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Arizona’s roadways are frequently traveled by large commercial trucks, which are significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. Due to their size and weight, accidents involving these trucks often lead to severe injuries or fatalities. Peoria residents who have been affected by a truck accident should seek legal assistance to ensure fair compensation for their losses.
In this article, we will delve into the truck accident landscape in Peoria, Arizona, by exploring truck accident statistics, common causes of truck accidents, federal and state regulations governing truck drivers, and the potential liability in truck accident cases.
Truck Accident Statistics and Common Causes
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 146,900 people were injured in truck accidents across the U.S., with 4,965 fatalities. Arizona saw 10,713 truck accidents in the same year, resulting in 2,423 injuries and 105 fatalities.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a study and found that 87% of truck accidents resulted from driver errors, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Poor surveillance
Other factors contributing to truck accidents include medical issues, poor road conditions, defective parts, bad weather, and lack of maintenance.
Federal and State Regulations for Truck Drivers
To ensure safety on the road, truck drivers must adhere to federal regulations outlined in 49 CFR Part 383, which includes rules such as maximum daily driving hours, workweek limits, and commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements.
Arizona also has state laws that affect truck accident cases, such as:
- Maximum speed limit of 65 mph, unless otherwise posted (ARS 28-709)
- Maximum truck length rules (ARS 28-1095(c))
Potential Liability in Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are often more complex than other types of vehicle collisions due to the number of parties that might be potentially liable. These accidents also involve insurance policies with high liability limits and often result in extensive injuries.
Parties that might be liable in a truck accident case include the truck driver, other vehicle driver, trucking company, third-party leasing company, truck owner/operator, shipper, entity responsible for road maintenance, parties involved in the distribution of defective truck parts, and third-party repair garage.
It is essential for victims to work with an experienced Peoria truck accident attorney who can thoroughly investigate the case, identify all liable parties, and fight for fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
Vicarious Liability and the Role of Trucking Companies
Trucking companies play a significant role in truck accident cases. They are often held vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees while on the job. This means that the trucking company’s insurance policy will be the source of recovery when an accident occurs.
Insurance companies tend to fight truck accident claims aggressively due to the high policy limits and substantial amounts of money that may be involved. By retaining an experienced Peoria truck accident attorney, victims will have a better chance of winning their claims and recovering fair compensation.
Trucking companies may try to avoid liability by claiming that their drivers are independent contractors instead of employees. In such cases, an experienced Peoria truck accident attorney will carefully review the driver’s employment records to determine whether they have been misclassified and should be treated as an employee.
Even when a driver is classified as an independent contractor, there are situations where the trucking company might still be liable. For example, a trucking carrier can be held directly liable if it negligently contracts with an incompetent driver who is known or should be known as unfit to drive.
Navigating the Legal Process
Victims of truck accidents in Peoria should be aware of the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Arizona. Typically, they have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, certain exceptions and specific circumstances can affect this deadline, so it’s crucial to consult with a Peoria truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Arizona follows a comparative negligence system, which means that even if a victim was partially at fault for the accident, they can still recover damages. Their compensation will be reduced by the percentage of their fault. For example, if a victim is found to be 30% at fault and their total damages amount to $100,000, they would be able to recover $70,000.
Hiring a Peoria Truck Accident Attorney
Working with a Peoria truck accident attorney can greatly improve your chances of winning your claim and recovering fair compensation. These legal professionals have years of experience handling complex truck collision claims and are well-versed in investigating accidents, identifying contributing factors, and securing full settlements for their clients.
When insurance companies or trucking carriers refuse to settle a claim, a skilled Peoria truck accident attorney will be willing to fight for justice on their client’s behalf in a trial before a judge or jury. This determination to secure rightful compensation for victims is what sets them apart from others.
In conclusion, truck accidents in Peoria, Arizona, are often severe and can result in life-altering injuries or fatalities. Victims of these accidents should seek the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney who can navigate the complex legal landscape, identify liable parties, and fight for fair compensation for their losses. With the right legal support, victims can focus on their recovery while their attorney handles the complexities of their case.
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FAQs: Car Accidents in Peoria
Car accident victims and those who have lost loved ones often have many questions about their rights and the steps they should take. Our Peoria car accident attorneys frequently address these questions to help clients understand their potential cases.
Q: What should I do if I’m involved in a truck accident in Peoria?
A: Seek medical attention immediately, contact law enforcement, document the scene and any injuries, exchange information with other parties involved, and consult with a Peoria truck accident attorney.
Q: How can a Peoria truck accident attorney help me?
A: An experienced attorney can thoroughly investigate your case, identify all liable parties, and fight for fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Q: How long do I have to file a truck accident claim in Arizona?
A: In Arizona, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including truck accidents, is typically two years from the date of the accident. However, there may be exceptions or specific circumstances that can affect this deadline, so it is crucial to consult with a Peoria truck accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within the appropriate time frame.
Q: Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the truck accident?
A: Yes, Arizona follows a comparative negligence system, which means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. Your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you were found to be 30% at fault and your total damages were $100,000, you would be able to recover $70,000.
Q: How is compensation determined in a truck accident case?
A: Compensation in truck accident cases typically takes into account various factors, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident. An experienced Peoria truck accident attorney can help you determine the full extent of your losses and seek appropriate compensation.
Q: What if the trucking company claims the driver is an independent contractor and not an employee?
A: Trucking companies may attempt to classify drivers as independent contractors to avoid liability for their actions. However, an experienced Peoria truck accident attorney will carefully review the driver’s employment records to determine whether they have been misclassified and should be treated as an employee. In some cases, the trucking company may still be held liable for negligently contracting with an incompetent driver, even if the driver is classified as an independent contractor.
"My wife and I had occasion to use Mr. Lamber and his staff for a legal matter. The entire staff was wonderful. They kept us informed of every step and communicated quickly and effectively as things changed or progressed. We would highly recommend Mr. Lamber and his staff to anyone needing legal advice or assistance. They had a very high level of integrity and professionalism. It's too bad there are only 5 stars for their rating. They are excellent."
"I just got rear-ended today, but I'm thankful I found this firm. They take care of you in general, and if you don't make enough to cover your costs, they back you up 100%. Stephanie Ramos gave excellent and kind customer service by getting me in motion with the whole process. Attorney Donn Coolidge gave me the rundown of the situation very clearly, and I'm looking forward to working with him. I fully recommend this firm!"
Jonathan Carrillo Lopez
2394 E Camelback Rd #600
Phoenix, AZ 85016