Untimely death of a loved ones is one of the most difficult time for the loved one’s family or friends. However, in some cases, someone else might be at fault and in those cases, when someone else was negligent, you might be entitled to a compensation. These type of compensations are achieved through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Here, we will discuss what different type of accidents can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Commercial trucking accidents
Most of the time, commercial trucking accidents are classified as auto accident. However, they are different from passenger vehicle accidents in a lot of way. One of the main difference is the mere size of the truck. Since commercial trucks are often heavy and large, they are most likely involved in accidents that result in death.
Commercial truck operation has a lot of elements in it, and each one of them has to be examined by the personal injury or wrongful death lawyer in order to determine how the accident occurred. These elements can include
- Mechanical failure
- Incorrect maintenance of the truck
- Oversized loads
- Loads that weren’t properly secured
- Driving error and
- Driving under the influence of some substance (alcohol or drugs)
In order to determine which party, or parties, are liable in the wrongful death of your loved one, the attorney will review every relevant aspect of the commercial truck operation.
Wrongful Death Through Car Accidents
Traffic collision involving passenger vehicles are one of the most common types of accidents that lead to a wrongful death case. This is due to the number of people that drive and how often they drive.
According to the 2019 NHTSA statistics, over 39,000 car accidents in the US had a fatal outcome. Only in Arizona, there were 911 fatal crashes, and even though this is the lowest number in the past three years, that is still an alarming number
Many of the fatal car accidents are caused by the negligence or one or more drivers. These can be categorized as:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence
- Roadway issues
- Speeding and
- Driving while drowsy
Bicycle, Pedestrian or Motorcycle accidents
People that commute with bicycles, motorcycles or on foot, are more likely to be killed in vehicle accidents. This is because they lack the necessary protection that vehicle d rivers have during the collision.
In the majority of these cases, the pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist are killed in accidents mainly because of the negligence of the driver.
Medical malpractice and wrongful death
Even though hospitals should be a safe place, where healthcare providers should be skilled and well-trained to avoid harming the patients. We even have safety protocols set up in all hospitals. But despite that, medical negligence occurs and it can be fatal.
The most common examples of fatal medical errors include:
- Delayed or incorrect treatment
- Birth injury
- Errors during surgery
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Defective devices or medications
- Hospital negligence
- Lack of informed consent
Certain occupations are at greater risk of injury and death because of workplace accidents and dangerous nature of the job. Fatal work accident can occur in any workplace where the workers are required to work under dangerous conditions.
Based on the research of OSHA, the most frequent work-related accidents which result in death, occur due to:
- Being struck by an object
- Being caught between machinery, objects or materials
Defective products are dangerous for users even if they are used correctly. Sometime, even safe use of a defective product can be fatal. The most common cases of defective products, which cause death are:
- Defective drugs
- Vehicles or some components
- Defective children products
- Toxic food or containers
All manufacturers are obligated to only manufacture and sell safe and reliable products to their users. In case the manufacturer creates an unsafe or defective product, which poses danger to the user, then he can be held reliable of the (proper) use of said product leads to the user’s death.
If you or your loved ones has died and you suspect that you have a wrongful death case of one of the types mentioned above, contact Schenk & Podolsky today and schedule a consultation. Let us review your case with you and see if you have the right to claim compensation.
Truck accidents are one of the most serious kind of accidents on motorways which can cause severe injuries or even death. If the truck accident causes serious injuries, the truck driver might be liable and could pay a significant compensation to the victims of the accident.
In order to know what to do after a truck accident you first need to be familiar with the type of accidents there are and what may cause them.
What is a truck accident in Arizona?
In Arizona, trucks are defined as motor vehicles that are being used for carrying property for another entity, not for personal property. Usually, when people speak about trucks and truck accidents, they are referring to massive commercial trucks, for example:
- Dump trucks
- Tow trucks
- Gas trucks
- Delivery trucks etc.
Common injuries caused by truck accidents
In the US, the average car weighs about 4,000 pounds while an average truck can weight 20 times more, so around 80,000 pounds. Because of the serious size difference, the injuries sustained in a truck accident are pretty serious. These normally include
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries and
What are the most common causes of truck accidents?
