Large cargo loaded semi-trailer trucks increase dangerous conditions for other drivers when they are involved in roadway accidents due to their size and weight.  According to the Arizona Department of Transportation 2018 crash report, large tractor trailer trucks with or without semi-trailers were involved in 2,247 crashes causing  58 fatalities and high numbers of personal injury and property damage, and only represent a portion of the total number of commercial, fleet, tanker, work and municipal trucks that cause additional fatalities and damage in truck accidents in Arizona.  The United States Department of Transportation Safety Administration data revealed over 500,000 truck accidents every year and commercial trucks make up a large percentage of that large truck traffic with interstate transport and local deliveries.

Responsible driving.

The importance of sharing the road responsibly with semi-truck drivers can be achieved with positive impact by: 1) paying attention to the truck when it is near you, and making certain not to become distracted or drive aggressively; and 2) staying out of “no zones” which is the area where a truck driver cannot see around the vehicle. No zones exist at the front, rear and sides of tractor-trailers.

“No Zone.”

You can avoid no zones by making sure to:

  1. Avoid a truck’s blind spots
  2. Leave plenty of passing space
  3. Never drive alongside a large truck
  4. Never draft or tailgate
  5. Leave at least three seconds of following distance
  6. Leave at least one car length behind a truck for every 10 miles per hour you are traveling
  7. Never cut in front of a truck and slow down
  8. Leave enough room for a truck to turn safely, as trucks make much wider turns than passenger vehicles.

Damage compensation.

If you suffer loss from a truck accident, compensation can be sought to cover both economic and non-economic losses, such wages, medical bills, legal fees and costs of property replacement as well as pain and suffering.  In some cases, additional punitive damages may be awarded.  Compensation estimates for pain, scarring, emotional harm, or short and long term psychological and physical limitations are not as easy to calculate as billable expenses to healthcare or lost wages, and a sum must be decided upon by lawyers, insurance companies and juries who consider what is a fair and reasonable amount of money based on a compilation of evidence provided to the court comparing the victim’s life before the accident to the limitations imposed on that life after the accident.

Statute of limitations.

In the State of Arizona you have two years to file a legal claim unless the accident occurred at your job or at a government agency when deadlines can be shortened to six months.

Comparative negligence.

Under Arizona’s comparative negligence laws, an injured party is allowed to recover even if he or she is 99% at fault. The compensation for the damages from the injury may be adjusted based on what percentage of fault each party is assigned regarding the circumstances of the accident. This is often the part where legal representation can make a positive impact.

Seek legal counsel.

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Phoenix Arizona, you should consult legal counsel to help you file a personal injury claim with your insurance, and a possible legal action for damages.  Contact USAttorneys.com to find an experienced personal injury lawyer in  your area to review your case.

Sources:

http://sharetheroadaz.com/know-the-no-zone/

https://azdot.gov/sites/default/files/2019/07/2018-crash-facts.pdf

https://law.justia.com/codes/arizona/2015/title-12/section-12-2501/

https://www.azleg.gov/ars/12/00542.htm