If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you qualify for compensation under the Nevada personal injury laws. However, you must establish liability to know the party responsible for your injuries. Proving liability is one of the challenging processes when seeking compensation for a personal injury. There are many possible liable parties regarding truck accidents, and you must pick the right one to file a successful claim in a civil court. For that, you need competent legal help.
Experienced car accident attorneys will know what to look for in establishing liability. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we use the best strategies to determine liability and file successful claims for our clients. We also involve expert help if needed. We could help you recover compensation for all your truck accident damages in Las Vegas.
How Truck Accidents Occur
Before establishing liability in a truck accident, it is crucial to understand how truck accidents occur. Once you know the cause of the accident, it becomes easier to identify the liable party or parties. Here are some of how these accidents occur:
Motorists are required to be attentive every time they are on the road. It is the only way to prevent the increasing number of vehicle accidents in Nevada.
Distracted driving is typical even with truck drivers—a driver's attention shifts to something other than the truck and the road ahead. If the driver requires to make a quick decision, a distracted driver will not take action on time, resulting in an accident.
Commercial vehicles or trucks are enormous compared to ordinary vehicles. They require more care when driving than a simple car. They take longer to stop and could be challenging to manage. If an unexpected obstacle is on the road, a distracted driver will not see it on time to slow or stop the track. The result could be a severe crash.
Sadly, numerous distractions affect how drivers operate their vehicles. For instance, a driver could be texting or calling on their phone instead of focusing on the road. Some drivers are easily distracted by what is inside the vehicle, while others are distracted by external factors. These distractions always result in accidents, in which many people sustain injuries.
Speeding on Highways
Speeding is dangerous and a sure way to get into road accidents. Some truck drivers enjoy the thrill of speeding, while others speed to arrive at their destinations on time. Either way, speeding is dangerous and can result in devastating accidents in which many can sustain injuries. A speeding commercial vehicle will not stop in time and could crash onto other cars on the road, resulting in multiple injuries.
Speeding is a severe issue in Nevada. The state has speed limits in place to prevent unforeseen accidents by speeding motorists. For instance, Las Vegas has a speed limit of 30mph, over which a driver could face misdemeanor charges and Nevada demerit points on their license.
Some truck accidents occur due to mechanical issues. If a truck's brakes fail, the driver cannot control it even when driving cautiously. The truck will inevitably cause an accident.
Commercial vehicle manufacturers must follow laid-down guidelines in their productions to avoid issues that can result in accidents. For instance, manufacturers must ensure that all vehicle parts are functioning. They must test their productions before bringing them to the market. If a truck is installed with a dysfunctional or poor-quality tire, it could burst while the truck is on a highway, resulting in a severe collision with other vehicles.
Truck drivers are specially trained to operate large vehicles. A driver's license does not necessarily mean you can drive any car. Commercial vehicles require special driving skills that an ordinary driver lacks.
Other than training, commercial drivers require extensive experience to operate a truck safely. A fresh driver must be guided on the job until they obtain the experience needed.
Some companies mistakenly hire untrained drivers for the job without ensuring that those drivers have the required skills and experience. Those drivers can quickly cause an accident due to their incompetence.
Truck drivers must adhere to strict work schedules, especially if working for companies. Trucking companies are in the business of making money and could make heavy demands on their drivers to profit more. Some drivers commit traffic infractions out of pressure, like speeding and jumping a red light. Others overtake unsafely in their effort to reach their destinations on time. Traffic violations are also leading causes of road accidents in Nevada.
Who Could Be Liable in a Truck Accident
Truck drivers are usually the first to receive blame when an accident occurs. But, there are many responsible parties in truck accidents. It could be the driver, or another party, depending on the cause of the accident.
When a truck accident occurs, the first step is always to determine its cause and if someone was negligent in causing the accident. That helps determine a responsible party for damages incurred. Thus, if you have sustained injuries in a truck accident and have called an attorney to help you pursue compensation for your injuries, they will begin by establishing the liable party. Here are possible responsible parties your attorney can consider:
The Truck Driver
The driver operating the truck when the accident occurred is usually the first person of interest. A truck driver can negligently cause an accident in so many ways. For instance, if the driver was distracted and could not avoid the crash on time, they will be responsible for damages incurred. Some drivers text or speak on the phone while on the road. Others are distracted by conversations with other truck occupants. A simple distraction like tuning the stereo while on the road is enough to cause a severe crash.
