It’s important to know about truck driver accident procedures. Accidents involving large commercial trucks, often referred to as a trucking accident, lead to huge injuries and loss of life. The sheer size, weight, and speeds at which these semi-truck accidents occur leads to correspondingly large harm to persons and property. The litigation surrounding them is also larger, more complex, than your car accident case. So, these trucking accident cases involve large corporations, complex contract matters, discovery, insurance companies, and federal and state laws.
In the context of Truck Driver Accident Procedures, gaining knowledge about the laws and cases pertaining to such accidents is essential. This understanding equips you to make informed decisions regarding your course of action following your involvement in a trucking accident.
The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you have significant experience in helping clients who lack knowledge about truck driver accident procedures and have been in a trucking accident. Our offices are conveniently located in nearby Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person at our nearby offices, over the phone, or video call. You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.
In addition to assisting with Truck Driver Accident Procedures, we understand the importance of addressing other concerns that may be causing you distress, such as securing a rental car promptly and finding a nearby doctor who can provide the necessary medical assistance. We recognize that even the most skilled legal team cannot fully support you if your quality of life is compromised during the pursuit of justice and compensation. Our goal as attorneys is to restore your quality of life, both in the short term as your trusted advocates and in the long term as your dedicated legal representatives. With our extensive knowledge of the local Phoenix courts, we are confident in our ability to help you achieve the optimal settlement.
In the realm of truck driver accident procedures, a common occurrence in auto accidents is the rear-end fender bender. It only takes a momentary lapse of attention, fatigue, or a heavy foot on the pedal for the vehicle behind or beside you to collide with yours. However, when these seemingly minor risks involve large semi-trucks traveling at highway speeds, the consequences often include loss of life and severe injuries. Understanding and following proper truck driver accident procedures are crucial in such cases to ensure legal and safety measures are appropriately addressed.
Auto accidents involving commercial trucks and tractor trailers differ from the more common roadway incidents in a number of ways. Commercial trucking companies are subject to federal regulations for safety as well as state rules of the road. Accidents with a large semi-truck and trailer often lead to much more severe injuries and death than the typical rear-ending accident, especially because they often occur at highway speeds.
Hence, trucking accidents often involve more complex litigation, due to discovery needs, special insurance held by trucking companies, and the number of parties potentially involved.
Commercial trucks, semi-trucks, and tractor trailers are all required to follow higher standards of safety than other types of vehicles. If they carry goods between states, or restricted goods, or the vehicle requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate, they are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules. The FMCSA has requirements above and beyond those created by the state of Arizona.
Trucking accidents often stem from common causes such as fatigue, inadequate maintenance, and overloading. To ensure safety and compliance, trucking companies are mandated by the FMCSA to maintain accurate records of various factors, including hours worked, miles traveled, and rest time. Additionally, they must keep logs documenting brake, tire, and engine maintenance. It is crucial to follow proper truck driver accident procedures, as a semi-truck can weigh up to 25 times more than an average car. When overloaded, the risk of accidents involving these 40-ton vehicles significantly increases. In contrast, an average passenger car weighs approximately one and a half tons. Understanding and adhering to truck driver accident procedures are essential for addressing these risks and promoting safety on the road.
These laws and any violations thereof may serve as powerful evidence in your case if your trucking accident attorney can show that they are causally linked to the accident that caused your injuries.
Like every state, Arizona has created laws that dictate driver behavior on its roads. These regulations are created to make the roads safe for everyone who uses them. Violation of these laws is not only a crime but may serve as decisive evidence in a negligence claim against the truck driver and his company. Even if your suit is brought in federal court, choice of law will likely favor applying Arizona laws.
Truck drivers, like any other driver, are subject to the same traffic laws, including regulations concerning speeding, improper lane changes, and failure to signal. When truck drivers violate these laws, it can serve as compelling evidence of negligence. Following proper truck driver accident procedures is vital in addressing such instances of negligence and ensuring that appropriate legal measures are taken.
Initial investigation of a trailer will include the following:
Once an exhaustive examination of the documentation has been done, a physical exam is also necessary. The following tips will provide insight into the how, what, and why this semi-truck accident occurred.
The answer is yes and you want to do it right away. The trucking company’s risk management team will be on the scene immediately to mitigate any incriminating evidence. You need to make the same strategic steps. In order to evaluate the semi-truck accident properly, check the following steps:
You should conduct the investigation of the semi-truck accident scene in the following manner:
Evidence that needs to be collected from the victim’s vehicle and the other vehicles involved in the accident are as follows:
Looking into the driver and his or her company also will provide plenty of important information:
After the collection of all relevant evidence through proper truck driver accident procedures, you and your attorney will gain a comprehensive understanding of the accident’s cause, the parties accountable for the incident, and the injuries sustained by you and/or your loved ones. This knowledge serves as a catalyst for taking the next step, which typically involves initiating a truck driver accident procedures lawsuit to seek legal recourse for the damages incurred.
