Are you thinking about hiring a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer to help with a personal injury claim? If so, there are few things you should know about Henness & Haight:
- We’ve been around for over two decades. We are not a fly-by-night law firm. We are deeply invested in the Las Vegas community and our clients’ well-being. Learn more about our firm’s mission and history.
- We will meet with you and review your truck accident case free of charge. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will listen closely to your case details and answer all your questions honestly.
- You don’t pay us anything up-front or out of pocket. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we take a fee only if we recover money for you.
- Accident lawyers trusted by 1000s. Read testimonials from our clients on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Lawyers.com and you will see that we have earned the trust of thousands by taking great care of them during their time of need.
- We have recovered tens of millions of dollars for truck accident victims. We have extensive experience representing clients in commercial 18-wheeler accident claims, and our results speak for themselves.
Not quite ready for a case review? No problem. This page has a great deal of helpful information that will help you understand commercial truck accident claims in Las Vegas. We’ll be here to help you whenever you’re ready.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident Happens?
Most of us are unfamiliar with the trucking industry, so filing an insurance claim after an accident might feel daunting. When you hire a truck accident attorney in Las Vegas, you don’t have to navigate the process alone; your attorney will make sure you’re taking the following steps in the aftermath of your truck accident.
Remember: trucking companies and their insurance providers will not look out for your best interest, but their own. If you have been in a serious truck accident, don’t communicate with third parties like insurance representatives — even if they reach out to you. Lean on your attorney’s expertise and have them handle all communication on your behalf. At the least, always consult with an attorney before saying anything.
What to Do at the Accident Scene
The first few moments following an accident can be emotionally and physically traumatic, so only do what you can without compromising your health. If you are able, save or record any evidence you see. Take photos or videos of the collision; these can be invaluable in supporting your claim. If you or your passenger(s) are seriously hurt, focus exclusively on seeking medical attention first and foremost.
Then, if and when it is safe to do so, take the following steps:
Contact Law Enforcement Right Away
Call local law enforcement as soon as possible. If anyone involved in the accident has injuries, make certain the dispatcher informs first responders that they must deliver medical care.
Once officers arrive at the scene, they will compile an accident report. This report gives an objective summary of the collision. It includes details such as who was involved and what events led to the accident.
Request a copy of the accident report if you can. (However, know that your attorney can also request a copy later on.) This report is important for building your claim.
Strict to the truth, but be brief when speaking to law enforcement. Only provide the facts as you know them; never speculate or admit fault regarding the accident and try to keep your emotions out of your statement.
Because most people have a smartphone, photographs are easy to get and can be one of your most valuable pieces of evidence.
Use your phone to snap photos of all the vehicles involved. Take photos of injuries, if you can, and nearby debris that resulted from the crash.
Additional things to document as you take photos include:
- The license plate and any other identifying information on the truck or its trailer, such as logos, phone numbers, etc.
- Skid marks on the road (or trails in the grass or gravel) that show the truck’s and your vehicle’s driving pattern
- The truck or trailer’s tires
- All vehicles involved in some way in the accident
- Current road conditions, including construction obstacles, deteriorated guard rails, or inclement weather
When in doubt, take as many photos as you can. Any factual details could become valuable once your attorney starts building your case.
As with any auto accident, exchange contact information with the other party involved. This should include the following:
The truck driver’s full name, mailing address, and contact information, their commercial driver’s license (CDL) number, and personal insurance information
The trucking company’s name, mailing address, and contact information, as well as their insurance information
If witnesses stopped to help or witnessed the accident, ask for their names and contact information. Witnesses can offer insight into the collision that a truck accident attorney can use to help your claim.
Other parties associated with the truck might also send representatives to the accident scene to take pictures and talk to witnesses directly after. You should identify and avoid any party associated with the truck’s driver or their employer.
Handling the Aftermath of a Truck Accident
Once law enforcement releases you from the truck accident scene, take the following steps to protect your claim and avoid liability.
Seek Medical Care
Before you do anything else, always seek medical attention. If your injuries are minor, or you don’t believe you were harmed during the crash, visit a medical practitioner at an urgent care center. For more serious injuries, head straight to the ER.
