Large trucks like the eighteen-wheelers are common sightings on freeways and roads across the city of Las Vegas. It is hard to imagine driving or cycling around for too long without encountering one or two large trucks on the road. Due to the enormous size discrepancy between these trucks and standard passenger vehicles or cars, the resulting injuries can be horrific when an accident occurs.
Victims of a truck accident, especially the driver of the smaller passenger vehicle and its occupants, are prone to severe injuries or even death due to the truck's immense impact or force. Common injuries resulting from a truck accident are expensive to treat and can leave you with overwhelming financial problems or even life-long disabilities.
Fortunately, Nevada personal injury laws provide people like you with a way of seeking compensation for injuries or damages resulting from a truck accident. When pursuing a claim in Las Vegas, Nevada, experienced legal experts at Dallas Horton & Associates can knowledgeably use these laws to help you or your friend find adequate compensation from the at-fault party for your injuries and damages.
An Overview of Truck Accidents
Big commercial trucks like the big rigs and semi-trucks present unique dangers on roadways because of their size and freight. Not only do drivers of these trucks need to beware of the dangers they pose on the road with their large vehicles and wide trailers, but other motorists and pedestrians must also be cautious in their presence as well.
Even minor driving errors on the road, like the inappropriate use of turning signals or unsafe left turns, can result in catastrophic injuries in a truck accident. When a truck accident happens, the other motorist with a smaller passenger vehicle is more likely to incur severe injuries because the truck's driver is usually at a higher level from the ground.
To prevent or minimize truck accidents, a passenger vehicle driver should not ignore a truck's performance capability at any time, for instance, the limits associated with visibility, braking, and acceleration in their presence.
Although most truck accidents are due to a driver's negligence, like driving under the influence and distracted driving, there are other possible causes of a truck accident that could have led to your injuries. Figuring the cause of the truck accident leading to your injuries is an issue you would want to discuss with an experienced attorney to know how to pursue your damages compensation.
When a person sustains injuries in a truck accident, whether as a driver of a passenger vehicle, cyclists, or a pedestrian, he/she can be eligible for damages' compensation under Nevada personal injury laws.
There are special laws regulating trucks and trucking accidents that you need to beware of if you want to seek compensation for your injuries and damages resulting from a truck accident. Hiring a reliable attorney for legal counsel and representation is a significant first step towards achieving the adequate compensation you deserve following a truck accident.
Common Injuries That You Could Sustain in a Truck Accident
The aftermath of a truck accident can leave you with very severe and lifelong injuries, which might require you to seek compensation for current and future losses arising from the accident. Your attorney can evaluate your injuries resulting from a truck accident to determine how much you should receive as compensation from the liable party.
Depending on a variety of factors like weather, road condition, and a truck's speed, you might incur the following common injuries in the event of a truck accident:
Head and Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries are also not easily noticeable immediately after a truck accident, but they are severe because they may result in lifelong physical disability and personality changes. You are more likely to suffer a head and brain injury in a head-on crash with a truck, but you can also experience this injury from any other type of truck accident.
You don't have to slam your head against an object or parts of your vehicle to suffer a brain injury. The impact of a truck crushing your vehicle is enough to cause a severe injury to your brain. If you sustain a traumatic brain injury as a result of this impact, you might experience the following symptoms:
Short-term memory loss
Internal and Abdominal Injuries
Even if you are lucky to escape without physical injuries in a truck accident, you can still suffer internal and abdominal injuries, which you might not detect immediately without examination by an expert. The crushing impact or force of a truck slamming into your car and the resistance of your seat belt can cause internal and abdominal injuries of the following body parts:
You are more likely to suffer more bone breakages in a truck accident than in a standard car accident because the truck's impact in a collision is massive. Typically, you can break any bone in your body in a truck accident if you attempt to support yourself with any part of your car or perhaps when the collision impact throws you out of the car.
Bone fractures and breakages can lead to impairment for a few months, depending on their specific location in your body. Common fractures or breakages that you can suffer from a truck accident happen in the following parts of the body:
Arms and wrists
Back and Neck Injuries
The impact of a truck collision can also lead to back and neck injuries ranging from minor pains to more severe injuries like dislocated discs and ligaments damage due to whiplash. Whiplash is an injury to the neck's soft tissue, which happens when you thrust your head forward suddenly due to a truck's collision impact or force.
People who suffer back and neck injuries in the aftermath of a truck accident are likely to experience numbness and pain when they move their necks, making it difficult to carry out daily chores.
