You or a family member could suffer devasting injuries in a truck crash in Arizona. If you want to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries, you need to take steps to protect your rights. You also need to understand how the negligent actions of truck drivers and trucking companies can cause these tragic accidents.
Common Ways Truckers Cause Truck Accidents
Victims must prove the truck driver caused their truck collision to be entitled to compensation from their insurance company under Arizona law. There are many ways that truckers engage in unsafe driving practices that result in victims suffering devasting injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, back and spinal injuries, and severe fractures. Common causes include:
- Speeding. One of the most common ways truckers cause truck accidents is by speeding. They speed because they are often under pressure to deliver their load quicker. Unfortunately, the force of impact will be greater and the injuries more severe when a trucker is driving over the speed limit.
- Drowsy driving. Truckers are only allowed to drive a certain number of hours and must take required breaks under the federal hours of service rule to stop them from driving when drowsy. However, many truck drivers violate these rules and drive when they are too tired to drive safely. They can cause a head-on or rear-end collision without even realizing it until it happens if they are fighting to stay away or fall asleep at the wheel.
- Drunk driving. It is especially dangerous for truck drivers to drive when they are intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use. Their judgment, reaction time, vision, and more would be severely impaired, increasing the likelihood of a wreck dramatically.
- Distracted driving. Truck drivers who are bored or in a rush to get to their destination quicker may eat and drink, text, talk on a cellphone, or search the internet while driving. This can take their eyes and mind off their driving and their hands off the steering wheel—with catastrophic consequences for the victims of a truck accident they cause.
- Not maintaining the truck. Truck drivers are required to conduct pre-and post-trip inspections and inspections while on the road for maintenance issues and needed repairs under federal regulations. Tire blowouts, brake failures, and other maintenance problems can be the cause of a collision if a trucker continues to drive their truck when they know it needs repairs.
- Improperly loading cargo. Truck drivers must also be certain that the shipment is not overloaded and is properly secured. If they fail to do so, the cargo can fall off the truck, a tire can blow out, or the truck can roll over or jackknife.
How Trucking Companies Cause Truck Accidents
The trucking company may be vicariously liable to compensate truck crash victims when a trucker’s negligence caused the collision. In some cases, a victim may have a separate claim of negligence against the trucking company, such as:
- Negligent hiring. Under federal regulations, a trucking company must verify that the trucker has the proper license to drive a truck, is experienced in driving a truck safely, and is medically certified to drive a commercial truck. If they breach these duties, they can face liability to the victims of a crash.
- Negligent maintenance. Trucking companies have their own responsibilities to maintain their trucks and not let them be driven when they are in need of repairs. If maintenance issues caused the truck collision, a victim may have a separate claim against the trucking company.
- Violation of hours of service rules. Some trucking companies encourage their truck drivers to violate the hours of service rules or do not check to ensure their truckers comply with these regulations. If this is a cause of the crash, the trucking company may be responsible for compensating drivers and passengers hurt in a truck accident.
Were you injured in a truck collision? You need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine the cause of your crash and go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To learn how we can assist you, call our Flagstaff office at 928-226-0165 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation today.