Experienced Phoenix Truck Accident Attorneys

Have you been injured in a truck accident and need the help of a trucking accident lawyer in Phoenix? Are you tired of insurance companies pushing you around? Well, look no further. There are many personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, but only one law firm that stands out from the rest. The Phoenix truck accident attorneys at Zanes Law have the know-how to help you with your legal needs.

There is a difference between how Zanes Law and other Phoenix truck accident attorneys deal with various accident scenarios. Each trucking accident lawyer at Zanes Law recognizes that these accidents can be life-changing.  When compared to motorcycle and car accidents, truck accidents are the most severe kind of crash. A truck is heavier and takes up more space on the highway. When a truck is involved in an accident, it can take out a number of cars. The truck’s weight is hazardous in and of itself. If a truck overturns on a car, it can crush it, killing whoever is in the car. The severity of truck accidents makes choosing experienced Phoenix truck accident attorneys a necessity.

Having an Experienced Trucking Accident Lawyer Matters!

MMDAF awards_logo1There are many factors that can cause truck accidents, and at Zanes Law, every trucking accident lawyer examines the circumstances surrounding each accident. Our Phoenix truck accident attorneys regularly see the following causes of these devastating accidents:

Commercial Truck Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of truck accidents. Drivers of semi trucks are required by law to drive for a only certain number of hours for their own safety and that of others on the road. A trucking accident lawyer regularly sees truck drivers choose to exceed their time limits in order to complete their hauls. These hours are kept in a logbook, and Zanes Law will make sure to track that logbook down. There are many other factors that can contribute to a truck driving accident, some intentional and some not.

Driving Under The Influence

Some truck drivers get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or other types of drugs. Our Phoenix truck accident attorneys find it hard to believe that anyone would do this, but it does happen often. After an truck accident, you need an experienced trucking accident lawyer to investigate this.

Overloaded Trucks & Improper Maintenance

Overloaded and improperly loaded trucks can also contribute to crashes. Sometimes an accident is not the driver’s fault at all, but is due to equipment failure. Trucks are machines that are built to endure, but they are still susceptible to breaking down. Trucking companies are required to follow a maintenance schedule and keep a logbook of their repairs. Our Phoenix truck accident attorneys will make sure to obtain these records in the event of an accident so that we can obtain the best possible evidence for our clients’ cases.

Poor Driver Training

Poor training is another factor that an experienced trucking accident lawyer regularly sees. Inexperienced or improperly trained truck drivers are extremely hazardous and result in a lot of motorists being hurt or killed. Those seeking out training as truck drivers should make sure the programs they are looking at have good reputations and solid references.

Dangerous Weather Conditions

Something else that can cause horrific truck accidents, many of which involve cars, is dangerous weather. Again, these types of crashes are especially damaging because of the sheer size and weight of the trucks.

Big rig trucks travel at almost the same speeds as passenger cars, but with three to four times the weight and five times the stopping distance. So you can imagine how much harm these trucks can do. Many modern trucks carry a black box that records the notable events that occur in an accident. A reputable law firm such as Zanes Law and our Phoenix truck accident attorneys will obtain this information in order to develop and win a personal injury case for you.

In A Truck Accident? Here’s What You Do Next

AzTLA awards_logo4Truck accidents can be horrific events and it is important to know exactly what to do if you are involved in one. As Phoenix truck accident attorneys we recommend that you do the following if you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck.

Get Immediate Medical Care

Unfortunately, most accident victims who are involved in a truck accident end up with some kind of injury.  That is why these events are so life changing.  Commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which is about ten-times heaver than a normal passenger vehicle.   Because of their size, even low speed accidents with commercial vehicles can cause significant injuries.

Therefore, always seek medical care even if you think that you may be fine. This is important because people involved in these accidents realize later that they are hurt.  These injuries that are initially unknown consist of head injuries like concussions and spinal injuries like herniated disks. So do not make the mistake of simply trying to work through the pain and get past the injury.  The longer it takes you to see a doctor the better the insurance company’s case against you will be. It is important to see a doctor, get your injuries documents, and get the medical treatment that you need to get better. If you don’t have medical insurance and are unable to obtain the medical care that you need, our Phoenix truck accident attorneys will assist and advise you regarding your medical options.

