Nevada Trucking Accidents Attorney Explains Victims’ Rights and Legal Proceedings
Truck accidents are far too common, and, unfortunately, they are often fatal collisions or cause serious injury. Motorists in passenger cars, as well as pedestrians and bike riders, are more likely to be killed or badly hurt when a truck accident happens than the operator of the truck or passengers within it. Unfortunately, motorists on the road are often unable to protect themselves from serious harm when truck drivers behave in unsafe ways.
If a truck driver is negligent or breaks the rules of the road, the driver and the company that employs him could potentially be held liable for any damages resulting from a resulting crash.
But, victims need to be able to pursue a claim for compensation successfully in order to recover the money they need after a crash happens. LV Personal Injury Lawyers can help.
Our Las Vegas truck accident attorneys know the ins-and-outs of Nevada laws on holding truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for losses. We will provide the personalized representation that you need to fight for full and fair compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained or for the loss of a loved one in a fatal truck accident. You should give us a call today to schedule a free consultation with Zachary D. Clayton and find out more about how our attorneys can help you.
What Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Nevada?
Trucking accidents can occur for many different reasons, including:
- Unsafe driving: Truck drivers may behave in dangerous ways when operating these large vehicles. Drivers are expected to know how to control the truck, to follow the rules of the road, and to exercise an appropriate level of caution at all times. If they fail to do so, a collision can occur.
- Unbalanced loads: Most trucks carry a substantial amount of cargo. Unfortunately, loads can become unbalanced and can increase the risk of problems such as rollover accidents occurring in top-heavy trucks. Drivers should follow best practices for loading.
- Overweight vehicles: There are limits on the total weight of commercial trucks that drivers must adhere to. A vehicle that’s overweight and more top-heavy is more likely to become involved in a rollover accident.
- Driver fatigue: There are rules in place limiting the number of hours a trucker can drive in order to avoid fatigued driving collisions. Unfortunately, sometimes truckers violate hours-on-duty rules and crashes can occur because of it.
- Intoxicated driving: Alcohol and drug use can significantly increase the risk of a collision. Commercial drivers are held to stricter standards than drivers of passenger vehicles and can face legal consequences if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or higher.
- Inadequate truck maintenance: There are strict maintenance rules for trucks that must be followed in order to avoid accidents caused by problems with air brakes or other truck components.
- Failure to use adequate safety equipment: For example, underside accidents can occur and cars can slide underneath large trucks when accidents happened if trucks are not properly equipped with appropriate safety gear.
- Driver blind spots: Trucks have more blind spots than passenger vehicles, so unless drivers exercise care, they could cause serious or fatal injuries by changing lanes or turning when they do not see drivers
- Speeding: When a truck driver travels too quickly, there is a strong chance of losing control of the truck. The speed limit for large trucks is often lower than the speed limit for passenger cars.
- Jack-knife accidents: A jackknife accident happens when the trailer of the truck spins out from the side of the tractor, often causing serious harm to vehicles that were in nearby lanes.
These are just a few of many examples of common reasons why trucking accidents occur. In any circumstances where a collision with a truck occurs, it is essential to identify the accident cause. That’s because if a truck driver was to blame for causing the accident to occur, the driver and often the trucking company the driver was working for could be held legally liable and can be made to pay damages to innocent victims of the truck crash.
Who is Responsible for Truck Accidents in Las Vegas?
Under the laws in the state of Nevada, a motorist who is responsible for causing an accident to occur can be held legally liable to any collision victims as well as to family members of any victims who are killed in the motor vehicle accident.
Truck drivers, therefore, could be held legally responsible when they cause accidents to happen.
In order for a victim to prove a truck driver should be held liable under the law, the accident victim would need to show the drive was negligent or failed to fulfill his obligations. Proving negligence could mean merely showing the trucker broke the rules of the road, such as by driving longer than is permitted under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
If a truck driver breaks a safety rule, a presumption of negligence is created and the truck driver is presumed to be negligent unless and until that presumption is rebutted. This would mean a victim could have a driver held accountable for a crash as long as the victim could prove the truck driver’s violation of the safety rule was the direct cause of the accident.
If a truck driver hasn’t violated a specific safety rule in Las Vegas, accident victims can still prove the trucker should be held liable for losses by showing that a reasonable driver would have been more careful than the truck driver was under the circumstances.
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For example, if a truck driver was traveling the speed limit but weather conditions were adverse, the driver could be held responsible for a speeding-related accident if any reasonable motorist in the same position would have gone slower than the speed limit but the trucker chose not to slow down.
