Trucking Accident Attorneys Serving Phoenix & All of Arizona
A Phoenix truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson can help you pursue justice after a serious collision with a tractor-trailer. Trucking accidents are particularly difficult, both in the severity of injuries involved and in the legal complexities these cases present.
Why hire a truck accident attorney at Burg Simpson?
- More than $2 billion in results. Our firm has obtained more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We are passionate about recovering the maximum compensation for each person we serve.
- Award-winning lawyers. Our attorneys have been recognized by our clients, our peers, and our communities. Several of our lawyers have received some of the most prestigious awards in the legal industry.
- Decades of experience. Since its founding in 1977, Burg Simpson has built a reputation for providing exceptional legal counsel. The legal team in our Phoenix office offers decades of combined experience when handling truck accident litigation and other matters.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a trucking accident, call 602-777-7000 today for a FREE case evaluation. We handle these cases on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless we reach a successful outcome in your case. Our trucking accident attorneys serve clients in Phoenix and throughout Arizona.
Arizona Truck Accident Statistics
According to the most recent data from ADOT, 14,225 vehicles were involved in truck and bus accidents in Arizona in 2021. In total, 20 people lost their lives in Arizona truck wrecks and 1,332 people were injured in 2021 trucking accidents.
- Tractor trucks (with or without trailer): 2,831 total vehicles (16 fatalities, 309 people injured)
- Concrete mixer trucks: 27 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 3 people injured)
- Dump trucks: 146 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 5 people injured)
- Garbage trucks: 102 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 2 people injured)
- Tanker trucks: 26 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 1 person injured)
- Wrecker or tow trucks: 61 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 2 people injured)
- Fire trucks: 51 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 4 people injured)
- School bus: 83 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 15 people injured)
- Motor home: 79 total vehicles (0 fatalities, 11 people injured)
- Other truck combinations: 10,193 total vehicles (4 fatalities, 980 people injured)
It’s important to remember that the statistics above are not just numbers. They represent real people with real lives, families, and plans for the future. Many lives were cut short or forever changed after these traumatic events. If a truck driver’s negligence caused you or a loved one harm, you deserve justice. Contact Burg Simpson right away to discuss your rights and legal options.
Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident?
One of the reasons why truck accident cases differ from passenger vehicle wrecks is that responsibility for the crash may be shared by multiple parties, including:
The Truck Driver
Truck drivers undergo specialized training to operate large commercial vehicles. They must adhere to strict rules and regulations on the road. If a trucker fails to follow the rules and an accident occurs as a result, the consequences can be catastrophic.
When truckers fail in their obligations, they breach their duty to everyone on the road. In cases of truck driver error, accident victims must prove that the trucker acted negligently in order to recover damages. Proving negligence can be extremely complex. A truck accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, speak to experts, and gather evidence to support your claim.
The Trucking Company
A driver’s employment status can have a significant impact on a trucking accident claim. While many truckers are employed by trucking companies, others work as independent contractors. However, even if drivers claim to be independent contractors, they may still be legally considered employees. If a truck driver caused your injuries while performing his or her professional duties, the trucking company may share liability for your subsequent losses.
Based on your truck accident lawyer’s investigation, the trucking company may be found liable for contributing to a crash if it:
- Committed improper hiring practices
- Failed to supervise the driver
- Failed to train the driver
- Failed to test the driver for drugs, alcohol, and disqualifying medical conditions
- Failed to disqualify the driver for committing a serious offense
- Made errors in the maintenance and repair of the truck
- Pressured the driver to drive longer hours in violation of federal regulations
Trucking companies take accident cases very seriously. They often have their own teams of lawyers and investigators who work aggressively against accident victims and try to get them to settle for less than they deserve. A truck accident attorney will fight on your behalf to recover the full value of your economic and noneconomic losses.
