Interesting Facts About Semi Truck Accidents in Arizona

Although commercial truck accidents are not as talked about as traditional passenger vehicle collisions, they often cause more serious damages. The law states that any vehicle carrying over 10,000 pounds are considered trucks, but often times these trucks carry much more. Sometimes trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

Compared to a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle, the large size and weight of a commercial truck can do much more damage, cause more serious injuries, and frequently even death when involved in an auto accident. If the truck is carrying hazardous or bulky items, the risk of fatalities and injuries in the event of an accident increases drastically.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, or IIHS, reports that over half a million trucks were involved in accidents in the U.S. in 2010 alone, resulting in about 100,000 serious injuries and over 5,000 deaths. In 2009, only 3,200 deaths were caused by commercial truck accidents. As the number of trucks on the roads increase, the number of fatalities due to truck accidents will increase as well.

With many truck accidents, there is someone at fault. If the accident was clearly caused by the actions of another individual and a death or serious injury resulted, the victim or victim’s surviving family members may be able to receive financial damages for everything from medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, or other opportunities that were taken away as a result of the accident.

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If you were involved in a Semi Truck Accident, give us a call. We’re available to discuss your case and review the possible maximum compensation you deserve.

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Arizona Commercial and Semi Truck Accident Lawyer

Semi-Truck Accidents and Negligence

In the legal world, a truck accident includes an incident or series of events involving a vehicle with a weight greater than 10,000 pounds that resulted in property damage, bodily injury, and/or death. Although these accidents are usually caused by one party or another, in order for the victim to receive compensation from the truck driver, the truck accident must meet the following criteria:

  1. The truck accident was a result of fault and/or recklessness of another driver
  2. The injury or death of the victim was a result of the truck accident
  3. The injuries resulted in compensable damages

There are several ways to prove that negligence was at fault and will be crucial for proving the fault of the driver and receiving damages. Acceptable forms of evidence include police reports, photographs, and expert or witness testimonies. Additional forms of evidence that may be accepted include proof that the driver was operating his truck while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or showed signs of additional impairment, like driving with a lack of sleep.

A truck accident lawyer can help you determine if negligence is present in your case.

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Common Causes of Arizona Truck Accidents

The causes behind accidents vary and it is difficult to explain how things happen. Usually, each accident comes from a variety of circumstances and a combination of contributing factors, all resulting in the truck collision.

But, we can say that most accidents occur because a driver was not following safe driving habits and violating the law. One of the most common factors of truck accidents includes speeding, but other accidents may be caused by truck drivers failing to yield, making unsafe turns, and changing lanes or driving too closely to another vehicle.

Because commercial trucks are bigger and heavier than standard passenger cars, the risk associated with reckless driving is much greater. These commercial trucks carry a lot of weight, which requires faster reactions and more time and effort to make corrective changes.

According to studies, many Arizona truck accidents are caused by driver error. When a truck driver makes a mistake, his reaction time is delayed due to the mass of the vehicle. Driver error is also contributed to fatigue or sleepiness, intoxication, reckless driving, improper loading, or lack of training.

The most frequent cause of driver error is fatigue. Because truck drivers spend most of their day behind a wheel, it is easy for them to start to doze off. To ensure only safe drivers are on the road, truck drivers are required to stop driving after 14 hours of consecutive driving and cannot log more than 60 driving hours in a seven-day period. Additionally, they must take a 34-hour break after spending seven or eight days on the road.

Some truck accidents are the result of equipment failure. To reduce the amount of these kinds of accidents, commercial truck companies or truck owners must perform regular maintenance of their trucks in accordance to a strict schedule, including inspection of the brakes, fuel line, wheels and tires, engine, lightening, chassis, and hitches.

Negligence is not the only cause of truck accidents. Collisions can also be the result of poor road conditions or faulty road design. If a road is not properly maintained or is designed strangely, the government may be to blame for the accident and not the driver.


Truck Accident Injuries

The injuries that result in truck accidents are usually very serious or fatal. Those that do survive a crash might face a lifetime of permanent disabilities like brain injury or paralysis.