In truck driver accident procedures, to seek compensation, it is essential to establish that either the driver, or the company, or borth were negligent and that their negligence directly caused your injuries and damages. Negligence, which is further explained in other sections, refers to unintentional actions that result in harm. To successfully pursue a negligence claim in truck driver accident procedures, you must prove the following four elements:
In the context of truck driver accident procedures, it is the responsibility of all road users, whether they are cyclists, drivers, or pedestrians, to exercise a duty of care towards others. Compliance with safety laws, such as traffic regulations, can explicitly establish a specific duty of care. Therefore, accidents resulting from speeding are often considered negligent per se. However, truck drivers have additional obligations, including adhering to FMCSA regulations and taking reasonable actions and precautions expected of a prudent truck driver while operating their vehicle. These heightened duties are essential in truck driver accident procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of all road users.
To seek compensation for your injuries in truck driver accident procedures, it is necessary to establish the driver, company, or both were negligent. A straightforward approach to proving negligence is by demonstrating that the driver or company violated a law, which courts interpret as a safety regulation. Many traffic laws fall within this category. In essence, if the driver who collided with you was issued a citation by the police or highway patrol, it serves as evidence of negligence in truck driver accident procedures.
In the realm of truck driver accident procedures, if there is no evidence of a violation of safety regulations, your trucking accident attorney will strive to establish that the driver or company acted negligently by failing to exercise reasonable care, resulting in physical injuries and property damage. This claim relies on four essential elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Truck drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely, while their companies bear the responsibility of ensuring responsible vehicle maintenance to prevent accidents. These elements are crucial in truck driver accident procedures to support your case for compensation.
The first step is negligence. Negligence is provable a number of ways that vary from case to case. For example, if the driver fell asleep at the wheel, you may be able to show it by a rest schedule that doesn’t conform to the FMCSA requirements. The inspection of the vehicles may turn up negligently maintained engines or brakes.
The importance of conducting extensive investigation, research, and discovery at the beginning of your case is attributed to this crucial element. By establishing causation in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures, you effectively demonstrate the fault of both the commercial trucking driver and the company.
Once your trucking accident attorney identifies one or more breaches of duty in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures, their task is to present an argument to the jury, demonstrating that these breaches directly caused the accident. The level of difficulty in establishing causation varies depending on the circumstances. For instance, it is relatively straightforward to establish a causal link between a failure to maintain a proper rest schedule for drivers and a driver falling asleep at the wheel, resulting in an accident, as outlined in the truck driver accident procedures. On the other hand, proving that slightly over-worn brake pads caused an accident may pose more challenges in terms of establishing causation, in line with the truck driver accident procedures.
Once the other elements have been established in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures, proving damages, unfortunately, tends to be relatively straightforward. The jury will take into account various factors, such as hospital bills, property expenses, and the extent of pain and suffering, in line with the truck driver accident procedures.
In order to achieve success in the aforementioned endeavors, your trucking accident attorney will undertake a series of inquiries, in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures. Information serves as the foundation of any legal case, and this holds particularly true in the aftermath of a commercial trucking incident, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the truck driver accident procedures.
Your attorney will take prompt action, following the truck driver accident procedures, to swiftly obtain the accident report from the police, enlist the services of investigators and accident reconstructionists, and gather any publicly available information and witness statements regarding the accident. Similarly, the attorneys and insurance claim specialists involved will also work diligently to secure all relevant information. You can expect to undergo a comprehensive inquiry regarding the incident, and the vehicle involved in the accident will be preserved and thoroughly examined, in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures.
Your attorney will investigate, and hire investigators, to review:
These investigations, as part of the truck driver accident procedures, involve capturing photographs of accident scenes and vehicles for the purpose of reconstruction. They also entail obtaining vehicle history reports, conducting depositions (recorded legal interviews for evidentiary purposes), conducting background research on the carrier and driver, and gathering information about the truck’s make, model, and mileage. While these tasks may be time-consuming, burdensome, and costly, they are indispensable steps in achieving a favorable outcome in your case, in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures.
Throughout your case, it is likely that you will uncover additional valuable information to support your position. What sets a semi-truck accident case apart is the examination of both the qualifications of the drivers and the actions of their motor carrier employers, as outlined in the truck driver accident procedures. The following factual scenarios should be thoroughly reviewed and considered as part of your case, in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures.
Hours of service in case of a motor carrier driver is important owing to the following reasons:
As a result, you can explore both sleep and fatigue in your semi-truck accident case.
Electronic control modules in semi-truck accident cases can provide important information as follows:
Electronic Data Recorder (EDR) can be useful in a various way in a semi-truck accident:
Hence, this list gives you and idea of how much information is available in order to prove your case.
In response to the significant risks associated with over-the-road and long-haul trucking, including semi-truck accidents, our federal government has taken proactive measures to enhance regulation. This has led to a notable increase in the issuance of imminent hazard orders that result in carriers being put out of service, in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures. Additionally, motor coach companies are now subject to heightened scrutiny as part of the truck driver accident procedures.
