Mesa Truck Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a truck accident? Are you now facing medical bills, lost wages, disability, or other issues as a result? If you were a passenger or driver in an accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle you need an experienced Mesa truck accident lawyer today.
- Feel confident: The Smith Alston law team has successfully helped hundreds of people just like you get the compensation for their truck accident injury case that they deserve. We have the knowledge and the experience to help you get what you are entitled to.
- Get answers: The legal and insurance systems are confusing and intimidating. We have the experience and knowledge to guide you through them, and to help you get the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
- Save time and stress: We know you have already lost time because of your truck accident injury. We believe that your time is important and valuable; we will work hard to get results for your case quickly. Let us take it from here.
- Get personal attention: You are important to us and we show it. Meet one-on-one with one of our attorneys of the Smith Alston law team. Be confident knowing that you have their personal attention to your case every step of the way.
Smith Alston is an experienced law firm that has helped many accident victims navigate the difficult legal system and get the compensation they deserve.
What you should know about accidents involving trucks and other commercial vehicles
Most people think that vehicle accidents that take place on the road or highway are essentially the same whether they involve a motorcycle, car(s), or an 18-wheeler. This is NOT the case. When commercial vehicles are involved in an accident the entire nature of the accident is different. This is due to the incredible amount of damage trucks can inflict in an accident, and also because truck drivers are subject to different rules and regulations than the average driver.
Determining the cause(s) of the accident, establishing negligence and liability, and providing proof are often very different for truck accidents than for standard car crashes.
Quick Facts about Truck Accidents
- Thousands of truck accidents occur each year in Arizona resulting in thousands of injuries and causing untold levels of physical and emotional damage.
- Large trucks make up a small percentage of the vehicles on the road but are involved in a significantly larger percentage of crashes.
- There is no such thing as a minor “fender-bender” when your vehicle is struck by an 80,000 pound commercial truck. The extent of injury and property damage is often proportional to the size of these large trucks.
- People whose vehicles or property are struck by large trucks are 4-5 times more likely to be injured or killed in the accident than the driver of the truck.
Common causes of truck accidents
Example 1: Driver Error. Driver error is the leading cause of truck accidents.
- Lack of training, carelessness, and driver fatigue are major contributing factors in many truck crashes.
- Many truckers regularly ignore speed limits in an effort to increase the number of loads they haul, and to shorten their delivery time.
- Blind spots increase with vehicle size, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
- Drivers fail to account for hazardous weather conditions and the limitations they place on their trucks; truck braking and control is more affected by weather than standard vehicle braking and control is.
- There may be further violations of traffic laws.
Example 2: Equipment Failure. Federal Law requires truck drivers to properly maintain their vehicles and equipment but many drivers ignore these regulations.
Example 3: Improper Loading. Truck loads have a significant effect on the operation of the vehicle.
- Unbalanced loads can cause trucks to tip over.
- Improperly secured loads can become detached during truck operation and fall off into the roadway, causing traffic accidents.
Trucking companies have an obligation to the public, including you, to make sure that their drivers are properly trained and licensed. Their failure to do so can establish negligence, and therefore liability.
Why do I need a lawyer?
- Were the rules and regulations followed? There are a host of Arizona and federal regulations that govern the operation of large trucks. Finding the applicable regulations, and discovering a violation, can often mean the difference when establishing liability on the part of the driver and his company. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict guidelines that determine how long truckers may stay behind the wheel. Your injury may be a direct result of the driver’s failure to adhere to these rules, or others.
- Lawyer investigation: Proving a violation of the FMCSA’s hours of service rules may involve an examination not only of gas and toll receipts (to show at what times the rig was present at a particular location) but also cell phone records, logs, bills of lading showing the times and locations of the pickup and drop off of the trucks loads, accident reports, on-board systems with GPS capabilities, alcohol and drugs tests, and other data. This requires investigation by a knowledgeable attorney who knows what to look for and where to look for it.
- Finding the accountable party: Others could be at fault! It is not unusual for accidents to occur because of the manner in which the truck’s cargo was placed and secured in/on the truck. Overloading an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle can cause it to overturn or be operated in an unsafe manner. It is possible for a truck driver to have driven perfectly safely and yet still cause an accident because of cargo issues. Negligence in loading cargo can support a verdict of liability in your case, others besides the driver and his company may be at fault.
Numerous aspects of truck accidents, and other commercial vehicle accidents, make your case unique. It is essential to find an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer who understands the special issues that arise when you suffer personal injuries in a collision with a large truck.
Truck accident FAQs
How soon after a truck accident should I file a claim?
The sooner you consult with an experienced Mesa truck accident attorney the better. Evidence needed to build your case is more likely to be available soon after the accident, and witnesses’ statements should be taken while the facts and circumstances are still fresh in their minds.
How do large truck accident claims differ from car accident claims?
Fatalities are more common and injuries are often more serious in accidents involving large commercial trucks. The stakes are therefore generally higher in the insurance claims and the lawsuits that result from a truck accident. Unlike passenger vehicles, commercial trucking is under strict federal regulation. Additionally, several different parties may be liable for injuries in large truck accidents, while in passenger car accidents usually only the driver at fault for the accident is liable.
Who is liable for injuries in a commercial truck accident?
Each case is different. It is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck. Potentially liable parties may include the:
- Truck driver.
- Trucking company.
- Company that owns or leases the trailer.
- Shipping company.
- Truck manufacturer.
- Truck repair shop.
- Parties responsible for road maintenance.
In what ways do commercial motor vehicle drivers cause accidents?
Commercial truck drivers may not have enough training in driving skills or safety. They are often motivated by compensation systems that reward longer driving hours and faster speeds. They may also be driving under pressure from the company to meet an unrealistic schedule, resulting in driver fatigue. According to a study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a number of factors, including the following, contribute to accidents involving large commercial trucks:
- Traveling too fast for conditions.
- Cargo shifts.
- Driver loss of control.
- Poor road conditions.
How much will it cost me to hire a personal injury attorney for my truck accident case?
Truck accident injury cases are typically paid for based on a contingency fee. You pay nothing up front and if your case settles, the attorney is paid a percentage of your settlement.