Information available from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows that there were nearly 3,000 total collisions involving large commercial trucks, many of which led to serious injuries and several fatalities. Here, we want to review some of the most common causes of truck accidents throughout the state of Arizona. These incidents have the potential to cause deadly consequences, particularly because these larger vehicles significantly outweigh smaller passenger vehicles.
Truck Driver Failures
The person most immediately aligned with the safe operation of larger commercial trucks is the driver. Regardless of anything that has gone wrong up until the point of that truck hitting the roadway, the driver behind the wheel is going to be the first place to look for any negligent actions.
Truck drivers can fail to uphold their duty of care to others on the roadway in a variety of ways. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Failing to abide by the FMCSA hours of service requirements
- Failing to perform daily inspections on the truck before a trip
- Not stopping at a stoplight or stop sign
- Operating the truck too fast for conditions
- Following others too closely
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Operating while distracted by a phone or another device
- Improper lane change
If a truck driver is an employee of a trucking company, then the trucking company will likely be the entity liable for an incident. However, if the truck driver is an independent owner-operator and is only contracted by another company, then liability will typically stop at the owner-operator level.
Truck Company Failures
Trucking companies could be held responsible for the actions of their drivers, but they may also hold liability for their own negligent actions. Trucking companies can be negligent in the following ways:
- Failing to check the licensing or certifications of drivers
- Not adequately training new drivers
- Failing to conduct background checks on new drivers
- Not following up on safety concerns with specific drivers
- Encouraging drivers to operate too many hours
- Failing to regularly inspect and maintain the vehicles
- Allowing the truck to be overloaded with cargo
There are often various third parties involved in the overall operation of a larger commercial truck in the Arizona area. This could allow claims to be made against parties other than the driver or trucking company. Some of the most common third parties associated with truck accidents include:
- Mechanics who work on the truck
- Third parties who load cargo on behalf of the driver or company
- The actual company that manufactured the truck
- Companies that manufacture truck parts
- Regulatory agencies that fail to follow up on concerns about drivers or truck companies
Contact an Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver, trucking company, or another party, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Scottsdale truck accident lawyer can examine the facts of your case, conduct a complete investigation, and begin initial conversations with the insurance carriers or legal teams involved. The ultimate goal is to recover compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering damages.