While a truck driver can often be proved to have behaved negligently, most truck accident victims don’t just pursue a claim against the driver of the truck. That’s because victims or surviving family members of people killed in truck accidents can typically pursue a claim for compensation against the trucking company.
Trucking companies that employ truck drivers can be legally responsible for accidents caused by those drivers when the truckers are on duty because the truck drivers act as agents of the trucking company. Any actions the trucker takes — and any negligence on the part of the truck driver — is attributed to the trucking company itself. And trucking companies have deeper pockets, or more money available to pay for accident losses that individual truck drivers do.
Trucking companies are required to have a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance coverage under federal laws. If the trucking company is involved in the transport of hazardous material, the trucking company needs to have $5 million in liability insurance under federal regulations. With so much money available in insurance coverage, even victims who sustain serious injury should be able to obtain the compensation that they deserve after the accident.
Trucking companies could be held liable not just for the negligence of a driver who is acting on duty and who causes an accident through carelessness, but also for their own negligence as well.
For example, if a trucking company didn’t conduct a proper screening before hiring drivers to make sure the drivers were actually qualified and had relevant experience, the trucking company’s negligent hiring practices could be the basis for a victim pursuing a claim for compensation from the trucking company.
Finally, victims of truck accidents could potentially also pursue a claim for compensation from a truck manufacturer if a vehicle defect was the cause of a crash, or from those responsible for road design and maintenance if the road designer or entity responsible for maintaining the roads failed to live up to basic obligations to maintain a safe traveling space.
Compensation for Truck Accidents
If you are a victim of a truck accident that happened anywhere in Nevada, you deserve to be fully compensated for actual financial losses that you experienced due to the accident. This could include compensation for:
- Medical expenses: Victims of truck accidents should receive compensation for any treatment or care they need due to the accident, including future ongoing treatment they will need throughout the course of the rest of their life. If you have sustained a permanent injury, you may need ongoing assistance for decades to come or even for the rest of your life. You should not have to face any actual financial loss — you should be fully covered for these medical expenditures by those who were responsible for causing the truck accident to occur.
- Lost wages/ loss of income: Any time off from work, any vacation days or sick days you used, and any loss of wages resulting from the accident should be fully covered by the truck driver, trucking company, or other parties responsible for causing the accident to occur. If you have sustained permanent accident injuries and you either can’t work or will have significantly reduced earning power due to your injuries, you should be compensated for these losses as well.
- Compensatory damages: It’s important that you receive financial compensation even for non-economic losses that you endured as a result of the truck accident. This means that you should be paid monetary damages for the pain you endure, emotional distress you experience, and any decline in your quality of life that the accident causes you to experience.
In circumstances where a truck accident is fatal, surviving family members of the person who was killed should be entitled to wrongful death damages.
This can include receiving compensation for medical expenses incurred before death and for discomfort or pain the deceased experienced before passing away. Surviving family members can also receive monetary compensation for the loss of the deceased’s earnings that he or she would’ve brought to the household but for the untimely death.
And, finally, the surviving family of someone killed in a truck accident should be compensated for the loss of their loved one’s companionship.
Compensation can be obtained through negotiating a settlement or going to court. If you are going to negotiate a settlement, it helps to have a Vegas injury lawyer representing you. Your attorney can help with negotiations to maximize the amount of money you receive. Once you have accepted a settlement, there is no going back and changing your mind.
You can’t sue for the same accident if you’ve accepted money and signed a liability release in exchange. LV Personal Injury will advise you on whether to settle before you agree to do so. We can also represent you in court, where it is essential you have an attorney to help you prove your case.
Getting Help From Vegas Truck Accidents Lawyers
When you or someone you love is involved in a truck accident, it is hard to know where to turn. Zachary D. Clayton and LV Personal Injury Lawyers are here for you. Our car accident lawyers have served clients in Las Vegas and throughout the state of Nevada whose lives have been changed because of a collision with a trucker. In every case, our goal is to help those who have sustained harm to get the compensation they need to pick up the pieces and have the best possible quality of life in the aftermath of an accident.
To find out more about how our firm can help you in the aftermath of a truck accident, you should give us a call today. We will be there for you at every step of the way in determining who to make a claim against and going through the legal process of settlement negotiations or a civil lawsuit.
No matter what, our goal is to help you get the money you deserve because of what the accident caused you to go through. To find out more about how our firm can help you, give us a call today.