Documenting The Truck Accident

After an accident, it is important that you gather all evidence.  Many times law enforcement will be extremely helpful with this process.  They will be the first on scene and will most likely do an accident investigation.  We will then get the photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and the black-box data from the semi-truck. Our Phoenix truck accident attorneys at will respond quickly to investigate these serious injuries or wrongful death trucking cases. We will retain accident experts to thoroughly investigate the accident.  This is important because while we are doing this, the insurance carriers will be doing the same.

Our experts will begin with a thorough examination of the scene itself. They will use the information collected by las enforcement, which will include measurements and photographs. Our experts will reconstruct the accident in order to fill in any gaps in the original investigation.  If you are able to take photos of the vehicles and the scene on your cell phone that information can be helpful as well.  Make sure that you get photographs of any skid marks and debris in the road.  It is important that you understand that the insurance companies will hire an accident reconstruction expert because they want to put the blame for the accident on you.  Your photographs can be instrumental in winning this fight.

Finally, in a severe injury case it is important to keep your vehicle even though it is no longer drivable.  This will allow you to pursue a case against the vehicle’s manufacturer if a defect in your vehicle was directly related to the severity of the injuries. Make sure that you speak with our Phoenix truck accident attorneys before your vehicle is totaled out or repaired if injuries were involved.

What Compensation Will Zanes Law Get You?

ASLA awards_logo3Each Zanes Law trucking accident lawyer will fight to get you the following legal damages:

  • Reimbursement of both your current medical expenses and future medical needs
  • Compensation for your pain and suffering
  • Reimbursement of  your lost wages
  • Compensation for any lost earning capacity
  • Money for any permanent injuries
  • Punitive damages if appropriate
  • Wrongful death – damages to any surviving family members

Our Phoenix truck accident lawyers are experienced. We know that Federal law dictates what rules commercial truck drivers are expected to follow.  It lays out the the amount of time a commercial driver may actually drive his truck before the driver is legally required to stop and rest.

  • 14-hour duty limit (minimum 10 hours of rest after 14 hours on duty)
  • 11-hour driving limit (minimum 10 hours rest after 11 total driving hours)
  • 60/70-hour duty limit

Unfortunately, commercial drivers are often pushed by their employers to violate these regulations in order to deliver their cargo more quickly.  This creates situations involving driver fatigue and driver drug use in order to stay awake, which leads to horrific accidents.  When you hire an experienced trucking accident lawyer at Zanes Law we will properly investigate driver fatigue and violations of the federal regulations.

What Will a Trucking Accident Lawyer Do for You?

After a serious truck accident, our Phoenix truck accident lawyers collect the following evidence:

  • Logbooks
  • Black box/computer data
  • Documents evidencing the load and prior deliveries
  • Inspection of the tractor-trailer
  • We will Inspect the accident scene
  • Training information

Many semi-truck drivers have a commercial drivers license and are simply turned loose on the highways to deliver their loads. At Zanes Law, our Phoenix truck accident attorneys believe that this is dangerous.  All drivers need to have significant safety training before getting behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound truck.  Trucking companies have a duty to provide both initial and on-going safety training to their drivers.

Beware of Dangerous Equipment

Commercial carriers are required to properly maintain their trucks and to make sure that their trucks are mechanically safe on the roads. A commercial truck driver is required to inspect their trucks, trailers, and loads each day.  They need to make sure that their trucks and trailers are in good working condition and that their loads are properly secured. In fact, the federal regulations dictate that a driver must inspect the following items at the beginning of every trip:

  • The truck’s air lines and compressor
  • All of the truck’s Brakes
  • The truck’s fuel system
  • Every light on the truck
  • The truck’s steering
  • All safety equipment
  • The truck’s axles
  • All of the truck’s coupling devices
  • The truck’s wheels and tires

Then at the end of the trip, all of these items must again be inspected.  The driver must log any dangerous conditions and defects, and the driver must report these to the trucking company before beginning the next trip.  After an accident, this information will be an important part of an 18 wheeler accident lawsuit by our Phoenix truck accident attorneys.

