Determining Fault in Truck Collisions

Determining Fault in Truck Collisions

Truck accidents are often devastating for victims and their families. Due to the nature of these collisions, victims and their families may suffer from extreme physical and emotional trauma. Across the country, these serious accidents are on the rise, especially those involving large commercial trucks. Truck crashes involving fatalities are also up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In fact, the 2,049 fatalities from truck crashes in 2016 were the highest number ever recorded.

If you’ve sustained injuries in a truck accident in Arizona, contact the Phoenix auto accident attorneys at ELG Law. Our team of accident lawyers is here to help. Though these accidents can’t always be avoided, knowing the common causes of truck collisions and how to determine fault can help you stay aware and prepared when you’re on the road.

Increased Penalties for At-Fault Truckers

Keep in mind that at-fault truckers may leave the scene of an accident, resulting in a hit-and-run. Increased penalties for traffic violations, especially DUI, are to blame in many hit-and-run accidents. 

This is especially true regarding truck accidents. For commercial vehicle and large truck drivers, DUI is clear-cut when it comes to fault. But since the consequences for DUI are even more severe, many truckers are more likely to flee an accident. In Arizona, commercial truck drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.04% or more are subject to license suspension for up to 360 days. Drivers are also subject to jail time, as well as costly fines. 

Shared Fault

Oftentimes, authorities will assign a shared fault. In Arizona, authorities can attribute accident blame to one or more parties. For example, insurance companies will assign a specific percentage of the blame to each driver. A jury will then award damages based on the percentages of fault.

In an accident involving three parties, an SUV, a sedan, and a semi-truck, all three could share fault. Consider a situation where the semi driver is driving down the highway in the left-hand lane while talking on their cell phone. Distracted, the semi driver swerves and strikes the sedan who has been speeding to pass the semi. The SUV driver, who is changing the radio station, does not notice the crash in time to avoid it and rear-ends the sedan.

In this example, all three drivers involved in the collision share fault. The semi driver initiated the accident, so they might be given the majority of the fault. The sedan driver also shares some fault since they were speeding and driving aggressively. Finally, the SUV driver is at fault because they took their eyes off the road to change the radio station.

Truck Accident Attorneys in Phoenix

Victims of truck accidents often feel helpless or left with few options for legal recourse. 

If you’ve sustained injuries from a truck accident, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Our Phoenix accident attorneys at ELG Law have years of experience when it comes to fighting for victims and their families. Call us at (623) 877-3600 for a free consultation and legal representation today.