When you travel to Las Vegas for a vacation or live within the city limits, you may not think about the risks of serious truck accidents. However, semi-trucks are common on the Las Vegas Beltway, and collisions with these vehicles can result in severe and often fatal injuries. Indeed, traveling on Interstate 15 near the Strip frequently means that you will be sharing the road with 18-wheelers. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) explain, truck crashes are particularly dangerous for drivers and passengers in smaller automobiles due to the large size and weight of semi-trucks. Indeed, large trucks tend to weigh about 20 or 30 times as much as passenger cars, and they also have greater ground clearance. This means that a collision with a big rig can involve a smaller car underriding the truck and causing deadly injuries.
What do you need to do if you are involved in a large truck accident in Las Vegas?
Like we mentioned above, many large truck accidents result in life-threatening and deadly injuries. As such, it can be difficult for an accident victim to properly document the scene. However, if you are involved in a truck accident and are able to gather information at the scene of the collision, it can help immensely with your truck accident claim. You should do the following:
Take pictures: use your smartphone camera to take photos of the scene, including property damage in close-up shots, as well as wider shots of the entire scene of the crash.
Contact and insurance information for other parties involved: be sure to collect contact information, as well as insurance information, from other drivers involved in the collision.
Witness information: Did anyone witness the crash? Be sure to obtain the name and contact information of any witnesses who may be able to corroborate your version of events.
We often work with plaintiffs who have been injured in serious motor vehicle collisions, and they want to know who is likely to be held liable for the crash. When it comes to truck accidents, there are often many different parties who may bear some responsibility for the collision and for any injuries that resulted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a large-truck crash causation study, which explored the wide variety of causes of truck accidents, including the following:
When truck crashes occur, there are many different parties who may be responsible for the accident depending upon the specific causes of the collision. Examples of possible defendants include but are not limited to the following:
Truck driver: for accidents caused by driver error, including distracted driving, drowsy driving, aggressive driving, and/or impaired driving;
Trucking company: in accidents caused by driver error or by improper vehicle maintenance, the trucking company may be liable;
Owner of the semi-truck: in some situations, the truck is owned by a third-party who may be liable for a crash, especially when the collision occurred as a result of poor truck maintenance;
Loader of the truck: large trucks typically are loaded by a third-party, and the loading company or its loaders may be responsible for damages in a crash if the collision resulted from improper loading;
Auto designer: sometimes truck crashes occur because of a defective truck part or component, and when that auto part has a design defect, the designer may be responsible for a crash;
Auto manufacturer: many truck accidents caused by defective parts, such as defective brakes, happen because a defect occurred during manufacturing, and the truck manufacturer can be sued for damages; and
Property owner where the accident occurred: if a roadway or parking lot where a crash happened was poorly maintained, the property owner—whether it is private or public property—may be responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries.
To be clear, a plaintiff can file a claim against multiple defendants if more than one party bears some responsibility for the crash. A Nevada personal injury attorney can help you to determine the best way to move forward with your claim.
If you do file a truck accident claim, what kinds of damages can you be eligible to receive? Under Nevada law, plaintiffs who are seriously injured in truck crashes typically can seek compensatory damages, which come in two different forms:
Economic damages: these compensate a plaintiff for direct, objective economic losses (such as the cost of hospital bills, surgeries, or lost wages); and
Non-economic damages: these compensate a plaintiff for subjective losses that are not economic in nature (such as pain and suffering).
In some situations, when the defendant has acted in such a way that suggests a conscious disregard for the well-being of others on the road, and that behavior led to the crash, the plaintiff also may be able to obtain punitive damages. Punitive damages are relatively rare in most truck accident claims, but you should speak with a Nevada auto accident lawyer about whether they may be appropriate in your case.
And if a truck accident resulted in the death of a loved one, you should learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
How long do you have to file a truck accident lawsuit? If you were injured in a truck crash, Nevada law stipulates that you must file your claim within two years from the date on which you sustained your injuries (in other words, the date of the accident). This time period is known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file your lawsuit within this time frame can prevent you from obtaining compensation for your losses.
If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a truck crash, the statute of limitations is also two years. However, the clock begins running on the date of the injury victim’s death as opposed to the date that she or he suffered the injuries that caused her death.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Las Vegas or lost a loved one in a collision, a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer can help. The dedicated advocates at Ladah Law are available answer your questions today. Call us at 702-252-0055 for more information.