Speeding is also an issue with many truck drivers. Drivers speed to reach their destinations on time, while others speed out of the thrill. If speeding was the cause of the accident, then the driver will be responsible for the accident.
Other truck drivers cause accidents due to fatigue. Nevada provides a detailed guideline on how long a truck driver should operate without a break. For instance, truck drivers must not work for more than 60 hours in 7 days. After a break of at least 30 minutes, a truck driver can only operate for a maximum of eight hours. Some drivers do not follow these guidelines. Others are pushed into working for longer hours by their employers. If it is the driver's fault for working while tired, they will be responsible for the resulting accident.
Additionally, a truck driver will be liable for an accident if they operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk or drugged driving is a serious issue across the globe. Drugs and alcohol impact a person's ability to safely operate a vehicle. It becomes worse if an intoxicated driver drives a truck since trucks require more caution.
If a truck driver is responsible for the accident in which you are injured, you will seek compensation from them for your damages. You can file a claim with the driver's insurer or sue the driver in a civil court. If your claim is successful, you should recover sufficient compensation for what you have lost due to the accident.
Most truck drivers are mere employees working for a trucking company. The company determines the nature of the driver's work.
Trucking companies are governed by strict regulations on how to hire drivers, how long their drivers must operate without a break, and how to load their vehicles. Some greedy companies do not follow through with these regulations. Consequently, their actions result in severe collisions that affect several individuals and families.
For instance, a trucking company is liable for an accident if the responsible driver is unskilled or inexperienced. Trucking companies must carefully hire, train and allow their drivers to gain experience on the job before allowing them to work on their own. If the company has not adhered to these requirements, it will be responsible for the resulting damages if its unskilled or inexperienced driver causes an accident.
Some trucking companies want to overwork a few drivers without considering the need for a break for drivers before traveling long distances. If it is established that the cause of the accident was fatigue, the company could be held accountable for the resulting damages if it pushed the driver harder than is provided by the law.
Additionally, a trucking company is liable for an accident if a truck overturns on the road due to an overload. The law guides trucking companies on their trucks' weight for each trip. But some companies do not follow through with these regulations. Some want to send their vehicles with more load than the vehicle can carry, risking the lives of other road users.
Also, the repair and maintenance of commercial vehicles are the responsibilities of the trucking companies. If the truck that caused the accident were not adequately maintained or repaired, its owner would be responsible for the damages incurred.
Most trucking companies are insured. Thus, you can quickly file a claim with the company's insurer once your attorney determines the trucking company is responsible for your injuries.
Truck Maintenance Company
Sometimes fault can fall on the company responsible for the repair and maintenance of the truck. Trucking companies hire the services of a single repair and maintenance company to ensure that all their trucks are in perfect condition before and after every trip. Adequate maintenance ensures that the vehicles are in good mechanical condition, which helps to prevent the occurrence of accidents.
However, some maintenance companies do not take their roles seriously. For instance, leaving the maintenance to trainees without adequate supervision by experienced engineers. Trainees are likely to overlook some steps that can result in mechanical failure while the truck is on the road.
Some companies use poor-quality spare parts to profit more than they should. Others do not conduct thorough maintenance as required.
If your attorney establishes that the truck maintenance company was responsible for the accident in which you were injured, they will help you file a successful claim for your damages.
Local Government Agencies
A local government agency could be responsible for a truck accident if poor conditions on the road caused the accident. Specific government agencies are responsible for ensuring that our roads are well repaired and maintained. There should be clear and easy-to-understand signs on the road too. If these agencies fail in one or more of their mandates and a truck accident occurs, they will be responsible for the damages.
For instance, a new truck driver will experience difficulties traveling on a poorly-marked road. If there are large potholes on a particular road, truck drivers can quickly lose control of their vehicles as they avoid hitting the potholes. If a part of the road is under construction, the responsible agencies should adequately inform motorists to ensure that they approach that part of the road with caution.
Truck Driver Trainers
Ordinary drivers require special training to operate commercial vehicles. Commercial trucks are massive and hard to control. Thus, drivers need adequate training to ensure that they can safely operate a truck on any road. It takes time for a driver to obtain the necessary skills and experience. But some trainers are quick to take the money, overlooking the importance of the training.
Training for truck drivers is essential in protecting drivers, trucking companies, and other motorists from unforeseen accidents and losses. Trainers must have the required training and skills to pass the correct information to aspiring commercial drivers. They must also be patient with drivers and ensure that only those who complete the training can obtain a commercial driver's license.
If a driver is responsible for the accident and your attorney establishes that they did not attain the proper training, their trainers could also be held accountable for the accident.
