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Tractor Trailer Accidents in Phoenix
Tractor trailers, because of their large size and weight, are very serious threats on the road. Tractor trailer accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and you might be left paying expensive medical bills. After suffering serious injuries from the negligence of a tractor trailer driver, the last thing you want is to be bombarded by insurance agents and massive trucking companies.
What you need is an aggressive, experienced Phoenix tractor trailer accident lawyer who will fight for your compensation. You need the experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys of Ybarra Maldonado Law Group on your side. Instead of settling for low-ball offers from insurance companies, we take cases to trial. If you’ve been involved in a serious tractor trailer accident and want an attorney with dedication, experience, and extensive availability, look no further. YMLG is here to listen to your story, fight for just compensation, and give you your life back. Call today at 602-910-4040 for a free consultation.
What Causes Tractor Trailer Crashes?
Tractor trailer accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury on the highway. In most cases, passenger vehicles take significantly more damage than the tractor trailer. But what causes these commercial vehicles to wreck?
Our experienced attorneys list several causes of tractor trailer accidents, some of which are intentional, and some are not.
- Some accidents result from the vehicle traveling over the centerline or off the road entirely. Speeding, loss of control, inattention, and driver aggression are also cited.
- Driver nonperformance is another source. This includes fatigue, sickness, and the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Vehicle malfunctions, faulty parts, bad weather, and poor roads cause accidents as well.
What Should You Do If You Are in a Truck Accident?
Tractor trailer accidents are often devastating, with massive medical bills and totaled vehicles. They terrify even the most experienced drivers, and can leave you at a loss. At YMLG, we understand how complex and confusing these situations are. Our compassionate tractor trailer accident lawyers will guide you through this step-by-step process of personal injury claims until you get the compensation you deserve.
- Stop and immediately report the crash to law enforcement. Stay at the scene unless you require immediate medical attention. Once an officer arrives and fills out an accident report, request a copy from them. This is valuable evidence if you end up in court.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you can’t see or feel any injuries at first, a doctor can provide a more thorough examination. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can seek compensation for your injuries.
- Identify any and all involved parties. Make sure you know the company of the truck that hit you, as well as any unique characteristics about that truck, if possible. Always get the operator’s name and contact information, as well as their insurance information. Also try to get their driver’s license number, and the contact information for their employer.
- Collect statements from witnesses or simply take their contact information if you need more details about the accident.
- Take pictures of and notes about the accident for later use. These photos count as evidence in your case for injuries, damage to your vehicle, and more.
- Stay mindful of what you say. If an insurance adjuster contacts you regarding the accident, they will try to use your statements against you. Always speak with an experienced tractor trailer accident attorney as soon as possible before giving any statements.
Why are Tractor Trailer Accidents More Dangerous?
Obviously, size and weight play a major factor in why tractor trailers are more dangerous than the average passenger vehicle. The mass alone of these vehicles makes them deadly. On top of that, they have comparatively poor braking ability. They just can’t stop as quickly as a small car due to all the weight they pull behind them.
They also can’t maneuver through traffic as easily as passenger vehicles. Operators take wide turns, and can’t move into tight spaces to avoid a crash. Lastly, the materials on board sometimes have the potential to turn a minor crash into a literal explosion. Many drivers are in charge of large amounts of fuel and flammable material. All of these factors contribute to making tractor trailer accidents extremely deadly.
Who is Liable in a Tractor Trailer Accident?
Liability in these cases depends on a number of factors. We’ve compiled a list of potential parties to be held responsible for your injuries in a tractor trailer accident. In any case, we will prove negligence on your behalf to award you with just compensation.
- The tractor trailer operator
- The trucking company
- Trailer owners
- Manufacturers of truck parts
- Independent contractors
- Freight shippers
- Insurance companies
Someone in that list is responsible for your injuries and property damages. At YMLG, our Phoenix personal injury attorneys will use their experience in the courtroom to get what you’re entitled to.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents in Arizona?
In general, the Arizona statute of limitations for truck accidents extends 2 years from the time and date of the accident. Once your accident occurs, you have 2 years to file a lawsuit. What this means is that, the sooner you file your claim, the better. Even if you don’t need help paying your medical bills at first, your expenses resulting from the accident will likely build up over time.
We recommend filing your claim or lawsuit sooner rather than later to avoid any unnecessary financial burdens. If you wait until after the 2 year limit passes, you can no longer file your claim. This is true unless you meet certain exceptions.
- Rule of Discovery: For example, you might not know that you have any injuries after the accident. If you discover at a later date that you did, in fact, get injured during the accident, your 2-year “clock” begins anew.
- If the Victim Is a Minor: The statute of limitations is delayed, but resumes on the date that the victim turns 18.
- Wrongful Death: The “clock” starts at the time of the victim’s death, which could be much later than the accident itself.
Arizona Trucking Laws
Like many other states, Arizona has strict laws regarding tractor trailers and tractor trailer operators. These rules and regulations encompass several factors, including maximum weight, maximum size, and more. In this section, the knowledgeable attorneys at YMLG outline Arizona’s basic transportation laws regarding tractor trailers.
Hours of Service
- Within a 14-hour work day, a tractor trailer driver may only operate the vehicle for 11 continuous hours at maximum. Once they reach that maximum threshold, they must then rest for at least 10 continuous hours before getting back behind the wheel.
- Operators also cannot drive after 60 on-duty hours in 7 consecutive, or 70 on-duty hours in 8 consecutive days. This 7 or 8 day period resets once the driver takes at least 34 or more hours off duty.
Weight and Size
- Legal tractor trailer loads in Arizona encompass a maximum of 65 feet in length, 8 feet 6 inches in width, 14 feet in height, and 80,000 pounds in weight.
- Anything over those maximum limits must have a permit from the Arizona Department of Transportation. These permits still have restrictions, however. Oversized or heavy loads in Arizona encompass a maximum of 120 feet in length, 14 feet in width, 16 feet in height, and 250,000 pounds in weight.
- All tractor trailer operators must receive the appropriate commercial license before getting behind the wheel. These licenses ensure that operators were properly trained on the performance of their job.
- Commercial tractor trailers are regulated by both the state of Arizona and the federal government. These regulations cover their manufacturing and repair processes.
- Arizona regulates the transportation of hazardous waste. Hazardous materials include different types of fuel, chemicals, and waste products.
All of Arizona’s rules and regulations are in place to protect motorists on the road, both inside and outside the tractor trailer. State and federal tractor trailer laws work to prevent things like driver fatigue, defective parts, equipment failure, or improper maintenance.
When Should I Talk to a Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer?
For the best possible results, we recommend speaking with a Phoenix tractor trailer accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you were involved in an accident with a tractor trailer in Phoenix, you need the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group. We dedicate ourselves to helping the victims of negligent drivers get the compensation they deserve. As one of Phoenix’s top personal injury law groups, we aren’t afraid to take your case to a jury trial to secure a win. To learn more about how we can help you, call 602-910-4040 today or fill out our online intake form to set up your free consultation.
Our team of compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to help guide you in your time of need.