Driver’s Liability in a Truck Accident

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A semi truck accident made national news when the speeding driver caused a major pileup that stopped traffic for hours. According to the press, the driver was using a narrow ramp and traveling at high speeds when his truck tipped over on the highway, causing passing cars to be unable to move. All lanes on that side of the expressway were blocked, causing another semi truck to collide with the first one. Yet another semi truck jackknifed and crashed. The second driver sustained a knee fracture, and while no other drivers were injured, the accident could have been far more serious.

A Close Call

Semi trucks are large vehicles that can result in catastrophic damage if the drivers are not careful to follow the rules of the highway. A speeding semi truck driver could cause serious injuries or even death. If the driver had been responsible for more damage, he would have likely faced more significant legal consequences. With help from a Phoenix car accident lawyer, negligent or reckless drivers may be found civilly liable for any injuries and deaths caused by their reckless driving even if they do not face criminal charges.

Speed and Other Factors

While excessive speed is dangerous, it is far from the only thing that causes semi trucks to flip over on the road. These trucks are more likely to flip if they are hauling an improperly distributed load of cargo. Items that are improperly secured within the trailer can cause accidents as well. If the driver’s weight distribution is thrown off, items can shift around inside the truck and cause it to tip over.

Accidents caused by improperly loaded or secured cargo may result in civil charges against the at-fault driver as well as others who had loading responsibilities. From the loading company to the company that hired the driver, there are a variety of people who may hold responsibility in such cases.

Criminal vs. Civil Charges

It is important to remember that civil charges operate under time constraints known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations varies from one state to the next and requires that injured victims file a lawsuit within a certain frame of time. If you do not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you are no longer able to bring charges against the at-fault driver. For this reason, it is important to file charges as soon as possible after an accident. There are no exceptions to statute of limitations, so filing early is your best chance at a successful lawsuit.

In addition to filing charges in a timely manner, it is also essential that you file charges correctly the first time. Working with a lawyer can help you understand which charges you could successfully bring against a semi truck driver in court. While the driver may have been practically and morally responsible for certain damages, that does not mean that he can be held legally accountable for those same damages. It is important to understand how the charge filing system works as well as which charges have the best chance of being upheld.

The individual facts of your case determine whether you are eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, transportation costs, property damages, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning potential and other expenses associated with the accident. If you are no longer able to work after an accident, you may be entitled to long-term compensation from the at-fault driver. A personal injury attorney can review your case to help you determine how much you can reasonably ask for as well as the likelihood of success within a given time frame.

When filing a lawsuit, it is important to keep thorough documentation. It helps if you have maintained a thorough record of your injuries as well as any treatment you have received related to the accident over time. It is best to visit a physician immediately after an accident even if you do not believe you are injured. You may develop soft tissue injuries or other conditions that do not present themselves until after an accident has come and gone. In such cases, it can be difficult to win a lawsuit if there is no evidence that you sought treatment in response to the accident.

A Phoenix truck accident lawyer can also help represent you when dealing with insurance companies and the opponent’s legal team. Insurance companies frequently seek to intimidate injury victims into settling for an amount much lower than they deserve. In such instances, it is likely in your best interest to reject the settlement and try to have your damages recovered in court. An attorney can help you understand who you should be filing against, whether it is the at-fault driver alone or associated companies and individuals.