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Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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Phoenix Truck Accident Attorney

A serious semi truck accident on Phoenix streets, rural roads, the 101, I-40, I-17, I-10, or any highway in Arizona can cause catastrophic injuries or even death. Whether it’s a commercial van, an 18-wheeler, a tanker truck, a tractor-trailer, a flatbed truck, or a dump truck, the truck’s greater weight and mass can total any car it hits and seriously injure the occupants. These injuries can be properly handled with an experienced Phoenix truck accident attorney.

Every year, trucking accidents injure and kill thousands of people around the world. Consumers rely on the trucking industry, but at what cost? Negligent truck drivers, careless companies, and poorly managed trucking runs can all cause accidents and fatalities. The Phoenix truck accident attorneys at Knapp & Roberts serve victims by explaining their rights, filing lawsuits within the deadline, and fighting for full compensation for damages. Contact us to discover if you have grounds for a claim after a harmful truck accident in Arizona.

Causes of Tractor-Trailer Crashes

Like other auto accidents, the number one cause of truck accidents is human error. Despite the commercial trucking industry owing high standards of care to others on the roadways, accidents happen. Lack of due care in hiring and training procedures, in fleet maintenance, and in loading cargo are company-driven mistakes that can cause accidents, while driver distraction and intoxication are trucker-related errors. Common reasons for trucking accidents include:

  • Drowsy truck drivers. Rigorous schedules, pressure to meet deadlines, and long hours alone on the roads equal a high risk for drowsy driving accidents. Drowsy truck drivers often cannot control their heavy vehicles or adapt to changing roadway situations fast enough to avoid collisions.
  • Distracted truck drivers. Truckers may try to multitask behind the wheel to accomplish more or make their time on the road more entertaining. Cell phone use, chatting with passengers, or eating and drinking behind the wheel are all dangerous acts of driver negligence.
  • Lack of driver training. It takes special knowledge and training to operate a heavy commercial truck. If a company fails to properly train new drivers to get them on the road faster or for other reasons, it could result in truckers who do not know how to safely stop, turn, signal, or load and unload cargo.
  • Dangerous trucks. Commercial trucks can exceed 80,000 pounds in weight. They are dangerous enough to other drivers without maintenance lapses that make them unfit for the road. It is the trucking company’s job to properly inspect, repair, and maintain its vehicles before they make trips.
  • Lost cargo loads. Open and closed tractor-trailers have cargo loading and securement requirements from the federal government. Failing to obey these rules out of negligence or with the intent to save time or money is reckless; it could result in lost loads on the highway.

If a truck driver was drunk, drowsy, distracted, incompetent, reckless, or negligent behind the wheel in your accident, contact an attorney. You should also contact one of our lawyers if you suspect the trucking company could be liable for unsafe business practices, such as pressuring drivers to break their hours of service regulations to meet deadlines. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can find the underlying cause of what caused your wreck.

Federal Trucking Laws

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created dozens of special regulations specifically for the commercial trucking industry. These regulations apply to all trucking companies and drivers in the U.S. They deal with issues ranging from who is qualified to drive to how companies must react after accidents involving their drivers or vehicles. Breaking a federal rule could be evidence of negligence in a trucking accident. The following laws are some of the most important to know as an accident victim:

  1. Driver requirements. All commercial truck drivers must have valid Class C driver’s licenses. They must submit to pre-hiring drug tests, as well as random testing, as well as testing after crashes, and testing if the employer has reasonable cause. Operators must also fulfill physical and mental qualifications for the job, as well as pass background checks.
  2. Hours of service (HOS) regulations. Such restrictions state how long a truck driver can operate a vehicle before needing to take a mandatory rest break. In general, commercial drivers cannot exceed more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty; they may not drive beyond the 14th hour after 10 hours off and may only drive if eight hours or fewer have passed after a half-hour sleeper berth period.
  3. Cargo securement and heavy load rules. Trucking companies must comply with all securement rules to make cargo safer while in transit. Securement laws stipulate how to tie, harness, or restrain cargo in open and closed truck beds to minimize the odds of it getting loose and falling off the vehicle. Securement rules differ according to the type of cargo.