Here are some of the most common injuries associated with truck accidents:

Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury often results when objects make direct contact with the head, or if the head makes a dramatic movement that causes the brain to bounce against the walls of the skull.

Spinal Injury

A spinal injury can happen in the lower spine or neck and often result in permanent total or partial paralysis.

Back Injury

A herniated disc injury will require years of physical therapy to restore.

Burns

Burns can cause permanent disfiguring and pain.

Fractures, lacerations and contusions

While more minor than many other injuries, broken bones, cuts, and bruises are the most common and usually come with more serious injuries.


Getting Legal Help from an Arizona Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured by a truck accident, contact a truck accident lawyer at Hutzler Law for assistance. We will review your case from top to bottom and come up with the best course of action to make sure you receive the best possible outcome.

Top 3 Tips to Protect Yourself After an Accident

At some point in a person’s life, they will most likely be involved in some sort of car accident, truck accident or motorcycle accident. Although we all hope that the accident we are in will be nothing more than a slight dent in our bumper, sometimes life can take a turn for the worst and leave us in an unplanned devastating situation. After an accident, there are certain stages to a personal injury claim. Many motorcyclists and drivers seemingly find themselves in situations where they are in a constant battle with the responsible party and the courts to receive compensation for their injuries and property damage.

In these types of situations, it is crucial that all drivers, passengers and motorcyclists are aware of all their rights and responsibilities so they are able to protect themselves while fighting in court. Not being aware of these types of things could potentially cause you to lose the case with no compensation for your medical bills and damage done to your vehicle. This is why it is crucial to reach out for help from a Phoenix car accident lawyer as they can inform you of all your rights and responsibilities.

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Were you involved in an accident? Speak to accident attorney Jason Hutzler for a free accident report review and find out your possible compensation.

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Try to Remain Calm After an Accident

One of the most important things you can remember to do during an accident is to remain calm. Normally drivers are amped up from adrenaline after the impact and turn the situation into a yelling match and possibly a physical confrontation. This is what can make your case take a turn for the worst.

If it is possible, you should always make sure that the vehicles involved are moved out of the way of traffic. If injuries are apparent, it is crucial to contact an ambulance right away in case there is severe trauma. Although you are not obligated to contact law enforcement, it is always in your best interest to do so, especially if there has been a confrontation. Not only will it help eliminated arguments, but the report will also be very valuable to your case.

Photograph your Phoenix Car Accident
Be sure to take as many pictures of your car accident as you can – or have someone do it for you.

Photograph the Scene – Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words (and dollars!)

In an accident, one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself takes photographs of the scene. Although photographs can become invaluable if the insurance company denies the claim or if the case is taken to a civil trial, it is still ideal that you take multiple photographs of the scene of the accident. Doing so could potentially lead you to win the case by having proof of the property damage of your vehicle and why the responsible party is at fault.

Pictures that you take should consist of skid marks, the location of the accident, your injuries, and any posted signs close to where the accident occurred. Although you can wait to take photographs, it is better to take them immediately after the accident as it could potentially provide you with unique evidence as the responsible party will sometimes try and tamper with the scene to provide them with some type of innocence. If the accident has left you unable to move due to your injuries, it is important to contact a friend or family member close by to come and take photographs on your behalf.

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After a Car Accident in Arizona, Get Medical Treatment Right Away
Get medical attention after an accident and document all of your Injuries. This will help your injury case

Seeking Medical Attention is Very Important

Many unusual things can happen to a person’s body when they are involved in a collision with another vehicle. A number of people while undergoing a surge of adrenaline, which often means that they will be unaware of the extent of their injuries related to the accident. This will often cause the injured party to not seek medical attention right away.

Not seeking immediate medical attention after an accident could easily result in long-term damage, even if you were the passenger in an accident. Not only can it damage their body, but it can also greatly affect their personal injury case. As all injuries and treatments need to be documented after an accident to create a solid case, it is very crucial to seek out medical help right after an accident so you have all the proper documentation you need to present to your attorney. Without this documentation, you will have no proof that you sustained any injuries related to the accident.

Speak to Insurance Adjuster After Car Accident
Speak with your Insurance Adjuster immediately after your accident.

