Truck accidents can be disastrous compared to other types of road accidents. This is because of the big size and weight of trucks, especially when loaded. Victims of truck accidents may end up suffering from fatal injuries or even lose their lives after an accident. After a truck accident, the expenses can pile up quickly, which compels most victims to sue the responsible party to recover the losses. However, you can only get compensation for the damages if you win the personal injury lawsuit. Your winning in a truck accident lawsuit depends on factors including the ease of proving the defendant’s negligence and your attorney’s competency. If you’re a victim of a truck accident, the best action is to contact an experienced truck accident attorney. At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law firm, we have competent attorneys who can guide you and help get your well-deserved compensation.
Winning a Truck Accident Case
How you behave after a truck accident will determine your likelihood of getting the compensation you deserve. According to Nevada law, if you’re involved in a truck accident, you must remain at the accident scene. Don’t leave until the traffic law enforcers arrive. Some of the actions you should take to win a truck accident case include:
Call the Law Enforcers
After an involvement in a truck accident, calling the law enforcers is the best way of getting them to document the accident. They will maintain proper records outlining all the details of the accident. Therefore, after a truck accident, you should call 911, and the emergency responders or the police will receive and give you the required assistance. The typical number you can use to reach the police whenever an accident occurs in Nevada is 911. Let the police or emergency responders know the individuals involved in the accident so that they can take the necessary action.
Gather Information About the Accident
If you’re involved in a truck accident, ensure that you gather enough evidence about the accident. Identifying and locating every individual involved is also very important. Write down the truck driver’s address, his or her name, the license number plate of the truck, and the driver’s insurance policy number.
It will also be of great value if you take photos of the scene of the accident. More importantly, take pictures of damaged vehicles, weather conditions, road conditions, and other factors that could have led to the crash. At the same time, be keen to write down any relevant information concerning the truck company.
Seek Medical Attention
You must get a medical evaluation of your physical and mental condition after a truck accident. A medical report is a necessary document while seeking compensation from a liable party. Seek immediate medical attention, even if you seem fine after a truck accident. Some symptoms may not manifest immediately after the accident. If you delay and develop the complications after that, you might not be able to prove that it’s due to the accident.
Gather Witness Contact Information
Any individual who observed the accident occur is a witness. This could be an individual in other vehicles involved in the accident, someone in a nearby car, or an individual standing by. Approach any willing individual who witnessed the collision and take his or her contact information, including his or her name, email address, and phone number so that you keep in touch. However, don’t record witnesses' statements. The police have to do so. Give the witness information to your attorney, after the police have accomplished their investigations on the accident's cause. This information will enable your attorney to create a strong claim since they will have ample proof from the witnesses.
Avoid Sharing Your Injury Information on Social Media
Accidents involving trucks are often more fatal than other vehicle accidents. The news could spread widely if a truck accident includes fatalities, big cleanup, or closing the road. If you’re involved in a truck accident, allow only your close friends and family to know about it. Refrain from commenting should you come across pictures of the crash from local news stations or articles. Furthermore, don’t share anything on social media about your physical or emotional condition, or how it occurred. Sharing anything on social media could negatively affect your legal issues since what you share online could be used against you in court. Any person may testify against you based on what they saw on social media, even if you erase the information.
Weigh What You Say
A truck accident can elicit anger among the parties involved by accusing one another. However, it doesn’t bring a solution when you direct your emotions to the responsible party. When you get angry, you may go overboard and speak words that can negatively affect your case. Therefore, you must weigh your words or keep calm after being involved in a truck accident. By doing this, you will avoid speaking things that could cost you in court.
Even if the truck driver is responsible for the accident, avoid accusing him or her. Make the matter easy by sharing the accident details with the police officers, or your attorney. Don’t admit liability during police interrogation, and at the same time, avoid speaking lies because you may spoil your credibility. Instead of telling lies that could have negative legal results, choose to keep quiet.
Have Your Vehicle Appraised
It’s crucial that before you carry any forms of repair when your vehicle gets involved in a truck accident, you first take it for appraisal. Look for an expert to appraise your vehicle, if you have to repair it before seeking compensation. Don’t take it to the mechanic for repair, since the repair costs should be part of your insurance claim. Before you get your compensation, insurance companies differ in what you need to present to them. Some may need photos of the damaged vehicle, while others may need the wreckage of the car.