Trucking companies and their drivers must obey federal trucking laws at all times. These laws are in place for the safety of the truck driver as well as all other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on the roads. Breaking the law accidentally or intentionally and causing an accident could lead to liability for damages. For a full overview of the trucking laws that could play a role in your case, contact us.

Trucking Accident Statistics

In the United States, 3,986 people died in trucking accidents in 2016. The majority (66%) of these fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles, while 17% were occupants of trucks and 16% were motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. The number of truck accident-related deaths in 2016 was 27% higher than the lowest year on record, 2009. In Arizona, 11,992 truck and bus accidents occurred in 2016. One hundred of these accidents were fatal and 2,802 caused injuries.

According to a large truck crash study by the FMCSA, fatal truck accidents occur more commonly in rural areas (61%) than urban, as well as on interstate highways (27%). Nighttime is a dangerous time for trucking accidents, making up 37% of all fatal accidents and 23% of injury crashes. The vast majority of trucking accidents (84% of fatal and 88% of nonfatal) took place on weekdays. The first harmful event in most trucking accidents was “collision with a vehicle in transport.”

You’re not just a number at Knapp & Roberts. You’re a real person with real injuries and losses. We’ll treat your trucking accident claim with the care it deserves. Understanding how often, when, and why these crashes happen, however, can help you prevent them in the future. It can also help you see that you’re not alone. You aren’t the first trucking accident victim and you unfortunately won’t be the last. Work with attorneys with experience handling these types of claims for your best chance at success.

Going Up Against Large Company’s Insurers

One of the main reasons hiring a lawyer is so important in trucking accident injury claims is to level the playing field between you and a major trucking company or corporation. Trucking companies in Arizona have the means to hire top representation to defend them against civil lawsuits from crash victims. They have ample resources to spend on fighting allegations and litigation. Retain a Knapp & Roberts attorney to represent you if you want to have a fighting chance against a major company’s insurer.

You don’t want to go up against large companies alone. Soon after a trucking crash, you’ll hear from someone called the insurance claims adjuster, who has the insurance company’s best interests at heart. His or her job is to convince you to say yes to a fast (and often low) settlement offer. The adjuster could take advantage of you or deceive you into agreeing to an unfair settlement if you don’t know what to expect from the conversation. Instead of negotiating your settlement on your own, trust the lawyers at Knapp & Roberts. We’ll put years of experience to work for you.

Our lawyers can take over communications with trucking company insurers and their hired analysts on your behalf. We’ll negotiate your settlement award using proven techniques to make sure you get the most for your claim. We also have the power to take your case to trial in Phoenix if that’s what it takes for fair compensation. Our lawyers aren’t afraid to stand up in front of a judge and jury as your legal representation. Trusting us with your case means working with aggressive, skilled, and confident attorneys.

Trucking Accident Investigation at Knapp & Roberts

Take immediate action after a trucking accident. Contact a lawyer for assistance ASAP. The sooner you start an investigation using trusted allies, the better for your case. Odds are this isn’t the first accident the trucking company has experienced. The company will know how to hide and even destroy important evidence such as driver’s logs, cell phone records, and black boxes from trucks. An attorney can file the necessary paperwork to demand preservation of key evidence – preventing the trucking company from taking evidence out of your case.

Next, your lawyer can head an investigation into your trucking accident. Our firm has connections with top investigative teams in Phoenix. We’ll look into the driver’s background, crash history, and time with the trucking company. We’ll also investigate the company itself for a history of negligence, safety infractions, code violations, and collisions. If someone else caused or contributed to your accident, we’ll find out who. You can rest assured we’ll take all the actions necessary to get to the bottom of your accident.

 

Contact Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyers Today

A trucking accident can mean catastrophic injuries, missed time from work, temporary or permanent disabilities, expensive property damage, and even the loss of a loved one’s life. We believe negligent truck drivers, companies, and other parties deserve to come to justice. It’s our mission to give voices to those who otherwise might not have them during settlement negotiations and personal injury trials.

When you work with Knapp & Roberts for your trucking accident representation, you’ll benefit from attorneys who can provide passionate assistance, compel major insurance companies to treat you fairly, and take your case to court if that’s what it takes for just compensation. You don’t have to face your future alone. Contact our firm today for a free consultation in Phoenix, where you’ll learn all the ways we can help. 

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.