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Injured in a Truck Accident in Arizona?
Arizona Truck Accident Attorney
Trucks and 18-wheelers are a considerable part of how our intra- and inter-state commercial operations thrive and are necessary to the construction industry. As with all good things, though, trucks can lead to dangerous situations on the road.
Trucks and other 18-wheelers are 20 to 30 times heavier than the average car. They carry a lot of power behind them, which means that the damage can be extreme in the event of a crash.
If you’ve been in a truck accident, the Arizona truck injury attorneys at Gerber Injury Law want to hear from you.
We’ve been litigating for our clients in Arizona for over 20 years, and we’re ready to take on your case. We focus on personal injury law and are here to help you file your claim and represent your case. We work hard to settle our client’s claims out of court, but we’re ready to take your case to trial if needed.
Truck Accidents: Common Causes of Accidents Involving 18-Wheelers in Arizona
What can cause a truck accident? More than you might think. Trucks, like any vehicle, need a specific license for people to operate them. When things go wrong on the road, and a truck accident happens, the accident might be due to the following:
- Negligence on the part of the truck driver, including distracted driving, driving while tired, or driving aggressively
- Reckless or careless behavior from one or more drivers
- Drivers who aren’t paying attention to road conditions; for example, when it rains and the roads get slick
- Drivers who ignore posted road signs, including stop lights and stop signs
- Drivers who recklessly speed
- Drivers who operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, or other substances
- Faulty or broken machinery in the truck
- Failure to properly signal their intentions to other vehicles on the road
- Insecure loads on the car, which might fall off or otherwise endanger other passengers on the road
Many of the above accidents can be easily circumvented through the avoidance of negligence. Regardless of how your accident happened, Gerber Injury Law wants to see you compensated for your injuries, so reach out to us.
Staying Safe on the Road: Trucks Vs. Cars
To make sure that you’re being extra careful on the road, here are a few tips you can use while driving around trucks to try to stay safer:
- Do not tailgate or drive very closely behind a truck. For one, it can be dangerous if the 18-wheeler needs to break suddenly. Also, insecure loads on a truck may fall off.
- Do not drive in a truck’s blind spot. While the driver needs to be fully aware of the surroundings of their 18-wheeler, the blind spots of trucks are large. Therefore, pass quickly; do not ride at the side of a truck.
- Make sure you give ample room. When passing a truck, ensure you provide plenty of space as you enter the lane in front of it. Cutting right in front of a truck can lead to dangerous situations where the driver has to break quickly, leading to accidents.
Use your usual caution and assertiveness while driving, but give trucks extra room on the road. They take more time to slow down and need more space to stop. They also need more room to turn. Stay conscious and alert of truck movements and signals to stay safe.
When it comes to your vehicle versus a truck, the truck has the upper hand. Know that the personal injury lawyers of Arizona are here for you, and Gerber Injury Law wants to help you if you’ve been involved in a truck accident.
What Types of Injuries Do Victims of Truck Accidents Suffer?
Truck accidents can be extremely dangerous to passengers and drivers of smaller vehicles. However, even truck drivers may experience extreme injuries. Below is a list of the severe injuries that can affect injured parties for the rest of their life.
Bone Breaks and Bone Fractures
Broken bones like legs and arms take a long time to heal. Broken bones can prevent the injured party from returning to work in a timely fashion and even lead to other sorts of health issues down the road. Broken bones also have the opportunity to damage the soft tissue around the break. This can take the injury longer to heal, impacting the victim’s quality of life.
Compound fractures usually occur when a bone has broken, and a piece or shard of the bone breaks through the skin. These breaks can be challenging to repair and heal and often require extensive surgeries. Because they cause an open wound, compound fractures can also cause an infection.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are often extremely damaging, leading to life after the injury that may be vastly different. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when a piece of debris or object breaks through the skull and pierces the brain. This can result in a coma or even death. However, if the injured party survives, traumatic brain injuries may impact mood, mobility, and senses, like taste, smell, and sight.
