We often hear about vehicle collisions that involve passenger cars; however, accidents involving semi-trucks or 18 wheelers are not equally publicized. Huge vehicles of course deserve respect on the road, demand exceptional driver training, added caution, a dedication to obeying traffic laws, and a big dose of common sense. Even with the best of intentions, dangerous collisions still occur, and nearly always cause complicated injuries or death.
An accident with a semi-truck and a passenger car is often more serious in nature and unfortunately, 1 in 10 fatalities on US Highways are caused by semi-trucks. The sheer size, mass and power of semi-trucks makes them very dangerous. These trucks can carry over 10,000 pounds of cargo at any given time and with the weight of their load, the truck can exceed 80,000 pounds! When up against a small 3,000-pound standard vehicle; the semi-truck can and will do massive damage.
There are numerous reasons why semi-trucks collide with other vehicles. The driver of a big rig must have faster reaction times and be on high alert when driving. Typically, there are a variety of circumstances and contributing factors that are to blame. Unfortunately, many of the incidents of Arizona truck accidents are caused by the driver’s error or the driver not following the laws.
If a semi-truck driver does make a mistake when behind the wheel, the massive size of the vehicle inhibits their response time. Most accidents by driver error are caused by exhaustion, intoxication, driving recklessly, loading errors or insufficient training.
Fatigue is a huge problem when it comes to affecting the average semi-truck driver. They become desensitized to their environment and find it easy to doze off to sleep. These drivers spend a great deal of time behind the wheel. Truckers are not supposed to drive more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period without stopping. They are additionally not allowed to have more than 60 hours of driving time within a seven-day period. However, some companies disregard the safety of others to break the law to meet their work demands.
Speeding is the number one cause of semi-truck accidents not obeying the law. Other issues include not stopping at a stop sign, unsafe turns, not yielding to oncoming traffic, and changing lanes unsafely. Often, cars are in a trucks blind spot when changing lanes and causes the car to be sideswiped by the semi-truck.
A serious accident can cause physical and mental disabilities, prevent you from making a living, and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills – or even claim the life of a loved one. A big rig carrying hazardous cargo increases the risk of both massive injuries and fatalities in an accident. Injuries as a result of a semi-truck accident often lead to complications like hospitalization, multiple surgeries, physical therapy, time off work and sometimes permanent injuries and disabilities.
Whether you are a trucker, pedestrian or other driver injured in a commercial truck incident, it is important that you understand your legal rights and any avenues of compensation that may be available to you. It is also important to realize how complex truck collision cases can be, as many different parties may be liable for damages. Often times it is not just the driver, but the trucking company and others, as well that can be held liable.
Proving negligence is always the biggest hurdle that any legal team has. There are numerous ways to prove negligence, such as police reports, witness testimonies, and photographs. Expert witnesses may also be called in to strengthen the case. If the driver of the truck was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, any evidence to support the altered state can also be used in court.
Our Scottsdale firm conducts a thorough investigation of what happened, what evidence needs to be obtained, what experts need to be hired, and who is/are responsible for the collision. There is a party at fault when truck and passenger vehicles collide.
When injured in an accident, things like pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages, are taken into consideration As a skilled semi-truck injury attorney we can demand maximum compensation for injury and losses. We cannot undo the collision, but we can fight to make you “whole” again.
Semi-truck accidents are common, expensive, and often caused by negligence. So whether you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a semi-truck, or a loved one has died during a trucking accident, our Scottsdale firm is here for you.
If you are unsure if you have a semi-truck injury case, the Law Office of A.J. Mitchell will help sort through the evidence and give you an honest evaluation of your claim.