Even though truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons, usually they are grouped into two main categories: poorly maintained truck and the negligence of the truck driver. But if we break those down, we get a list of most common causes of truck accidents:
- Poor road conditions
- Distracted driving
- Blind spots
- Overloaded trucks
- Trucking company negligence
- Unreasonable driving schedule
After conducting some investigation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has identified a specific list of actions that lead to commercial truck accidents. These include
- Decision – In 38% of the cases, the truck driver was making poor decisions while driving (driving too fast, tailgating, misjudged a situation ect.)
- Recognition – In 28% of the cases the truck driver didn’t observe the entire situation before the accident properly because he was distracted by something.
- Non-performance – 12% of truck accidents occurred because the driver either fell asleep due to fatigue or had a medical emergency or was physically impaired.
- Vehicle – 10% of truck accidents occurred because the truck experienced some sort of failure
- Performance – 9% of the accidents occurred because the truck driver wasn’t prepared for a certain scenario on the motorway, panicked and made a bad call
- Environment – 3% of cases suggest that a truck accident occurred because of poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or fog
If you or your loved one was a victim of a truck accident in Arizona and you need legal advice, contact Schenk and Podolsky today and let us help you review your case and see if the accident was caused by negligent actions of others.
Fatal auto accidents are something we often hear about on the news, and the reports sometimes make us wonder – is the number of accidents going down or up?
The laws of texting while driving, additional enforcement on drinking while driving and the variety of safety measures should really make a difference.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) the answer is yes, but it’s a bit complicated. The number of fatalities in automobile accident has dropped by 2.4% compared to 2018.
Unlike automobile accidents, truck accidents are on the opposite end of the curve and have increased by 0.9% in a recent year. Most of the time, in truck accidents, the ones that suffer in the collision aren’t truckers, but other drivers and passengers that they hit.
From the automobile-related fatalities 62% of fatalities were drivers and passengers of cars and small trucks. Only 3% of fatalities were commercial or large vehicles.
Trucking fatalities – Common causes
The American economy is switching towards home deliveries and shipping. This not only increases the number of products that get moved around, but also puts a bigger pressure on truckers to make deliveries on time.
Alcohol-related collisions have decreased in 2018 which means that the most common causes of trucking accidents are actually:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Poor driver training
- Poor truck maintenance and
- Reckless driving and speeding
Increase safety on the road
Even though the number of tricking accidents is growing, there are certain things you can do in order to reduce the risk:
- We should all practice defensive driving
- Drivers should avoid being next to or directly behind (tailgating) large trucks or in their blind spots.
- Practice the 3 second rule.
- Be diligent in wearing your seatbelt – Not sure if you know but more than 85% of survivors of car accidents were buckled up.
- If you see any form of reckless or irresponsible driving, like texting, you see that the driver is tired or he is doing anything else that might jeopardize your life or the life of someone else…don’t hesitate in calling the police.
Everyone should do what they can in order to support the implementation of the national polities and increase the safety on the roads. Keep in mind that trucks are normally 25 times heavier than regular cars so truckers should pay extra attention to driving responsibly and ethically.
If you were hit by a large truck
If you or your loved one was in an accident involving a truck, you’re most likely going through a challenging time. Trucking accidents, since they are more severe than car accident, can leave pretty severe injuries and disabilities that turn your life upside down.
Accidents that involve trucks and big rigs are most of the time complicated and can mean a lot of complicated and convoluted paperwork. So having a skilled and qualified personal injury lawyer is required.
If you need counsel regarding a personal injury claim from a car or truck accident, contact us today.
TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS ARE THE MAIN SOURCE OF INCIDENTAL AND CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGE.
Traffic accidents occupy a large part of the files handled by the firm. The victims of which often have very heavy damage (head trauma, paralysis, quadriplegia, …).
Victim of a traffic accident: under what conditions can I be compensated?
