Best Truck Accident Lawyers Phoenix, AZ Of 2024 – Forbes

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If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck, you already have a lot on your mind. Injuries and property damage and the trauma of being involved in an accident are more than enough for most people to handle. Factoring in all the issues of filing a truck accident lawsuit and it can be overwhelming. A great Phoenix truck accident attorney can help a lot, and the information below can at least give you some guidance.

Arizona Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a law that determines the amount of time allowed to file a lawsuit. Criminal statutes of limitations limit the time that the state has to file charges after a crime is committed. In civil cases like personal injury law, the statute of limitations determines how much time you have after discovering an injury or bad act to sue the responsible party.

For trucking accidents and other personal injury claims, the statute of limitations in Arizona is two years.

Arizona Laws for Truck Drivers

One of the most important laws concerning truck drivers in Arizona is actually a federal law that dictates how much time a driver can operate a truck without breaks.

All truck drivers operating by themselves—there are different rules for trucks with two drivers and a sleeping cab—must work on either a seven or eight day work week.

  • The driver can’t log more than 60 hours in a seven day week or more than 70 hours in an eight day week.
  • The driver must take at least 34 hours off before starting another week of work
  • A driver cannot work for more than 11 hours in a 14 hour period.
  • After that 14-hour period, the drive must take at least 10 hours off

These rules are designed to combat driver fatigue and keep truck drivers and everyone else on the road safe.

Arizona also has laws about the size and weight a truck can carry. Anything above these dimensions requires a special permit from the Arizona Department of Transportation:

  • 65 feet long
  • 8 feet 6 inches wide
  • 14 feet high
  • Weighing no more than 80,000 pounds

Even with an Oversize or Heavy Load permit, the following are the maximum dimensions:

  • 120 feet long
  • 14 feet wide
  • 16 feet high
  • Weighing no more than 250,000 pounds

Identifying Fault for a Truck Crash

If you’ve been in an accident with a truck in Arizona, you’ll want to know how police and insurance companies will determine who is at fault. Arizona follows a pure comparative negligence rule when it comes to fault.

This means that more than one party can be at fault and each party will be able to recover only the percent of damages they weren’t responsible for. In an extreme example, suppose you were 99% at fault for the accident and suffered $100,000 in damages (damages being the monetary value of your losses: typically the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and the cost of medical treatment for your injuries). The truck driver is only 1% responsible for the accident and has no damages. Under Arizona law, you could recover $1,000 from the truck driver.

In many states, recovery is barred to anyone more than 50% responsible for an accident—this is called modified comparative negligence.

In actual practice, the fault determination is often worked out between the insurance companies or their representatives and is factored into any claims settlements being offered.

A Truck Hit You: Who Is Responsible?

Even if the courts determine that the driver of the truck that hit you was 100% at fault, there still may be questions about who’s actually responsible. That’s because the actual cause of the accident could lie with:

  • The driver themselves
  • The trucking company that employs the driver
  • The owner of the truck, if that’s not the driver or the trucking company
  • The company that loaded the freight
  • Whoever is responsible for repairs to the truck
  • The manufacturer of the truck or parts used in repair.

The exact answer to who bears the responsibility for a truck accident depends on the facts and circumstances of each accident.

This is something that a great Arizona truck accident lawyer will have experience with, which is just one way they can help you with your case.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

Investigating the actual cause of the accident and who bears responsibility is the primary way an attorney can help after a truck accident. When you’re dealing with injuries and damage to your car, taking on the investigation and, later, negotiation with the responsible parties is lifting a huge burden off your shoulders.

A good truck accident lawyer and their legal team will gather and preserve evidence, advise you on what documents to save, find the responsible parties and file suit—if necessary—within the statute of limitations.

An attorney can also advise you on what’s a fair offer based on the facts of your case and their experience in handling trucking accidents, and they can make sure that settlement payments are received and disbursed on time.

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