While truck accidents are not the most common type of motor vehicle crash that place Arizona motorists at risk, they certainly do cause substantial destruction, injuries, and fatalities when they occur. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZ DOT), there are around 12,000 crashes involving 18-wheelers, semis, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles every year. Around 85 of these incidents are fatal, while almost 2,700 truck accidents cause injuries to at least one person. From the size and weight of a fully-loaded truck, you can expect that the occupants of the passenger vehicle will bear the brunt of the impact.
Arizona personal injury laws cover truck accidents, so you may qualify to recover compensation for your losses. The key to success with your claim is complying with the relevant statutes and meeting all requirements associated with the legal process. You can rely on your Tucson truck accident attorney to address the details, but keep these points in mind.
1. Traffic Accident Fault Laws:
Like many other US states that are “at-fault” for purposes of collisions, Arizona requires you to prove that the truck driver was negligent in operating the rig. Negligence refers to a failure to act with reasonable care, so examples for truck accident cases include:
- Drunk or distracted driving;
- Running red lights; and
- Failure to yield.
Note that truck crashes can be linked to negligence of someone other than the operator, such as an employer, company that loaded the trailer, the manufacturer of truck parts, and many other parties.
2. Federal Regulations:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established numerous rules that apply to truck drivers, the vehicles and systems, weight loads, and many other aspects of operating an 18-wheeler. Any violation of these regulations could act as powerful evidence of negligence as described above. Another FMCSA rule that works in favor of victims is insurance: Operators must carry a minimum of $750,000 in coverage for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
3. Statute of Limitations:
Arizona has enacted time restriction on lawsuits for truck accidents, so you have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit in court. If you allow the statute of limitations to expire, you are forever barred from recovering compensation. This deadline does not change based upon any settlement discussions you engage in with the truck insurance company.
4. Comparative Negligence:
Fault is an important factor in a truck crash claim, but keep in mind that your own carelessness could play a role in your case. If you were also negligent, your compensation will be reduced by the amount of blame attributable to your actions.
Set Up a Free Consultation
This information is helpful as an overview, but there are many specific concepts that impact your claim. Our team at Karnas Law Firm, PLLC will tackle the details and guide you through the legal process, so please call (520) 462-2593 or go online to schedule a no-cost case review. After learning about your situation, an attorney will advise you on next steps.
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