Liability could also fall on the truck manufacturer if the investigating team establishes that the truck experienced mechanical failure on the road. Some trucks are sold with mechanical issues, including faulty brakes and tires. These are likely to fail when the truck is on the road, and the results can be devastating.
Truck manufacturers must be careful with every product they make. They must also conduct testing for vehicles before bringing them to the market. This way, they can be sure that all cars are functional and safe.
But some truck companies do not care much about safety precautions when producing vehicles. Others use substandard products to maximize their profits. The results are devastating accidents on our roads.
If your attorney establishes that the cause of the accident was a mechanical failure traced back to the manufacturer, the manufacturer will be responsible for the damages incurred.
Other Road Users
Road users owe each other a duty of care to ensure road safety. For instance, motorists should do their best to prevent accidents on the road, including driving carefully, not following each other too closely, and observing all road signs. Even pedestrians must be careful while on the road.
Another driver could be responsible for a truck accident if the driver's actions on the road caused the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle. For instance, an intoxicated driver driving on the wrong side of the road can cause distraction, leaving the truck driver with minimal time to break.
Motorcyclists and bicyclists could also be held responsible, depending on the cause of the accident. In that case, the responsible road user will be held accountable for damages incurred.
The Type of Evidence You Need Against The Liable Party
Determining the responsible party is not enough to win a civil suit and receive the compensation you deserve. You should support your claim with concrete evidence for the judge to award all your damages. The court will want to hear the cause of the truck accident, the liable party, and how the responsible party was negligent in causing the accident. Your lawyer has the burden of proof in cases like these and must demonstrate the following:
The Duty of Care
The first element your lawyer must prove is that the responsible party owed you and other road users a duty of care. Drivers must safely operate vehicles to prevent accidents. The government agency responsible for road maintenance must ensure that our roads are safe for all users. Vehicle manufacturers must only sell safe cars. Vehicle maintenance companies must ensure that only safe vehicles are allowed on the roads. This duty of care is essential, and if one or more parties fails in their duty of care, then they will be responsible for damages incurred.
Violated Duty Of Care
Your attorney must also prove that the responsible party violated their duty of care. For instance, a distracted driver did not care enough for the safety of other road users but only about the distraction. An intoxicated driver only cared about the fun and excitement, not the most critical mandate of keeping everyone safe on the road.
The jury must understand how the responsible party's actions violated their duty of care.
The Violation as The Cause for Your Injuries
Your attorney must further demonstrate the connection between the liable party's actions and your injuries in court. How did the violated duty of care cause your injuries?
For instance, a trucking company that hires an inexperienced driver is directly responsible for your injuries if the cause of the accident was because the driver could not operate the truck well. If the driver had the necessary skills and experience, the accident would not have occurred, and you would not have sustained the injuries.
The Resulting Injuries
Lastly, your attorney must prove your injuries in court. Your injuries must be directly connected to the truck accident. Your attorney can use different types of evidence, including the doctor's reports, pictures, and videos of the accident scene.
Damages You Can Recover from the Liable Party
The court will award your damages if you successfully prove that a particular party or parties were responsible for your injuries in a truck accident. Here are some of the damages you can recover from your claim:
- Medical expenses — Including all medical costs you have incurred since the accident and those you expect to incur in the future
- Lost wages — For the days you cannot work and earn an income due to your injuries.
- Lost earning capacity — If the accident has affected your ability to work and earn a living
- Damaged property — If you have lost valuable property due to the accident.
- Caregiver services — If you need help with your daily needs after the accident.
- Wrongful death — For families that have lost their loved ones to a truck accident, to recover damages that will help them cater to their loved one's funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering — For the days and nights, you had to endure excruciating pain and suffering due to your injury.
- Mental anguish — If the accident had a psychological impact on your life
- Lost consortium — For spouses that have lost connection with their partners due to a truck accident.
- Loss of life enjoyment — If you cannot do what you enjoyed most before the accident, including fun moments with your family.
Find a Reliable Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
Your worry could be establishing liability if you sustained injuries in a truck accident in Las Vegas. It is the most crucial element in filing a successful compensation claim. Responsible parties in truck accidents are many. You must understand the cause of the accident and seek legal guidance in determining the responsible party. With that information, you can plan a solid case and file a lawsuit against them in a civil court. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we guide and support our clients until they obtain a fair outcome for their cases. We aim to ensure you receive adequate compensation for your damages. Call us at 702-576-0010 to learn more.