If you or a loved one sustain an injury or property damage caused by the negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company in Arizona, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, recovering this compensation will be a challenge, and it will almost certainly involve filing a lawsuit against a trucking company or a truck owner-operator. Here, we want to discuss the basic steps for filing this lawsuit, but we strongly encourage you to reach out to a Phoenix truck accident lawyer who can assist you with this process.
Where to Start With a Claim Against a Trucking Company
Your first inclination when filing a claim against a trucking company may be to simply file the claim with your insurance carrier and let them handle it. That would be a mistake. We strongly encourage you to work with an attorney immediately after the incident occurs so that you are treated fairly every step of the way.
The insurance carriers for the trucking company, as well as their legal teams, are going to step in very quickly and work to deny liability or at least limit their liability. They may even try to blame you, the truck accident victim, for causing some or all of the crash.
Truck accident claims are complicated, but an attorney can get your case started on the right foot by handling all communication with other parties and preserving the evidence needed to prove liability.
Typically, the first step will be reporting the claims to the insurance carriers involved, but an attorney would likely simultaneously file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties. In Arizona, personal injury claims must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurs, but the claim should be filed much quicker than this.
How is Liability Determined After a Truck Accident?
Liability is determined by examining the totality of evidence gathered after a truck accident occurs. Often, the evidence related to a truck collision is much more extensive than evidence related to most vehicle accidents. Some of the types of evidence typically used to determine liability after an Arizona truck crash include:
- Statements from other drivers and passengers
- Statements from eyewitnesses to the incident
- Photograph taken at the scene of the truck crash
- Video surveillance footage from nearby cameras
- Data from the truck’s electronic logging device and electronic control module
- Employment and training records related to the driver and company
- The truck’s inspection and maintenance records
The goal of a personal injury lawsuit against a trucking company is to show that the driver or company breached the duty of care they owed the injury victim in some way. A specialized Phoenix personal injury attorney will use the evidence to show that the negligent actions of the driver or company caused the injury or injuries in question and that the truck accident victim sustained some type of monetary loss as a result.
How Long Will the Case Take?
There is no set time frame for how long a truck accident claim in Arizona will last. In some cases, though rarely, an insurance settlement may occur within a few months after the truck crash occurs, though this is unlikely if there is any dispute over liability. Insurance settlements could take well over a year to occur, if at all.
If the insurance carrier or at-fault party denies the claim, and if the case moves forward toward a trial, it could take years to resolve a claim. If you have any questions about the time frame involved in your particular situation, we encourage you to have a candid conversation with your truck accident lawyer.