When you travel to the city of Las Vegas for a vacation, involvement in a truck accident is never in your thoughts. While truck accidents are not common, when they occur, they result in serious injuries or death of the victims. Trucks are heavy vehicles, and an impact with a smaller vehicle will cause severe damage. As you recover from the truck accident injuries, the issue of compensation will linger in your mind.
Although victims of truck accidents are entitled to compensation, recovering for your damages is not automatic. You must negotiate with the fault party’s insurance company or battle the liable parties in a civil lawsuit. The process of seeking compensation following a truck accident is challenging. Therefore, you must hire and retain a skilled personal injury attorney throughout the process.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we understand how a truck accident can devastate your life. Our Attorneys will conduct in-depth investigations, identify at-fault parties and hold them liable for your injuries and losses. If you or your loved one battles a truck accident lawsuit in Las Vegas, NV, you will need our expertise by your side.
Overview of Truck Accidents in Nevada
Truck accidents may not always result in tragedy. However, accidents involving trucks and other vehicles or pedestrians tend to end in death, brutal injuries, and heavy financial losses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey showed that at least 5,000 people lose their lives in Nevada yearly, and hundreds of thousands suffer catastrophic injuries.
Individuals who suffer from truck accidents are not only the drivers and occupants of the trucks but also other road users. When a truck collides with a smaller vehicle or hits a pedestrian, the driver and passengers of the small vehicle suffer more injuries. Most truck accidents result from the negligence of the driver or other road users. For this reason, all accident victims may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party’s insurance company.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues regulations on the trucking industry and has laws that all stakeholders must follow. When you file a claim for injuries you suffered in a truck accident, the FMCSA regulations will play a significant role in your lawsuit. Federal and State laws in the trucking industry regulate issues on:
- Truck Driver Qualification.
- Insurance coverage for the truck drivers and third parties.
- Safety procedures.
- Inspection and maintenance.
- Driving hours.
- Alcohol and drug testing.
- Background checks on truck drivers.
As you file a truck accident lawsuit, you must seek the guidance of a lawyer who understands how the FMCSA regulations integrate with your claim.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Nevada
Due to their heavy weight and large size, trucks are more challenging to control and stop. For this reason, Nevada law expects truck drivers to have a high skill level and maintain the vehicle in the best possible conditions. Several factors could cause a truck accident. Understanding the cause of the truck incident in which you were injured is crucial in identifying liable parties and recovering compensation. A truck accident may result from:
Unsafe Driving Practices
Most truck drivers have many years of experience, which could make them act more relaxed than they should be when driving. Additionally, their tight schedules may cause them to be impatient with the traffic and engage in the following unsafe practices:
- Failure to use indicators when turning.
- Reckless change of lanes.
- Failure to keep the right distance from other vehicles.
- Violation of speed limits.
- Ignoring blind spots.
Accidents often happen very fast. Therefore, any of the above conduct could result in a severe collision.
Distracted Truck Drivers
Driver distraction is a leading cause of almost all vehicle accidents in Nevada. A driver is considered distracted when they engage in activities that divert their concentration from the road. Since truck drivers drive long distances, the likelihood of losing focus on the road is high. Additionally, these drivers may attempt to multitask by using a cellphone, eating, or reaching out to grab something while driving.
Distracted drivers cannot respond promptly to emergencies, increasing the risk of collisions with other vehicles or hitting pedestrians.
Federal and State laws specify the weight that different trucks must carry. A truck is a vehicle; controlling it is more challenging when overloading. Heavy weight can put excessive pressure on the tires, causing blowout and loss of control of the vehicle.
While there are regulations on the use of drugs and alcohol when operating trucks, some drivers ignore them. A drunk driver is incapable of perceiving speed and distance correctly. Additionally, their reaction time could be slow. A drunk driver is likely to collide with other vehicles, for trucks require more navigation skills and more time to stop.
Poor Truck Conditions
Due to their heavy weight and the long distances that they travel, trucks require constant maintenance and inspection. Trucking companies should ensure that their vehicle is in the proper condition. Failure to maintain the trucks can result in a part malfunction while on the road. Some of the common forms of malfunction may include:
- Brake Failure
- Engine Failure
- Tire blowouts
- Steering wheel malfunction
Any above malfunction can cause the driver to lose vehicle control and crash into stationary objects on the road or other vehicles.
Truck drivers require periods of enough rest after long periods of driving. Unfortunately, some truck companies do not allow their drivers enough time to rest, which can cause fatigue. Additionally, some drivers will ignore the regulations on rest time to earn more wages. A tired driver has a similar level of incapacitation as a drunk driver. This means that they cannot make fast decisions while driving.
