The Tucson truck accident attorneys at Zanes Law have helped thousands of clients and have ensured that they receive tens of millions of dollars. We are here to win for our clients. This is why our lawyers have an aggressive approach when it comes to truck accident cases.

When you bring us your concerns after a truck accident loss, we can calculate your damages. We can then present that estimate to a civil court and represent you in your fight for compensation. If you have questions about whether or not you have a case on your hands, an initial consultation with our team can help you determine your best path forward.

Taking Legal Action After a Truck Accident

Your right to action after a truck accident hinges on the complaint you file with a civil court. This complaint needs to detail:

  • The evidence you have from your accident indicating a violated duty of care
  • The identity of the party you believe violated that duty
  • Evidence of losses endured due to either intentional or accidental negligence
  • An estimate of those losses’ value

When a Tucson, AZ, truck accident attorney presents this information to a county clerk, you allow the court to consider your circumstances and subsequently move your case forward. Upon accepting your case, you can then work with the court to summon the party named in your complaint to trial or negotiations.

Both of these processes allow you to elaborate on the losses you detailed in your complaint. Negotiations, however, keep your concerns out of court and may require you to compromise on your compensation. A trial, comparatively, can run for years, but it also opens you up to the possibility of punitive damages.

Breaking Down Your Tucson Truck Accident

A truck accident is an auto accident that involves heavy construction vehicles or eighteen-wheelers. Trucking accidents are usually severe because of the weight and size of these vehicles. We see the following factors contribute to truck accidents:

Driver Fatigue

There are regulations that outline how far a truck driver should drive before taking a break. Research has shown that most trucking accidents occur when drivers insist on driving extra miles despite being tired. Drivers can opt to take these extra risks when they’re on tight deadlines. Alternatively, they may turn to illegal substances to get them through the night.

You can hold a driver and their parent company liable for your losses if you can cite driver fatigue as a cause of negligence in your initial suit. Accusations involving the use of illegal substances or violated roadway regulations can make it easier for you to prove that a company encouraged behaviors that endangered other parties.

Improperly-Loaded Trucks

A trucking company is made up of more than its drivers. These companies also have teams that unload and reload their trucks. The same can be said of the corporations that truck drivers deliver their cargo to. Should a trucking team fail to consider a road’s weight limits or the balance of a rig, they can endanger both the truck driver and the motorists around them.

We can examine the distribution of goods in the back of a truck when considering what forces led to your accident. From there, we can determine if a particular corporation’s packing team can bear the blame for your losses. Your case, then, may name either the trucking company or an affiliated corporate partner. Both may owe you substantial compensation.

Dangerous Weather

According to trucking regulations, truck drivers should take breaks whenever they notice the weather is dangerous. However, most drivers do not do so because they want to meet their deadlines.

While you can’t bring a lawsuit against dangerous weather, you can issue a claim against a company that forbids their drivers the right to rest. Similarly, you can take action against independent drivers or companies that flagrantly overlook trucking regulations.

Most of the time, personal injury cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement. However, if the case goes to trial you will need experienced Tucson truck accident lawyers. We will be able to get you the best verdict and help you receive as much compensation as possible.

Experienced semi truck accident lawyers play a major role when it comes to winning you the right compensation. Never hesitate to hire a qualified attorney when someone else’s actions have injured you.

fatigued truck driver sleeps at wheel

A fatigued truck driver sleeps at the wheel. Truck accident lawyers in Tucson, AZ, can help you identify instances of negligence that might open a company up to a personal injury lawsuit.

Bring Your Suit to the Court’s Attention

If you want to bring a truck accident lawsuit to the attention of the courts in Tucson, you need to act quickly. Your suit is bound up in the statute of limitations set by A.R.S. § 12-542. According to this statute, all civil lawsuits detailing personal injury losses must reach a county clerk within two years of the day an accident takes place.

Trying to submit a personal injury suit outside of this deadline is an automatic no-go. Unless you can work with an attorney to argue extenuating circumstances, failure to file can see you forgo your right to legal compensation. When you contact a Tucson truck accident lawyer early into your recovery, though, you can secure the right to have a court consider your case.

The Importance of Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer

As a victim, you do not want an attorney who is making false promises or who doesn’t know whether your situation is worthy of legal action. We can tell you from the beginning whether or not you have a case. 

Remember, you should avoid filing a case if you are unlikely to win. If your odds of winning are low and you file anyway, you will only waste your precious time and money.




