Motor vehicle accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injuries in Nevada. According to data provided by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), 34,174 people were injured and 309 people were killed in traffic collisions in the state in 2017. For victims and their families, dealing with the aftermath of a major highway accident can be traumatic and challenging. Victims may be eligible to recover much needed financial support through a personal injury claim.
Though, all motor vehicle accident injury claims are not created equal. With commercial truck accident claims, there are some unique issues that must be considered. If you or your family member was hurt in an eighteen wheeler crash, you need to speak to a Vegas truck accident lawyer like the ones at Ladah Law Firm. Here, our legal team provides an overview of five of the most important differences between large truck accidents and other types of motor vehicle collisions.
1. Truck Accidents are More Likely to Result in Severe Injuries
When commercial truck accidents occur, the consequences can be catastrophic. While large trucks are involved in only 1 in 75 every traffic accidents in Nevada, they are involved in around 1 in 12 fatal crashes. A truck accident is far more likely to result in severe injuries — especially for people who are outside of the truck. Due to the sheer size of commercial trucks, the occupants of ordinary vehicles often bear the brunt of the impact. Some research has found that in multi-vehicle wrecks involving trucks, the occupants of standard-sized vehicles are as much as five times more likely to suffer serious injuries than are truck drivers. If you or your loved one suffered a severe injury in a truck accident, the first thing to do after receiving medical attention is to contact an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will help you take the proper steps to protect your legal rights and financial interests.
2. Commercial Operators are Held to a Higher Standard of Care
Nevada is a fault-based auto accident jurisdiction. To hold a defendant liable for a crash, you must be able to prove that they were at fault for the wreck. Notably, commercial trucking companies are held to a higher standard of care than are other drivers. Trucking companies have a legal duty to account for the well-being of everyone else on the road. When the big truck companies cut corners on safety — whether it is forcing truckers to speed to meet unreasonable delivery schedules, failing to conduct adequate pre-trip inspections, or any other type of unsafe conduct — they must be held accountable. Truck companies should never put profits before people. Injured victims deserve justice.
3. Trucking Accident Cases Involve Complex State and Federal Regulations
Commercial trucks must comply with a wide array of state and federal safety regulations. Depending on the nature of the business, this can include both federal safety rules from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state-level safety rules overseen by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). If a trucking company violates any safety regulation and an accident occurs as a result, the injured victims need to know. Unfortunately, the big trucking companies hold much of the information — from truck driver history to inspection records — in their own possession. It can be tough for a victim to know exactly why a crash occurred. Negligence is not always obvious. Following an accident, an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you get access to all relevant records. This is the evidence that could make or break your case.
4. Several Different Parties May Bear Liability for the Accident
Not only are there complex rules that govern truck accident claims, but many different parties could bear liability for the crash. Major truck accidents require a comprehensive investigation. Some parties that could potentially be held responsible for a crash include:
- The truck driver;
- The trucking company;
- The company that loaded the trailer;
- The company responsible for inspection;
- The truck’s manufacturer; and/or
- The trailer’s manufacturer.
In addition, other defendants, including third party drivers, may also share some blame for an accident. To get access to the full and fair financial compensation that you deserve, it is crucial that you are able to identify every defendant who shares some blame for the crash.
5. With Higher Policy Limits, Commercial Insurers are Especially Aggressive
Another important difference between truck accident claims and other motor vehicle accident claims is that trucking companies are covered by insurance policies with far higher limits. On one level this is very good news for injured victims: trucking companies tend to carry insurance coverage that is sufficient to provide full compensation in most cases. However, at the same time, commercial insurers tend to be highly aggressive. They will do whatever they can to reduce their financial liability, including trying to push injured victims into low, unfair settlement offers and sometimes even denying liability altogether.
Following an accident, you should not make any statements to an insurance company. Further, do not sign any documents, including a release for your medical records. It is not a good idea to go up against these big insurance companies on your own. Before you speak to an insurance adjuster, please make sure that you consult with an experienced Las Vegas truck accident lawyer. Your lawyer will level the playing field — making sure that you are treated fairly and that your case is handled properly.
Get Help From Our Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorneys
At Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, our top-rated Nevada personal injury lawyers have the skills and experience to handle the full range of truck accident claims. If you or your loved one was injured in a large commercial truck accident, we are prepared to fight for your rights.
For a free, no obligation consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today at (702) 252-0055. We represent injured victims in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County, including in Mesquite, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Boulder City.