18-Wheeler Accidents in Las Vegas
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 nearly 20 years. We are not a fly-by-night law firm. We are deeply invested in the Las Vegas community and in our clients’ well being. To learn more about our Firm’s mission and history click here.
- We will meet with you and review your case free of charge. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will listen closely to the details of your case and answer all of your questions honestly.
- You don’t pay us anything up-front or out of pocket. We work on a contingency fee basis which means that we take a fee only if we recover money for you.
- We have hundreds of positive reviews. We invite you to check what people say about us on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Lawyers.com and to read testimonials from our clients here.
- 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 Being in a Truck Accident?
Victims of truck accidents are often unfamiliar with the trucking industry and might be confused as to how to proceed with filing an insurance claim. It is important you follow these steps when dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident.
You should remember that the parties and insurance companies involved in a truck accident are not on your side. If you have been in a severe truck accident, you should only interact with a third-party after you have consulted with an experienced attorney.
What to Do at the Accident Scene…
Immediately following the accident, you should make an effort to preserve any evidence and trace of the collision that may help to support your claim.
However, if you or a loved one is seriously injured, you should immediately seek medical attention. If and when it is safe to do so, take the following steps:
Contact Law Enforcement After the Crash
You should contact law enforcement as soon as possible. If anyone has been injured, inform the dispatcher that medical care needs to be sent along with the first responders.
The responding officer will create an accident report that should properly assess the collision and provide details as to who was involved and what caused the crash.
It may be in your best interest to request a copy of the accident report, which can be used as evidence for your claim.
You should be truthful and concise in any statement you make to a law enforcement officer. Only provide the facts as you know them and never speculate or admit fault regarding the accident.
One of the easiest and most important pieces of evidence to obtain are photographs of the accident.
You can use your cellphone’s camera to take pictures of the vehicles and parties involved, as well as any traces of tires or debris on the road.
Some items you may want to photograph are:
- The license number and tag of the truck and its trailer
- Any identifying factors on the truck and trailer, such as company name or logo
- Skid marks on the road that show the truck’s and your vehicles’ driving pattern
- The tires of the truck and its trailer
- All vehicles involved in the collision
- Conditions of the road
You should not limit yourself to the number of pictures you take if you are able and uninjured. There are several factors you could photograph that may become an important piece of evidence in your claim.
As with any vehicle collision, you should exchange contact information with all parties involved. This should include the:
- Truck driver’s name, address and contact information
- Truck driver’s commercial driver’s license
- Truck driver’s insurance information
- Company’s name, details and contact information
- Company’s insurance information
If there were any witnesses to the accident, you should ask for their names and contact information as well. They may be able to provide insight into the collision that can be used by a truck accident attorney 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 his or her employer.
Dealing with the Aftermath of a Truck Accident…
Once you have been released by law enforcement, there are crucial steps you should take after a truck accident to protect your claim and avoid liability.
Seek Medical Care
The first thing you should do after a truck accident is seek medical attention. Even if your injuries are minor, or you believe you were unharmed during the crash, you should consult with a medical practitioner.
Some injuries, like whiplash, appear several hours or days after an auto accident and can cause serious 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
An effective method to recount auto collisions is to write down all of your memories of the events that took place before, during and after the accident.
You should do this as soon as possible while the thoughts are still fresh in your mind and include information 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 to be helpful when building a case to prove liability with the insurance companies.
Once you have a solid understanding of the events that occurred during and after the collision, you should call your insurance provider to report the accident.
You will need to provide a detailed description with evidence that supports your claim and shows that you were not at fault for causing the collision.
However, you should only speak with your own insurance company and distance yourself from others. The only time you interact with another party’s insurance company should be after you have consulted with an experienced attorney who can advise you on what to say and do.
Consult with a Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accident claims can become complex legal cases that require investigating multiple parties involved in the accident.
Do not hesitate to contact Henness & Haight for a free, no obligation consultation after you or someone you love has been in truck accident.
We have represented numerous victims of negligence for more than two decades and continue to provide our services on a contingency fees basis. This means all legal and investigative work comes at no upfront charge to you. We only ask for payment if we recover damages for your claim.
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 to pursue compensation from. 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 pursued 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 he or she 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 crash 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 main 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
- Stays at the hospital
- 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 cost 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 because 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 that two years could be taken up pursuing compensation through an insurance claim. If we are unsuccessful, you may only have a matter 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 a wide variety of 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. These crashes are often caused by the truck driver coming to a sudden stop in front of a car.
- Cargo Spills – If cargo is not properly 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, which often results in collisions with other cars 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 driver of the truck 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 that are in one of the truck’s blind spots.
If you were involved in one of these types of accidents or any other truck accident not listed above, you may 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, have an obligation to 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 level. Drivers must keep detailed logs about their hours of service and the maintenance on their vehicles.
Unfortunately, despite all of these legal obligations, truck drivers, trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers and others often cause dangerous truck accidents through their own 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 properly secure cargo
- 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 biggest 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:
- 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 of the parties that should be held liable for your injuries to try to recover all of the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Most Important and Relevant Trucking Industry Regulations?
Trucks and other large vehicles are governed by numerous regulations 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 consecutive 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, which can increase the risk of a crash.
Improperly secured cargo can increase the risk of an accident because it can fall off a truck and put others on the road in danger.
This is why there are regulations designed to help ensure cargo is secured properly to reduce the risk of accidents. Under FMCSA regulations, cargo needs to be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures with adequate strength, including any or all of these devices:
- Dunnage, which are loose materials that support and protect cargo
- Dunnage bags, which are inflatable bags that fill space between cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle
- Shoring bars, which are bars that fit into a track in the vehicle
- Tiedowns that are properly secured
However, any pieces of cargo that are likely to roll around must be restrained by the following:
- Something that is equivalent to these pieces of equipment
The FMCSA mandates that these restraints must not be capable of becoming unintentionally 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 our approach to holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. We will thoroughly investigate the crash to determine all of the liable parties we can pursue compensation from. We also have an in-depth understanding of federal and state regulations for the trucking industry and how to determine if and when they were violated.
Schedule a free review of your claim today. We work on a contingency fee basis and are not paid unless you are compensated for damages.
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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.