Spinal Cord Damage and Paralysis
If a truck crashes into your car, you and the passengers onboard can suffer spinal cord damage due to the sudden impact on the vertebrae region. Damage or injury to the spinal cord is a critical health issue that is not initially apparent following a truck accident, and you might not even experience pain.
For that reason, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as you can for an emergency examination because this injury can worsen with time if left untreated. An injury to this sensitive and vital region of a human's body can lead to temporal or permanent paralysis, which often necessitates chronic care that might cost you millions of dollars.
Airbag and Seatbelt Injuries
Safety equipment in a car like an airbag and seat belts helps save lives in an accident. However, they can pose a risk of fatal abdominal and chest injuries when the force of a truck collision throws you against them. Below are common airbag and seatbelt injuries you are likely to suffer in a truck accident:
Burns and Disfigurement
Burns are common injuries in a truck accident than in an accident between passenger vehicles because a truck's fuel capacity is large and more prone to raptures. When a truck fuel tank raptures, the enormous gasoline leaking can catch fire if it touches a hot surface leading to disfiguring burns to the passenger vehicle occupants if they are still inside.
Severe burns and disfigurement or even death are more likely to happen in a truck accident if it's carrying hazardous freight like petroleum. Treating truck accident burns, mutilation, blisters, and pain is extremely expensive, which is unfair to you if the truck accident liability was not yours.
If you or your loved one sustains severe burns and disfigurement in a truck accident, you could be eligible for damages compensation. It is advisable to retain an experienced personal injury attorney's services when pursuing compensation for injuries resulting from a truck accident because complex legal rules surround these types of accidents.
Cuts and Lacerations
At the time of the truck accident, glasses and other parts of the passenger vehicle or the truck can cause cuts and lacerations. While cuts and lacerations are less severe injuries than spine cord or head trauma, they also require expensive treatment and can lead to permanent scarring.
Any truck accident incident is ten times more likely to kill you than a collision with another passenger vehicle because of the massive force of a truck collision and the leaking flammable fuels.
When a truck collision kills your family member, under Nevada wrongful death laws, you might be able to hold the liable party accountable for your losses with the help of a reliable personal injury attorney. Although no amount of money can bring your family member or relative back, in a wrongful death claim, you might be able to recover compensation for the following type of losses:
Deceased funeral expenses
Deceased unpaid medical bills
If a truck accident doesn't kill you, you can still suffer severe catastrophic injuries that require lifelong ongoing medical attention and rehabilitation. The impact of truck accident injuries can lead to loss of a career and dependence on other people or prosthetic implants in carrying out basic tasks due to loss of body limbs.
While it is difficult to restore your previous quality of life after sustaining injuries in a truck accident, a reliable and experienced truck accident attorney can strive to ensure the liable party is accountable for all your losses.
Remember, you have two years from the time of the truck accident occurrence to bring a suit against the at-fault party, and failure to do so can affect your eligibility for compensation. Therefore, it is essential to speak with a caring and skilled attorney as soon as possible to begin collecting the necessary evidence for building your compensation claim.
Roles of an Attorney in a Truck Accident Compensation Claim Process for Your Injuries and Damages
Retaining the services of an experienced truck accident attorney is a decision you cannot regret when pursuing an injury or damages compensation following a truck accident. Some of the roles of a truck accident attorney in a compensation claim process include:
Gathering and Evaluation of Evidence
Gathering quality and viable evidence are vital when pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages following a truck accident. Gathering the necessary evidence on the aftermath of a truck accident may seem overwhelming to a layperson. However, with an experienced truck accident attorney by your side, you won't have to worry about this because he/she will know what evidence is necessary and where to find it.
Some of the evidence that your attorney may find critical for your injuries or damages compensation claim following a truck accident include:
Cell phone records
Eyewitness information or statements
Accident scene photographs and videos
The truck driver driving records and employment details
All the above evidence is crucial to an attorney when determining the truck accident's cause and the extent and nature of your injuries to build a viable compensation claim. If you have any valuable pieces of evidence that might prove valuable in building your compensation claim, you should talk to your truck accident attorney about it.
Engaging in Compensation Settlement Negotiations
The most common outcome of compensation claims for damages and injuries arising from a truck accident or any other kind of motorist accident is a settlement. Most defendants in a truck accident will agree to an out of court settlement to avoid the complex legal system and the trial's uncertainty.
However, they will not automatically give you the money you request as compensation for your injuries and damages. Your attorney will negotiate with them for a fair compensation settlement agreement that you deserve for your overall damages since the truck accident.