The traffic accident must involve a land motor vehicle (LMV). It is understood as any machine having a driving force, suitable for the transport of people or things. It must evolve on a clean path. Cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, golf cart without license, tractors, construction machines, trailers, semi-trailers, and even a riding mower!).
For each driver and pedestrian involved in a traffic accident were listed all the accident factors that played a role in the occurrence of the accident and all the factors influenced the severity of the accident. We make a distinction between human behavior, the vehicle, infrastructure and the environment. 1237 accident factors were identified in the accidents analyzed. These accident factors were imputed truck drivers involved, other users, infrastructure and the environment. Nearly 7 in 10 accident factors are related to human behavior or human error. 12% of accident factors relate to the vehicle; 12.4% to infrastructure and 3.3% to the environment in which the accident has happened. We observe many differences between studies. These are mainly fatal accidents on a highway that jump to the eyes. In this case, environmental factors play a more only in accidents between heavy goods vehicles and weak users.
Bicycles or skis are excluded (no motive power). As well as trams or trains (traveling on a clean lane). A traffic accident is defined as “any sudden and fortuitous event with a connection to traffic”.
The LMV must be involved in the accident, in other words be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the accident, whether moving or parked. In the event of a chain collision, the fourth vehicle is therefore involved in the accident even if it is not the cause.
Proof of the victim’s involvement is not a problem if the vehicle is in contact with the victim. However, there may be an accident without contact with the victim. For example in case of glare by the headlights of a car. In this case, the victim must prove that the presence or behavior of the vehicle has been a hindrance. And played a role in the occurrence of the accident.
Traffic accidents – Compensation of victims
Accountability of the victim’s damage to the accident. In most cases, proving that the damage is the cause of the accident is not a problem. On the other hand, in certain cases, and particularly when a lapse of time has elapsed between the accident and the damage, this proof is more delicate.
For example, if you had a heart attack while returning home following an accident earlier. It will be up to you to prove that the accident was such an emotional shock to you that it eventually resulted in a heart attack.
Direct victims and ricochet victims (spouse, parents or children of the victim when the victim died in the accident) can obtain compensation for all their injuries. By the amicable way, civil or criminal. Most of the time, it is the insurance companies that will compensate you.
On the other hand, if the author is not insured or not determined, your compensation will come through the Guarantee Fund for Compulsory Property and Casualty Insurance.
If you are a victim of a traffic accident, the firm will assist you and advise you. Throughout the compensation process, from the constitution of the file, during the appraisals and until the final compensation.
A complete and thorough investigation should be conducted shortly after an accident to determine the cause of the accident. Negligence or a defective product may have been the proximate cause of the collision. In any event, you are entitled to seek the truth and have your case heard by a jury or judge. In Arizona, the parties can agree to have the matter heard by a judge in a more expeditious and inexpensive manner.
Truck Accident Statistics
In 2005, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) disclosed that there were over 5,000 fatalities involving the use of commercial trucks. You should be ready to file a claim after a trucking accident, given the great number of accidents caused by trucks and the severe injuries that are commonly suffered after one of these accidents.
If you have been injured after one of these victims, you deserve to have your rights protected.
Truck Inspections and Highway Safety
Trucks must be inspected regularly and must adhere to the FMCSA standards. The drivers must also be regularly supervised and certified so that safe road can be assured for the general public.
Unlike passenger vehicles in Arizona, that require minimum insurance coverage of $15,000 to $30,000 for any bodily injury, commercial trucks must carry at least a minimum of $750,000 in insurance for any bodily injury that may occur on the road. It is essential to verify insurance coverage in these trucks after an accident because sometimes the owner may lease the truck, and the lessor may not carry the insurance mandated by the law.
Trucking Company and Truck Driver Regulations
Regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standardize the use and maintenance of commercial trucks. These truck regulations include the use of controls and displays, starter interlocks, windshield defrosting and defogging systems, hydraulic and electric brake systems, and trailer load-carrying capacity.
Further, truck drivers must comply with rules regarding receipts and bills, the transportation of household goods in interstate commerce, controlled substances and alcohol use and testing, commercial driver’s license standards, and other employee safety and health standards.