Poor Road Conditions
Sometimes, a well-maintained and well-driven truck may still be involved in an accident. This may be the case, primarily when the roads are poorly maintained. When a truck hits a pothole or other obstacles on the road, the driver could lose control and roll over onto other vehicles and road users.
Liability in a Nevada Truck Accident Claim
Liability is a crucial aspect of a truck accident claim. Often, liability for the accident and resulting injuries will fall on the party whose negligence caused the accident. As you file a claim or plan to engage in an out-of-court settlement, you must identify liable parties. Liability for a truck accident several parties, including:
- The truck driver. In many truck accidents, the driver plays a significant role. This could be distracted driving, drunk driving, or failure to exercise reasonable care on the road.
- Trucking company. The Federal and State government sets several regulations for the trucking company. Trucking companies can shoulder liability for your accident if the vehicle was in poor mechanical condition or the driver is unqualified.
- Cargo loaders. Trucks are expected to carry a particular weight; when it exceeds, it can cause instability of the vehicle. If an overloaded truck is involved in an accident, you can file a lawsuit against the cargo loaders.
- Truck Maintenance personnel. Maintaining trucks in proper condition helps avoid malfunction of the parts as the truck moves. Therefore, accidents resulting from a poorly maintained vehicle could be blamed on the truck maintenance personnel.
- Other drivers. Sometimes, other drivers or road users could be held liable for a truck accident. This may result from tailgating, failure to yield the right of way, or other reckless driving conduct.
- Bus Part Manufacturers. If you sustain injuries in a truck accident resulting from the failure of one of the parts, you can file a lawsuit against the part manufacturer. However, you must prove that the part has design or manufacturing defects.
- Government entities. There are times when a truck accident results from poor road conditions, such as potholes or unmarked construction sites. In such a situation, the government entity responsible for road maintenance will be accountable for your injuries.
Liability in a Nevada truck accident is based on negligence. Therefore, you can prove that any of the above parties are liable for your accident by establishing the following elements of negligence:
- Duty. A duty of care is ensuring that you do not hurt other people at risk of harm. Before you recover compensation from a liable party, you must show that they owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of duty. A defendant breaches their duty towards you by Failing to live up to the standards of a reasonable person. Some instances of duty breach include drunk driving, overloading of the trucks, speeding, poor vehicle maintenance, and manufacture of poor quality vehicle parts.
- Causation. Even when a defendant breaches their duty of care towards you, you must establish the link between the breach of duty and your injuries. Proving causation is one of the most challenging aspects of holding a person liable for your damages. Therefore, having a skilled attorney by your side is vital.
- Damages. Holding a defendant liable for your injuries requires you to provide proof of your injuries and losses.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Nevada
Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a catastrophic truck accident may not be easy. However, it is essential to understand that the steps you take at this time are vital in protecting your rights to recover compensation for your injuries. The steps you can take after involvement in a truck accident in Nevada include:
Your safety is critical following a truck accident. Therefore, the first step you need to take is to request help. When you call 911, the police and first responders will come to the scene. When questioned by the police, you need to give the exact account of events as you recall them. You should avoid giving speculations or personal opinions regarding the collision.
From the information collected at the scene, the police officers will write a report. A police report includes information on:
- Statements from parties involved in the accident.
- Witness statements.
- A sketch of the accident scene.
- Contact details of the drivers.
- Police opinions regarding fault for the accident.
Although a police report may not be admissible in court, the document can provide essential information for your case. When insurance companies try to blame you instead of the defendant, an experienced car accident attorney can rely on the police report for relevant evidence.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
Your safety is vital even when you want to work on a claim. Therefore, seeking immediate medical care is critical. When you consult a physician, ensure that all your injuries are treated and documented. Some injuries from a truck accident may not be visible or felt right away. Therefore, when a doctor checks you, they can detect injuries like internal bleeding and damage to internal organs.
In addition to the early detection and treatment, seeking medical care will benefit your claim. Your medical report plays a significant role in proving your injuries and helps recover commemoration.
Collect Evidence from the Accident Scene
The evidence you collect from an accident scene before it is cleared will be critical in proving how the truck accident occurred. Taking a video or photographs from the scene will help you with the solid evidence you need in case other parties attempt to falsify or alter information. You can ask someone else to do it for you if you cannot collect evidence because of your injuries.
