Representing Truck Accident Victims in Las Vegas
A truck accident, specifically a semi truck or other freight and cargo haulers, can cause catastrophic damage. Semi trucks and other freight haulers are much bigger than standard vehicles, leading to severe damage, injury, and even death. Injuries can be life-altering and extremely expensive, and negligence from the other party involved can cause emotional distress, loss of income, and daily pain and suffering for the victim.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, our experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney at the Spartacus Law Firm can help you. We understand the gravity of a trucking accident which is why we make sure that your case is handled with the utmost care. We will thoroughly review your case to make sure you receive the maximum compensation or if necessary, prepare to take your case to trial to demand the compensation and justice you deserve.
Determining Liability After a Truck Accident in Las Vegas
Truck accidents in Nevada often require an in-depth investigation to determine fault. After the incident, a Las Vegas semi truck accident lawyer will investigate all of the circumstances surrounding the accident. This investigation is not limited to how the actual accident occurred, there are many more details that can play a role in who was at fault. Unlike your average car accident case, a truck driver may also be liable for violating one of the many regulations that dictate when and how truckers can operate safely in the state of Nevada.
It’s not uncommon for trucking companies to sometimes encourage drivers to slightly violate regulations in order to complete a job. But the smallest oversight can lead to liability claims against the trucking company itself. The manufacturer of the vehicle can also be liable if it failed to comply with all necessary regulations. When injured in an 18 wheeler accident, it’s essential to hire a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer who is well versed in Nevada’s commercial vehicle laws. Commercial vehicle laws include regulations such as license requirements, the duties of employers, proper equipment of vehicles, and vehicle size/weight requirements.
At the Spartacus Law Firm, we vow to use our legal knowledge and experience to ensure a proper liability investigation after a trucking accident. For example, in a commercial vehicle or semi-truck accident, there is usually video evidence and other data recorded by the commercial vehicle. We understand the urgency needed to request and secure this information, and we will take the necessary measures to obtain this evidence before it’s too late.
Nevada Revised Statutes Regarding Truck Accidents
Chapter 706 of the Nevada Revised Statutes
discusses motor carrier laws in the state which are relevant to trucks such as tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks like those used by U-Haul and FedEx. The State of Nevada prioritizes road safety and preventing harmful truck accidents which is evident in the following statutes:NRS 706.246
- Places limitations on the use of unsafe vehicles. This statute declares it a state violation to allow or permit the driver of a motor carrier to drive or tow a vehicle that has been regarded by inspection to be unsafe or hazardous on the road. The vehicle is required by law to pass a vehicle inspection if it is to be operated on the highway. Motor carrier vehicles must be able to prove adequate mechanical condition to be considered safe for highway travel. This statute is important in truck accidents because if the motor carrier fails to prove the safety of their vehicle, they will likely be deemed at fault for the accident. Proving this can significantly improve your chances of a successful truck accident case.NRS 706.251
- Requires the driver of a motor carrier vehicle to report any crashes that occur on the public highway. The statute specifically states that “Every person operating a vehicle used by any motor carrier under the jurisdiction of the Authority shall forthwith report each crash occurring on the public highway, wherein the vehicle may have injured the person or property of some person other than the person or property carried by the vehicle, to the sheriff or other peace officer of the county where the crash occurred.” This ensures that all truck accidents are properly reported and all necessary authorities are notified. This can also help your case as it provides direct access to information regarding the crash that may be useful when seeking compensation.NRS 706.491
- Requires all motor carriers to be properly licensed. Motor carriers must obtain special licensing to operate in the State of Nevada. Motor carriers must have a valid driver’s license, just like any other motorist, but they are also required to obtain a license endorsement that proves their ability to operate a larger motor vehicle. Bus drivers, big-rig drivers, and other commercial truck drivers need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate. Drivers who operate their vehicle’s under this sort of licensing are held to higher standards on the road and face more serious repercussions if they do not follow all the listed regulations. A motor carrier with improper licensing can face serious penalties and this may also affect a truck accident case.
5 Common Types of Truck Accidents in Nevada
Rollover truck accidents usually happen when a truck driver is turning or swerving while traveling at a high rate of speed, or environmental conditions affect the semi-truck’s traction on the road. These accidents are especially dangerous because they can commonly involve multiple vehicles in the crash.