In a semi-truck accident, demonstrating negligent hiring or selection can be instrumental in proving the trucking company’s negligence and potentially extending liability to brokers, as outlined in the truck driver accident procedures. However, establishing broker liability can be challenging, yet it becomes particularly crucial in cases where there is a lack of or insufficient insurance coverage, in accordance with the truck driver accident procedures.
For depositions of critical personnel, consider the following:
The primary defenses in cases involving semi-truck accidents typically revolve around issues of liability, which are raised by companies and insurers. Under the legal concept of respondent superior, employers can be held accountable for the wrongful actions of their employees, as defined by the truck driver accident procedures. Companies bear responsibility for the actions of their drivers only if the driver qualifies as an employee or agent according to the truck driver accident procedures. Trucking companies often attempt to argue that their drivers are independent contractors, seeking to establish that only the driver is liable for any negligence.
Determining whether a driver qualifies as an employee or an independent contractor depends on the terms of the contract and the level of actual control exerted. Even if the driver’s contract designates them as an independent contractor, the employer can still be held liable under the respondent superior doctrine if they exercise sufficient control over the driver, as outlined in the truck driver accident procedures. If the employer dictates the specific manner in which the work is to be completed, they will be held liable according to the truck driver accident procedures.
However, if the company only maintains control over the desired outcome of the work without dictating the specific methods used to achieve it, the relationship between the company and the truck driver would likely be classified as that of an independent contractor. As an illustration, if the trucker operates and owns their own vehicle, covers their own expenses for fuel and insurance, assumes the responsibility for repairs, has no taxes withheld, and does not receive any employment benefits, it is highly probable that they are an independent contractor according to the truck driver accident procedures.
Once the employer confirms the employment relationship, the second step in analyzing respondent superior is to determine whether the truck driver was acting within the scope of their employment, as outlined in the truck driver accident procedures. The scope of employment is determined based on the specific facts of each incident. Pertinent factors include the nature, time, and place of the driver’s conduct that led to the injury. If the driver was engaged in an activity related to their employment or reasonably incidental to their work, they were fulfilling their duties within the scope of their employment as defined by the truck driver accident procedures.
The FMCSA mandates the insurance policies that cover commercial trucks, and these policies are for much larger amounts than typical auto insurance. For these reasons, the trucking company’s insurance agency may be one of the staunchest opponents against your claim. Under the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, insurers of trucking agencies may offer an endorsement called an MCS-90 that acts as proof of financial liability.
“An MCS-90 endorsement to an automotive insurance policy obligates an insurer to cover an insured’s negligence involving vehicles subject to the financial responsibility requirements of … the Motor Carrier Act. The Motor Carrier Act, in turn, creates minimum levels of financial responsibility for the transportation of property by motor carrier … within the United States. Canal Ins. Co. v. Coleman, 625 F.3d 244.
This broad language means that, in most cases, the insurer will be liable. However, courts have held that some exceptions apply. For instance, the truck is present in the United States; (Canal Indem. Co. v. Galindo, 344 Fed.Appx. 909); it must have been transporting property (Canal Ins. Co. v. Coleman, 625 F.3d 244; Brunson ex rel. Brunson v. Canal Ins. Co., 602 F.Supp.2d 711); and the truck must have been a for-hire vehicle (Canal Ins. Co. v. YMV Transport, Inc., 867 F.Supp.2d 1099).
Whether the trucking company’s insurance represents a viable defendant will base on the facts of your accident. As a general rule, however, trucking company insurers will usually be required to pay for the negligence of drivers.
Above all, the commercial trucking industry is a multibillion-dollar sector. In the event of a trucking accident resulting in severe injuries, the trucking company receives a notification, initiating their prompt response according to the truck driver accident procedures. Here is a concise rundown of the steps they follow shortly after the accident takes place.
The key onsite defense tasks are as follows:
Experts in the areas of biomechanics/human factors, conspicuity, metallurgy (underride cases), and policies and procedures on hiring, training, disciplining, and general safety practices will obtain from the trucking company:
In the realm of truck driver accident procedures, the trucking industry is fully cognizant of the demanding nature of their commercial drivers’ occupation. These drivers operate under significant stress and face extensive monitoring by various entities such as the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), Qualcomm, GPS (Global Positioning System), ECM (Engine Control Module), video cameras, background checks, as well as medical and drug tests. These measures are implemented to ensure compliance with truck driver accident procedures and maintain safety standards within the industry.
In truck driver accident procedures, bus drivers face the constant challenge of navigating through various obstacles, including pedestrians, bicycles, and other vehicles, while prioritizing the safety of their passengers. On the other hand, OTR (Over-The-Road) truck drivers contend with the demands of extended periods away from their families, coupled with the pressure to timely deliver their cargo while maintaining utmost safety. In the event of a lawsuit, truck drivers will take every possible measure to protect their actions and reputation. Therefore, thorough preparation is essential for your truck driver accident procedures case.
At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including those from trucking accidents in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.
If you have been in a trucking accident, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.