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Commercial Vehicle Accidents: What You Need to Know

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You Were Hit By a Commercial Truck – Now What?

The Quick Fact Sheet on Auto Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks.

While being involved in any car accident can leave a lasting impression on a person’s life, commercial truck accidents are often the cause of significant financial loss and loss of life. When a commercial truck is on the road, the driver has a duty not only to their employer but also to the other drivers on the road at the time.

When this duty is broken, people can be seriously injured and need to know their rights to ensure that they receive the care they need to heal. What type of trucks are considered commercial? Read below to learn how landscaping trucks, light duty trucks, passenger vans and contractor’s trucks all have greater responsibility to the smaller cars on the road.

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you have significant experience in helping clients who have been in a commercial truck accident.  Our offices are conveniently located in nearby ChandlerPeoria, 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.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.

Commercial Vehicles: Trucks, Passenger Vans and Trailers

Many motorists are too occupied with their own route, passengers, or other matters to notice much about the large trucks that share the roadway, other than how to maneuver around them. What is important to keep in mind, however, is that a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh more than 25 times as much as a typical car. When one collides with the other, there is no surprise as to which vehicle will suffer the most damage.

For this reason, the driving laws in Arizona are stricter for drivers of commercial vehicles, as it is imperative that they follow all rules of the road to minimize the potential for commercial truck accidents. For example, in Arizona, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08% for most drivers. However, for drivers of commercial vehicles, this level is lower in an attempt to ensure that commercial drivers do not consume any alcohol before navigating the roadways, which hopefully will lower the number of commercial truck accidents.

Liability for Commercial Truck Accidents

Because of the additional rules that apply to commercial vehicles, truck drivers on Arizona roadways are typically more cautious than other motorists. It is important to recognize the role each party played in an accident to determine the actual cause. What begins as an accident report will likely require discovery pursuant to litigation to examine the true cause of the incident.

It is the responsibility of the injured party, or his or her representatives, to prove that the driver of the commercial vehicle was negligent when the accident occurred. The injured party must also prove that the commercial vehicle operator’s negligence caused the accident.

This can be extremely difficult to prove, and in most cases, requires a very fact-specific inquiry. Commercial truck accidents can also be more complicated than a typical motor vehicle accident because of the parties that may share the liability for the accident. Not only will a lawsuit for damages be against the driver of the vehicle but also potentially against a trucking company, contractor, and insurance company. This is to ensure that the motorist who gets injuries can recover all damages.

Why Are Commercial Truck Accidents a Serious Issue? 

Commercial truck accidents are very serious for a few different reasons.  

  • Statistics: Accidents that occur between a truck and a passenger vehicle are much more likely to result in a fatality or serious injuries, as opposed to an accident between 2 cars. 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle cases include a large truck, and 68% of the fatalities in these scenarios come from the passenger vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  
  • Weight: It’s likely that your passenger car weighs around 4,000 pounds. Most trucks weigh much more than that- usually upwards of 30,000 pounds. Because the force of impact in a car accident is based off weight as well as speed, if the much heavier truck hits your car, you will have a much greater force of impact during a commercial truck accident.  
  • Height: In addition to being heavier than a passenger car, a truck is much higher as well. This not only means that the passenger car is likely to collide with the edge of the truck, it means that the driver of the truck is sitting much higher than the driver of the passenger car. While this is a good thing for the truck driver, being lower to the ground means that there is an increased risk of injury for the passenger car driver.  

Conclusion

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 commercial truck 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 commercial truck 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 ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.