Concussions can range in severity, but the main difficulty about concussions is that they take a long time to heal, and it can be hard to get moving right away, especially if you work in a high-impact job or work a very active job. With concussions, you might experience continuing migraines or headaches, difficulty concentrating or focusing, balance issues, affected speech patterns, and an aversion to light, among other things.
Injuries to the Spinal Cord or Neck
Spinal cord and neck injuries can hugely affect the life of someone, from hindering mobility to permanently paralyzing them. Some less severe but still painful spinal cord and neck injuries include herniated discs. This is a condition where the discs in the back bulge and may press against a nerve, pinching it against the spine. This can make bending, sitting, standing, or other movements challenging.
Whiplash can be mild or severe, but even mild cases can take weeks or months to heal. In some cases, whiplash can affect or damage the nerves, and it can take surgery to fix those injuries. In addition, any movement with whiplash may be painful or difficult, hindering motion and regular activities.
Burns are a risk of truck accident injuries from the accident itself or possibly from the overturning of hazardous or flammable materials the truck was carrying. Burns can be superficial, or they can be more extensive, up to second and third-degree burns. Burns can take a long time to heal, and sometimes they never recover fully, leading to scars.
Loss of Limbs
During a severe truck accident, the removal of a limb might happen during the collision. These traumatic amputations forever change the injured person’s life and can make it difficult to return to work or daily life.
Damaged nerves can be extremely difficult to manage. They can produce a lack of feeling in the area or limb where the damaged nerve connects, or they can cause pain and discomfort in the area or limb, hindering movement. Nerve damage, like other extreme injuries, may never fully heal.
Loss of Life
Truck injuries are severe, and unfortunately, many are fatal — especially among those in the accident opposite the truck. Pedestrians, car drivers, bikers, and anything smaller than the truck will take the accident harder. Your stories deserve to be heard, and if your family member was injured in a truck accident and died from their injuries, Gerber Injury Law is here to help you.
Truck accident injuries are often extensive. They can cost thousands or millions of dollars in medical bills. This does not even include the time and wages lost from the inability to work while healing or the emotional damage the victim sustained from the injury.
Truck Accident Statistics: What Causes Most Truck Accidents in Arizona?
Trucks account for a considerable number of accidents and injuries. In 2020, according to the Department of Transportation, there were over 135,000 truck accidents that year. Nearly 25% of all those crashes resulted in injuries.
In Arizona alone, in 2021, according to the Arizona Crash Facts Summary, trucks were responsible for over 2,800 crashes (not including garbage trucks, dump trucks, and several other types of trucks) and nearly 800 crashes that caused injuries.
Truck accidents might look very different in various situations.
- A truck that is loaded too full or whose load is not secured may cause devastating damage if the load falls off of the 18-wheeler. This can be the fault of the operator or whoever loaded the truck.
- If the truck jackknifes, the trailer being hauled, and the front towing vehicle becomes misaligned, which could lead to dangerous accidents. Trucks that jackknife can cause extremely hazardous conditions on the road, including obstructing another lane or the oncoming lane of traffic. Jackknifing can also prompt the truck to turn or roll over. Empty trailers or more likely to jackknife than full or partial loads, as they have no weight to sustain them.
- The truck overturning or rolling over can lead to extensive injury and damage. The truck rolling over could be from the truck jackknifing or several other factors, like road conditions or speed.
If you’re driving and you see a truck start to behave strangely, jackknife, or weave in front of you, give it plenty of space to right itself.
Road Hazards: Transport of Dangerous Materials and Truck Accidents
Another danger of truck crashes is the trucks’ potential to carry hazardous materials. This dangerous material may be flammable, meaning the collision could cause an explosion. Or, if hazardous materials are spilled due to the crash, the result could be that the people, animals, and environment in the area of the crash deal with the repercussions of getting sick from the hazardous materials.
Truck accidents can be extremely damaging for those in smaller vehicles. The extent of the damages from truck accidents can be long-lasting or permanent, which is why you need an Arizona truck accident attorney to help you navigate this situation.