When the defendant pays you fair compensation after settlement negotiation with your attorney, you cannot file a suit against him/her for the same injuries or damages in the future. You will need an attorney throughout the settlement negotiation process because the defendant will try to convince you to settle for less money than you deserve, which profits them.
If the settlement negotiation doesn't result in a fair compensation agreement, you will have no other option of seeking justice other than filing a lawsuit against the defendant. An injury lawsuit can work out in your favor to achieve the compensation you deserve for your damages, but you need to have viable evidence to prove the defendant guilty.
Pursuing a Compensation Claim Legal Action
Although most defendants in a truck accident will agree to settle a compensation claim, others will not. If the defendant decides to fight the case in court, your attorney can still fight for your best interest throughout the process to ensure adequate compensation for your injuries.
Proving to the jury that you deserve compensation for your injuries resulting from the truck accident requires a special combination of street-smarts and legal skills. Most truck accident liability cases revolve around negligence law, which requires individuals to conduct themselves reasonably to avoid causing foreseeable accidents.
To convince the jury that you deserve adequate compensation for your injuries, your truck accident attorney must demonstrate to the jury the following elements of negligence beyond a reasonable doubt:
Duty of Care Obligation
The first element of negligence that your attorney must demonstrate to the jury in a compensation claim is the existence of a duty of care obligation. Circumstances surrounding the truck accident that lead to your injuries determines if a duty of care obligation exists or not. For instance, every motorist has a legal obligation to drive reasonably and cautiously like a sober person to avoid foreseeable accidents on the roadway.
Duty of Care Breach
The judge will consider the circumstances surrounding the truck accident to determine if there was a violation or breach of the duty of care obligation, for example:
Driving under the influence
Texting and driving
If the above factors are evident in the truck accident case, it means the defendant was not observing his/her duty of care obligation as a cautious and sober driver. Duty of care breach can convince the judge that he/she was negligent and liable for your injuries.
Because the defendant can breach his/her duty of care against you and not necessarily cause an accident, your attorney must demonstrate to the jury how his/her negligent actions lead to your injuries. That means, if it were not for the defendant's negligent actions, you would not sustain injuries.
Finally, to qualify for compensation for your injuries, your truck accident attorney must prove to the jury that there were actual damages due to the defendant's negligence. Damages in a personal injury suit are the losses a plaintiff incurs in the aftermath of a truck accident or any other vehicle accident, for example, medical bills and lost wages.
Compensatory Damages for Injuries Resulting from a Truck Accident
If the case’s judgment is in your favor, meaning the defendant was negligent and liable for your injuries, you will receive the compensation you deserve for all your losses. Depending on the extent of your injuries resulting from a truck accident, you could be eligible for the following categories of compensatory damages:
You will receive economic damages for every loss that you had to incur or will incur in the future due to the truck accident impact, for example:
Medical and medication cost
Vehicle maintenance costs
Lack of the capacity to work or future earnings
Because not all injuries resulting from a truck accident are compensable in monetary terms, the law also acknowledges the possibility of the existence of non-economic damages due to the following types of losses:
Pain and suffering
Lack of the ability to enjoy life due to loss of body limbs
If the defendant was grossly negligent in the event of the accident that led to your injuries, the court could also award you punitive damages. Punitive damages are essential in some injury lawsuit to punish the defendant for his/her wrongdoings. For instance, driving under the influence can make the judge award punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit because it shows disregard for human health and life.
Every compensation claim for injuries resulting from a truck accident is unique in many aspects. It will require a knowledgeable attorney to ensure the court awards you every form of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Pursuing a Compensation Claim When You Are Partially At-Fault for Your Injuries
In Nevada, you can file a compensation claim for your injuries resulting from a truck accident even if you were partially at fault or responsible for the truck accident incident. Comparative negligence legal theory allows you to receive compensatory damages depending on the level or percentage of your negligence in the truck accident event leading to your injuries.
However, in some cases, if your percentage of negligence or recklessness leading to the truck accident exceeds 50%, the court will not award you compensatory damages under this legal theory.
The Bottom Line
Truck accidents are more prevalent in Nevada than you may think, and these cases differ from other vehicle accidents in many ways. Being enlightened and knowing what to do when you suffer injuries in a truck accident can help you make the right choices to achieve adequate compensation.
Find a Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
A collision between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck often causes catastrophic injuries that alter lives forever. If you suffer injuries in a truck collision, our caring and knowledgeable attorneys at Dallas Horton & Associates are here for you. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve to start your path to recovery.
To schedule a confidential and obligation-free initial consultation with our attorneys, we invite you to call us at 702-380-3100 wherever you are in Las Vegas, Nevada.