Contacting Your Insurance Provider

As every insurance provider is different in their own way, a large portion of policies states that once an accident occurs, the driver needs to contact their insurance agent within the first 48 hours of the accident happening. Before contacting your insurance provider, there are a few things you must remember. One of the first things being that if the accident was severe, you should only provide them with basic information on what took place before and after the accident.

Although you may believe that your insurance provider is only on your side, at the end of the day, they are a for-profit company. This means that may try and pay little to no money at all which will leave you without help to pay your medical bills. To get guidance on speaking to your insurance provider, you should always contact an attorney to discuss the case with them and what you should and shouldn’t say to the provider. By avoiding help from a legal representative, you will basically be settling for less and will wind up with a pile of medical bills that will be left unpaid from giving out to much or to little information to your insurance provider.

Nationwide Auto Accident Statistics

  • There are over 40,000 fatal car accidents each year in the United States.
  • Car accidents in the United States cost $230.6 billion dollars which is an average of around $820 per person in the US.
  • Each day, at least 90 Americans die in a car accident.
  • Over 10 million car crashes go unreported every year.
  • Every year over 1,600 children are killed in car accidents.
  • There are over 3,000 million whiplash cases a year that are caused by car accidents.
  • Young adults account for over half of all traffic deaths.
  • 66% of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
  • Tailgating causes well over 1/3 of most car accidents.
  • In the year 2018, there were a total of 36,750 deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents.
  • 22% of crashes each year are due to weather conditions.
  • Most fatal car accidents that happen take place on weekends.
  • Crash rates are the highest during a persons first year of driving.
  • Every year, at least 2 million drivers suffer from a permanent injury in a car accident.

Contact an Accident Attorney at Hutzler Law

After a car, motorcycle or truck accident occurs, most people make the mistake of accepting a quick payout from an insurance company without taking the time to realize how much compensation they really deserve. Doing this will only leave your bills piled high and your property damage unpaid. Before settling for less than what you truly deserve on a compensation amount, it is important that you reach out to an attorney for guidance with your case so you are not being left with little to no compensation for your injuries and property damage. Once you settle with the responsible party’s insurance company, there is no going back and you will be left with whatever’s given and no other options.

If your case has been upgraded to a criminal case in court, it is very necessary that you reach out to a personal injury attorney for help. Hiring a legal representative will allow you to build a solid case that will protect your finances and record, as well as get you the compensation you need for your injuries and property damage. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, reach out to an attorney at Hutzler law to receive a free consultation on your case. All you have to do is call (602) 730-4530 or go online to fill out our Online Contact Form.

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Does a Better Economy Mean More Semi Truck Accidents?

In today’s world, more and more 18-wheelers are taking to the highways picking up goods, foods, and materials from one place to take to another. However, more big rigs on the road means potentially more semi truck accidents. When a big truck strikes a passenger vehicle on the road, the force can drive the car into another automobile or off of the road claiming lives or causing severe injuries.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA data, Semi-truck and bus accident injuries have increased 4% from 112,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2017.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recorded 286,000 collisions involving 18-wheelers. These accidents claimed the lives of 86 percent of occupants of passenger cars and left 75 percent injured. According to Jennifer Tierney, head of the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) and an article posted in the New York Times, in 2015, written by Howard Abramson, from 2009 to 2013 the death toll for crashes that involved trucks rose immensely. In fact, from 2009 fatal accidents rose 28 percent. Moreover, recent reports show that truck-involved accidents that caused fatalities rose for four straight years, reaching 3,946 in 2013.

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Have you been involved in an accident with a Semi Truck? Speak with injury attorney Jason Hutzler today so our team can do a full case review and investigate. You may be entitled to significant compensation.

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Safety Comes First to Prevent a Truck Accident

When semi truck accidents take place, those wearing seat belts have a much better chance of survival. Seat belts can help prevent a driver from slamming into the steering wheel or dashboard as well as prevent backseat passengers from being thrown around, getting slammed indoors and, flying into the front seat. Numerous testimonials have been given regarding how wearing seatbelts saved lives. Furthermore, it doesn’t cost anything to wear seat belts; however, if you don’t wear them it can cost you your life.