The regulations are extensive, and the breach of any of these rules may cause an accident and severe injuries or loss of life.
Seriously Injured in a Truck Accident?
You need to pursue legal action within the statute of limitations and gather all the necessary information quickly before you lose valuable evidence in your case. The preservation of evidence is needed so that you are able to present all the correct and relevant information at court. The attorneys at Schenk Podolsky are highly qualified to handle trucking accident claims and lawsuits—contact us today to pursue your legal claim.
If you have suffered a severe injury, or if a loved one has lost his or her life, as a result of a trucking accident, please contact our law firm. We can understand the scale of these cases, and we know how to properly conduct truck accident investigations through experts to prosecute your claim.
We have a commitment to excellent personal service and to helping victims of truck accidents involving serious injury, or wrongful death, and will diligently pursue your claim.
Truck safety failures can be proved through the use of experts and inspections. Numerous causes of negligence can cause an accident. Therefore, only the most diligent inspections can reveal the proximate cause of the collision, and alert similar companies to follow better practices.
At Schenk Podolsky, we thoroughly investigate every truck accident case that comes through our office. The truck, or the components of the truck, not just the truck driver may have caused the accident. Further, the commercial truck driver may have been negligent in driving over the speed limit, over the hours of time allowed under the law, or may have simply been tired and inattentive at the time of the accident.
Trucking companies have high exposure limits when involved in an accident, so they have highly trained insurance adjusters and lawyers who investigate their losses. Thus, when you are injured in a truck accident, it is vital to have someone with the resources that Schenk Podolsky can provide you with.
Our firm can effectively investigate your truck accident and determine what parties were negligent in your loss. Whether it was the driver, poor maintenance, improper loading of the cargo or a combination of these, our firm will pursue the trucking company to ensure you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
We would like to help you if were injured in an accident with a commercial truck. We have the experience and resources necessary to help you pursue your claim.
Contact Schenk Podolsky online, or by calling us at to set up a free consultation in our Mesa Law Office.
Arizona is home to some very large cities which means that trucking is a large part of its growth and its continuation to thrive. However, Arizona is also home to some of the most dangerous roads in the United States. Since trucking is a large portion of traffic on most major roadways, it can be imagined that they can be involved in many of the accidents that occur. It’s important to point out that not all accidents involving trucking is on the part of the person operating the truck in question. Often times, accidents occur due to negligence on behalf of drivers around truckers.
In general, it’s important for everyone behind the wheel of a vehicle to exercise caution and proper handling. Whether it’s a large truck or driving near or around large trucks, these machines are powerful and should not be taken lightly. Here are a few statistics on trucking in the state of Arizona.
There are multiple types of trucks that are included in the term “trucking.” However, for the sake of numbers and long lists, semis with and without trailers will only be included in these statistics. Statistical numbers pulled from the official Arizona Department of Transportation Crash Reports from 2018.
In Arizona, in 2018, semis were involved in:
- 2,247 accidents
- 58 of these crashes were fatal
- 536 of these crashes resulted in injury
It’s important to note that these statistics are for the state of Arizona alone and only for the year 2018. This goes to show how dangerous trucks can be, especially large, commercial trucks. In the United States alone, did you know that one out of eight fatal crashes involves a truck? Those are some high numbers to contend with. Outside of death and injury, the property damage and other monetary issues caused by trucking accidents are quite high as well.
Due to these high numbers, if you drive a truck, it’s important that you have proper legal representation. It’s common for people to try and blame a truck involved even if it was the smaller car involved that caused the accident. Further, even if you don’t drive a truck but you were involved in an accident with a truck, it’s also important for you to have proper representation to handle your case. Insurance companies will try everything to get out of having to pay out for an accident. It’s all too common for people to settle for much less than they deserve when major incidents happen. Don’t let death, injury, or major damage go without justice whether you were the truck driver or the person behind the other vehicle. As mentioned, trucks are powerful machines and because of this, they’re either pinned with accidents that weren’t their fault or they cause major accidents. No matter how you’re involved with trucking or trucking accidents, be sure you’re covered.