Who Is Liable After a Truck Accident in Arizona?
The liability of a truck accident in Arizona varies depending on the accident and often depends on whose responsibility the truck is. If the truck operator owns the vehicle and is an independent driver, the liability is most likely on them. On the other hand, a trucking company that employed the driver could be held liable if the driver was on assignment for them.
Sometimes it happens that the truck operator was not at fault. Instead, the truck could malfunction due not to the driver’s error or oversight but the oversight of whoever serviced or repaired the truck. If that is the case, then Gerber Injury Law could hold the company responsible for the service liable for the accident.
Likewise, if the truck driver was not at fault, but part of the truck was defective, the manufacturer of that piece of equipment could be held liable and a claim brought against them for the accident.
Vicarious Liability and Truck Collisions: What Is It and Why Does it Matter?
Vicarious liability occurs when a truck driver drives for a trucking or construction company. Because the company employed the truck driver during the accident, they can be held responsible for the driver’s actions. For instance, the company could be accountable if the driver acted aggressively while operating the vehicle.
Vicarious liability only applies to the truck driver and the company if the driver was operating the truck for the company at the time of the accident. Vicarious liability may not apply if the truck driver was not on assignment during the accident.
What If I’m the Driver of an 18-Wheeler in a Crash that Wasn’t My Fault?
Sometimes it happens that faulty equipment or machinery that is worn down can cause a truck accident. Here are some scenarios that might not make you at fault for a truck accident:
- If you were the driver in an accident where the machinery was at fault and worked for a company that should have been maintaining the equipment, the company might be liable.
- If the faulty part of the truck was the fault of the manufacturer, then whoever made the part that malfunctioned and caused the accident could be held liable.
- If someone else serviced your truck and was responsible for making sure it worked, they could be held responsible.
- If someone else was responsible for loading your truck and didn’t secure the load properly, they may be responsible.
Talk to an Arizona truck accident lawyer at Gerber Injury Law with your questions about the specifics of your personal injury claim, and we’ll be able to provide answers and the next steps.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover After a Truck Accident in Arizona?
The damages you can claim in a truck accident depend on the extent of the injuries caused by the accident, what happened, and how long it might take you to recover. Because truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, recovery for the injured might take a long time, up to months or even years. The Arizona truck accident attorneys at Gerber Injury Law can help you calculate the costs of your injuries. You can claim:
- Compensation for medical bills, including the time you spent in the hospitals, surgeries you needed due to the injuries, medications, and other treatments received because of the accident
- Compensation for the time you spent away from work due to the injuries received in the accident and the money you would have been owed
- Compensation for loss of future work, calculated on whether or not you will be able to hold and maintain a job, or the same type of job, that you previously had before the accident
- Compensation for continuing care for your daily needs if the truck accident injuries were severe enough that you needed assistance in your daily routine while you recovered; also, care for if you permanently need help after the accident
- Compensation for pain and suffering damages, which may include mental or emotional damages that can affect your daily life
These items are separated into two categories; economic damages and non-economic damages. While they are in separate categories, they are tallied as a whole during settlement.
Economic damages are financial or monetary losses that can be calculated through medical bills and tallying lost wages. They include the financial aspects of your truck accident claim. Of the two, they’re easier to calculate.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate. This category has no direct monetary value, but it’s the job of the team at Gerber Injury Law to figure one out. Non-economic damages are the emotional distress and mental anguish that the victims and loved ones suffer. After severe accidents like truck accidents, the quality of life of the injured person can decrease. You want professional truck accident lawyers in Arizona to help you calculate what that means for your compensation.
In Arizona, there is no cap on non-economic damages like in other states; however, your truck accident attorney in Arizona still needs to present a compelling case for what those damages are in monetary value. Gerber Injury Law wants to ensure this is complete in the account we present in your claim.
Gerber Injury Law will go through all of these calculations with you so that we can help determine what your settlement should be. You want trusted lawyers to help you through this time.
