How to Determine Liability After a Semi-Truck Accident
Truck accidents often result in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries for victims. When drivers of large tractor-trailers cause accidents, victims are left with exorbitant medical costs and critical injuries. But a driver’s trucking company may ultimately be to blame for these unfortunate wrecks.
Negligent truck companies may cut corners by hiring unqualified drivers and promoting inadequate vehicle maintenance. These negligent companies have a tendency to ignore inspections and federal regulations as well. Fortunately, victims may have legal recourse when these reckless acts cause serious injury.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a truck accident in Arizona, contact the Phoenix auto accident attorneys at ELG. Our team of truck accident lawyers in Phoenix is here to help. While not all truck accidents can be avoided, there are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to trucking company negligence.
Truck Driver Liability After an Accident
Trucking companies are notorious for hiring unqualified drivers. In an attempt to compensate for the lack of qualified drivers across the country, commercial trucking conglomerates lower their standards to secure drivers. In this rush to fill positions, companies are allowing drivers to get behind the wheel without proper training.
Frequently, these employees do not have the required experience with larger vehicles and are more likely to incur multiple traffic violations. But rather than hire properly trained drivers with the necessary qualifications and understanding of laws, the company may cover up a novice driver’s spotty record. And when one of these novice drivers causes a wreck, the company can be legally responsible.
Unqualified or untrained drivers can incur a multitude of violations when traveling throughout Arizona and across state lines. Whether it’s driving under the influencing or hauling loads over the weight limit, these reckless drivers put other motorists on the road at risk.
How Truck Drivers Can Be Liable for Accidents
When trucking companies turn a blind eye to inexperienced or reckless drivers, failed inspections and faulty maintenance on vehicles are more likely. Proper inspections and truck maintenance are essential to prevent mechanical failure. But trucking companies that are already negligent in hiring may fail to follow state laws and standards.
For example, a company should check their trucks’ brakes frequently. Large commercial trucks already have a longer stopping distance, so it’s vital that brakes are in the best possible condition. A trucking company may discover braking defects when routinely inspecting the truck, along with other items that may need replacement. And a negligent trucking company may forego addressing these mechanical issues to save money, allowing drivers to operate trucks with faulty brakes or worn-down tires.
Trucking companies must adhere to maintenance demands. Truck companies that don’t follow laws are more likely to cause accidents but are usually liable and responsible for damages.
Determining Driver Noncompliance with Truck Safety Regulations
Noncompliance with federal regulations is responsible for a large number of truck accidents nationwide. For example, some trucking regulations in Arizona require that a trucking company provide standard times for rest, sleep, and breaks for their drivers. And depending on a driver’s weekly hours, they must have downtime to rest and step away from their vehicle.
Fatigued truck drivers can cause serious accidents on the road due to their drowsiness. From headaches caused by sleepiness to excessive caffeine intake resulting in jittery nerves, tired truck drivers often cause collisions.
Furthermore, drowsy driving results in impaired judgment and slower reaction time. When truck drivers operating heavy loads react to hazards on the road too slowly, they’re at a higher risk for causing a serious collision. Many times, trucking companies are responsible for driver fatigue. In order to boost profits and fulfill deadlines, companies may force drivers to ignore federally mandated guidelines. A trucking company may be liable for damages as a result.
In Arizona, trucks must be properly loaded per semi-truck safety regulations. Properly loaded trucks may require measuring by authorities, who also recheck all straps and equipment. If a company doesn’t balance their tractor-trailers, the truck can roll or the equipment can fall. Improper loads can cause large trucks to jackknife, resulting in a serious accident. Oftentimes, these accidents mean serious injuries or even death in catastrophic cases.
Truck Accident Attorney in Phoenix
Even the best drivers can’t always avoid truck accidents. If you’re injured or your vehicle is damaged in a truck accident, contact our Phoenix truck accident attorneys at ELG. Due to the nature of truck accidents and the negligent actions of many truck companies, victims must safeguard their legal rights after serious truck accidents in Mesa or Phoenix. Call us at (623) 877-3600 for a free consultation and legal representation from our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys today.