The Service Technician
Negligent maintenance of an 18-wheeler can lead to devastating accidents. Truck owner-operators and trucking companies have a duty to make sure their vehicles are maintained properly and safe for travel. The mechanics responsible for maintaining a truck’s performance and safety may also be held liable for negligent service and repairs.
If poor maintenance is suspected, a truck accident attorney may request repair and maintenance records to determine if repairs and upkeep were neglected. An experienced lawyer will collect pertinent evidence to determine if negligence played a role in the wreck.
The Party Responsible for Loading the Truck
An excessive load and/or unevenly distributed weight inside a trailer can cause an accident. In these cases, the truck driver could be liable for failing to inspect the load, the shipping company could be liable for improperly loading the truck, or liability could be attributed to both parties.
The Truck’s Manufacturer
Companies that design, manufacture, and sell commercial trucks and their components have an obligation to ensure that the trucks and parts they sell are safe and meet established industry standards. If a defective automotive part played a role in the accident, a product liability claim may be brought against the manufacturer.
Truck accidents occur for a multitude of reasons, and responsibility could fall on parties other than those listed above. For example, another driver could swerve recklessly into a big rig’s lane, causing the truck driver to lose control.
A hazardous road can also lead to a truck wreck. When not properly designed or maintained, roads and highways can be extremely dangerous. A lawyer can identify the government agencies that are responsible for maintaining the road and pursue compensation on your behalf if a road defect caused the accident.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can result from countless circumstances. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Truck Driver Error
All drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road. When truck drivers make mistakes, the results can be catastrophic.
- Driving under the influence: Alcohol and drug abuse are notorious issues in the trucking industry, contributing to many serious accidents every year.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers are prohibited from using cell phones when behind the wheel, except in the event of an emergency. However, cell phone-related accidents remain alarmingly frequent. Other activities, like eating, drinking, smoking, and adjusting radio and temperature settings while driving, can also lead to devastating wrecks.
- Tailgating: Tractor-trailers require more distance to slow down and stop. When a truck’s trailer is fully loaded, the amount of road surface needed to stop increases. When truck drivers follow other vehicles too closely, tragedy can occur.
- Improper lane changes: When truckers fail to check blind spots before changing lanes, vehicles in adjoining lanes are placed in danger.
- Reckless driving: A number of dangerous acts can constitute reckless driving, including running stop lights, rolling through stop signs, and driving too fast for road and weather conditions.
- Excess speed: Driving at high speeds is always hazardous, but the dangers of speeding are exponentially heightened for truckers. A semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This massive weight can make any crash more devastating. Even when they are hauling less weight, truckers must drive cautiously to ensure the safety of others on the road.
- Driving without sufficient rest: Despite strict hours of service regulations, truckers often drive too many hours or fail to get enough sleep in order to reach their destinations sooner. When truckers are not fully rested and alert, accidents are common.
- Failure to inspect the truck before a haul: Truckers must conduct meticulous vehicle inspections before every trip. If a truck driver fails to inspect a truck properly before starting a haul, mechanical malfunctions and failures could cause an accident.
Although truck driver negligence is often the cause of serious truck wrecks, many other factors can also play a role. The truck accident attorneys at Burg Simpson will investigate all of the details surrounding an accident to determine which parties, such as the trucking company or parts manufacturer, may have contributed to the crash.
Improper Truck Maintenance
When mechanical malfunctions and failures lead to a truck accident, trucking companies and third parties responsible for repairing and maintaining the vehicle may be held liable.
Mechanical malfunctions and failures can include:
- Tire blowouts
- Brake failure
- Faulty transmission
- Defective steering
- Malfunctioning signals, tail lights, and headlamps
- Decoupling (trailer hitch failure)
Improperly Loaded or Secured Cargo
Although the average car weighs around 4,000 pounds, tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or more when fully loaded. Even a smaller box truck can weigh tens of thousands of pounds.
When a big rig is hauling a heavy load, it is harder to control and takes longer to stop. Not only that, but a truck’s cargo can come loose and spill onto the road. Unfortunately, truckload accidents are fairly common and present serious risks for motorists.