Exchange Contact Information with Witnesses and Other Parties Involved in the Accident
Under Nevada law, you are obligated to exchange contact information with other parties involved in the accident. This will include their names, address, and vehicle insurance information. Since the trucking company can shoulder liability for a truck accident, you should ask the driver about their employer. Additionally, you can ask witnesses for their contact information and talk to them about any vital information they may have about the accident. Collecting this information helps speed up the process of recovering compensation.
Notify your Insurance Company of the Crash
Even when you are not liable for a truck accident, you must inform your insurance company about the collision. However, when you talk to the insurance company, you must understand that they are not on your side. Therefore, you should never admit to any level of fault. Additionally, if the insurance adjusters ask about your injuries, you should politely decline to provide any information.
The insurance company could use the information you give to downplay your claim and offer a lower settlement than you deserve. Guidance from a skilled attorney is crucial when dealing with insurance companies.
Contact a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney
The moments following a truck accident can be very devastating. The effects of your injuries may make it impossible for you to follow through with the compensation process effectively. A competent car accident attorney will help you collect relevant evidence for your claim and guide you as you navigate your quest for compensation.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
After your attorney has collected all the essential information about the truck accident and identified the liable parties, you can draft a letter demanding compensation from the insurance company. Negotiating an out-of-court settlement with the fault party’s insurance company is challenging.
Mostly the insurance company will be quick to give you an offer that is often lower than you deserve for your damages. An essential tip you must remember when negotiating with an insurance company is never to accept the initial settlement. It would be best to negotiate until you recover an amount covering all your losses. If you fail to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you can proceed to file a civil lawsuit against the liable parties.
File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
When you file a civil lawsuit after a truck accident, the court will decide on the amount you can recover for your injuries. In a truck accident lawsuit, you have the burden of proof to show that the defendant’s negligence caused your accident and injuries. Mostly, your attorney will advise that you go through the court if there is strong evidence and the likelihood of prevailing in the claim is high.
Compensation from a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Nevada
In a successful lawsuit or settlement with an insurance company, you can recover compensation for:
Truck accidents result in some of the most catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and internal bleeding. These injuries require immediate and extensive treatment. In most cases, you must undergo several costly surgeries before recovering from these injuries. The defendant will be liable for your medical expenses if you suffer injuries in a negligent truck accident.
Unfortunately, the fault party’s insurance company will not compensate you without a fight. For this reason, you may need to pay your medical bills using alternative means before the claim settlement. You can pay your medical bills using medical insurance or on lien. The medical insurance company and the doctors who operate on lien will be compensated after your settlement.
You may need to present your medical records before recovering compensation for your medical bills. This helps to show the injuries you have suffered from the accident. Therefore, ensuring detailed medical records as you seek compensation is vital.
Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
When you suffer injuries in a truck accident, you may be incapable of returning to work for the days, weeks, or months following the accident. Lost wages are the amount you lose when you skip work as you nurse your injuries. As part of your settlement, you will recover compensation for the loss of monthly income, bonuses, overtime pay, and income from self-employment.
On the other hand, lost earning capacity is the loss of ability to work and earn money in the future after a truck accident. Some truck accidents could cause incapacitation or disability making it impossible for you to recover fully. However, a permanent disability is not necessary for you to recover this type of compensation. If your injury hasn’t been recovered by claim settlement, you can recover for lost future earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
The aftermath of a truck accident could be filled with pain and suffering for you and your loved ones. In addition to the physical pain from the accident injuries, involvement in the truck accident can cause severe psychological distress and trauma. Although you cannot equate pain to a dollar value, you stand to recover these damages in a successful claim.
Wrongful Death in a Truck Accident
Death is a common outcome of a truck accident. Losing a loved one from the negligence of another person is devastating. Fortunately, you can recover compensation for the loss by filing a wrongful death claim. Although monetary compensation will not bring back the deceased, the amount you recover can help you cover the burial and funeral expenses. Additionally, you can offset the medical bills the deceased may have left behind.
Find a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
Truck accidents leave a trail of deaths and victims with catastrophic injuries. Involvement in a truck accident can take a toll on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Since most truck accidents result from negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries by making an out-of-court settlement or filing a civil lawsuit.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be trusting that the insurance company will compensate you for your injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not pay you without a fight. Insurance adjusters try to dismiss or discredit your claim and avoid liability. For this reason, you must navigate a truck accident claim with guidance from a skilled personal injury lawyer.
At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we will help you gather the necessary evidence to strengthen your claim and secure maximum compensation for your injuries. We serve clients battling truck accident claims in Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today at 702-576-0010 for consultation and much-need legal insight.