowouts. Our truck accident lawyers in Chandler, AZ can name the defendant(s) in your case after carefully analyzing the cause of the wreck.
Unlike ordinary motor vehicle drivers, commercial trucking companies (common carriers) and truck drivers have a long list of federal laws that they must obey. These laws mainly have to do with safety in an effort to reduce the number of truck accidents. Violating these federal laws can lead to unsafe trucks, dangerous drivers and collisions. The following are just a few of many of these federal trucking laws:
If there is proof that a trucking company, truck driver or another entity broke a federal trucking law and that this is what caused your accident, you may have grounds to base your claim on negligence per se. This legal doctrine means you do not need any proof of fault other than the broken law. An attorney from Stone Rose Law can help you determine the grounds for your injury claim in Chandler.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large trucks involved in injury accidents in 2018 was 112,000. This was a 5 percent increase from 107,000 injury truck crashes in 2017. The injuries involved in a truck accident will depend on the mechanics of the collision. For example, how both vehicles collided, the part of the car that was struck, whether the victim was wearing a seat belt and the speed of the crash can all affect the injuries suffered.
In general, tractor trailers cause more severe injuries than commercial vehicle accidents. Some of these injuries include:
The injuries suffered in a Maricopa County truck accident can cause permanent scarring, disfigurement or disability. Many truck accidents are fatal, leading to wrongful death lawsuits in Chandler. It is important to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer in Chandler to seek an appropriate amount in compensation for your serious injuries. Otherwise, you may not receive enough to pay for your latent medical needs.
Truck accident lawsuits often involve catastrophic injuries. In personal injury law, a catastrophic injury is one that will affect the claimant for the foreseeable future. It is a long-term or permanent injury or disability. Common examples are severe traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, loss of limb and the loss of a bodily function. If you suffer such an injury, it is even more important to hire a Chandler or Phoenix catastrophic injury attorney to represent you. It may be more difficult to persuade an insurance company to offer the amount of money that you will need to pay for future medical care and a lifetime of lost earnings as a victim with a catastrophic injury.
Holding someone legally responsible, or liable, for a truck accident can bring you and your family justice and deliver the financial compensation that you need to move forward after suffering a serious injury. The first step in holding someone liable for a truck accident is understanding the law in your state. Arizona is an at-fault state for vehicle accidents. This means that an injured person must determine and prove the fault of the other party involved to recover financial compensation for their injuries.
The second step is identifying the person or entity that is most at fault for causing the truck accident. This could be one or multiple parties. It may be the truck driver if any of the following caused the accident:
If a truck driver is found to be at fault for causing a truck accident, a rule known as vicarious liability can make the trucking company liable instead, as the trucker’s employer. The trucking company could also be at fault for its own mistakes, such as hiring an incompetent truck driver, failing to properly maintain its fleet, encouraging drivers to break the rules and ignoring federal safety laws. Finally, a third party such as a truck part manufacturer or the government could also be found liable for a truck accident, depending on the circumstances.
One defense tactic that you may encounter during a truck accident lawsuit in Chandler is the comparative negligence defense. This is an attempt by the defense attorney to reduce the defendant’s liability for the truck accident by alleging that the injured party is also at fault for the collision. In Arizona, however, comparative fault does not bar a plaintiff from making a financial recovery.
Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-2505 states that a claimant’s action is not barred for comparative fault, but the damages (financial compensation) shall be reduced in proportion to the claimant’s fault. If you are found to be partially at fault for the truck accident that injured you, this statute means that your financial recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are found to be 10 percent liable, for example, a $100,000 reward would be reduced by 10 percent to $90,000.
Unlike modified comparative negligence states, Arizona’s pure comparative negligence law does not cap a claimant’s ability to recover at a certain percentage of fault, such as 50 percent. Instead, a claimant can make at least a partial financial recovery even with 99 percent of fault. It is important to work with an attorney to minimize your comparative fault and maximize your financial compensation.
Every personal injury case relies on evidence – the facts and documentation that prove that what is being claimed is true or valid. The burden of proof that is placed on the claimant is more likely to be true than not true (a preponderance of the evidence). This means that you or your truck accident lawyer in Chandler will need to gather and present enough evidence to convince the courts that the defendant is at fault for your crash with at least a 50 percent certainty. You may also need evidence to support an insurance claim.
Commercial truck accidents are unique in the types of evidence that are often available to prove a claimant’s case. This evidence differs from that in a typical car accident case, and may include:
These unique sources of evidence come in addition to more typical types of evidence in an auto accident case, such as police reports, photographs, eyewitness statements and expert testimony. An attorney can help you preserve key evidence from the very beginning of your case – before it’s too late. It is important to contact a lawyer before the trucking company involved in your case has time to alter or destroy any evidence. Then, your personal injury lawyer can build a compelling claim to damages based on the evidence available.
There is a law in Arizona known as a statute of limitations that gives you a strict time limit to file an automobile accident claim. In Arizona, if you do not file your claim within two years of a truck accident, you may forfeit the right to seek financial compensation. In most cases, the two-year window begins running on the date of the accident. However, if you suffer an injury that is discovered late, you will have two years from the date of discovery.
You may have more or less time to file, however, depending on the case. For example, claimants have just 180 days to file lawsuits against the government in Arizona. In addition, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within two years of the date of the decedent’s death rather than the date of the accident. Make sure you meet your time limit by consulting with a truck accident attorney in Chandler as soon as possible.
No dollar amount can put a price on your injuries or pain and suffering. However, seeking fair financial compensation from a trucking company or another defendant could bring your family closure, peace of mind and the money that you need to move forward. The financial compensation that may be available for a truck accident includes:
The value of a truck accident claim is quantified using factors that are specific to each case, such as the severity of the victim’s injuries. The best way to determine the value of your lawsuit is by requesting a review with an attorney. A Chandler truck accident lawyer can negotiate for maximum financial compensation on your behalf.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in Chandler, Stone Rose Law can help. We are reputable plaintiff’s attorneys in Arizona with extensive experience handling complicated personal injury cases. Whether you need a Chandler or Scottsdale truck accident attorney, we can help you protect your rights at a critical time in your life. To request a free initial consultation, contact us online or call (480) 498-8998 today. Our lawyers can guide you through the legal process from start to finish.