Trucking Accident Lawyer Doug Zanes Is The Right Choice

Doug Zanes

Doug Zanes, Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer

Trucking companies carry insurance policies in order to protect themselves and their driver against claims for personal injury or wrongful death. These insurance policies generally carry seven-figure liability coverage amounts and so the stakes are substantial for the insurance carrier. This exposure makes the insurance carrier fight harder to try to protect their money and pay as little as possible on the claim. You are going to need the experienced Phoenix truck accident attorneys at Zanes Law who know how to beat the trucking companies.

Whenever you are driving in or around Phoenix, you will likely encounter a large commercial truck.

Trucks regularly use our city’s major highways to transport goods, including:

  • Interstate 10
  • Interstate 17
  • U.S. Route 60

While you might associate trucks with highways since they are often on long road trips, many commercial vehicles travel through residential areas. These can include fuel trucks, grocery trucks, delivery trucks, garbage trucks, and more. You can see trucks in greater Phoenix neighborhoods such as Paradise Valley, Arcadia, North Scottsdale, and more. Almost anywhere you drive in Phoenix, you can be at risk of suffering injuries in a truck crash.

Various serious injuries can result from a Phoenix truck accident. This is especially true if the truck that collides with the smaller vehicle is a big rig, tractor-trailer, or some other large truck. When these types of collisions occur with a significant degree of force, it is almost always the driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle who suffer more serious injuries.

When a motor vehicle driver or passenger is involved in a truck accident, their body might move around inside the vehicle, from side to side or forward and backward. This can result in whiplash-type injuries to the neck and back. Moreover, accident victims can suffer other significant injuries if the force of their impact causes one or more body parts to strike something in the vehicle. For example, the driver or passenger’s body could strike the headrest, steering wheel, window, dash, or front console, and serious injuries could result.

Some of the most common injuries that victims of truck accidents suffer include:

The most serious truck collisions can even result in a motor vehicle driver or passenger’s death.

Many of these injuries require significant amounts of medical treatment, which can be ongoing. For example, the accident victim might need to continually follow up with a family doctor, physical therapist, or medical specialist, such as an orthopedist. Obviously, all of this medical treatment costs money, and the more treatment that the accident victim has to undergo, the higher the medical bills will be.

The accident victim might also have to undergo surgery, injections, or some other expensive medical procedure. A healthcare provider may also project future anticipated medical costs for the accident victim if conservative medical treatment for the injuries does not work.

If you or a person you love has suffered injuries in a truck accident, a knowledgeable Phoenix truck accident attorney at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can explain your legal options and help you pursue compensation from the at-fault person or entity’s motor vehicle insurance company.

Several individuals and entities could be fully or partially have caused a truck accident in Phoenix. First and most obviously, a negligent truck driver could be clearly at fault for the accident. Truck drivers are often in a hurry to get to their final destinations as quickly as possible. These drivers often receive cash bonuses and other incentives if they deliver their cargo to its destination ahead of schedule. Consequently, drivers have incentives to violate speed limits, drive while fatigued, and violate other rules of the road.

There are different ways that truck drivers can operate their large vehicles carelessly or recklessly. First of all, they may violate truck speed limits and other road rules when operating their vehicles. For example, they might weave in and out of traffic without using turn signals or tailgate other smaller motor vehicles. In addition, truck drivers may operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while they are fatigued. In some cases, truck drivers will even take stimulants to keep them awake for long hours on end to arrive at a final destination quickly.

Truck drivers are also negligent when they engage in distracted driving. Distracted driving usually involves paying attention to an electronic device, such as a cell phone or tablet, instead of paying sufficient attention to the road. Even when a truck driver turns their head away from the road for a mere fraction of a second, this could be enough time for a serious and sometimes deadly trucking accident to occur.

Finally, truck drivers and sometimes trucking companies are also negligent when they fail to abide by state and federal motor carrier regulations. These regulations establish weight and load limits for tractor-trailers, set guidelines for properly securing cargo to a trailer, and set up rules for overhead and undercarriage lighting on tractors and trailers. When drivers violate these regulations, serious accidents can happen. For example, large amounts of cargo could roll out into the middle of a busy highway, or the truck may not be visible for other drivers to observe it to avoid an accident.

Although truck drivers are usually the negligent party in a truck accident case, other individuals and entities might cause or contribute to a serious accident. Those potential defendants include trucking companies, truck repair facilities, and truck part manufacturers.