Some injuries, like whiplash, appear several hours or days after an auto accident and can cause severe complications if left untreated.
Consulting with a medical practitioner also establishes a timeline for your claim that insurance companies will use to assess its value.
Write Down Your Memory of the Truck Accident
A practical method to recount auto collisions is to write down your memories of the events that took place before, during, and after the accident.
Do this as soon as possible while the thoughts are still fresh in your mind. Include details such as:
- The conditions of the road before the accident
- The weather
- The number of people involved in the collision
- What the driver of the truck said to you following the collision
- The responding law enforcement officer’s name
- The behavior and condition of the truck driver
Any information you can provide may prove helpful when building a case to prove liability with the insurance companies.
Call a Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accident claims can become complex legal cases that require investigating multiple parties involved in the accident.
Don’t wait; contact Henness & Haight for a consultation after you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident. Our consultations are completely free and carry no obligation to hire us.
We represent victims regardless of their ability to pay. You have enough to worry about; you should never have to worry about how you’ll cover legal fees. Because we promise “no win, no fee,” we only get paid if we win a judgment or settlement for you. Our fees are covered by a portion of your total compensation, which means zero out-of-pocket costs.
How Can a Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney Help Me?
There are many reasons why pursuing a Las Vegas personal injury claim on your own is extremely difficult. One is that you are dealing with an injury that may impair your ability to perform everyday activities, much less go to work or take on something as stressful and time-consuming as an injury claim.
Another reason is that truck accident cases are one of the most complicated types of personal injury claims. There are numerous parties that can be held liable, which means there may be multiple places from which to pursue compensation. You will also need to research federal and state trucking laws to help you prove why these other parties are liable.
Large trucking companies and their insurers are counting on your lack of knowledge of trucking regulations and how to handle the many aspects of a case. They would prefer that truck accident victims pursue claims on their own because it could result in them paying little or no compensation, which is their only goal in the legal process.
Having an experienced truck accident lawyer in Las Vegas at your side can be an invaluable asset in every step of the legal process. We understand what you are up against and have the resources and knowledge to build a strong case as we pursue fair compensation.
Our Las Vegas truck accident attorneys are well-versed in trucking company policies, the laws regulating this industry, and the complex issues that often arise when dealing with insurance companies.
Conducting an Investigation
If you have a viable claim and choose to move forward, we will thoroughly investigate the crash, this includes:
- Reviewing the truck driver’s log and driving history to determine if they violated any laws or regulations that may have contributed to the crash
- Analyzing maintenance records on the truck to check for any violations
- Interviewing witnesses to gain a better understanding of what happened in the crash
- Reviewing police and accident reports about the crash
- Consulting medical experts to understand the scope of your injuries and how they affect you
- Seeking out and obtaining video footage of the crash, if it exists
- Reviewing pictures of the scene and your injuries
Handling Insurance Companies
As we investigate, insurance companies for various parties who might be liable for the crash will likely reach out to you to obtain a statement about the impact and possibly propose a settlement. They know you will probably not be prepared for this and might admit some amount of fault for the crash or accept whatever offer you get because you are unsure if you deserve more compensation.
Our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers recommend you do not accept any settlement offers or make any statements unless speaking with us. We recommend that you let us deal with these parties to defend your best interests and try to avoid hurting your chances of obtaining compensation.
Insurance companies will do whatever they can to prevent their clients from being held liable and to reduce the amount of compensation they have to pay. We have decades of combined experience dealing with insurance companies and are prepared for their efforts to deny or devalue your claim.
We are tough negotiators who will not accept any lowball offers from insurance companies. If we cannot negotiate a fair settlement, we are prepared to pursue compensation through a truck accident lawsuit.
What Forms of Compensation are Available to Commercial Truck Accident Victims?
There are many forms of compensation you may be able to recover in a truck accident case, including:
This is one of the primary forms of compensation in any personal injury case. Our truck accident lawyers in Las Vegas will attempt to recover compensation for all current and future medical expenses from your injury, such as:
- Transportation in an ambulance
- Treatment in the emergency room
- Hospital stays
- Surgeries and other medical procedures
- Transportation to appointments with health care providers
- Prescription drugs
In many cases, victims of truck accidents are unable to work for a period of time after the injury. They may also miss time at work because they are attending appointments with doctors or receiving treatment for their injuries.
