If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, your ability to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company is crucial to recovering compensation for your damages. Arizona adheres to the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under these laws, you may be entitled to recover compensation even if you are considered to be primarily at fault for the accident. However, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to your actions.
There are many ways that a truck driver or trucking company can be found to be at fault for an accident. At the Jensen Phelan Law Firm, our attorneys will carefully investigate your case to identify any signs of negligence. Below are some of the most common causes of negligence in truck accident cases.
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents throughout the United States, and truck drivers are just as guilty of this behavior as drivers of other vehicles. Any activity which diverts a driver’s attention from the road constitutes distracted driving. Common ways a truck driver may become distracted include:
- Talking or texting while driving
- Surfing the Internet on a smart phone
- Eating and drinking
- Using a GPS device to get directions
- Talking on a CB radio
For some of these actions, there is often clear evidence to prove the truck driver was distracted. For example, our attorneys will evaluate cell phone records to determine whether the driver was using the device at the time of the crash.
Truck Driver Fatigue
Driving a truck can be grueling. Often, trucking companies set deadlines which require drivers to put in long hours in order to reach their destination on time. In many instances, this results in truck drivers continuing to operate their vehicle when they are exhausted.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted a series of hours of service regulations in order to reduce the prevalence of truck driver fatigue. These laws place strict limits on the amount of time a truck driver can be behind the wheel during a specific shift and a specific work week. However, it is common for drivers to violate these regulations in order to deliver their shipments on time.
Our attorneys will evaluate the evidence associated with your collision to determine whether an hours of service violation occurred. This can be accomplished by looking for discrepancies between the truck driver’s log book and the following documents:
- Toll tickets
- Fuel receipts
- Point-to-point mileage distance
- Times on bills of lading and other load identification documents
- Scale tickets
Unsafe Driving Practices
Due to their excessive size and weight, trucks are often more difficult to maneuver than other motor vehicles. As a result, it’s crucial that truck drivers take the steps necessary to ensure they are following safe driving practices at all times. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case.
Many truck accidents occur because truck drivers engage in the following negligent driving practices:
- Failing to pay attention when changing lanes or turning in oncoming traffic
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Driving too fast for the weather and road conditions
Drug and Alcohol Use
Drug and alcohol use among truck drivers is all too common. This can significantly impair the driver’s ability to operate their vehicle, and it should come as no surprise that this is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Often, amphetamines and other stimulants are used rampantly by truck drivers in order to avoid fatigue. Unfortunately, these substances can still impair a driver’s ability.
When trucking companies fail to perform regular drug tests on their drivers, they can be found negligent if the driver is cited for driving while impaired.
Negligent Hiring and Vehicle Maintenance
The actions of truck drivers aren’t the only cause of these collisions. Often, the negligent actions of the trucking company can cause the crash which resulted in your injuries. Common examples of trucking company negligence include:
- Failure to properly screen truck driver candidates
- Inadequate driver training
- Poor maintenance of vehicles
- Failure to properly load truck cargo
Contact our Prescott Truck Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. The attorneys at the Jensen Phelan Law Firm have over 50 years of combined experience handling these complex claims, and we know how to identify signs of negligence that a less seasoned attorney may not detect. This will give you the edge you need when pursuing damages in a truck accident case.
Please contact the Jensen Phelan Law Firm using the form on this page or call 928-778-2660 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Prescott, Cottonwood and the surrounding areas of Arizona.