18 Wheeler Accidents and Financial Recovery Explained by Nevada Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Zachary D. Clayton
On roads throughout the state of Nevada, 18 wheeler trucks regularly travel to deliver products or to pass through the state. These large vehicles are some of the biggest on the roads, so when they become involved in truck accidents, the consequences for victims can be extremely serious.
For those involved in 18 wheeler accidents, severe and often fatal injuries are the typical result. Recovering from a truck crash with a semi-truck — or coping with losses caused by such an accident — can be very expensive. And, sometimes, full recovery is not possible, and life-long damage occurs.
Those who are injured or whose loved ones were killed by 18 wheeler accidents in Nevada need to understand how the law protects them and what their options are for recovering compensation for damages. A Vegas 18 wheeler accident attorney can help victims to develop a strategy and pursue a claim inside or outside of the courtroom to get the money they need to move on after a crash has happened.
Our Nevada trucking injury lawyer has a long, successful track record of helping clients to prevail in truck accident cases. We are prepared and ready to help you prove the cause of 18 wheeler accidents and demonstrate the extent of damages so you can be “made whole,” and receive monetary damages for both economic and non-financial loss. To find out more about how our firm can fight for you after an accident, give us a call today.
What Are the Common Causes of 18 Wheeler Accidents in Las Vegas?
An accident involving an 18 wheeler can occur for many different reasons. Often, the negligence of the big rig driver or of other motorists on the road can be the cause of a crash. Some of the most common reasons for accidents with semi-trailer trucks include:
- Overweight loads: If a semi-trailer is overloaded and has become too heavy, this can increase the chances of a collision occurring. It can also make it more likely for the 18 wheeler to roll over, potentially crushing other cars or pedestrians beside it.
- Distracted driving: Truckers and other motorists are not supposed to drive while distracted. Unfortunately, drivers do use phones, GPS devices, and other electronics while driving. They could also be distracted by music, by talking to someone on the road, or by eating or daydreaming. Distraction can significantly increase the chances of a serious or fatal accident.
- Driving recklessly: If an 18-wheeler driver or other motorist is unreasonably careless, that motorist could be held accountable for an 18 wheeler accident and for any resulting losses or damages that occur due to the crash.
- Problems with hazardous cargo: Many 18 wheelers transport cargo that could be dangerous. Unfortunately, accidents could lead to the trucker and others on the road becoming exposed to that hazardous cargo. This could mean people get sick from the exposure or are injured by the cargo, even if they are not injured by an accident.
- Intoxicated driving: If a driver is operating an 18-wheeler, he is considered to be over the legal limit once he has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04. Unfortunately, motorists still do drive intoxicated and can cause severe or fatal accidents because of it.
- Problems with maintenance: If a semi-trailer truck is not maintained properly, the large truck can malfunction, and an accident can occur because of it. Brakes can be especially likely to malfunction and problems with the brakes can have devastating consequences.
- 18 wheeler drivers traveling on improper roads: Some roads are not designed for large trucks. If a driver of a semi-truck travels on roads where he is prohibited from going, a crash could occur.
There may also be other causes of 18 wheeler accidents. When a collision happens, it will be necessary to determine the crash cause because the party responsible for the accident could face legal liability and be held accountable for any financial and non-economic damages that happened because of the crash.
Evidence from a crash scene, including police reports and toxicology statements, can help to sort out the cause of an 18 wheeler accident. In some cases, it is also necessary to hire an accident reconstruction specialist to determine the crash cause and to provide proof to the court or insurance company regarding who is responsible for the accident.
Who Is Responsible for 18 Wheeler Accidents?
When an 18-wheeler accident occurs, a driver whose actions caused the collision to happen could be found legally liable. Truck drivers who failed to follow safety rules, including those set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, could be presumed to have been negligent.
If this is the case, victims can recover compensation if they are able to prove the trucker actually broke a safety rule and that the violation of the rule was the direct cause of an accident. There are many federal regulations on all aspects of truck operation, including rules limiting drive time and rules related to inspecting the truck and loading cargo.
There are times when no safety rule was broken but a trucker or driver of another vehicle behaved negligently anyway. In these circumstances, a victim could pursue a claim for compensation and the negligent driver could be held liable for losses if the victim can prove that the negligent driver was more unreasonably careless than a typical motorist would have been under the same circumstances.
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I suffered a devastating auto accident in Las Vegas due to someone else's fault. I was fortunate enough to call LV Personal Injury Lawyers who helped me in the most effective and client-friendly way possible.