No Fees If You don’t Win

Our team works on a contingency basis. This means that you do not owe us a fee if we do not win your case. However, keep in mind that you will incur the other expenses, such as any medical fees that your doctor charges for reviewing your records.

Red Tape

Personal injury cases usually involve lots of paperwork, legal procedures, and medical terms, all of which are complicated and confusing. We can navigate your case and help you get back to your normal life.

Investigative Team

The other advantage of hiring our Tucson truck accident attorneys is that we work closely with an investigative team that can examine the technical aspects of your case. As a victim, you play a vital role by providing information about your injury, but the investigative team usually goes to great lengths to make sure you get your rightful compensation.

Objectivity

For you to win a case, you need to see the facts clearly. Anger, pain, frustration, or fear may make that more complicated than it seems, though. An experienced attorney will help you make the right legal decisions without letting your emotions cloud your path forward.

For example, most personal injury victims are usually tempted to take a quick payout. In most cases, this payout is very little compared to what the victims deserve, but your attorney can prevent you from being shortchanged.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Having a lengthy and complicated case does not always mean that you will have the best outcome. Thankfully, you can turn to alternative dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration and mediation. A good attorney will know when to use these methods. Remember, alternative dispute resolution methods save you money, emotional energy, and time.

We Go to Bat With Unruly Insurance Companies

We know how to work with insurance companies. Because of that, we are less likely to settle for an unsatisfactory amount just because the insurance lawyers are increasing the pressure. Also, our attorneys can effectively deal with the opposing party’s lawyers.

Most of the time, personal injury cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement. However, if the case goes to trial, you need a professional to represent your best interests. We can help you receive as much compensation as possible.

Experienced lawyers play a major role when it comes to winning you the right compensation. Never hesitate to hire a qualified attorney when someone else’s actions have injured you.

Tucson Attorneys Discuss Your Road to Recovery

Truck accidents put you in a complicated legal position. When going up against a trucking company’s legal team feels impossible, though, you can turn to Zanes Law Injury Lawyers. Our team of truck accident lawyers in Tucson, AZ, is ready to help you fight for the financial support you need to address your accident-related losses.

You can contact us over the phone or through our website to learn more about the services we offer. We offer free initial consultations to anyone looking to bring a lawsuit against the trucking companies operating in Arizona.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Dangerous Roads for Trucks in Arizona?

I-19 from Tucson to the Mexican border is one of the most dangerous roads in the area for both cars and trucks. It is a remote desert road, and drivers like to take chances by driving aggressively and speeding when they think that no police officers will ever catch them. In actuality, this stretch of road has among the highest fatality rates in the country.

In addition, you can often find trucks on I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Drivers may try to take advantage of the roadway conditions to speed. The road itself lacks a center dividing barrier in some places, and wide trucks could end up in a head-on crash that will seriously injure the driver.

Why Is the Amount of Truck Accidents Increasing in Arizona?

The rise of online shopping has been making roads more dangerous in Arizona and across the country. There are more trucks on the road throughout the state, making deliveries to homes and distribution centers. These trucks have to share the highways with cars. Even with the expansive highway system in Arizona, things get crowded in cities like Tucson.

The largest Walmart distribution center in the entire world is in Arizona. Trucks fan out from that location across the state and on I-10 to Las Vegas and California. Much of the traffic heading out to California will go straight through Tucson. 

In addition, Amazon keeps opening massive fulfillment facilities throughout the state, putting more drivers on the road. This leads to trucking companies struggling to find enough drivers to keep up with demand. They may hire poorly trained drivers to get behind the wheel.

Why Is It Important to Hire a Lawyer Soon After an Accident?

Hiring a lawyer quickly serves two purposes. To start, it lets you more effectively submit your case within Arizona’s statute of limitations. It also, however, ensures that a trucking company can’t dispose of a truck’s black box – and any relevant data it may carry.

A truck’s black box can give you data on a driver’s behavior before a collision. This information can include:

  • The speed before the crash
  • Whether and when the driver applied the brakes
  • The hours of operation for the truck
  • How often the truck driver was speeding

The trucking company is only required to keep the black box data for a period of time. After that, they are free to write over it or even get rid of it. Getting a lawyer on the job quickly lets you place a litigation hold on the black box, maintenance logs, and driver’s records. Your case may be more straightforward as a result.

How do Trucking Regulations Relate to My Accident?