When a truck driver works for a trucking company as an employee, the trucking company could be deemed vicariously liable for negligent acts that the truck driver commits while they are on the job—and within the course of employment. Therefore, if you prove that a truck driver’s negligence caused your accident, then you might also name the trucking company employer as a defendant in your claim or lawsuit.

Trucking companies are further responsible for adequately supervising, hiring, and retaining safe and careful drivers to operate their vehicles. If you can demonstrate that the truck driver who caused your accident had a history of infractions, such as prior moving violations, then the trucking company might be liable for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of that particular driver.

In addition to trucking companies, repair facilities can be fully or partially responsible for a truck collision that occurs. Truck repair facilities are responsible for performing repair jobs on trucks and trailers in a safe, careful, and workmanlike manner. If repair shops fail to complete proper work, the defective repair work could lead to an accident while the truck is on the roadway.

Finally, truck and trailer part manufacturers can be fully or partially to blame for a serious accident. These entities are responsible for sufficiently testing products and making sure that they are safe before distributing them for sale to the public. If an expert determines that a truck or trailer part contains a manufacturing or design defect, then you might pursue and recover compensation from the manufacturer, designer, or some other individual or entity who was within the product’s chain of distribution.

In Phoenix truck accident cases, the accident victim has the burden of proving all legal elements in any claim or lawsuit that is filed. In many instances, the duty element is simple to establish. For example, trucking companies clearly have a duty to hire safe and capable drivers to operate their vehicles. By the same token, truck drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely and carefully while they are on the roadway.

In addition to the duty element, there is a breach element that the accident victim must prove. In other words, the accident victim must demonstrate that the truck driver, trucking company, or other defendant violated the prevailing duty of care. For example, the accident victim must demonstrate that the truck driver violated a road rule or committed some other negligent act.

In cases where liability is clear, such as where the truck driver was operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the insurance company might go ahead and stipulate to, or admit to, liability. In addition, the accident victim must show that the accident resulted from the defendant’s negligence and that, as a further result, the accident victim suffered one or more personal injuries or other damages.

Proving the various elements of a truck accident claim or lawsuit can be difficult. In some instances, the accident victim might need to rely upon various experts. For example, the accident victim may need to retain the services of an accident reconstructionist, police officer, or some other individual who can determine exactly how the accident happened.

When it comes to proving medical causation and damages, the testimony of a healthcare provider may become necessary. A healthcare provider must state, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the injuries and damages the truck accident victim claims actually stemmed from the accident.

In some cases, pertinent medical records and medical bills can serve as evidence at trial. A healthcare provider might also be necessary to prove that various medical bills are necessary, reasonable, and appropriate under the circumstances.

A knowledgeable Phoenix truck accident lawyer at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can assist you with proving all of the legal elements of your case. Your attorney could also help with retaining the necessary experts to pursue the maximum amount of damages available on your behalf.

Victims of truck accidents in the Phoenix area are often eligible to pursue and recover various types of damages. First of all, the accident victim might recover all causally related medical bills and expenses. This is true even in cases where the accident victim has health insurance in place at the time of the accident, and the insurer pays for some or all of the medical treatment in the case. However, in cases where a health insurer pays some or all of the accident victim’s related medical bills, the carrier might assert a lien against some of the accident victim’s monetary recovery.

In addition to pursuing medical damages, the accident victim might claim lost wages or loss of earning capacity in the event they were working at the time of the accident. Lost earnings compensate the accident victim for the time they had to miss from work because of injuries sustained in the accident—often from having to attend medical and physical therapy appointments. In addition, if the accident victim suffers permanent injuries and can no longer return to the same job or occupation, then they could assert a claim for loss of earning capacity.

Victims of truck accidents must often undergo a large amount of painful medical treatment. All of this pain, suffering, and inconvenience is legally compensable. These damages can be difficult to quantify. However, your attorney can come up with a formula for quantifying the pain, suffering, and inconvenience that you had to endure because of your truck accident into a monetary amount.

Additionally, you could seek compensation for the mental anguish or emotional distress that you experienced because of your truck accident injuries. Finally, if the injuries you suffered in your truck accident impacted your ability to be intimate with a spouse, you could assert a claim for loss of companionship or spousal consortium.

The experienced Phoenix truck accident attorneys at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers will work hard to maximize your potential compensation in your truck accident case.

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