Accidents involving semi-trucks or tractor-trailers can be devastating. Our experienced Las Vegas law firm specializes in handling semi-truck accidents throughout all of Nevada. We work hard to ensure you are adequately compensated. Knowing that our lawyers are fighting for you can give you the peace of mind that you need to recover from your injuries. If you were injured in an accident with one of these vehicles in Las Vegas, the best way to make sure your rights are protected is by calling a lawyer at McDonald Worley at 877-721-3423 and scheduling a free consultation.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Top Reasons To Hire A Truck Accident Attorney In Las Vegas
- 2 What Actions Should I Take After Sustaining Injuries In A Truck Accident?
- 3 What Parties Can Be Held Legally Responsible In Trucking Accidents?
- 4 What Damages Can I Claim When A Truck Accident Occurs?
- 5 Why Should I Hire A Lawyer For A Truck Accident?
- 6 What Are The Causes Of Most Trucking Accidents?
- 7 What Types Of Injuries Are Caused By Truck Accidents?
- 8 What Happens If The Driver Was Not Qualified To Operate The Vehicle?
- 9 Which Parties Can Be Held Responsible For Truck Accidents?
- 10 The Role Of Fatigue In Trucking Accidents
- 11 Negligence When Maintaining The Truck
- 12 Contact A Lawyer For Help With Your Las Vegas Truck Accident Case
The Top Reasons To Hire A Truck Accident Attorney In Las Vegas
At McDonald Worley, our car accident lawyers are always looking out for you, ensuring that your rights are not being violated. We will walk you through every part of the process when filing a claim so that you always know what is going on.
We conduct detailed investigations to figure out the underlying cause of the accident. Our goal is to determine whether your injuries were caused by the negligence or carelessness of another party.
Thanks to our experience, we are familiar with all of the rules and regulations associated with the trucking industry. We focus on building strong evidence-based cases. Some of the details that we gather include the following:
- The conditions of the road when the accident occurred, including any weather-related events that could have contributed
- The repair and maintenance records for the truck
- Information about any excessively worn parts on the other vehicle including the tires or brakes
- Inspection or maintenance logs
- Information on manufacturing defects or other issues associated with the truck
- Statements from witnesses
What Actions Should I Take After Sustaining Injuries In A Truck Accident?
Get examined by a medical professional in Las Vegas, Nevada. Injuries aren’t always apparent immediately after an accident. Sometimes, symptoms take a while to appear. That is why you should always get checked out by a medical professional as soon as you can after your accident. Save any bills or medical records that you receive. You may need these items when building your case.
Get the Other Driver’s Contact Information.
If anyone witnessed the accident, get their information, as well. If you are injured and are unable to get this information on your own, the police should take care of it for you after they arrive at the scene of the accident.
Never sign paperwork provided by the insurance company or the trucking company.
These businesses are looking out for their own best interests, which means that they may try to trick you into giving up your rights or settling for less than you deserve.
Schedule A Meeting With our Truck Accident Lawyers Here at McDonald Worley
We are committed to ensuring that you are adequately compensated for your damages.
What Parties Can Be Held Legally Responsible In Trucking Accidents?
Apart from driving errors, truck accidents can occur for many reasons. For instance, the load may be unbalanced or the truck may not have been adequately maintained. Drivers who are negligent in how they operate, care for, or load the truck can usually be held liable for any accident-related injuries that occur.
The blame doesn’t always lie with the truck driver, either. In some cases, the trucking company may be responsible for the accident. For instance, if they didn’t train the driver properly or if they didn’t ensure that the regulations were being followed, they could be held liable.
The makers or distributors of any hazardous materials that are being transported could also be held responsible if they didn’t alert the trucking company or the truck driver about problems that could occur during transportation.
Some of the parties who may be at fault in a trucking accident include the following:
- People driving other cars on the road
- Contractors in charge of maintaining the truck
- Shipping companies
- The driver of the truck
- The owner of the truck
- The trucking company
- Any other party whose actions somehow led to the accident
What Damages Can I Claim When A Truck Accident Occurs?
Anyone who is injured in a truck accident near Las Vegas can pursue compensation for any injuries or damages that they sustained. With the help of this compensation, they can then get their life back on track and can cover the cost of any medical expenses.
Some of the damages that can be claimed after a truck accident include:
- Medical expenses ranging from doctor’s visits to surgery or other medical interventions
- Fees for long-term rehabilitation
- Fees charged by assisted living facilities or nursing homes
- Any income that was lost as a result of the accident, both now and in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- The loss of the ability to enjoy life to the fullest
Families of victims can also sometimes claim damages for loss of consortium. This is a legal term that refers to a parent, spouse, or other family member losing their ability to provide love, care, or companionship in the same way that they could before their injuries.