Federal trucking regulations are very detailed. They can touch on:

  • Limitations on the number of hours that a driver can operate the truck
  • Maintenance requirements for the truck
  • Qualification requirements for drivers

Proof that a truck driver failed to obey the law on the road can serve as proof of negligence in a civil case. As such, you can compare a truck driver’s alleged behavior against the federal and state trucking regulations. Should your comparison reveal a legal violation, you can better argue for your compensation. A civil court case, however, will not result in criminal charges.

Your attorney, more specifically, can gather evidence of a roadway violation on your behalf. As we follow the evidence, we can begin to craft the story that can net you the financial support you deserve.

Can I Sue the Trucking Company for My Accident?

You can likely sue a trucking company for an accident involving one of their drivers. When the truck driver is a corporate employee, they are an agent of the trucking company. This means that anything that they do on the job is also an act of the trucking company when it comes to liability

The company acts through its employees. As long as the truck driver committed negligence within the scope of their employment, the company would need to pay for their actions. This might lead to the best possible outcome for an injured motorist and their family. 

Truck accident injuries can be prohibitively expensive, and in many car accident cases, accident victims run up against the limits of insurance policies. Trucking companies will have much larger insurance policies to protect their own assets. If the insurance policy in place is not large enough, you can go after corporate assets. 

What If the Driver Was an Independent Contractor?

The state of Arizona does not consider independent contractors to be traditionally employed under specific trucking companies. As such, trucking companies avoid liability when their independent drivers get into accidents – in theory.

Trucking companies are actually expected to undergo a legal test to determine whether or not the driver involved in the accident qualifies as an employee. If the driver qualifies, you can take up your complaint against the parent company.

The parent company could still face a claim for negligent hiring and training. For example, FedEx operates with almost all independent contractors. However, plaintiffs still manage to sue FedEx on these grounds because the company still has a legal obligation to use due care in selecting and training drivers.

Are There Other Defendants I May Sue?

Trucks are complicated pieces of machinery. Anything that can haul almost 80,000 pounds has to have sound construction and engineering. While it is rare, the truck itself, or one of its parts, may cause an accident. For example, tire blowouts can cause truck accidents. Only the best truck drivers can prevent an accident when they lose a tire.

When that happens, you can sue the company that made the truck or the part in a product liability action. You would generally need to prove defects in:

  • Manufacturing
  • Design
  • Marketing

These can be complicated lawsuits, but if you are successful, the financial compensation can be significant.

How do I Know How Much My Claim Is Worth?

The value of your claim directly reflects both your losses and the flexibility of an insurance carrier. You can rest assured that the trucking company’s insurance carrier has an exact idea of the value of your claim, right down to the dollar. They are banking on the fact that you don’t have the same knowledge. 

This is where your trucking accident lawyer enters the picture. Attorneys value your claims based on your economic and non-economic losses. By combining these estimates, we can give you an idea of your claim’s value.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Truck Accident Claim?

Truck crash damages break down into two parts: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are about money. Specifically, this is either actual money that has come out of your pocket or money that should have come into your pocket but did not. 

Economic damages can pay you back for costs such as medical bills and the cost of rehabilitation. They can also replace your lost wages or any reduction in your earning capacity.

Non-economic damages compensate you for your experience after the accident. This pays you back for what you have gone through and will continue to go through for the rest of your life because of the accident. It includes:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities

What Happens If My Loved One Died in a Truck Accident?

Wrongful death is a special kind of lawsuit that family members can file when their loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence. Usually, the deceased person’s spouse is the one who will file this lawsuit. The children may also be able to join the lawsuit. There is a wrongful death statute in Arizona that lays out the order of priority for who can file the lawsuit.

These lawsuits will pay the family for what they lost when their loved one passed away. These damages could include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • The wages that the person would have earned for the rest of their life
  • The loss that they suffered by no longer having their loved one’s support
  • The surviving family’s pain and suffering

In addition, the family can also file legal action to recover for what their loved one went through before their death.

Can I Recover Punitive Damages in My Truck Accident Case?

There’s always a chance for you to recover punitive damages if your case goes to court. However, you cannot receive a settlement in negotiations if you want to keep your options open. 

Punitive damages are the jury’s way of sending a message to the defendant that their behavior was grossly shocking and wrong. If the company has a pattern of not following truck laws, or if they intentionally hid misconduct, it may be enough to anger the jury.

These usually only apply to cases that involve extreme recklessness or intentional conduct. If you receive punitive damages, it can greatly increase the size of your verdict.

