The insurance company will try to minimize the value of your claim, which is why you need a good lawyer to help you calculate damages.
Phoenix, AZ – The number of truck accidents in the US has been rising steadily over the past decade. According to a recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2016, the number of people injured in truck crashes nationwide was almost double as compared to 2009, rising from 74,000 people to 145,000 people. The same trend can be observed in Arizona, where large urban centers, like Phoenix, account for most of the commercial vehicle accidents in the state. As truck accidents often result in severe or life-changing injuries, victims need a lot of money. However, recovering damages is a complex process and you’ll need experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyers to prepare your case.
To recover damages for a truck accident you will have to file a personal injury claim and the main thing is to prove that the crash was caused by someone’s negligence. Your lawyers will look into the case to see who may be liable for damages – the trucker, the trucking company, the maintenance company, those responsible for loading the vehicle, or the manufacturer of a defective part.
There are four steps in a negligence case:
Duty of care
Your Arizona truck accident lawyers will first have to show that the party at fault had a duty of care. Drivers are required to look after the safety of other road users. The trucking company is responsible for training and monitoring its own employees, and providing adequate maintenance for its vehicles. The shipping company is responsible for the cargo, making sure the truck is not overloaded and the load is balanced and properly secure. All these elements amount to a clear duty of care.
Breach of duty
This is the part where your attorneys will have to show in what way the party at fault failed in its duty of care. If the trucker was speeding this violation of traffic rules represents a breach of duty. On the other hand, if the trucker made an error, but his judgment was impaired by driver fatigue, both he and his employer may be held accountable. If a mechanical failure led to the crash, it will be the trucking or maintenance company that failed in its duty of care.
Although this may sound self-evident, your lawyers need to show that your injuries are a direct result of the crash. For this, you must see a doctor as soon as possible after the crash. It doesn’t matter if you go to the ER or your personal physician, all that counts is that you have medical records showing that you sought medical care right after the crash. Also, if you have any visible injuries you should take pictures of those immediately after the accident.
This is a very tricky part. The insurance company will try to minimize the value of your claim, which is why you need a good lawyer to help you calculate damages. The good news is that Arizona is one of the few states that prohibit caps on damages in personal injury claims.
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