In situations where the trucking company or driver acted in bad faith or knowingly took potentially harmful actions, they could be sued for punitive damages. These damages are designed to keep them from acting irresponsibly again in the future by imposing stiff financial penalties for their actions. Although you can pursue punitive damages, judges frequently lower them. Damages like these usually aren’t covered by insurance plans, either.
Why Should I Hire A Lawyer For A Truck Accident?
Insurance providers and trucking companies want to pay out as little as possible for claims. That means that they won’t take your rights into account when coming up with a settlement amount.
Going up against such huge companies on your own is a mistake. They have teams of lawyers on their side, helping to ensure that they pay as little as they can. That is why it is important to have a personal injury lawyer who is willing to fight for your rights. We will go to bat for you to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your injuries or damages.
What Are The Causes Of Most Trucking Accidents?
Truck drivers work long hours, often staying behind the wheel for extended periods to get their loads delivered on time. Long hours like these can lead to fatigue. Even though both state and federal laws require drivers of commercial vehicles to stop for breaks, not all drivers adhere to these regulations. Along with fatigue, other issues that can cause truck accidents include the following:
- Going too fast for the conditions
- Failing to load the vehicle correctly
- Failing to maintain the vehicle
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In some cases, the truck driver is not to blame for the accident. Instead, another person driving a passenger vehicle could cause an issue that results in an accident. Drivers who perform actions like the following can increase the likelihood of truck accidents occurring:
- Switching lanes directly in front of the truck without adequate space or warning
- Turning in front of the truck without realizing how fast it is going
- Merging incorrectly
- Traveling in the truck driver’s blind spots
- Passing when conditions are unsafe
- Getting thrown off course by turbulence from the truck while passing
- Passing between two large trucks
- Not pulling a broken down vehicle far enough off of the roadway
When drivers behave negligently like this, it can cause other vehicles on the road to collide. This includes semi-trucks or other commercial vehicles that happen to be nearby. Pileups involving multiple cars usually are quite severe, often resulting in death.
What Types Of Injuries Are Caused By Truck Accidents?
Trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles. As a result, they often inflict serious injuries to accident victims. Injuries sustained in these accidents often result in permanent disabilities or lifelong disfigurement.
Not only are the trucks themselves extremely large and heavy but they also sometimes carry hazardous loads. When a truck gets away from the driver, the cargo they are carrying can fall off of the back, creating barriers on the roadway. Other vehicles on the road can collide with these objects, causing even more accidents.
Large commercial trucks also have oversized gas tanks, increasing the likelihood of a fire or explosion after an accident. Pieces of metal or broken glass can cause deep cuts, often resulting in permanent scarring. Injuries commonly sustained in accidents like these include the following:
Neck or Spinal Injuries
Colliding with a large vehicle creates a significant impact, often resulting in injuries to the neck or spine. Common injuries include whiplash, nerve damage, and herniated discs. Sometimes, victims even become paralyzed. In some cases, these injuries can be treated and reversed. In other cases, however, they cause lifelong problems, robbing victims of their ability to move freely without the use of assistive technology like wheelchairs.
Since trucks are so large, they create a lot of force when they collide with other vehicles. As a result, problems like broken or dislocated bones frequently occur as a result of truck accidents. Bones that break often require a significant amount of time to heal. Depending on the severity of the break, surgery and physical therapy may be required to help patients get back on track.
Glass shards, flying pieces of metal, and other debris can cause deep lacerations. Patients often need stitches or staples to close these wounds. In some cases, surgery may even be required. If infection occurs, victims may also need to take antibiotics to recover.
Damage to the Soft Tissue of the Body
Because of the extra force involved in Trucking accidents, internal damage often occurs. Damage to organs can be particularly problematic, often resulting in lifelong complications or death.
Head injuries are particularly traumatic to deal with and can result in permanent changes for victims. These changes can include the loss of memory, difficulty forming words or communicating, or paralysis. Severe brain injuries can even lead to death.
The higher amount of force involved in trucking accidents can cause gas tanks to rupture, increasing the likelihood of fire. Trucks also frequently carry flammable materials, raising the stakes even higher. When fires break out at the scene of an accident, burns can easily occur. Not only are burns painful but they are also prone to infection. Treating them usually requires skin grafts or other intensive and painful procedures.
What Happens If The Driver Was Not Qualified To Operate The Vehicle?
Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire qualified drivers. When evaluating your case, we will look at the employment record of the driver to figure out whether or not they had the proper amount of training to operate the semi-truck. Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that their drivers are properly trained and that they are safe behind the wheel. They not only need to look at the driving history of their employees but also their criminal history. Any companies that fail to follow through with the safety provisions regarding hiring drivers at the state or federal level can face stiff penalties.
Which Parties Can Be Held Responsible For Truck Accidents?
Accidents involving commercial vehicles are different than regular accidents involving passenger vehicles. Trucks are a lot bigger than most other vehicles on the road. As a result, these types of accidents usually result in severe injuries. There are also a lot more parties that can be held responsible for the accident when compared to standard accidents involving passenger vehicles. Some of the defendants who may be named in a truck accident case in Nevada are outlined below.
Parties That Can Potentially Be Held Liable For Truck Accidents in Nevada
Accidents involving trucks usually result in severe injuries. Oftentimes, these injuries are a lot more serious than those caused by standard car accidents. That is why it is so important for victims to seek compensation. The money that they get from the responsible parties will help them cover their expenses, both now and in the future.
In Nevada, many different parties apart from the driver can also be held liable for truck accidents. This includes the trucking company, the company that employs the driver, the manufacturer of the truck, outside contractors, and the companies that insure any or all of the above.
Truck drivers and the companies that they work for often have complicated relationships. In some cases, the driver is employed by the company whose products they are carrying. In other cases, they may be working as an independent contractor. When the driver is employed by a trucking company, the company could be held responsible for any accidents that were caused by their negligence. To sue the trucking company, the lawyer for the victim has to prove that the driver was working for the company directly at the time of the accident.
Truckers who work as independent contractors own their vehicles outright. They contract with other companies to haul loads from one area to another. In this case, the lawyer of the victim would need to look into how involved the company was in the driver’s actions. This would determine whether or not they were responsible for the accident in any way.
It is important to identify all of the parties who have liability in a truck accident. Usually, everyone involved will have their own insurance plan, all of which may cover certain damages. Pursuing all of these leads is the best way to ensure that truck accident victims receive the maximum amount of compensation. Recovering after a severe accident like this is expensive and time-consuming, which is why it is important to make sure that victims have all of the resources that they need.
The Role Of Fatigue In Trucking Accidents
Truck drivers who get behind the wheel when they are fatigued are behaving negligently. Unfortunately, driver fatigue is a contributing factor in a surprisingly high percentage of truck accidents that occur each year in the United States. Truck drivers are required to adhere to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. These laws are enacted at the federal level and pertain to:
- How long drivers can stay on the road without taking a break
- How long of a break drivers require between shifts
- How many hours drivers can work over the course of a week
Unfortunately, many drivers don’t adhere to these guidelines. Instead, they lie on their driving logs so that they can stay behind the wheel longer. Trucking companies sometimes even encourage their drivers to create false records. Forcing drivers to work long hours or to adhere to demanding schedules can keep them from sleeping enough, resulting in significant fatigue.
Some of the most common factors that contribute to truck driver fatigue include:
- Driving for long periods at night
- Following different schedules with little or no consistency
- Eating unhealthy foods while on the road
- Having to deal with heavy loads at both ends of the trip
According to the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), driver fatigue may contribute to more than 30% of accidents involving trucks each year.
Negligence When Maintaining The Truck
The trucking industry is governed by laws at both the federal and state level. In some cases, these laws are in conflict, making it difficult to determine who is at fault. Our law firm often hires experts to help evaluate the trucking equipment to determine if the truck was properly maintained or if any equipment failures led to the accident.
At McDonald Worley, we take a look at the following when evaluating cases like these:
- The condition of the tires. Where they worn, damaged, or defective?
- The condition of the hitches, axles, brakes, and other parts. Were they properly maintained?
- The maintenance logs. Were the logs kept up-to-date as required by state and federal law?
We work with the industry’s leading experts to determine whether or not accidents involving semi-trucks resulted from maintenance issues or other negligence on the part of the trucking company.
Contact A Lawyer For Help With Your Las Vegas Truck Accident Case
At McDonald Worley, we not only have top-notch lawyers but we also work with some of the most qualified investigators in the industry. Together, our lawyers and the investigators can determine exactly what happened at the scene of the accident. Regardless of whether the accident was caused by an error made by the driver, faulty parts on the vehicle, an incorrectly balanced load, or other issues, we will work hard to identify the underlying cause of the accident.
We work with victims who were injured in accidents involving semi-trucks or other commercial vehicles. We also represent drivers of garbage trucks, postal trucks, 18-wheelers, or other large commercial vehicles if they were injured as a result of another party’s negligence. Contact the lawyers at McDonald Worley today to discuss your case. We work with clients throughout all of Nevada.