Nevada personal injury law applies to truck accidents in the same way that it applies to car accidents among private individuals. The negligent, or at-fault, driver bears legal responsibility for paying your damages. However, the operation of commercial vehicles, like big rigs or delivery vans, involves multiple parties. Anyone from the truck driver to the company that loaded cargo could have made the mistake that led to your accident. Finding out exactly who should pay your damages may require the services of a Nevada injury lawyer.
One or More Entities Could Be Responsible for Truck Accidents
A collision with a commercial truck has a greater chance of inflicting serious physical injury and property damage compared to passenger vehicle collisions. After a truck accident, you could easily face a long medical recovery and perhaps disability.
Fortunately, commercial transport companies generally possess insurance policies with higher limits compared to personal insurance policies. To access these funds, you need evidence that one or more companies were responsible.
A car accident attorney working on a truck accident case will investigate the following entities for fault:
- Truck driver
- Truck driver’s employer
- Truck’s owner
- Truck or parts manufacturer
- Truck maintenance company
- Cargo loading company
- Freight forwarding company
- Government agency responsible for road maintenance
- In-Depth Accident Investigation May Be Needed
As you can see from the list of potentially responsible parties, commercial vehicles operate within a web of companies. The first step for a Nevada injury lawyer is to figure out who caused the truck crash.
Although truck driver error or negligence will be the first place to look, drivers are not always to blame. A defective part in the truck can impede vehicle function, or a mechanic at the maintenance company can fail to perform a proper inspection or install a part correctly. Badly loaded cargo can unbalance a vehicle and cause a driver to lose control.
To gather evidence and ultimately pinpoint who is at fault, a car accident attorney will check:
- Police accident report
- Any surveillance video of the accident, if available
- Truck driver’s log to see if work hours comply with federal regulations
- Truck maintenance records
- Documentation about cargo weight and type
- Statements from witnesses
- Medical records
Contacting a Nevada injury lawyer as soon as possible after your truck accident improves the chance of finding meaningful evidence. A lawyer can send preservation of evidence letters and request records vital to your personal injury case.
A law office can contact investigators to collect evidence. A lawyer can then consult industry experts whose evidence analyses could contribute to your claim for damages.
Proving Truck Accident Negligence
The at-fault laws in Nevada allow you to collect compensation from the responsible party if you can prove negligence or negligence per se.
Proving a negligence claim relies on satisfying these legal elements:
- The responsible party owed you a duty of care.
- The responsible party did not fulfill that duty of care.
- The breach of duty led to your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result.
Duty of care as the basis of negligence refers to what a reasonable person would do to meet safety standards under the circumstances. Breaching a duty of care means that someone acted recklessly or did not take appropriate action that could have prevented a bad outcome.
For a claim based on negligence per se, an injury lawyer in Nevada focuses on violations of the law instead of breach of duty.
The elements that must be present for negligence per se are:
- The responsible party was supposed to follow a specific law.
- You qualify as someone the law was meant to protect from harm.
- The law was violated.
- The legal violation led to your injuries and damages.
The trucking industry operates under many regulations on top of local traffic laws. Regulatory violations, like a company skipping mandatory maintenance inspections, or traffic violations, like speeding or intoxication, provide legal violations to justify your claim for damages.
Damages for Truck Accidents
After establishing fault, Nevada personal injury law authorizes you to seek compensation for a host of expenses related to your accident. A car accident attorney is highly familiar with the damages you have a right to claim, which are:
- Ambulance, hospital, and clinic bills
- Cost of transportation to medical appointments
- Property damage from the accident
- Lost income
- Lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
In the case of wrongful death, the surviving family may seek:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills from the accident
- Lost household income and services
Should a personal injury lawsuit go to trial, the possibility exists that a jury might also award punitive damages. These only happen when the responsible party acted with extraordinary disregard for safety.
Talk to an Injury Lawyer in Nevada Today
The stakes are high for you following a serious truck accident. The responsible party may try to shift some or all fault onto you to avoid paying a large settlement. The team at Lach Injury Law will work hard to protect your rights and pursue every avenue of available insurance coverage. To protect your financial future, contact us for a free consultation today.
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