Commercial trucks are considered a nightmare on the road, as driving near these massive vehicles in smaller vehicles can evoke a sense of vulnerability and fear.
What if it tips over while making a wide turn, or the cargo falls as the truck comes to a stop? The sight of a massive 18-wheeler truck on the road can be unsettling.
It’s only natural to imagine the worst scenarios, which unfortunately happen and have devastating consequences for the people involved.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Las Vegas, you may have a lot of questions. At Vegas Valley Injury Law, we understand the challenges you face and are here to help.
We’ll address 12 of the most common questions about truck accidents in Las Vegas, which include:
- How long you’ll wait to get compensation
- How to prepare for a truck accident claim
- How liability is determined after a truck accident
- The best way to deal with insurance companies
- How a truck accident lawyer can help after an accident
By providing answers to these questions, our aim is to enhance your understanding of the complexity of truck accidents compared to car accidents.
You’ll also gain valuable insights into the necessary steps to take after a truck accident in order to protect your rights and pursue compensation.
1 – What Should I Do Immediately After I’m Involved in a Truck Accident?
The most important thing after a truck accident is your safety. First, check to see if you and the other occupants of the vehicle are safe. If anyone is unconscious, bleeding, or has difficulty breathing, call emergency services immediately.
If none of the occupants in your vehicle or the truck are critically injured, you can take photos of the accident scene and gather contacts from witnesses. The police will use these contacts to get witness statements.
It’s important to go to hospital even if you don’t appear or feel injured. Some injuries may be internal and cause problems later on. The hospital visit is also crucial because you’ll need the medical reports to support your compensation claim.
Right after your hospital visit, report the accident to the police so that they can document it and create an official report. While a police report doesn’t guarantee full compensation, it helps you build a stronger case.
After reporting to the police, inform your insurance company as soon as possible so that you begin the process of filing a claim.
2 – Can I File a Claim if I Was Partially Responsible for the Truck Accident?
Yes. You can file a claim even if you were partially responsible for the accident. This is because the compensation you receive will be based on your level of fault.
The system used to determine the compensation is called comparative negligence. Under this system, each party involved in the accident is assigned a percentage of fault.
Nevada follows a modified comparative negligence system which means if your percentage of fault exceeds 50%, your right to compensation is barred.
So, if your compensation amount is $100,000 and you’re assigned a 40% fault and the other party is assigned a 60% fault, then it means you’ll be awarded $60,000 and forfeit the remaining $40,000).
The same principle applies if there are three or more parties involved. One party may be assigned a specific percentage of fault, such as 40%, 45%, and 25%.
It’s important to note that investigations are not only conducted by the law enforcement, but also by insurance companies and legal representatives involved. Their aim is to determine the level of negligence for each party before payout is made.
They consider acts of negligence such as speeding, distracted driving, failure to yield, or driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication. Additionally, negligence by the trucking company and defects by the manufacturer may also be taken into account.
3 – How Are Truck Accident Lawsuits Different From Car Accident Lawsuits?
Truck accident lawsuits are different from car accident lawsuits due to the following reasons:
- Size of the truck: A medium duty passenger vehicle typically weighs around 8,000 pounds whereas a loaded truck weighs more than 60,000 pounds. The weight of a truck can cause catastrophic damage, necessitating further investigations.
- May require expert witnesses: Due to the extensive injuries or damage resulting from a truck accident, a lawsuit may require the involvement of medical professionals and accident experts who play a role in establishing negligence and determining liability.
- Proving liability: Proving liability can be complex because multiple parties could be responsible. The driver, trucking company, or the truck’s manufacturer may all have a degree of liability.
The truck driver is liable if the accident resulted from overspeeding, distracted driving, or other negligent behavior.
The trucking company is liable if the accident was a result of fatigue resulting from an overworked schedule or inadequate vehicle maintenance.
If the accident is traced to defective manufacturing of the truck, then the manufacturer is liable, and a product liability lawsuit would be necessary to pursue an injury claim against the manufacturer.
The table below outlines the types of expert witnesses that are often involved in truck accident cases and their specific roles in such lawsuits.
|Expert Witness Type
|Role In Case
|Evaluates and documents the extent of injuries
|Accident Reconstruction Expert
|Analyzes how the accident occurred
|Assesses whether a vehicle malfunction contributed to the accident
|Examines if safety regulations were followed
4 – How Is Liability Determined After a Las Vegas Truck Accident?