In some cases, victims are permanently disabled and will never be able to work in the same capacity as before, whether that means working fewer hours or making less money.
Fortunately, a truck accident attorney in Las Vegas may be able to recover compensation for wages lost when you were unable to work and compensation for how your injury has hurt your earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
You may also be able to obtain compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering you experience after your injury, both now and in the future. Emotional suffering could include depression, anxiety, and various other types of emotional distress.
We have a detailed understanding of how to document pain and suffering from a personal injury. This is more difficult than documenting medical expenses because you can obtain bills for all of your medical expenses showing how much all of your treatment costs you.
How Long Do I Have to Hire a Lawyer and File a Truck Accident Claim?
You should contact our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can determine if you have a viable claim and begin pursuing compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.
The other reason to contact us right away is that there is a limited amount of time to file a truck accident lawsuit because of the statute of limitations. This is a deadline set by law that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit.
Under Nevada’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits (Nevada Revised Statutes 11.190 4.(e)), you must file truck accident cases and other personal injury lawsuits within two years of your injury. This means that the statute of limitations begins to run the moment you suffer the injury.
Many people think two years sounds like a long time. However, it can pass a lot quicker than most people think. Much of those two years could be taken up by pursuing compensation through an insurance claim. If we are unsuccessful, you may only have a couple of months to file a lawsuit.
This is why it is crucial to reach out to us as soon as possible so we can get to work. Our experienced truck accident lawyers in Las Vegas will be prepared if the insurance claims process is unsuccessful, and we will work to help ensure your lawsuit is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
What Types of Truck Accident Cases Does Henness & Haight Handle?
The truck accident attorneys in Las Vegas at our firm are prepared to handle claims involving various truck accidents.
Some of the most common truck accidents that result in personal injury claims include:
- Rear-End Accidents – These usually occur when the car in front of the truck stops so fast that the driver does not have enough time to bring the truck to a stop, resulting in the much smaller car being rear-ended. This is incredibly dangerous because commercial trucks are so much larger than passenger vehicles.
- Rollover Accidents – This is when the truck tips over onto its side, endangering the lives of drivers in cars on the side the truck tips over to. The truck is also out of control once it topples over, which puts drivers anywhere near the truck at risk of being in a crash. Rollover crashes often occur because the truck driver is speeding, turning too fast, or carrying too much cargo.
- Underride Accidents – This is an extremely dangerous crash that occurs when a car hits the back of the trailer and slides underneath it because the trailer is much higher off the ground than the car. A truck driver coming to a sudden stop in front of a vehicle often causes these crashes.
- Cargo Spills – If carge has not been correctly secured in the back of the truck, it can fall out onto the road and hit other cars or cause them to swerve out of the way. These spills often result in collisions with other vehicles or fixed objects on the side of the road.
- Jackknife Collisions – If the truck’s brakes lock up, it can cause the trailer to swing out until it forms almost a 90-degree angle with the cab. In these situations, the truck driver has lost control, putting everyone else on the road in danger.
- Blind-Spot Accidents – These happen when trucks veer into other lanes and collide with cars in one of the truck’s blind spots.
If you were involved in one of these accidents or any other truck accident not listed above, you might have a viable legal claim. Contact our trusted truck accident lawyers in Las Vegas for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
What are Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents That Result in Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Determining the cause of a truck accident is extremely important. If we can prove that the truck driver or another party is at fault, we may be able to recover compensation.
Truck drivers, like other motorists, must drive cautiously, obey the laws of the road, and take appropriate actions to prevent a collision. However, the trucking industry is also heavily regulated at the state and federal levels. Drivers must keep detailed logs about their hours of service and the maintenance of their vehicles.