Contact an Attorney
Truck accidents cause severe injuries to the victims, and it may be a tall order to file an insurance claim. If you’re equipped with legal representation, you will be better placed to win the personal injury claim. Right after a truck accident, you might not have the energy to fight for your rights. You need time to heal, and trying to negotiate with the truck company or insurance company for compensation might be stressful. An experienced personal injury attorney can handle the paperwork, and take on the trucking company or insurance on your behalf. Involving an attorney will also increase your chances of getting higher compensation than solely taking on the insurance company. In case the insurance company employs dirty tricks to give you low compensation, an experienced attorney can assist you as follows:
An experienced attorney in your truck accident case will ensure that the insurance company compensates you for the deserved amount. In most instances, the trucking or insurance company may deny you your compensation, if you don’t have an experienced attorney. On the other hand, the company may attempt to give you a quick offer anticipating that you will take it without involving an attorney.
Identifying the Damages
It could be difficult for you to know the kind of damages the insurance companies cover if you don’t know insurance policies. An experienced attorney comes in handy to help you assess the damages you incurred. They may include property damage, medical costs, and following up on your initial treatment.
Avoid Being too Eager
After sustaining injuries in a truck accident, you may feel the urge to get compensation quickly. However, you must avoid being too eager. Don’t behave as if you're anxious to receive the payment. Prove to the insurance adjusters and case investigators that you’re ready to go the long distance. Always be in consultation with your injury attorney before you turn down or accept any offer. If it means turning down the proposals from the first to the fifth, ensure that you show that you’re willing to fight until you get the best compensation.
Never Present a Written Statement to Insurance Agents
Never admit responsibility, even if you could be partly to blame for the truck accident. Whenever an accident happens, some individuals start apologizing to the other parties, especially if they feel partially liable. Apologizing could make other parties believe that you’re responsible for the accident. You could have been distracted while driving, and Nevada is a comparative negligence state, you can still seek compensation even if you’re partially responsible. You may reduce your chances of winning the case if you admit responsibility for the accident.
Timely Case Filing
Don’t take too long to file a claim and seek compensation after involvement in a truck accident. You must submit the case as per the limitations of Nevada’s Statute of Limitations. Taking too long to file a claim may give the insurance company a chance to employ delayed tactics and give you less compensation. You will be compelled to accept the low payment to avoid missing the Statute of Limitations. Therefore, you must involve your attorney as soon as the accident happens to guide you on the legal process.
Common Truck Accidents in Nevada
Truck accidents in Nevada are common, and the circumstances under which they happen are different. They include:
A jackknife accident happens when a truck turns and makes the cargo trailer incline away from the truck cab. The back trailer axle may get locked, leaving the trucker without control over the back cargo and forcing it to break off. On the other hand, overspeeding, the driver's loss of control of the truck, and poor weather conditions could also cause a jackknife accident. The cargo trailer may end up hitting the neighboring vehicles.
Runaway Truck Accident
Runaway truck accidents occur when a truck loses control and veers off the road. When a truck loses control, multiple vehicle accidents could result. If runaway truck ramps are absent on the road, truck drivers must control their trucks. A truck driver must slow down and carefully control the truck. This is because cases of trucks losing control on steep slopes are common, and the drivers must always be prepared.
Hazmat Truck Accidents
A truck transporting dangerous substances is referred to as a hazmat truck. The type of cargo on transit determines the severity or extent of a hazmat truck accident. Activated charcoal, motor oil, pesticides, dry ice, radioactive materials, and explosives are among the most hazardous substances. Additionally, hazardous materials have a high risk of explosion or are highly flammable.
A hazmat truck could also carry harmful substances to people's breathing systems, leading to respiratory diseases. If the hazardous materials on transit are airborne or can cause fire, injuries could arise without collision. These hazardous materials could cause injuries to people even if they are far away from the road. For instance, poisonous gases emitted in the air from a hazmat truck could cause infections to the nearby residents.
In Nevada, rear-end collisions involving trucks are common. Because of their weight, size, and length, semi-trucks cause rear-end collisions. It’s easy for semi-trucks to crash into unsuspecting vehicles while reversing.
Blind Spot Crashes
Inexperienced drivers and loss of concentration can cause blind spot crashes. Since semi-trucks also have large blind spots, truck drivers in Nevada must be careful while changing the lanes. If a truck driver hits your vehicle at a blind spot, you could seek compensation for damages sustained.
In Nevada, underride accidents are the most common and fatal compared to other collisions. When another small car crashes into the belly of a truck, they happen either at the back or the side. Traffic statistics in Nevada indicate that most accidents between small cars and semi-trucks are under rides.
To avoid underride accidents, if you’re a car driver, ensure you avoid blind spots and give the trucks space on the road. To reduce fatal underride accidents, the trucking companies also should equip their trucks with long-lasting side guards.