Determining fault in a truck accident can be complex because the trucker is not always at fault. When multiple parties may be involved, liability is determined based on negligence, where one party puts others in danger by failing to exercise care.
Parties that may be held liable in a trucking accident include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Parts manufacturer
- Cargo loader
- Other vehicles
- Truck maintenance provider
For example, if the cargo is improperly loaded and causes the truck to lose control, the cargo loader will be held liable. Likewise, a truck accident resulting from a defective part means that the equipment’s manufacturer is liable.
The legal process of determining liability starts with an investigation of the accident scene. Law enforcement, insurance companies, and attorneys involved will conduct their own investigations.
They’ll analyze the accident scene using video footage, photos, or any other available evidence. They’ll also gather witness statements.
Investigations will also assess if traffic laws and regulations governed by local laws and Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA) were violated.
If multiple parties are responsible for the accident, they’ll share liability, and if the injured party is also liable, they’ll still recover compensation, but it will be deducted based on their percentage of fault.
5 – What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Las Vegas?
Common causes of Las Vegas truck accidents include the following:
- Driver fatigue: Caused by long shifts or inadequate rest periods. It leads to drowsiness, decreased reaction time, and poor decision-making on the road. In some cases, truckers momentarily fall asleep on the wheel before crashing.
- Speeding: Excessive speed lessens a driver’s ability to control the vehicle and if there’s a sudden need to react to a sudden change in traffic, the stopping distance will be increased and the risk of crashing will be greater.
- Distracted driving: Texting, talking on the phone, using social media, or eating while driving. Even talking excessively with the passengers or fiddling with the vehicle’s stereo system without paying attention can cause accidents.
- Faulty equipment: Faulty equipment such as worn out brakes, bald tires, and improperly maintained engines can lead to serious accidents. Other causes are malfunctioning wipers, head and tail lights, and steering system.
- Improper loading: A load that’s too heavy can cause the truck to be unstable and roll over, while cargo that’s not secured tightly may shift and fall off the vehicle, colliding with other vehicles.
- Driving under the influence: Any time a trucker drives while intoxicated by medication, alcohol, or drugs, their response time is significantly slowed down and it takes them longer to respond to a situation that requires emergency braking.
Related Reading: 4 Common Causes Of Truck Accidents In Las Vegas
6 – How Do I Prepare for a Truck Accident Claim in Las Vegas
Preparing for a truck accident claim in Las Vegas can be a complex process. You need to understand the insurance coverage of the liable party and gather evidence such as police and medical records. Then you can obtain legal representation.
It’s imperative that you report the accident to the police so that they’ll document the accident and present you with a legal document to make your claim.
Be sure to follow all medical advice and attend all doctor’s appointments so that you’ll have medical documents as evidence. Also, don’t forget your job records to prove that the accident has contributed to your loss of earnings.
After this, contact the relevant insurance companies and inform them of the accident, and state that you want compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damage.
Attempting to make a claim on your own will drain you of time and energy because insurance companies will fight your claim tooth and nail. The best solution is to contact a truck accident attorney.
An experienced attorney will help you navigate the process and ensure your rights are protected. They’ll evaluate all the evidence and aggressively pursue the highest amount of compensation possible for you.
They’ll also help you understand the insurance coverage of the liable party and review the policy to determine if the coverage is sufficient to cover your damages.
From evidence gathering to settlement negotiation, Vegas Valley Injury Law attorneys are here to help you through the entire process.
I highly recommend Vegas Valley Injury Law to anyone who’s been hurt in an accident. Our attorney was incredibly helpful throughout the process. He was accessible day or night, and he fought hard to make the insurance company pay out for my injuries.”— Nathan V., Verified Client
7 – What Type of Compensation Can I Get After a Truck Accident?
You may be eligible for compensation depending on the damages incurred, their extent, and the laws in your jurisdiction.
Here’s a breakdown of the types of compensation available in Las Vegas after a truck accident:
- Medical and therapy bills: This includes all current and future medical expenses as a result of the accident. The compensation covers visits to the doctor, hospitalization, surgeries, medicine, rehabilitation, and physical therapy.
