Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial truck accidents are rarely minor. The sheer size and weight of a fully loaded 18 wheeler can inflict serious injuries and catastrophic damage to passenger vehicles in a collision. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a Las Vegas truck accident, contact Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, as soon as possible. We’ll work closely with your family every step of the way toward maximum compensation, helping you protect your rights during settlement negotiations or a trial.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
It is incredibly important to act quickly after an accident. If a large trucking or insurance company is involved, they will have investigators at the scene of the accident almost immediately. Hiring a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer right away can be key in persevering important evidence from the crash. Although police officers and insurance companies will conduct their own investigations, only a personal injury law firm will do so with your best interests in mind.
Going up against a large trucking company is much easier when you have timely, indisputable evidence of the company or driver’s negligence. We’ll investigate your crash and identify and preserve key pieces of evidence, such as information about the truck’s operation from the vehicle’s black box, the trucker’s cell phone records, and photographs of the crash scene as it was on the day of your accident.
Our law firm has the team and resources to devote to your trucking accident claim. Let us give you the best possible chances of success. Contact us without delay after your accident.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
The best thing you can do after getting into a crash with a commercial truck is to contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney without delay. You have two years from the date of your crash to file a claim, but prompt legal counsel is important. Hiring a truck accident attorney can give you all the information you need to move forward. You can learn about your rights as a victim, where to go for medical care, and how to deal with phone calls from the trucker’s insurance company. You can also discover the value of your accident and injuries, as well as how to negotiate better settlements and receive maximum compensation.
Immediately after a semi truck accident, go to the hospital for care and start gathering information about the wreck. Take down the truck driver’s name, the police report number, and the details of the collision. Write down as much as you know about the crash. Then, once you’re on the mend, contact Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. Our Las Vegas truck accident attorneys will discuss your case over the phone or during an in-person meeting at our office. We’ll give you the information you need to know about your individual accident claim.
Who’s at Fault in a Truck Accident?
Determining liability is different in truck accident cases compared to other car accident lawsuits. Truck accident claims involve the liability of companies – often prominent trucking companies in the Clark County community or from around the country. On-duty truckers who get into accidents may vicariously place blame on the companies in charge of the run. Victims often need help from car accident attorneys in Las Vegas to shed light on the question of liability after trucking accidents.
The following parties (or a combination of parties) could be accountable for your crash:
- Trucking company. Thanks to a change in federal trucking laws, companies can no longer evade liability by hiring independent contractors instead of employees. The company will still be vicariously liable for the actions and negligence of its drivers. They could also be liable if they caused the crash through carelessness, such as failure to maintain fleet vehicles, properly train truck drivers, or by pressuring drivers to meet their deadlines.
- Cargo-loading company. If the company in charge of loading cargo differs from the trucking company, it could take the blame for a lost-load or truck overload accident. Lost loads can occur if companies break the securement rules and regulations. Truck overloads, or trucks that are too heavy, cannot operate as the manufacturer intended. It can be difficult or impossible for drivers to control too-heavy trucks.
- The city of Las Vegas. It’s possible that the city is liable for your truck accident if a dangerous or defective roadway was the cause. It is the city’s duty to keep the roads reasonably safe for drivers. Failure to notice and repair defects such as potholes, broken traffic lights, and obscured signs could be negligence if the city reasonably should have done so. You have the right to file a claim against the government in these situations.
Assigning liability for your trucking accident often requires an in-depth investigation of the facts. Investigators may need to revisit the scene of the accident, check the carrier’s crash history, talk to eyewitnesses, and hire experts to help understand who or what caused your wreck. There could be more than one party sharing fault, such as the truck company and a parts manufacturer. Retain our personal injury law firm for a group of investigators you can trust.
Las Vegas and Nevada Commercial Truck Accident Statistics
Truckers are the third-largest motorist group, behind commuters and tourists, on Nevada’s roadways. Trucking is a major industry in Nevada, running in, out, and through the state, lugging millions of tons of goods each year. It is almost impossible to drive on major highways in the state without encountering at least one big rig. Unfortunately, close proximity to 18-wheelers sometimes ends in tragedy.
In 2014 (the most recent year National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data is available), 15 large trucks were involved in fatal traffic accidents in Nevada. All but one of the 15 deaths were occupants of vehicles other than the trucks. In 2016, 28 people died in accidents involving trucks in Nevada. In Clark County alone, large trucks took 16 lives in 2016. Those who survive truck accidents often live with serious to catastrophic injuries. If you were in such a crash, you’re not alone. Contact our firm for assistance.
Types of Truck Crashes
The attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP have decades of combined experienced handling large truck accident claims throughout the country. Our Las Vegas truck accident attorneys are uniquely suited to help clients involved in these accidents. We understand the most common types of trucking accidents and how this information can point to the likely cause of the crash. We will take the time to investigate your particular crash when you contact our firm, but in the meantime, here are a few of the most common types we encounter:
- Jackknife. Jackknife accidents refer to those in which the trailer of the 18-wheeler swings out and away from the cab at an angle, similar to that of a jackknife. In this position, the truck driver has no control over the vehicle. The trucker cannot stop, turn, or maneuver a jackknifed truck to avoid colliding with other vehicles. One reason these accidents happen is lack of proper braking techniques from the driver.
- Rollovers. Large trucks may roll onto their sides or all the way over if a truck driver loses control (often going downhill or on a curve) of the vehicle. Truck rollovers can crush surrounding vehicles, pinning occupants in their vehicles or killing them upon impact. Rollovers are often preventable with appropriate downhill speeds and braking techniques from the driver.
- Tire blowout. Poor truck maintenance, bad driving habits, and defective tires can all cause dangerous blowouts during transit. An 18-wheeler tire blowout can make the truck lose control and crash into others, as well as send pieces of rubber and debris into the roadway. The truck company, driver, or tire manufacturer may be liable for these accidents.
- Blind spot accidents. You’ve likely seen the stickers on the backs of large trucks that say, “If you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you.” Semi trucks have serious blind spots due to the length of their trailers. A truck driver must compensate for this fact by being extra careful when merging or switching lanes. Failure to do so could cause merge or side-swipe accidents in the highway.
- Rear-end collisions. Heavy 18-wheelers do not possess the same stopping power as smaller passenger vehicles. Truckers must brake with care, well before the stopped vehicles in front of them. Driver distraction or drowsiness can also cause deadly rear-end collisions. A large truck colliding with the rear of a smaller vehicle can crush the latter and cause a fatal multi-car collision.
If one of these accidents sounds like your recent collision, the odds are high that the truck driver, company, or another party is legally responsible for causing your crash and injuries. If this is the case, you could be eligible for significant financial compensation. Let us review your crash for free to learn more about your crash type and possible causes
Learn Your Rights During a Free Initial Consultation
Initial legal consults at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP are always free. We want every accident victim to have the ability to speak with a lawyer, without cost getting in the way. We also operate on a contingency-fee basis, meaning our clients don’t pay attorney’s fees unless we win. You deserve to have a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer representing you during negotiations with the insurance company or a personal injury trial. Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is the firm for you. Find out why clients love us, and trucking company insurers fear us. Call (702) 560-5520 for a free consultation or submit our contact form today.