Unfortunately, despite these legal obligations, truck drivers, trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers and others often cause dangerous truck accidents through their negligence. Some of the most common forms of negligence that lead to truck accidents include:
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Failing or defective parts on the truck
- Failing to check blind spots before switching lanes
- Poorly maintaining a vehicle
- Overloading cargo
- Poor training of drivers
- Driving without the proper truck-driving license
- Failing to secure cargo properly
- Driving in unsafe weather conditions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If any of these things caused your accident, you might be able to pursue compensation from the liable party.
Who Can be Held Liable for the Commercial Truck Accidents?
One of the most significant differences between truck accidents and car accidents is the number of parties that can be held liable. In a car crash, the other driver is usually the only one who could be held responsible. However, in a truck accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from many parties, including the following:
- Truck driver
- Truck driver’s employer
- Company that owns the truck
- Maintenance company that services the truck
- Manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or other parts
- Owner of the truck
- Company leasing the truck
- Company responsible for loading cargo onto the truck
Our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers have successfully represented numerous clients who were injured in a variety of truck accidents. Through a detailed investigation of your claim, we will attempt to determine all the parties that should be held liable for your injuries to try to recover all the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Most Important and Relevant Trucking Industry Regulations?
Numerous regulations govern trucks and other large vehicles at the federal and state level.
Hours of Service Rules
For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service regulations governing the number of consecutive hours that truck drivers can operate their vehicles without a break.
For instance, drivers who are carrying cargo cannot drive more than 14 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive off-duty hours. Drivers are also prohibited from operating their vehicles after they have spent between 60 and 70 hours on duty for seven or eight straight days.
Operating these large vehicles while violating these regulations is extremely dangerous. Drowsy drivers are much more likely to fall asleep at the wheel or lose concentration and put other drivers in danger.
Size and Weight Restrictions
The FMCSA also has regulations on the size and weight of commercial vehicles that use the Interstate Highway System. The maximum weight limits for these vehicles are as follows:
- 20,000 pounds on a single axle
- 34,000 pounds on tandem axles
- 80,000 pounds is the maximum weight for the entire vehicle
States are free to set their own maximum weight limits on roads that are not part of interstate highways. Nevada has the same limits for single and tandem axles.
Under Nevada Revised Statutes 484D.635, the maximum weight of each tire cannot exceed 600 pounds for a steering axle and 500 pounds for all other axles. Except for the steering axle and axles that weigh less than 10,000 pounds, each axle should have four tires if the width of each tire is 14 inches or less. However, if the weight per tire is not greater than 500 pounds per square inch, it can be equipped with tires that are wider than 14 inches.
Violating these weight limits is unsafe and could increase the risk of the truck driver losing control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Improperly secured cargo can increase the risk of an accident by falling off a truck and putting others on the road in danger.
This is why regulations are designed to help ensure cargo is secured correctly to reduce the risk of accidents. Under FMCSA regulations, cargo should be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures with adequate strength, including any of these devices:
- Dunnage, or loose materials that support and protect cargo
- Dunnage bags, or inflatable bags that fill space between cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle
- Shoring bars, or bars that fit into a track in the vehicle
- Tiedowns that are adequately secured
However, drives must restrain any pieces of cargo that are likely to roll around by using the following:
- Something equivalent to these pieces of equipment
The FMCSA mandates that these restraints must not be capable of becoming unfastened or loose while the vehicle is moving.
If a truck accident lawyer in Las Vegas can show that a violation of any of these or other regulations contributed to your accident, you may be able to obtain compensation from the liable party.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you love has been injured or died in a tragic accident, our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers may be able to help you recover fair compensation for all of the damages you suffered.
At Henness & Haight, we are aggressive in holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. We will thoroughly investigate the crash to determine all of the liable parties from which we can pursue compensation. We also have an in-depth understanding of federal and state regulations for the trucking industry. We can determine if and when violations occurred.
Schedule a free review of your claim today. We work on a contingency fee basis; you don’t pay us unless you receive compensation for damages.
Featured Client Review
Henness & Haight has a very intelligent and compassionate team. The organization as a team flowed smoothly and help my case stay on track with zero problems and 100% communication. They were very transparent in educating me on the pros and cons of my demands. I was an emotional and fickle client being pregnant during my accident and case. Without their leadership and guidance, I would never have been able to recover what was lost. – Corbra S.
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