A Note on Mental Health and Accidents
After a catastrophic accident like a truck collision, the injured parties may struggle to emotionally return to their usual daily life. This could include feeling increased depression or anxiety. This increase or onset of depression or anxiety may occur because of the trauma of the crash or the extent of the injuries received in the crash.
People who experience traumatic injuries may be more likely to develop anxiety or depression. If you notice that you or your loved one involved in a truck accident are developing symptoms of anxiety or depression, reach out to a medical professional.
What If I’m Partially Responsible for the Accident, But I’m Not the Truck Driver?
Some states have a contributory negligence rule, meaning that anyone who was in any way responsible for the accident is not allowed to file personal injury claims. Arizona does NOT have this rule. While driving, any vehicle should be approached with alertness to all of your surroundings; even if you made poor choices or were partially at fault for the truck accident, you can still file a personal injury claim for the truck accident.
Insurance companies will try to make more of the fault land with you, reducing the compensation you are owed. That’s why contacting an Arizona truck accident lawyer is important to help you with your truck accident claim. We can also help you if you are being blamed for a truck accident.
Dealing With Insurance
If you have been involved in a truck accident, whether or not you are at fault, you need to make sure that the insurance company doesn’t try to undercut you. When speaking with insurance companies, only state what happened, not your opinion of what happened. Do not admit responsibility or offer or agree to a statement on record. Do tell them that you are in contact with a lawyer.
You should have an Arizona truck injury lawyer help you with the ins and outs of the insurance process. Allow us to handle the tricky process of dealing with insurance companies.
How Can Gerber Injury Law Help With a Truck Accident Claim?
If you’re involved in a truck accident, that can be a very overwhelming time. The number of things to remember and get done is incredible. The last thing you’ll want to do is research how to submit a claim for the accident. Also, dealing directly with insurance companies can take time and effort.
Let Gerber Injury Law take the lead in your case. We’ve over two decades of experience and are ready to help with your truck accident injury.
- We’ll help you collect evidence, like medical records, police reports, witness testimonies, and traffic camera recordings, to support your claim.
- We can help you calculate the damages that accrued because of the accident from medical bills, continuing medical care, and future medical care, up to financial losses like lost wages, future pay, and other expenses, as well as pain and suffering.
- We can file the claim and deal with settling with the opposing party.
- If there is no settlement reached, we will take your case to court.
With all our time practicing for our clients, we’re here to work for you. We’ve reclaimed millions of dollars for our clients over the past 20 years.
Get the complex process of filing a claim started right away. Contact our office today so the truck accident attorneys at Gerber Injury Law can lend our professional experience.
How Much Can I Receive in Compensation for My Truck Accident Claim?
The amount of compensation you’ll get from your claim is dependent on several factors, including:
- How catastrophic your injuries are
- The length of time you’ll need to heal from your injuries
- The length of time you’ll be out of work, and the corresponding wage compensation
- Future wage compensation, for if you are unable to work as much as you used to, or at all
- If you were partially responsible for causing the accident, and what percentage of fault of yours the accident is
- The extent to the damage of the vehicle or other property at the time of the accident
It’s important to note that insurance claims adjusters might try to get an estimated number from you after the accident. You should not communicate with insurance claims investigators until you’ve spoken to your Arizona truck accident lawyer. Gerber Injury Law will help you correctly estimate not only the current damages but the future needs including:
- Loss of income from your injuries
- Future needed medical care, physical therapy, or medication
- If you will need personal assistance now or in the future
We have five offices around Arizona of personal injury attorneys ready to serve you. Contact us today with your 18-wheeler accident claims.
Contact Gerber Injury Law About Your Truck Injury Accident Today
If you or your loved ones were involved in a truck accident in Arizona, contact Gerber Injury Law. We know that injuries sustained from these devastating crashes can take a long time to heal, and we’ll be with you to help take care of the legal side of things while you heal.
You can contact our office online or give us a call at 623-486-8300. We only charge once we settle your case, and your consultation is free. If you need help with your truck accident claim, reach out to Gerber Injury Law.
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