In a jackknife truck accident
, the truck’s trailer swings out to the side while the cab remains facing straight ahead. The front wheels of the semi-truck lock up, but the rear wheels continue traveling and can cause a devastating path of destruction. Traveling at a high rate of speed, swerving suddenly, or driving recklessly on rainy or icy roads increases the chances of jackknife truck accidents.
Rear-end truck crashes can be especially serious and potentially result in catastrophic injury or wrongful death
. The size and force of a commercial truck can result in the truck driving up and onto the back of a car during a rear-end collision. This type of accident is often called an “override crash.” A small car can also get stuck underneath the back of a semi-truck trailer after a collision. When a vehicle gets stuck like this, it is called an “underride crash.” Both override and underride truck accidents have a higher likelihood of causing severe, potentially fatal injuries, and as a result, the rear-end accident payout could be much greater.
Head-on collisions involving a semi-truck are devastating and often fatal. Unfortunately, head-on collisions are all too common when a driver is distracted or falls asleep at the wheel. Whenever the truck driver averts their attention from the road, the chances of a catastrophic head-on collision increase. Head-on collisions can result in life-altering injuries such as paralysis or traumatic brain injury.
All drivers have a responsibility to maintain adequate tire pressure before driving. However, truck drivers bear even more responsibility due to their commercial vehicle’s size and the potential damage it can cause. When a truck tire blows out due to being overly worn or having insufficient tire pressure, a truck driver can lose complete control of their vehicle, causing serious damage to other drivers. It can be challenging to prove negligence in a tire blowout accident. An insurance adjuster may try and tell you there was no one at fault. But a knowledgeable Las Vegas truck accident lawyer can review your case and examine the evidence.
Wide Turn Accidents
Semi-trucks will often swing in one direction as they begin their turn towards the opposite direction. We see these often at intersections and other ninety degree turns. These wide turns take up a huge part of the road, and they can trap cars between the truck and the curb. Low profile cars and motorcyclists are especially at risk to this type of trucking accident.
Causes Of Truck Accidents
Commercial truck drivers are required to travel for many hours to transport their cargoes, which can lead to fatigue. Federal and state regulations require drivers to take regular breaks, but not all drivers actually do so, which can lead to accidents down the road. There are many additional factors that can lead to a truck accident including:
• Distracted or impaired driving
• Poor judgment
• Failure to follow traffic rules
• Lack of experience and training
• Improper cargo loading
• Maintenance negligence
• Industry demands
• Driver fatigue
Truck drivers aren’t solely responsible for semi-related accidents, so are passenger cars around them. Here are some of the most common unsafe driving acts by such drivers that can contribute to collisions:
• Driving in a truck driver’s blind spot
• Illegal maneuvers
• Texting or under the influence while driving
• Cutting off a truck
• Following too closely
It’s important to remember that multi-vehicle crashes are more likely to cause death and severe injury, and everyone on the road plays a crucial role in the safety of one another.
Common Injuries In Truck Accidents
Injuries resulting from truck-related accidents are typically more severe due to a multitude of factors. Commercial trucks are large, weigh thousands of pounds, can carry dangerous cargo, and have larger gas tanks, which are more prone to explosion upon impact. Physical effects from a crash can include life-threatening injuries, permanent disfigurement, severe lacerations and scarring for both the victim and the negligent driver. Below are some of the more common types of truck accident injuries.
Head & Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury
(TBI) generally involves a sharp blow to the exterior or interior of the head, as well as damage to the brain. While some traumatic head injuries are relatively minor and could result in minor symptoms, such as short-term memory loss, others can lead to long-term effects, permanent impairments, coma, or even death.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Some truck accidents result in damage to the accident victim’s spinal cord, which in turn can lead to the accident victim’s inability to move or feel in one or more areas of the body. A major injury like this will affect the victim for the rest of their life.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries include muscular contusions, sprains, and strains. Although these injuries do not involve a fracture or broken bone, they can still be just as painful and may require a significant amount of recovery time. In some instances, these injuries can even be permanent.
Damages or punctures to internal organs or their protective cavities, causing internal bleeding which could lead to death. These injuries can be the most dangerous because they are not always identified as quickly as external injuries. If not treated quickly, internal injuries can lead to serious complications and require major surgery.
The aftermath of a truck accident can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than the crash itself. Due to exploding fuel tanks and fire spreading quickly to surrounding vehicles, severe burns can occur. These burns can lead to infections and disfigurement if not treated right away.