State and federal weight limits mandate the amount of cargo commercial trucks can haul. Under these laws, shipping companies have a duty to ensure their loads are at the appropriate weight, the cargo is balanced equally on each axle, and the cargo is fastened securely within the trailer during transit. It is the duty of the truck driver to inspect his or her load before each departure to ensure the cargo is loaded and secured correctly.
A thorough investigation is necessary to determine if a truckload error contributed to the crash. The truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson have substantial experience investigating complex accidents. If you were involved in a trucking accident, our lawyers can help identify the cause of the wreck and work to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Victims in truck accidents are at risk of suffering a number of catastrophic injuries. These injuries are usually accompanied by high medical bills, extensive recovery, and lifelong impairment. If you or a loved one was harmed because of the negligence of a big-rig operator or other parties, you deserve maximum compensation for the losses you have sustained.
Attorneys at Burg Simpson serve clients in tractor-trailer accident claims who sustain injuries including but not limited to:
- Brain injuries
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Lost limbs and amputations
- Burn injuries
In the most tragic cases, a truck accident can result in death. If you lost a loved one in a collision with a tractor-trailer, our attorneys can help you seek compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost companionship, and more in a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations in Arizona for motor vehicle accidents is 2 years (see Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542). The same 2-year limitation period also applies to cases involving the wrongful death of a loved one in a motor vehicle crash. The time limit for bringing a personal injury claim in Arizona typically begins on the date the injury occurs.
After a truck wreck, it is crucial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Trucking companies – and their vast legal teams – take these cases very seriously. If you were involved in a trucking accident, the other side is likely already building its case against you. Without an experienced attorney on your side, you may settle for far less than you deserve – or nothing at all.
The experienced truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson are passionate about fighting for the everyman. We aren’t intimidated by large companies and we don’t back down from a fight. When you choose us, you can expect the highest levels of compassion, professionalism, and fierce representation.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
In Arizona, accident victims can seek compensation for all of the economic and non-economic losses they suffer as a result of their injuries. This includes expenses they have incurred to date, the current expenses they deal with every day, and expenses they will face in the future.
To determine how much your case is worth, your truck accident lawyer will need to calculate all of your accident-related expenses. This requires an understanding of:
- The severity of your injuries
- Your current medical bills and anticipated expenses
- Any permanent or long-term disability you have sustained
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- The impact your injuries have on your ability to work and earn a living
- The impact your injuries have on your relationships and quality of life
In order to accurately assess your losses, your attorney will need to review evidence. Your lawyer may also need to talk to your friends, family members, doctors, and others who have witnessed firsthand how your injuries have affected your life.
Depending on the details of your case, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
Lawyers at Burg Simpson will take time to determine the full extent of your losses. We will work with medical and vocational experts to determine how much your ongoing treatment will cost and how much less you are expected to earn over your lifetime due to your injuries.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Truck accident scenes are often characterized by fear, confusion, and serious injuries. With this in mind, the first thing to do after a truck wreck is to call 911. In Arizona, drivers are required to stay at the accident scene. You may need to provide information to the police for the accident report, which is required in cases of injury, fatality, and/or more than $2,000 in damage to private property (see A.R.S. § 28-667).
Your top priority in any accident should be your health and safety. Emergency personnel will evaluate your injuries, and you may be transported to the hospital.
The trucking company and its insurance carrier will send investigators to the accident scene as soon as possible. They will gather whatever evidence they can to defend themselves against a potential claim. If you are able to remain at the scene of the accident, consider taking the following steps:
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
While at the crash site, use the camera on your cell phone to document as much of the accident as you can. Take pictures from multiple angles of the following:
- Your injuries and your passengers’ injuries
- Damage to your vehicle, the truck, and other vehicles involved in the crash
- The position of the vehicles
- The road or intersection where the accident occurred
- Damage to surrounding structures (e.g., retaining walls, guardrails, etc.) road debris, and damage to the road’s surface (e.g., skid marks)
- Traffic lights and/or road signs in the immediate vicinity
Make sure your pictures also capture conditions at the scene, such as lighting conditions, the weather, and traffic at the time of the accident.
