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Over 13,700 people were killed or injured in truck and bus accidents in Arizona in 20181, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Because of the size of a truck, injuries are often catastrophic or fatal. Long-term injuries and the death of a loved one are life-changing events that deserve more than the minimum compensation insurance companies often settle for.
Our team handles a wide variety of truck crash cases, including:
Don’t worry if you don’t see the kind of vehicle that was involved in your crash listed above! Our teams can handle just about anything you can imagine. Reach out to us today for more information about what we can do to protect you after a truck crash.
The Arizona Department of Transportation further divides data into which type of large truck2 involved in the accident:
The statistics also show that another 9,869 “other truck combinations” were involved in accidents, of which 41 were fatal and 2,408 were injury crashes. Other accidents had property damage only. Any of these types of trucks could injure you permanently or even cause long-term injuries.
Have you been hurt in a truck accident in Arizona? To help you better understand your next steps and how best to move through the legal process while also pursuing your path to recovery, Darryl Isaacs sat down and answer some of the most common questions he receives from truck accident victims.
To hear more about what you can do if you’ve been in a truck accident in Arizona and the steps you should take next, listen to the podcast below!
The main cause of truck accidents3, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is non-performance of the driver, which accounted for 68,000 trucks in accidents in the United States. That is 87 percent of truck accidents. Critical reasons include:
If an accident is a “non-performance” accident, the driver could have fallen asleep at the wheel, had a medical condition that caused the accident, or could have had another physical issue that caused the accident.
If an accident is a “recognition” accident, the driver was driving while distracted or otherwise not attentive, or for some other reason, the driver did not see the situation in time to stop.
Decision-making, such as tailgating, misjudging other vehicles’ speeds and driving too fast, are also critical issues that cause accidents. Finally, if an accident is a “performance” accident, the driver overcompensated, maybe after nodding off or swerving to miss something in the road, the driver panicked, or the driver was not able to control the truck in the direction he or she should have.
When your team of assembled Arizona truck accident lawyers begins work on your case, they’ll take a number of actions to secure your compensation and victory. These include:
Isaacs & Isaacs might not be able to erase the damage that the collision has done, but we can do our best to minimize its future impact. We’ll fight to make you “whole” again and will work to secure the compensation you need to move on and recover from this ordeal.
Truck drivers also get into accidents for other reasons. According to the CDC4, one in three over-the-road truckers has had a serious wreck in their career. In 2017, the CDC found that 3 percent of fatal truck accidents nationally, truck drivers had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. Other reasons for truck crashes include:
The driver and/or the trucking company have a checklist to go over before a long-haul truck takes off on a run. Among other things, the list includes checking headlights, brake lights, taillights, signals, running lights, brakes, air lines, hydraulic lines, tires, steering and suspension. If a company or owner/operator does not properly maintain the truck and, if applicable, the trailer, maintenance issues such as worn tires or brakes could cause an accident.
In many cases, a third party causes an accident. If a driver passes a truck on the highway and merges too close in front of the truck, the driver could have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the other driver. If the truck goes into a skid and jackknifes or even veers out of its lane, it could hit you.
Trucks are also subject to high winds, especially on bridges and sharp curves. Because a truck is so high, a strong wind gust could top the truck over. If you happen to be on the side of the truck, it could tip on top of you. Other weather conditions could cause accidents, including black ice, snow, sleet, rain, fog and icy roads. Even freezing fog could make a road slick enough to cause a large truck to slide, even at slow speeds.
Sometimes, a driver, company or owner/operator does the requisite maintenance and keeps the trucks in good repair, but the parts they use are defective. A defective part will cause an accident just as fast as a poorly maintained part. In this case, if you can show a defective part caused an accident, you might recover some damages from the product manufacturer.
After an accident, you could be entitled to collect certain damages. Economic damages and non-economic damages, or special and general damages, respectively, are meant to make you whole again. Though the money can never replace a loved one or remove a long-term or permanent injury, it does help to reduce the financial stress of managing a household without your spouse or if you have injuries.
Special damages, often referred to as economic damages, include those items that have a price tag on them, such as past and future lost wages, past and future medical expenses, medical equipment, and funeral and burial costs.
General damages, often referred to as non-economic damages, include those without a price tag, including pain and suffering, disfigurement, the loss of use of a body part or function, loss of companionship, loss of consortium and inconvenience. If doctors expect your injuries to heal before a year, the court might not consider your injuries to be long term. We may have to retain expert witnesses to show the court that your injuries will affect you in the future. Psychological, physical and cognitive therapies are sometimes good indicators that your injuries, whether mental or physical, might last longer than a year.
Punitive damages are also available if you can prove the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or intentional. These damages are not meant to make you whole, but are ordered by the court as a punishment for the defendant’s actions.
In some cases, the court could find that the driver was grossly negligent in his or her behavior. Generally, unless a driver was driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other chemical substances, or unless a driver was texting while driving, the court might not find for gross negligence. Another example of possible grossly negligent behavior is excessive speeding.
To best determine whether you might collect punitive damages, we may have to retain expert witnesses to try to prove the truck driver’s behavior was negligent or intentional.
Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 800-800-8888 Now!
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Trying to settle with the insurance company is often difficult, especially when numerous defendants are involved. You might have a claim against the driver, the trucking company the driver works for, the owner of the truck, the lessee and/or lessor if the truck is a rental, the truck manufacturing company, a part manufacturing company or even the dispatcher. Each party has his or her own truck accident lawyer. Contact Isaacs & Isaacs for a free consultation if you suffer from injuries due to a truck accident or if you lost a loved one in a truck accident.
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“No Fee Until We Win or Settle Your Case” Disclaimer: This refers only to fees charged by the attorney. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must also be paid by the client in the event of a recovery. Contingent fees are not permitted in all types of cases.”