- Medical device costs: If you’ve sustained severe injuries, the compensation will cover any medical devices you’ll need to live an independent life. They include prosthetics, mobility aids, orthotics, and assistive devices such as adaptive household items.
- Pain and suffering: You’re entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional pain that you encounter after a truck accident, which includes immediate pain or chronic pain you may endure in the long term.
- Lost wages and diminished work capacity: If the injuries decrease your ability to work well, force you to take low-paying jobs, or make you miss work, you’re entitled for compensation for the lost wages.
- Funeral and burial expenses: In the unfortunate event where you lose your life in a truck accident, compensation for your funeral and burial may be available to alleviate the financial burden on your family members.
Pro Tip: Keep all medical records, repair bills, and correspondence with insurance companies organized and easily accessible to expedite your case.
8 – How Do I Gather Evidence to Support My Claim After a Truck Accident?
When you gather evidence, you’ll help establish who is liable for the truck accident and strengthen your claim for compensation.
Strong evidence will stand against insurance companies who are notorious for creating intentional disputes to deny you fair compensation.
So, take pictures of the damaged vehicles and gather other details that will act as supporting information to help you claim compensation.
Next, obtain a police report, which contains the date, time, and location of the incident, including the parties involved and any witness statements.
The report also contains a description of the truck accident with details on the road conditions, weather, and any negligence that caused the accident.
Make sure that you keep a list of all your visits to the doctor. Document all the medical expenses incurred from treatment as a result of the accident.
Have documents ready showing the repair estimates and receipts for your vehicle to prove the extent of damage to your vehicle.
Lastly, if you’ve experienced loss of income, prepare your employment records to prove how your earnings were impacted by the accident.
When you choose Vegas Valley Injury Law as your legal representative, our reliable team will gather all the critical evidence from the accident. We leave no stone unturned when searching for evidence.
These guys are the best of the best. The settlement was not looking good after I had my accident, but after hiring this law firm they refused to stop until I got a fair settlement. They clearly worked hard to make sure I was properly represented.”— Jeffrey H., Verified Client
9 – How Can I Deal With Insurance Companies After a Truck Accident?
The best way to deal with insurance companies is to engage them while fully aware of your rights. This will protect you from potential exploitation.
Without enough evidence or an attorney to represent you, you’ll be a victim of disputes or denials from the insurance company, which are aimed at denying you compensation.
Before engaging the insurance company, make sure you know the exact coverage that your policy provides. Understand the limits and comply with their specified time frame for seeking compensation.
You’ll also need to know how to negotiate with insurance companies. It can be intimidating, but with the right tactics, you’ll support your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
The first step to successful negotiations is to understand the insurance company’s tactics that they employ to trick you into accepting a lower settlement.
They often use strategies such as:
- Refusing to accept that the other party is liable
- Downplaying the seriousness of your injuries
- Manipulating you to accept an unfair settlement
- Taking the claims process at snail pace
The best way to beat insurance companies at their game is to contact experienced attorneys from Vegas Valley Injury Law to help you understand your rights and obligations, as well as how to deal with insurance companies when pursuing compensation.
It’s clear at this point that the insurance company wouldn’t have paid nearly as much (or anything at all) without Vegas Valley Injury Law representing me. Garrett was very kind and explained everything I was confused about. I was kept informed throughout. The end result was better than I could have imagined and Garrett made the process painless.”— Jill S., Verified Client
10 – How Much Time Will It Take To Settle My Truck Accident Case in Las Vegas?
As a victim of a truck accident, it’s understandable that you want the case settled as soon as possible so that you get your compensation.
If the accident is minor, it may take a few weeks to settle your case. However, trucks cause some of the most severe accidents due to their size, and as such, it may take longer to settle a truck accident case than a minor car accident.
The first reason is the extent of truck accident injuries. Catastrophic injuries take time to heal, and since you want full compensation for medical expenses, it may take time before you heal, then the extent of your medical bills will be determined.
The second reason for the lengthy time is that large trucks are heavily insured. Therefore, it takes time to break through that tough insurance barrier and get your compensation.
Thirdly, multiple parties may be liable for the truck accident. It could be the driver, trucking company, equipment manufacturer, cargo loader, or another party. Such investigations will take more time to conclude than with a car accident.