Is There Any Limit on My Financial Recovery in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Arizona does not cap the rewards available to parties who file truck accident lawsuits. This means that you and your loved ones can request extensive compensation for your losses. Be prepared, though, to back each request with evidence of losses endured.

How Long Will My Truck Accident Case Take?

Everyone wants to know how long a truck accident case can take upon going to court. This, however, is a difficult question to answer. The nature of your losses tends to impact how long your case takes, as does the cooperation of the defense.

Insurance companies and defendants alike are loathed to write a comprehensive settlement check quickly. If they refuse to make an offer close to what you deserve, you may need to file a lawsuit. This can add even more time to your case. 

We can make broad estimates as to the timeline of your case during your initial consultation. More importantly, we’ll regularly update you as your case progresses. You can contact us at any point in the legal process to learn more about where your request stands with applicable parties.

What If I don’t Have the Money for a Truck Accident Lawyer?

You shouldn’t have to worry about money while you consider your post-accident legal options. Our lawyers, for example, work on a contingency basis. We do not ask you for a retainer. Instead, we receive compensation for our services at the end of your case – but only if you win. 

If you receive a settlement, the contingency fee agreement signed at the beginning of our relationship entitles us to a percentage of those winnings. You will not have to write us a check, and we won’t receive payment until you do.

I-19 from Tucson to the Mexican border is one of the most dangerous roads in the area for both cars and trucks. It is a remote desert road, and drivers like to take chances by driving aggressively and speeding when they think that no police officers will ever catch them. In actuality, this stretch of road has among the highest fatality rates in the country.

In addition, trucks heavily use I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, and drivers also try to take advantage of the road conditions to speed. The road itself lacks a center dividing barrier in some places, and wide trucks could end up in a head-on crash that will seriously injure the driver.

The rise of online shopping has been making roads more dangerous in Arizona and across the country. There are more trucks on the road throughout the state, making deliveries to homes and distribution centers. These trucks have to share the highways with cars. Even with the expansive highway system in Arizona, things get crowded in cities like Tucson.

The largest Walmart distribution center in the entire world is in Arizona. Trucks fan out from that location across the state and on I-10 to Las Vegas and California. Much of the traffic heading out to California will go straight through Tucson. In addition, Amazon keeps opening massive fulfillment facilities throughout the state, putting more drivers on the road. This leads to trucking companies struggling to find enough drivers to keep up with demand. They may hire poorly trained drivers to get behind the wheel.

Truck accident investigations are much more complex and involved than the ones after a truck accident. One of the key pieces of evidence is the truck’s black box. This will tell you things like:

  • The speed before the crash
  • Whether and when the driver applied the brakes
  • The hours of operation for the truck
  • How often the truck driver was speeding

The trucking company is only required to keep the black box data for a period of time. After that, they are free to write over it or even get rid of it. If they know that the data holds the story of an accident where they can be liable, they may destroy it even sooner. There are other corporate records that you would need that could help your case, such as the driver’s records or maintenance logs. When you hire an attorney, they can put a litigation hold on this evidence. Otherwise, you could lose the chance to use this to prove your case.

Federal trucking regulations are very detailed. They could touch on things like:

  • Limitations on the number of hours that a driver can operate the truck
  • Maintenance requirements for the truck
  • Qualification requirements for drivers

There are many more regulations that these companies must follow. There is a concept in personal injury law that, if you can prove that someone failed to follow a law or regulation, it can be evidence of negligence. This is why you need a lawyer who is familiar with truck accidents. These are far more complicated than car accidents. Your attorney would gather evidence about your accident and compare them to the numerous and detailed federal regulations, looking for evidence that the driver or trucking company failed to follow them. This could help you win your case.

Most likely, yes. When the truck driver is a corporate employee, they are an agent of the trucking company. This means that anything that they do on the job is also an act of the trucking company when it comes to liability. The company acts through its employees. As long as the truck driver committed negligence within the scope of their employment, the company would need to pay for their actions.

This might lead to the best possible outcome for an injured motorist and their family. Truck accident injuries can be prohibitively expensive, and in many car accident cases, accident victims run up against the limits of insurance policies. Trucking companies will have much larger insurance policies to protect their own assets. If the insurance policy in place is not large enough, you can go after corporate assets. There are increasing numbers of news reports of trucking companies going out of business because jury verdicts were so large that they had to sell assets to pay them.