Broken Bones & Lacerations
A bone fracture
occurs when there is a break in one or more bones and can result in serious pain, as well as the need for immediate surgery following a truck accident. Similar to soft tissue injuries, broken bones can result in permanent impairment.
When you are injured in a truck accident, there are more losses and hefty bills than you initially may think. In addition to surgeries and treatment-based medical bills, there could be bills for an at-home aide, medical device, therapy, and future doctor appointments. The victim could have left a victim severely injured, resulting in their inability to return to their job for months or even years after the accident. This would lead to a significant loss in crucial income needed to pay off these required bills without going into debt. A spouse, family member, or friend of the injured may also need to take time off from their own responsibilities to assist in transporting or assisting their loved one with daily tasks which further puts pressure on the victim’s support system to help pay for the intensive medical care needed.
Federal and State Regulations For Semi-Trucks
Commercial transportation of goods is the backbone of the U.S. economy. Especially in major cities around the country like Las Vegas. But although this form of transportation is necessary, it also poses a significant safety risk to other drivers. That’s why both state and federal regulations require truck drivers to meet and uphold certain standards. For example, big rig drivers must adhere to specific rules regarding:
• Loading procedures
• Cargo weight limits
• Overloaded cargo
• Preventing driver fatigue
• The condition of the trucks
• Regular safety inspections
• Careful operation of the vehicles
• Are not permitted to begin a shift without having had at least ten consecutive hours off duty;
• May not operate a truck after having been on duty for 60 hours within the last seven consecutive days, or 70 hours in an eight day time period;
• Cannot drive more than 11 hours during a 14 hour work shift; and
• Are not permitted to drive for more than eight hours without a 30 minute rest break
Additionally, Truck drivers are also required to follow strict alcohol regulations. For example, most individuals are not permitted to drive with a blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) of 0.08 or more. But commercial truck drivers legally cannot operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 or greater.
What is Considered a Large Truck?
The classifications of large trucks range from class 1 through class 8. These classifications are used to identify the size and registration requirements of commercial vehicles traveling our Nevada roadways. Usually, any collision involving a class 3 vehicle or higher, is considered a large trucking accident in Nevada. Some examples of large commercial vehicles include:
• Box Trucks
• Big Rigs
• City Delivery Trucks
• Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks
• Bucket Trucks
• Garbage Trucks
• Logging Trucks
• Cement Trucks
• 18 Wheelers
• Sleeper Cabs
• 5 Axle Tractor Trailers
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are much more likely to be dangerous and even fatal given their size and weight. Not to mention, property damage statistics and medical records show that semi- truck accidents are significantly more costly than car accidents in Nevada
. It’s imperative that victims of these types of accidents speak with a dedicated Las Vegas truck accident attorney right away. Our personal injury legal team at the Spartacus Law Firm will fight to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for any serious injuries and property damage you suffered.
Las Vegas Truck Accident Statistics
• According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were at least 112,000 injury-related crashes and 414,000 property damage crashes involving large trucks in 2018.
• Semi-trucks caused 46% more fatalities than single-unit trucks in 2018, per data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
• 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018, which was 31% higher than in 2009, when truck fatalities were the lowest ever recorded (IIHS).
• Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) notes that 97% of vehicle occupants who were killed in crashes involving a passenger car and a large truck in 2019 were occupants of the car. Only 3% of the truck drivers were killed.
• U.S. FARS data also shows that 64% of the truck drivers killed in multiple vehicle crashes in 2019 occurred due to collisions involving another large semi.
The Path To Recovery Following A Semi-Truck Accident
The Spartacus Law Firm Truck Accident Recovery Pledge: Our focus is on your medical, emotional, and financial recovery when you are in a semi-truck accident. We will take no fee unless and until we win your case, and we will never take more money than you at it’s close.
The Spartacus Difference
: As a dedicated truck accident attorney in Las Vegas, we have a multitude of competent medical practitioners for your physical rehabilitation needs, and a team of expert witnesses found on our constantly updating roster. Pairing expert care for your surgical and medical needs with credible testimony, we provide the best and most competent legal representation. Rest assured, as your Las Vegas truck accident lawyer, we will handle all aspects of your personal injury case
, and our firm will work to build the strongest defense appropriate for your case.