Tire Blow out Truck Accidents
Often truck tires burst because of defective manufacturing, wear and tear on tires, or lack of routine maintenance. The truck could roll down, or swerve on another lane if a truck tire bursts. In this kind of case, other vehicles on the road could be at risk. This is because the truck could crash into oncoming cars if it swerves to another lane. A truck driver must provide enough space between a truck and other vehicles. When the truck driver breaks off, they should accelerate instead of riding along with another car. Additionally, if the truck driver needs to overtake, they should ensure there is enough space ahead of the other vehicles.
Rollover accidents can be classified as tripped crashes or un-tripped crashes. Tripped crashes happen because of the flipping of the truck after crashing into an obstacle or another vehicle. Untripped crashes happen because of a truck over speeding and loss of traction, causing it to roll. In Nevada, the cases of trucks involved in rollover accidents are alarming. For instance, tractor-trailers have high centers of gravity. Therefore, their constant shifting of the center of gravity caused by the massive cargo can lead to a rollover.
Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
When truck accidents happen, they are traumatic and complicated. Often they may involve several vehicles and people. In a truck accident, it’s not only the truck driver who may be liable. Several parties could be responsible, and all parties responsible should take the blame for their actions. It’s important to note that when a truck accident occurs, some of the individuals who could be accountable include:
- Truck Drivers
- Truck retailers
- Defective vehicle parts manufacture
- Truck owners
- Government bodies responsible for road maintenance
- Repair facilities
Proving Fault in a Truck Accident
To win your truck accident case, you must be able to prove who is liable. In most cases, the trucking company or the truck driver is usually responsible. To establish the negligence of the truck driver, it must be apparent that he or she owed you a duty of care. Every driver on the road owes the other road users a duty of care. Therefore, you must prove that the truck driver failed to honor his or her duty of care for you to win a truck accident case. You must also prove that you incurred damages or losses because the truck driver breached the duty of care.
When it’s the Trucking Company or a Truck Driver’s Fault
When a truck accident occurs, the trucking company or the truck driver could be responsible for several reasons:
In Nevada, the distracted driving problem is everywhere. It’s a common issue on the highways and local roads in the state. It could be boring when a truck driver drives for a long distance without entertainment, especially in rural areas. The truck driver may be tempted to start texting on the phone or eating to stay occupied. Eating or looking at the phone while driving may take the driver's attention. Distracted driving may lead to a truck accident since it diverts the attention of the driver from driving.
Poor Maintenance and Training
There are set requirements a truck driver must meet during a driving course to be certified. However, most truck drivers begin driving without these qualifications. Since Nevada experiences unpredictable weather, it requires competent truck drivers, especially when handling large trucks. These unpredictable weather conditions need a truck driver to slow down to avoid truck skidding or hydroplaning. Therefore, a truck driver with inadequate training and without experience may put other motorists at risk.
Trucking companies also need to inspect their trucks before putting them on the road. However, most trucking companies don’t adhere to this regulation. Most trucking companies begin making deliveries without making the necessary routine checks. Without a safety guarantee for the trips, trucking companies overlook regular maintenance and put their trucks on the road.
High Speed and Overtaking
At times, a truck driver may go over speed when facing sacking threats from his or her employer. The threats may arise if the driver delays delivering goods on time. This pressure on drivers makes them drive faster without considering the size of the truck and road conditions. Overspeeding may involve a truck driver swerving the truck into the other lanes to overtake other vehicles. Overtaking without considering the oncoming cars may lead to a truck accident.
Driving a truck is always stressful and high-pressure work. Most truck drivers face pressure from their companies to meet deadlines for delivering goods. This makes the truck drivers drive for long periods without taking a rest. In most cases, many drivers take a short time to rest because of the journeys they have to cover, which require weeks or several days to complete. Most trucking companies overlook the laws and regulations on how long a driver should sleep when to have a break, and the hours he or she should drive. This makes many truck drivers lose concentration by falling asleep while driving, and driving while asleep may easily result in an accident.
Other Factors Causing Truck Accidents
There are additional contributors to truck accidents in Nevada. They include:
- Poor roads
- Wrong medication prescription
- Implementing adequate traffic and road surveillance
- Taking over the counter medications making truck drivers drowsy
- Traffic interruption
- Driving on unfamiliar roads
Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
If you suffer serious injuries resulting from another person’s negligence, you’re likely to get the compensation you deserve. Pursuing a truck accident case successfully also needs an in-depth understanding of the trucking regulations. The Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm has extensive knowledge of these laws and has the resources required to investigate your claim. We know how to find, collect, interpret, and give the necessary evidence to prove and win your case. Call us at 702-996-1224 and talk to one of our attorneys.