Exchange Information with All Drivers Involved
As with any auto accident, it is important to identify each party involved in the wreck. You need to obtain information from the trucker as well as the other drivers involved.
Get the following information by either writing it down or taking a picture with your phone:
- Contact information
- Driver’s license number
- Year, make, and models of the vehicles
- The vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
- Insurance information
- License plate numbers
If you cannot get this information at the accident scene, whether due to injuries or other circumstances, a truck accident lawyer can gather this information later.
Speak to Witnesses
Witness statements are important after a truck crash because they can verify your version of the events. Accident claims can become contentious when you and the other driver disagree on what happened. You may claim the trucker ran a traffic light or made an improper turn. The trucker may deny your allegations or even go so far as to claim you caused the collision.
If you can talk to witnesses at the accident scene, take notes about what they saw and get their names and contact information. A truck accident attorney can follow up with them later when building your case.
Inform Your Insurance Company and Stick to the Facts
Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you will need to notify your insurance company about the collision within the timeframe specified in your insurance policy (usually within 30 days). Be honest with the insurance adjuster, but be mindful of what you discuss. Do not admit fault and refrain from offering a statement until you have spoken with a lawyer.
Do Not Speak With the Insurance Company for the Truck Driver
The insurance company for the trucker or trucking company may contact you after the crash. Do not offer a statement to the insurer or accept a settlement offer before speaking with a truck accident lawyer.
Truck accident cases can be incredibly complex and require the knowledge, skill, and resources of an experienced attorney. The trucking company will not waste any time building a case against you, so it is imperative that you act quickly to protect your rights and best interests.
Not only do you have a limited time to file a claim, but the memories of witnesses fade and skid marks wash away. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner your attorney can get started on your case.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Truck accident cases can be extremely complex. If you are facing a big trucking company and its aggressive legal team, you need a law firm on your side you can trust to protect your rights and best interests.
When you choose Burg Simpson for your truck accident case, we will:
- Investigate the accident. Proving liability hinges on evidence. Our team will meticulously investigate all the facts surrounding the crash and gather pertinent evidence to support your claim.
- Determine liability. Once we have gathered evidence, we will look at how the accident happened and which party or parties played a role. Determining liability in a truck accident is crucial for recovering the full extent of damages to which you may be entitled.
- Calculating the value of your claim. Without experienced counsel, most accident victims leave money on the table. Many are so alarmed by their current financial losses that they fail to account for the losses they will incur in the future due to the physical and emotional long-term consequences of their injuries. An attorney will evaluate the full extent of your current and future economic and non-economic losses.
- Negotiate with insurance companies. The insurance company does not have your best interests at heart. Insurers will try to get you to settle for as little as possible. The lawyers at Burg Simpson are skilled negotiators. Our attorneys will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf for a settlement that accounts for the full extent of your damages.
- Take your case to court. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to take your case before a judge or jury. The truck accident lawyers at Burg Simpson are accomplished litigators. We will ensure your lawsuit is filed correctly and on time. We will build your strongest case and fight relentlessly on your behalf at trial.
The key to successful outcomes is swift action. The sooner you contact Burg Simpson, the sooner we can get to work on your case. You only have a limited time to act, so contact our office now for a free initial consultation.
Contact a Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer for FREE
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a collision with an 18-wheeler, a Phoenix truck accident lawyer at Burg Simpson wants to hear your story. With more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements, we have the resources you need and the results you can trust to achieve the justice you deserve.
Contact Burg Simpson today online or at 602-777-7000 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our truck accident lawyers serve clients in and around Phoenix and throughout Arizona.