As seasons change and various weather patterns come and go, new accidents and dangers present themselves. It’s common for some types of accidents to happen more often during certain seasons than others. One season that is popular for housing a large amount of accidents is summer. Kids are out of school, families are going on vacation, and people are more active than usual. This all is a recipe for fun and memories, but it’s also a recipe for accidents galore.
Pool or Water Accidents
Of course, you had to know this was going to top the list. Water is a large focus of fun when it comes to summertime games and time killers. However, water can be dangerous with slips, falls, head injuries, drowning, etc. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of death with a fifth of those accidents being children under the age of 14. Pools, lakes, and the beach can be a blast, but be sure to take as many safety precautions as possible to keep you and your family safe.
As mentioned above, summer is a great time for getting active and many people utilize their fun in the sun for sports. There are many summer leagues involving sports for children as well. A sport injury can be anywhere from a sprained ankle to head trauma. Sports can leave a window of uncertainty open on when or how a child could be hurt. Be sure to have all the proper safety gear in place for your child and get regular checkups to ensure there are no hidden issues that could arise from their sports involvement. Of course, don’t forget that adults aren’t exempt from sports injuries as well and should be cautious and not overlook safety guidelines suggested for the sport they’re involved in.
Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents
When it comes to summer, there’s a lot of traveling occuring. On top of this, people like to utilize various modes of travel that aren’t possible or as popular during the cooler months. This includes mopeds, street bikes, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. These types of transportation have to share the road with motor vehicles which can get dangerous at times, especially in heavy traffic. With as busy as people are during the summer months, crashes involving these types of transportation tend to go up in number. Be careful when driving and sharing the road with these modes of transportation and ensure you’re wearing and covering as many safety precautions as possible if you operate one on a roadway.
As mentioned, the amount of travel people are doing goes way up when the summer months hit. Due to this, the amount of car accidents also rises throughout summer. Be aware that you’re not the only added traveler when summer hits and prepare/e aware of extra drivers on the road.
It’s always smart to observe safety parameters during any activity we might be involved in. This doesn’t just go for summer, but throughout the year. However, the accidents listed above are prone to happen more often and frequently when summer hits so, it’s good to be aware of this timing and up the awareness to compensate.
After a traumatic incident occurs, it can be difficult and even confusing to know what the next step is, if any. It’s common for those involved in traumatic incidents to lack proper information into the rights they possess. Knowing what rights you have can help incidents like a traumatic brain injury, feel a little less overwhelming. If you or a loved one has gone through this experience, here is a bit of information on your rights and the steps you should take during the process.
Your First Steps
If you hit your head and there are symptoms arising afterwards, seek medical care as quickly as possible. Even minor head injuries can be quite serious and cause other issues if left untreated. Further, if your incident occurred at work, in a car accident, or other place where someone may be held liable, getting medical care will provide proof of the injury and help with the timeline of events. Sometimes, incidents may occur that do not involve the liability falling on another person. However, brain injuries can be a life-changing event and are often caused at work, in car accidents, etc. This means you shouldn’t be the one to handle all the burdens a brain injury can lay in your lap.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer ASAP
It can be common for people to move quickly in order to protect themselves when it involves an incident they may be liable for. This is why it’s important to protect your rights as soon as possible. Bringing in an experienced lawyer as soon as everything starts to happen can ensure things are handled properly from the beginning. An experienced attorney can ensure your rights are protected and followed to the letter while you go through such a burdening event.
Listen to Professional Advice
We often times want to argue with our doctors and lawyers about certain matters. Sometimes this is warranted however, other times we need to listen to the professionals. We hire them for a reason and it’s because they know what they’re doing. This means you’ll want to follow the treatment and medical plan given to you by your doctor. Some hiccups can occur if a patient during a case doesn’t follow a treatment plan. Further, listen to the tips your attorney will offer you. For example, he/she might tell you to avoid discussing matters freely on social media or with friends and family. This often can also cause hiccups and make the process harder or longer. It’s important you stay aware of your actions and think about how those actions can interfere with your case.
If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Not all incidents involving brain trauma require cases however, many do and you’ll want to make sure your rights are covered.