 

The usual rule is that companies cannot face lawsuits for the acts of independent contractors because they are not employees. Some companies specifically designate drivers as independent contractors to avoid all liability. However, the trucking company does not get the final word. A legal test determines whether the driver is an employee, and it depends on the level of control that the company has to control an employee.

In addition, the company could still face a claim for negligent hiring and training. For example, FedEx operates with almost all independent contractors. However, plaintiffs still manage to sue FedEx on these grounds because the company still has a legal obligation to use due care in selecting and training drivers.

You may have suffered injuries in an accident where the truck driver did nothing wrong. Trucks are complicated pieces of machinery. Anything that can haul almost 80,000 pounds has to have sound construction and engineering. While it is rare, the truck itself, or one of its parts, may cause an accident. For example, tire blowouts can cause truck accidents. Only the best truck drivers can prevent an accident when they lose a tire.

When that happens, you can sue the company that made the truck or the part in a product liability action. You would generally need to prove defects in:

  • Manufacturing
  • Design
  • Marketing

These can be complicated lawsuits, but if you are successful, the financial compensation can be significant.

That is always the million-dollar question in a truck accident claim. Since truck accident injuries are often more severe, and there is a larger insurance policy, you may be talking about a larger settlement check or damage award. You can rest assured that the trucking company’s insurance carrier has an exact idea of the value of your claim, right down to the dollar. They are banking on the fact that you don’t have the same knowledge. This is where your trucking accident lawyer enters the picture.

Your attorney can also value your claim because this is what they do for a living. Your attorney knows every element that you can recover for in a truck accident claim and may work with economic experts to place a value on your claim.

Truck crash damages break down into two parts: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are about money. Specifically, this is either actual money that has come out of your pocket or money that should have come into your pocket but did not. It can pay you back for costs such as medical bills and the cost of rehabilitation. Economic damages can also compensate you for lost wages that you would have earned, including any reduction in your earning capacity.

Non-economic damages compensate you for your experience after the accident. This pays you back for what you have gone through and will continue to go through for the rest of your life because of the accident. It includes:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities

Wrongful death is a special kind of lawsuit that family members can file when their loved one died due to someone else’s negligence. Usually, the deceased person’s spouse is the one who will file this lawsuit. The children may also be able to join the lawsuit. There is a wrongful death statute in Arizona that lays out the order of priority for who can file the lawsuit.

These lawsuits will pay the family for what they lost when their loved one passed away. These damages could include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • The wages that the person would have earned for the rest of their life
  • The loss that they suffered by no longer having their loved one’s support
  • The surviving family’s pain and suffering

In addition, the family can also file legal action to recover for what their loved one went through before their death.

There is always a possibility that you can recover punitive damages if your case goes to a jury, but it does not happen often. If you settle your case with the insurance company, you will not receive these damages. Punitive damages are the jury’s way of sending a message to the defendant that their behavior was grossly shocking and wrong. If the company has a pattern of not following truck laws, or if they intentionally hid misconduct, it may be enough to anger the jury.

These usually only apply to cases that involve extreme recklessness or intentional conduct. If you receive punitive damages, it can greatly increase the size of your verdict.

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, you are possibly looking at a large settlement or jury award. Some states try to limit things like non-economic or punitive damages in a personal injury case. Arizona is not one of those states. There are no limits to recovery in a truck accident lawsuit. Not only that, but damage caps are expressly against the Arizona Constitution, which forbids any limits in personal injury or wrongful death cases.

One of the first questions that many prospective clients ask us is how long their truck accident case will take. Like anyone, they want to know that they will be receiving a check for their injuries and when they will get it. This is not an easy question for an attorney to answer because there are so many variables. Much of what happens in a claim is beyond your control.

In large part, how soon you can get your money depends on the insurance company. They need to be reasonable in settlement negotiations, but you can also expect that they will not write a large check quickly. If they refuse to even come close to what you deserve, you may need to file a lawsuit. This can add even more time to your case. This is another way of saying that anything can happen, and we do not want to create unrealistic expectations.

Money is one thing that you do not have to worry about when you are considering your legal options. It’s not that lawyers work for free, but you do not need to invest money upfront in your case. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, and they do not ask for a retainer, like many other lawyers. They get payment at the end of your case, but only if you win. For purposes of paying your lawyer, winning refers to getting a settlement check or jury award.

If you do not win your case, you will not be getting a bill from your lawyer for their services. They do not receive a payment if you do not. This should remove one big fear that may prevent you from hiring a lawyer.

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