As for how much time you have to file a truck accident lawsuit in Las Vegas, the duration is two years from the date the accident occurred.
Personal injury negotiations are brutal, especially when insurance companies realize your compensation will involve a huge sum of money.
In this case the negotiations may take a long time or even proceed to court if need be. Our truck accident attorneys can help speed up the negotiations, something difficult to accomplish on your own.
Warning: Settling too early can be risky. Injuries might have long-term effects that aren’t immediately apparent.
11 – Should I Accept a Settlement if an Insurance Company Offers It?
Accepting a settlement offered by an insurance company is a personal choice, but beware that insurance companies are notorious for coercing accident victims to accept compensation that doesn’t cover the full extent of their damages.
However, if you decide to take the offer, consider this:
- The extent of your injuries, medical costs, damaged property, lost wages, and other relevant factors. If the compensation is fair to you, then take it.
- How convenient the settlement is for you. If going through the legal battle isn’t for you and you want immediate financial relief, then can take the settlement.
- Lawsuits are emotionally draining without legal representation. Consider the impact on your emotional wellbeing, and if you want closure as soon as possible, then take the offer.
The good news is that you don’t have to go through the process alone. With Vegas Valley Injury Law attorneys, you can reject an unfair settlement for the full compensation.
Our attorneys know how much compensation you should be getting and they’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure you get it.
They know the nooks and crannies of the legal process and will help you get compensation faster than you can on your own.
Therefore, if you’re planning to settle for an unfair amount because you feel the process will take long and drain you emotionally, contact us and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you.
Garrett was always available to talk with me about my case and always very professional and compassionate. He and his staff are extremely knowledgeable in Nevada case law. I am so pleased with this firm and would recommend them to anyone.”— Cassandra N., Verified Client
12 – How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A truck accident lawyer will provide you with valuable advice and assistance throughout the process of pursuing compensation.
Here’s the kind of assistance to expect if you choose Vegas Valley Injury Law as your legal representative:
- We’ll evaluate the accident scene, medical records, police reports, job records, and other information to help us determine the strength of your case and how much your compensation is worth.
- You’ll have an attorney working with you from start to finish. They’ll explain the legal complexities including your legal rights and options you can pursue. The attorney will also help you meet the requirements and deadlines set by insurance companies.
- In addition to the investigations conducted by law enforcement and insurance companies, we’ll also conduct our own investigations and gather evidence on the circumstances surrounding the truck accident.
- Since truck accidents involve multiple parties, we’ll determine who’s liable. Was it the truck driver, trucking company, truck equipment manufacturer, or another party?
To do all this on your own will take too much of your time and drain you emotionally and financially. Therefore, a critical step to take after a truck accident is to consult one of our highly skilled personal injury attorneys at Vegas Valley Injury Law.
We specialize in motor vehicle accidents and Garret Logan, our lead attorney, has a proven track record of representing truck accident victims.
Our team will work together to aggressively pursue the total compensation for all your financial, medical, and emotional losses.
I was very happy with Garrett’s assistance on my case. It’s a small firm but that’s a good thing in my opinion. Everyone was super personable and they really care about their clients.”— James B., Verified Client
Vegas Valley Injury Law Is Your Solution After a Truck Accident
If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident in Las Vegas, you definitely have a lot of questions.
You’re probably worried about what to do after an accident, what type of compensation you can claim, or how much time the process will take before you receive the compensation.
The process of getting compensation can be brutal if you have no one to hold your hand. Legal matters concerning insurance companies are complicated for most people to navigate on their own.
A reputable law accident attorney is able to answer all the questions you have about truck accidents and advise you on the steps to take.
Our firm has a reputation for unwavering commitment and quality service to the Las Vegas community. We genuinely care about our clients and treat them as individuals, not just another case or settlement. Our dedication extends 24/7.
Our mission is to aggressively pursue all parties responsible for the negligence and get you fair compensation for the financial, physical, and emotional damage.
The service at Vegas Valley Injury Law has been exceptional, they made sure that such a stressful situation was handled in the best way possible by having me do everything remotely from my desktop, calling and making all the doctor appointments for me, following up with me with the latest updates on my case. It was seriously such a smooth process.”— Karmen Villalobos, Verified Client