The attorneys of Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC know the devastating harm that can result from a collision between a car and a large commercial truck. As difficult as it may be to think about taking legal action when you are still dealing with the shock from one of those horrific crashes, you need to protect your rights. You owe it to yourself and your family to get legal help as soon as possible. Trucking companies – and their insurers – have much at stake when a crash occurs. They will assign investigators and attorneys to a case within hours after an accident occurs. This is why you need to have a lawyer on your side right away. We are ready to help you today. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car-truck crash in Scottsdale, Sun City, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise or elsewhere in Arizona, reach us by phone or online.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident in Arizona?
By coming to our website, you have taken an important step in protecting your right to be fully compensated for your losses. We suggest that you take the following additional steps in the days and weeks ahead:
|Meet with an attorney. If you have any questions about your legal rights and your ability to take action in your case, we have answers. The sooner we get to work on your truck accident case, the better chance we have to gather and preserve important evidence. You have nothing to lose: Our consultations are always free.|
|Seek medical treatment. If you have not been evaluated yet, you should go to the emergency room or see a family doctor as soon as possible. You may be unaware that you have suffered a serious head, organ or soft tissue injury. Getting a diagnosis and treatment will also be important in your legal case.|
|Get a copy of the police accident report. Within a few days after a crash, the police report should be available. You can check with the Arizona Department of Public Safety or a local law enforcement agency such as the Phoenix Police Department. In major truck accident cases, the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation that will be published online.|
|Hold on to everything. Keep all photos and accident-related documents in a folder or a box. Doing this will help you to keep track of all of your medical bills, expenses, insurance letters and other items. You should make copies if possible.|
|Watch what you say. If insurance companies contact you – and they will – refer them to your lawyer at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. Never give a recorded statement or accept a settlement offer unless you have talked with us first. You should also avoid talking about your case with others – especially on social media.|
You can count on us to be working hard on your case while you are working on your physical and emotional recovery. However, we will keep you updated at every stage. You will always know what is happening in your case.
How Can a Sun City Truck Accidents Lawyer Help You?
If you are thinking about going without an attorney, you should think again. A lawyer with experience handling tractor-trailer accident cases in Arizona can provide a wide range of invaluable services to you, including:
|Preserving evidence – We can take immediate legal action to make sure the truck, trailer, logbooks, cell phone records, maintenance records and other important evidence are preserved after a crash. We can also keep a close watch on any law enforcement or transportation agency investigations of the accident.|
|Investigating your crash – We know how to analyze and collect evidence that can reveal why a semi-truck accident happened and who should be held responsible. We can also consult with experienced accident reconstruction specialists and experts from other fields in order to fully investigate your case.|
|Litigate your case – We will work quickly to prepare your case for settlement talks with the insurance companies in your case or, if needed, we can file a lawsuit. Many motions may need to be filed, including motions that seek to compel the trucking company and others to comply with requests for information.|
|Seek a full and fair recovery for you – The more professionally prepared your case is, the better your chance of obtaining a full financial recovery through a settlement or jury verdict. Everything we do will be aimed at pursing the maximum amount for you.|
When a car accident involves a commercial truck, it can be highly complex. It may involve an extensive investigation, dealing with multiple parties (including out-of-state and foreign corporations) and aggressive litigation. This is why you should work with a law firm that has experience with tractor-trailer accident cases.
Why Did Your Truck-Car Accident Happen?
Our focus at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC will be to determine if someone else was at fault for your collision with a tractor-trailer. Fault can arise in many different ways. As we have seen, common causes of truck accidents are:
|Speeding – According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), speeding is the leading type of driver error that causes large truck crashes in our country. Speeding can be especially dangerous when one considers the typical size and weight of a tractor-trailer.|
|Driver distraction – FMCSA rules restrict texting and talking on cell phones by truck drivers – but those rules are often violated. Truckers can also cause crashes if distracted by eating, drinking, smoking or playing with gadgets while driving.|
|Driver fatigue – As with the distracted driving rules, truckers often violate FMCSA restrictions on how many hours they can be on the road. These rules are called “hours-of-service” regulations. A drowsy truck driver can be as dangerous as one impaired by alcohol or drugs.|
|Impaired driving – Given how complex it is to operate a typical big rig, even the slightest amount of alcohol consumption can lead to accidents. This is why Arizona makes it illegal for anyone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a truck with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or above. The same problem arises when truckers drive after taking illegal drugs or prescription drugs that can cause drowsiness.|
|Faulty equipment – A defectively designed or manufactured truck or truck component can cause an accident, including tires, brakes, steering columns or couplings.|
|Road conditions – Government agencies and their contractors may be held responsible if they design a road with flaws, fail to keep a road properly maintained or set up dangerous highway construction zones.|
If a party’s fault is established, we will work diligently to seek the compensation you are owed from that party – or its insurance company – for your physical, emotional and financial harm.
Who Can Be Sued for Your Truck Accident Injuries?
As we have seen in truck accident cases in Arizona, many different parties may be responsible for an accident. It is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation and track down those parties and take legal action against them. In your tractor-trailer crash, the parties who could be held liable include:
|Truck driver – A driver may be responsible for careless or reckless driving or failing to conduct routine tractor-trailer inspections that could have avoided a crash.|
|Mechanic – A trucking company mechanic or third-party mechanic may be liable for failing to identify and repair problems with a rig such as tires with worn tread or brakes that need to be serviced.|
|Cargo shipper / loader – The company that is responsible for loading cargo onto a trailer should be held responsible if the cargo becomes unsecured and causes an accident.|
|Other vendors – Many other vendors are involved in the trucking industry, including companies that hire contract drivers for shipping operations or serve as brokers between companies and truck carriers.|
|Truck / truck parts manufacturer – Companies that manufacture and sell defective trucks or parts can be held liable through an action called a product liability lawsuit.|
|Trucking company – A truck carrier may be liable for the negligence of one of its drivers or for its own negligence in hiring unfit drivers, failing to train and supervise drivers, failing to inspect and maintain its fleet or allowing violations of state and federal safety regulations such as hours-of-service rules.|
|Government agency – A transportation agency or the contractors it hires to design, build and maintain roads can be liable if a road defect leads to an accidents. However, a claim against a government agency must be carefully handled due to a shorter window of time that is available to bring a claim.|
Arizona follows a rule called “pure comparative negligence.” This means that a party is held liable only for the percentage of fault attributed to that party. Because of this rule, it is crucial to identify all parties who may be legally required to pay damages to you in a claim arising from a tractor-trailer crash.
What Damages Can You Recover from a Truck-Car Accident?
As FMCSA statistics show, when a collision between a passenger car and tractor-trailer occurs, those in the car tend to suffer the most severe injuries. These injuries can include:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Mental anguish
The injuries that a victim suffers may depend on the type of crash such as a:
- Head-on collision
- Wide turn
- Blind spot.
Our goal at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC is to pursue full compensation for all of your losses. The damages you may recover in a truck accident lawsuit in Arizona could include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost earnings and decrease in future earning power
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of love, care, affection, companionship.
If a truck driver or trucking company has engaged in especially egregious misconduct, punitive damages may also be sought. For instance, it may be established that a trucking company has a history of violations of state and federal regulations or a pattern of hiring unfit drivers.