Be Attentive, Focused and Alert

It is essential that your eyes stay focused on the road at all times while sharing the road with others, especially with large trucks. This includes not being distracted by things like cell phones and texting. It is also important that you stay alert when driving a passenger car or even a pickup truck on a highway where massive multi-ton semi-trucks are present, especially in heavy traffic. It is always wise to pay attention to what truck drivers are doing when you are driving on the same road as they are as they tend to exceed the speed limit and even worse, fall asleep at the wheel. If you notice any of these actions, try to steer clear keeping a safe distance between the truck and your vehicle.

Distance and Buffer – If You Can’t See Them, They Can’t See You

One thing to always keep in mind is that 18-wheelers and other big trucks need a lot of road room. They also have many blind spots when driving and usually can’t see a passenger car trying to pass on their right. Therefore, it is up to you to watch out for them. You should always keep a safe distance between you and the truck in front of you or on the side of you to create a safe zone in case an unforeseen semi truck accident should occur, such as a tire blowout or a jackknife.

People don’t call them 18-wheelers for nothing. Should any of these tires blow, it could cause shrapnel to fly out and hit passenger cars nearby. Not only can this cause severe injury to the occupants of a passenger car, but it can also cause extreme damage and even loss of life.

A jackknife happens when a semi loses control of the trailer latched onto the truck and it starts to travel sideways down the road and in most cases will cause the truck to tip over. Traveling a safe distance will give you a chance to stop before crashing into the truck if such things should happen.

When Driving On The Highway

Another important thing to be aware of is that maneuvering a large commercial vehicle is not the same as driving a car. For example, it can take half a football field to bring that thing to a complete stop. Accelerating is also different since it requires the driver to be shifting gears, hitting the clutch, hitting the fuel pedal, and steering all at the same time. A truck will only gain speed gradually, especially with a heavy load or when going uphill.

If something should suddenly appear in front of a moving truck, the driver’s basic instinct will be to swerve out of the way, if you are driving too close your car could be struck by the truck with a very strong force. The results could be fatal or very serious, not only for the occupants of the passenger car but for the truck driver and passengers as well. Ensure you and your passengers get to where you are going safely by being aware of what’s going on around you at all times during your commute.

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Things to Avoid Getting in an Accident with a Semi Truck

You can avoid car accidents, by following these rules…

  • Never make sudden lane changes, instead, put your signal on to let other drivers know you are going to change lanes, then look back several times and when it’s safe to do so, move over to the desired lane.
  • Never assume that a truck driver can see you just because you see him. They cannot see everything around them. Therefore, it is up to you to watch out for them.
  • Never pull out in front of a truck. If you are trying to decide whether you can make it, be safe and wait.
  • Never make a sudden stop in front of a truck as they may not be able to avoid striking you. Remember a truck has to slow down first before it can come to a complete stop.
  • Never drive on the right side of a truck (blind spot) when it has its right turn signal on. Because they can’t see you there, they may assume it’s safe to do so, and move over to your lane or think it’s safe to make a right turn.

Semi truck accident with rollover

Semi Truck Accident Statistics

Although truck drivers are trained professional drivers, they are not miracle workers and they too have semi-truck accidents. Therefore, you should never assume it’s safe to follow a big truck too closely. According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVAS), an unannounced “brake check” was conducted on 6,337 trucks and 14.2%, or around 900, had brake violations and had to be put out of service – pretty scary statistics knowing that at any time, that semi truck you are driving next to could have bad brakes.

In addition, 18-year-olds are now allowed to drive a semi and all drivers can drive for hours without sleep while sharing the road with you, isn’t that comforting?

Colliding with a big rig can leave victims severely injured and with emotional trauma as well as destroy your vehicle completely, which is why you should always be extremely careful when driving alongside, behind, or in front of, an 18-wheeler.

Were you involved in an accident with a semi-truck? If so, and you are in or around the Phoenix area, contact Jason Hutzler, a personal injury attorney who has years of experience dealing with such incidents and obtaining rightful compensation for victims of these occurrences. When Hutzler is working for you, it’s like you have a whole team of professional attorneys backing you up.