While it is often common for victims to be able to prove that a truck driver caused a crash to happen, many truck accident victims either don’t sue truckers or don’t sue truck drivers exclusively. Instead, after a Las Vegas semi-truck accident, victims and their families typically sue the company employing the driver of the 18-wheeler. This makes sense because the company usually has more assets and a larger insurance policy and is thus better able to pay compensation to victims dam-aged by the collision.
Trucking companies that employ drivers of 18-wheelers could be liable for an accident if their own negligence played a role in the crash cause.
An example of this would be when the trucking company didn’t follow best practices in hiring or failed to enforce safety rules as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
However, even if the company itself did nothing wrong, the driver of the 18-wheeler is usually considered to be an agent of the company that employs the driver. If someone is acting as an agent of a trucking company and behaves negligently, the Nevada law treats the trucking company as if it had personally committed the violation.
Because a trucking company can be held responsible for its own negligence or based on the negligence of its agent, a Vegas injury attorney can help victims to fight for full compensation from the company.
Compensation for Semi-Truck Accidents in Las Vegas
Compensation for 18 wheeler accidents will vary depending upon many factors, including the extent of damages, how robust the victim’s case is, and whether the victim is able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement or must go to court and convince a jury to award them damages.
Typically, the financial recovery a victim receives should cover both actual economic loss and non-financial loss resulting from the accident. This could include payment for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress damages.
If the accident causes a fatality, compensation can be provided to surviving family members in the form of wrongful death damages. Wrongful death damages can include not just losses incurred by the deceased before death, including medical expenses and pain the deceased experienced.
Compensation should also be provided for loss of companionship of the deceased, as well as for the loss of the money the victim killed in the accident would have earned over his lifetime had he not been involved in a fatal crash.
Some of the types of compensation that victims or surviving family members are entitled to in Nevada can be easy to calculate. For example, it is not hard to add up how much money was spent on medical care up to the time of the settlement or court proceedings to determine the financial loss caused by medical expenditures.
However, other types of compensation can be challenging to determine. For example, how much should someone’s pain be worth, or how much is appropriate to pay someone for the loss of a spouse, child, parent, or other close loved one injured in an 18-wheeler accident. Even when there is actual financial loss occurring that a victim or surviving family members should be compensated for, there can be complications.
For example, when an 18-wheeler accident causes a permanent injury that prevents the victim from working and that necessitates the victim receive ongoing medical care, the victim would’t be fully compensated if he or she just received payment for losses that occurred up to the time of the settlement or court case.
The victim in these circumstances would need compensation for all future costs and losses too, such as medical care that the accident makes necessary even if it occurs month or years after the case is settled. If the accident caused a permanent decline in earning power or made it impossible for the victim to ever work again, the victim should also be compensated for the loss of earning potential.
When it becomes more complicated to calculate losses, victims who are pursuing a claim for compensation may need expert witnesses to provide testimony regarding the extent of damage.
For example, medical experts can provide insight into the costs of ongoing care while you can have actuarial specialists provide insight into how long a life and career might have lasted if an 18-wheeler accident had not cut it short.
LV Personal Injury Lawyers can provide the help and support you need to prove the extent of damages after a semi-truck accident so you can obtain the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
Getting Help From 18 Wheeler Accidents Attorneys
Victims of an 18-wheeler accident can pursue a claim for damages in court or out of court.
Our Vegas truck accident attorneys will be there for you every step of the way regardless of which option you choose. We know how to deal with insurance companies and trucking companies, and we have helped many clients to obtain the money they need to rebuild their lives after an 18-wheeler accident caused a serious injury or the death of a loved one.
Zachary D. Clayton and other members of our firm can negotiate a settlement on your behalf to help you get fairly compensated for an accident involving an 18-wheeler without having to go to court through our strong negotiating skills during the settlement process. We are also prepared and ready to put together the strongest possible case to convince a court that you should be entitled to substantial damages for the harm that you endured due to a dangerous truck driver.
The approach we take to helping you get compensation will be customized to your needs, based on the evidence available and your goals for handling your accident claim. In every case, we will put your needs first and do everything possible to make sure that you get the money you need to have the highest possible quality of life following a tragic accident.
To find out more about how our 18-wheeler accident lawyers can help you after a collision in Las Vegas or in surrounding areas throughout the state of Nevada, give us a call today.