Yearin Law Office - Personal Injury Attorney in Scottsdale, AZ

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What Should You Do if You’re in an Accident With a Commercial Truck?

Commercial Trucking Accidents

All motor vehicle accidents are serious, but those involving a commercial truck are exceptionally dangerous. We understand how trucking accidents differ, and we are experienced in fighting for the proper compensation owed to victims.

Causes of Trucking Accidents

Negligently operated commercial trucks can cause horrendous accidents. In comparison to passenger vehicles, tractor trailers have an increased danger because of several factors such as the following:

  • Size: Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is 16 times more than an average passenger vehicle
  • Cargo: Many commercial trucks transport dangerous and hazardous cargo, which can be flammable, explosive, or toxic.
  • Braking: If traveling 60 miles per hour, an average tractor trailer needs approximately 350 feet to come to a complete stop. As a comparison, a football field measures approximately 360 feet.
  • Maneuverability: Truck drivers have a difficult time avoiding road hazards, such as debris or stalled vehicles, as they need more time and space to change course.

Although all motor vehicle accidents are unique, accidents involving tractor trailers are typically caused by one of four factors:

  • Rear-End Collisions: Because trucks need more time to stop, slowed or stopped vehicles are often rear-ended by these trucks.
  • Shifting Cargo: An overloaded, or poorly loaded, trailer can cause the truck to tip over or jackknife.
  • Left Turns: When making a left turn, trucks require ample time and space. A lack of either can the truck to capsize or smash into another vehicle.
  • Improper Maneuvers: A truck driver who fails to maintain his driving lane, or who fails to stop or yield when required, will cause a serious accident.

Steps to Consider if Involved in an Accident with a Commercial Truck

Being involved in an accident with a tractor trailer can be terrifying. Do your best to stay calm and follow the below tips:

  • Address injuries. Assess yourself first, followed by anyone else in your vehicle. Even if you believe you are fine, you should still seek immediate medical attention. Often, the shock of the event masks injuries. Further, some injuries do not immediately appear.
  • Seek safety. Move yourself and your passengers to a safe location off the roadway, if possible. If 911 has not been called, make the call immediately.
  • Gather evidence and witnesses. If possible, take pictures of the scene, the damage to the vehicles, and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from other parties and witnesses. Take notes of the date, time, location, weather, and any other factors that you feel are relevant.
  • Report to your Insurer. Your insurance provider will ask for some information about the accident. Provide them with the facts, but do not give any recorded statement, and do not sign anything, without first speaking with an experienced attorney.
  • Contact an attorney. The experienced staff of the Yearin Law Office will help you navigate through the insurance process, as well as any potential litigation.

Who Is Liable?

One of the biggest issues in cases involving commercial trucks is liability. In comparison to an accident involving a personal vehicle, commercial vehicles’ liability can fall into the hands of numerous parties. Such potentially liable parties may include:

  • The truck driver;
  • The driver’s employer;
  • Owner of the truck;
  • Company leasing the truck;
  • Owner of the leasing company;
  • Owner of the trailer (if attached);
  • Company leasing the trailer; or
  • Manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or components.

Investigation

In order to properly investigate, there are many pieces of evidence that must be analyzed. Your attorney will assist you in gathering such evidence and understanding the investigative process. This evidence may include, but may not be limited to:

  • Police and/or agency investigation reports;
  • Driving logs and records (including weigh-ins);
  • Electronic data recorded by tractor’s “black box”;
  • Driving history of the vehicle and trailer;
  • Maintenance records;
  • Any potential violations of federal and state laws and driving regulations;
  • Past violations of state and federal trucking laws;
  • Review medical records;
  • Review camera footage;
  • Interview witnesses; and
  • Potential manufacturing defects

Contact Us Today

As personal injury cases involving commercial vehicles are often more complex than other motor vehicle accident cases, it will take an expert attorney to assist in gaining a favorable outcome. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, contact the Yearin Law Office today. Our dedicated team will work closely with you to ensure that you gain the compensation that you deserve. Call today at 480-502-0708 for a free consultation.