What Are Backup Truck Accidents?

Large trucks like tractor-trailers pull into Vegas at all hours of the day. They transport goods to our stores, businesses, and casinos. However, these large vehicles pose a threat to people out and about, including pedestrians. When a truck backs up, the driver cannot see people or vehicles behind it, so the risks of a collision are very high.

truck accident

If you were hurt in this type of accident, call a Las Vegas truck accident attorney at Ladah Law Firm. We can answer any questions you have about your case, including whether you can sue for compensation. Below, we answer some of the most common questions we have received over the years.

What Is the Main Cause of Backup Accidents?

Probably the primary reason for a backup collision is the size of the blind spot at the back of the truck. When someone is in the blind spot, the truck driver cannot see them using his mirrors. For that reason, he will probably assume nothing is there and back up. Unfortunately, a pedestrian or even a vehicle can get crunched.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a semi-truck has a blind spot of about 30 feet in the back. Never tailgate a large truck or step directly behind one, even if the truck doesn’t seem to be in motion. You can’t be too careful!

What Are Other Causes of Backup Accidents?

In addition to blind spots, other accidents stem from:

  • Poor visibility due to inclement weather like fog or rain
  • Lack of daylight
  • Missing signage or warnings for pedestrians
  • Untrained assistants at the loading dock
  • Defective component parts on a truck, such as brakes or mirrors
  • Driver confusion, especially in unfamiliar areas
  • Driver negligence
  • Fatigue or intoxication

Some accidents have multiple causes, like a perfect storm. A trucker might be exhausted from driving all night while at the same time pulling into a loading area that lacks adequate signage or assistants.

Where Are Backup Accidents the Most Common?

You can find backup accidents wherever a truck needs to go into reverse. Consequently, they don’t happen often on the freeway, where we see the majority of truck collisions. Instead, backup accidents are most common at:

  • Loading docks and bays
  • Construction sites
  • Work zones
  • Parking lots

We also see backup accidents in congested areas downtown, such as the Strip. After all, trucks are usually delivering goods to a business, so the truck needs to back up in order to offload goods.

Are Backup Accidents Dangerous?

Yes. Although the truck is not going fast, victims can still suffer serious injuries because of the size and weight of the truck. For example, many pedestrians are hit when a truck is backing up. A pedestrian might not know the truck is in motion or try to scoot by. A pedestrian will suffer horrifying injuries if they are struck or run over by a large commercial vehicle.

Also, some victims are pinned under the truck’s wheels if it comes to rest on top of them, and minutes might pass before a driver realizes what has happened. This weight can easily break bones and cause internal organ damage.

What Injuries Are Common with These Accidents?

We often see traumatic injuries caused by blunt force trauma:

  • Concussions
  • Amputations
  • Crush injuries
  • Friction burns
  • Chest injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Fractures
  • Paralysis

The odds are high that an accident might be fatal as well. We strongly encourage surviving family members to reach out to Ladah Law Firm to talk about a fatal backup accident and whether you can sue for wrongful death.

Who Can I Sue for a Backup Accident?

You might be able to sue one or more people. We need to know what caused the accident so that we can assign liability. Some common defendants are:

  • The trucker. Many backup accidents are caused by trucker negligence. The trucker might have been fatigued from driving too many hours or intoxicated from drugs or alcohol. Other truckers are distracted by cell phones, so they are not paying attention.
  • A trucker’s employer. When truck drivers are negligent on the job, their employers are usually automatically liable. This is helpful since employers have deeper pockets to pay a settlement.
  • The loading site. Most businesses have a loading bay or dock. The owner of the site could be responsible if there is missing signage or poor lighting, or if the design of the loading bay increases the chance of an accident. Loading sites should also have assistants to help truckers back up and warn if someone is stepping behind the truck.
  • Mechanics who worked on the vehicle. A defect could have caused an accident, like brakes that fail. A mechanic who did poor work could be legally liable for a collision.

These are the most common defendants. There might be others, so contact an experienced Vegas truck accident lawyer to review the facts and help identify the correct defendants.

Can Technology Prevent These Accidents?

Trucks already have some technology installed which is designed to reduce accidents. Most trucks have an alarm that sounds when they are put into reverse. However, this sound is really a warning to people on the road and doesn’t help the trucker avoid a crash.

One obvious solution would be to install a rear view camera on the rear of the vehicle. Most passenger sedans have this feature already, which helps a driver see behind the vehicle (and backup in a straight line). However, even if a camera was installed, a negligent truck driver could still mow down a person because they aren’t paying attention or because their reflexes are slowed.

Another option is an autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system. This works similarly to the collision warning systems on passenger cars. When the sensor detects something in the truck’s path, the brakes would automatically stop the vehicle. This type of system is ideal because it is not dependent on the trucker paying attention.

How Much is My Backup Truck Accident Claim Worth?

It will depend on the facts. If you are just clipped by a slow moving truck, you could suffer a deep bruise and possible temporary nerve damage. That type of injury might be worth a few thousand dollars. However, serious injuries like neck and head injuries could send a person to the hospital for months.

When victims suffer permanent injuries, their claims might be worth millions of dollars. Someone with paralysis, for example, would have medical expenses in the seven-figures and would also have intense suffering. Permanent disabilities also cause many victims to stop working. Depending on your age, you could lose out on millions of dollars of income over the remainder of your life. Consult an experienced attorney for a detailed assessment of your case.

Can You Sue if a Loved One Died in This Type of Accident?

truck accident

Possibly. Nevada law gives certain family members the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the person responsible for the death. If successful, we can request your damages for loss of support, companionship, society, and comfort. We might also request compensation for your grief as well as any pain and suffering endured by your loved one before dying.

Wrongful death cases have their own deadlines. Although it is a difficult time emotionally, you should schedule a meeting with a compassionate attorney.

Call Ladah Law Firm Today

Backup accidents leave many people in the hospital in agony. Let us handle the legal side of your case so you can focus on healing. Contact our law firm today by calling (702) 252-0055 to schedule a consultation.