Commercial trucks are arguably the most dangerous vehicles on the road. With weights that can exceed 80,000 pounds, large trucks can be deadly when they collide with smaller and lighter vehicles. If you survived a truck accident, you likely have serious to catastrophic injuries. You may also have lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident in Tempe, Arizona. In these situations, trust a lawyer to help you seek fair financial compensation from the at-fault party. Contact David Shapiro Law, PLLC for a free consultation with a local truck accident attorney.
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, we need to stress how important it is for you to work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. A truck accident lawyer in Tempe can provide the resources and legal expertise necessary to conduct a complete investigation into your claim. This will include uncovering all evidence needed to prove liability, including the following:
In addition to handling the investigation to uncover evidence, an attorney will also ensure that their client is evaluated by a trusted medical expert who can properly treat them and help calculate total expected losses. A Tempe truck accident attorney will handle all negotiations with other parties involved, including aggressive insurance carriers and at-fault drivers or truck companies. This includes all negotiations in an effort to gain fair compensation for their client.
Finally, if the insurance carriers or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement in these cases, an attorney will fully prepare to take the case to trial if necessary.
A truck accident insurance claim will look different from your standard car accident claim. Rather than going up against the other driver involved in the crash, you may be on the other side of a claim with a rich and powerful trucking company. It can be difficult to handle this type of claim without an attorney’s assistance. If you hire a truck accident lawyer, however, you will have better odds of motivating the trucking company’s insurance provider to offer fair compensation. Your lawyer can use aggressive legal tactics to negotiate with the insurance provider while you focus on medical care.
There are various steps that you can take in the immediate aftermath and in the days and weeks that follow a truck crash that could help your injury claim:
In the days and weeks that follow a truck accident, it is crucial for an injury victim to continue all follow-up medical care. Discontinuing care before maximum medical improvement has been reached could jeopardize any eventual settlement.
After the initial emergency is over, one of the first calls that a truck accident victim needs to make should be to a Tempe, AZ truck accident attorney. An attorney can use their resources to get involved very quickly and help ensure that all evidence is preserved in the case.
There may be various types of compensation available to truck accident victims in Tempe, Arizona. While no two cases are exactly alike, it is not uncommon for the attorneys at David Shapiro Law, PLLC determine that our clients should be entitled to the following types of economic and non-economic compensation:
There is no set amount of money available for a truck accident claim in Tempe, Arizona. Rather, the total amount of compensation will revolve around various factors related to each particular case. This can include the severity of the injuries and property damage, the level of pain and suffering the victim endures, and whether or not there was any shared fault for the incident.
Unfortunately, the size and weight discrepancy between a commercial truck and traditional passenger vehicles often mean that victims in these cases sustain severe injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.
At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, our Tempe truck accident attorneys have experience helping victims who have sustained a range of injuries in these cases, including the following:
Additionally, our attorneys also recognize that truck accident victims are likely to suffer from significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the crash and their injuries. Our goal is to help ensure that our clients recover full compensation for all of their injuries, including their physical ones and their unseen emotional and psychological injuries.
There may be multiple parties that can be held liable in the aftermath of a truck accident in Tempe, Arizona. However, what we often find is that the trucking company will ultimately hold liability for the incident. This could be the case even if it is discovered that the driver is totally responsible for the incident. Under the theory of vicarious liability, employers are generally responsible for the actions of their employees so long as the employee is operating within the scope of their duties when an incident occurs. This holds true for truck drivers who work for a company.
That said, many truck drivers are also the owner/operator of their truck and work as third-party contractors with other companies. In these cases, the truck driver may indeed be the one who is held responsible. However, in these situations, we will find that the driver will likely have higher insurance liability limits to account for these incidents.
There are also times when a truck company may be directly responsible for a crash, thereby holding liability. Truck companies can be responsible for crashes for a variety of reasons, including the following:
Determining exactly who owns and operates a commercial truck can be challenging, particularly because it is not uncommon for one company to own a truck, another company to own the trailer, and yet another company to supply a driver. Additionally, the overall operation may be controlled by yet another company. This can create challenges when working to determine liability. However, a skilled attorney will be able to gather all of the documents necessary and be able to trace exactly who is liable for a particular accident. It could very well be the case that there are multiple companies that could hold liability for a truck crash in Tempe, which means that an attorney will need to file a lawsuit against every liable party.
Most truck accidents are not accidents at all. They are incidents that would have been prevented had one or more parties fulfilled their duties of care. The duty of care of a trucking company includes maintaining safe fleets and hiring properly trained and licensed drivers. A truck driver’s duties of care include paying attention to the road, obeying traffic rules, and following federal laws. If any party involved in the transportation of the cargo was negligent and this caused the trucking accident, that party may have to pay for your damages.
Grounds to bring a claim to damages against a trucking company or another at-fault party depend on whether you have evidence proving the four required elements. You or your truck accident lawyer will need to demonstrate the defendant’s fault for the crash as more likely to be true than not true. This takes proof of a duty of care, breach, causation, and damages. Evidence against a defendant could take the form of a police report, the truck’s black box, eyewitness accounts, medical documents, crash reconstruction, or expert testimony.
It can be much easier to prove your case and obtain fair compensation when you hire a lawyer for assistance. Your lawyer can take immediate steps toward building your claim, such as issuing evidence preservation orders for the truck’s black box and driver’s employment or cellphone records. Your lawyer can help you gather pertinent information to build your case. Then, your lawyer can go up against the correct defendant in pursuit of maximum compensation on your behalf.
It is not uncommon for more than one party to be at fault for a vehicle accident. This is also the case for truck accidents. Fortunately, Arizona operates under what is called a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that a person who is partially at fault for their accident can still recover compensation. A truck accident victim in Tempe, Arizona, can still recover compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for the incident.
The total amount of compensation that a truck accident turn receives in these cases will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, suppose a person sustains $1 million in damages as a result of a spinal cord injury caused by a truck collision. However, if that person is found to be 20% responsible for the incident, they will not receive the full $1 million. Instead, they will receive $800,000 to account for the 20% of fault they had for the crash.
With assistance from David Shapiro and his associates, you may be able to secure full financial compensation for your past and future losses after a truck accident. A settlement or jury verdict could include amounts to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, losses of income, legal fees, and more. We can talk about the potential value of your lawsuit during a free consultation at our conveniently located office in Tempe, Arizona today. Call (480) 300-5405 or contact us online to schedule your meeting with one of our attorneys. We respond to calls 24/7.