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Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyer

Although large trucks make up a relatively small number of vehicles involved in accidents, they’re responsible for nearly half of all car-crash-related fatalities. This discrepancy is due in large part to the size and weight of heavy-duty trucks; when a truck collides with a car, bicyclist, or pedestrian, it tends to do much more damage than a smaller vehicle.

Below, learn more about the types of truck accidents that are most common in Nevada, what to do after a truck accident, and why you need an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you fight for your legal rights.

What Types of Truck Accidents are Most Common?

No two truck accidents are exactly alike. However, most truck accidents fall into a few general categories.

Rollover Accidents

As the name implies, these accidents occur when the truck rolls over. Rollover accidents are more common in trucks because they tend to be top-heavy; in most situations, a rollover accident is the result of the truck driver losing control, often at a high speed.

Rear-End Collisions

Most car-to-car rear-end collisions tend to be relatively safe at low speeds, resulting in only bumper damage. But when a smaller vehicle hits a truck from behind (whether due to following too closely or a truck suddenly slamming its brakes), it runs the risk of sliding beneath the trailer and being lodged there. If the truck continues driving, the auto driver could be seriously injured or even killed.

T-Bone Accidents

These accidents are most common at intersections when trucks fail to stop at red lights or stop signs and enter the intersection while another vehicle is passing through. T-bone accidents can also happen if a driver loses control of their trailer.

Blind Spot Accidents

Trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles, which is one of the reasons that commercial truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). However, even being trained to compensate for your truck’s blind spots isn’t foolproof, and a truck that fails to notice vehicles or pedestrians in its blind spots could inadvertently strike and injure them.

Jackknife Accidents

If a truck carrying a trailer applies the brakes too hard, the trailer can jackknife—skidding to the side and hitting a vehicle or pedestrian in another lane. A jackknifed trailer can sometimes travel with enough force to cause the entire truck to roll over.

Wide Turning Accidents

Trucks making a 90-degree turn to the right can sometimes require the use of both lanes. If a vehicle is in the lane next to a turning truck, it could be struck or even crushed by the truck as it turns. Wide turning accidents are especially dangerous if the vehicle in its path is next to a curb or other immovable object.

Spilled Load Accidents

Trucks that spill a load of hazardous chemicals can cause serious injuries to anyone in the vicinity, not only other drivers. And trucks that spill other types of loads, from lumber to livestock, can put drivers at risk if they inadvertently collide with the cargo.

Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions can be one of the most deadly types of truck accidents. Hitting any vehicle that’s traveling in the opposite direction can force your vehicle to a dead stop, and the kinetic energy generated from this type of collision can be fatal. When a multi-ton truck collides head-on with a smaller vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are unlikely to escape without serious injury or death.

What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, there are a few steps you should take as quickly as possible.

Get to a safe area. Remaining at the scene of the accident, even if you’re in your car, can be dangerous. You may be at risk of being struck by another passing vehicle or encountering sharp or hazardous debris if you stay in the same spot.

Call 911. Even if you think you’re uninjured, it’s a good idea to summon police to the scene so that they can evaluate the situation, arrest anyone they suspect of having committed a crime (like DUI), and generate a police report.

Take pictures or a video of the scene if possible. Although you may not be in any position to take photos or videos of the scene, getting any sort of visual records can be incredibly helpful if you later sue the truck driver. If you’re not able to get photos yourself, you may want to enlist a friend or family member to go to the scene and snap a few shots.

Write down or record your recollection of the accident. It’s important to have a present sense impression of what you remember of the accident. Between adrenaline and any head trauma, your memory of the incident may fade quickly; getting these memories down on paper can help you preserve them and help your attorney better advocate for you.

Contact a truck accident attorney. Truck accidents aren’t like other accidents—you need an attorney to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. By contacting a truck accident attorney shortly after your accident, you can get the ball rolling on your claim.

What Will You Need to Prove to Recover Damages?

To recover damages against an at-fault truck driver, you’ll need to prove three things:

  • The truck driver owed you a duty of care
  • The driver breached this duty
  • This breach caused you physical harm, property damage, or financial harm.

If you can establish all three of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence, you’re likely to be able to recover damages from the defendant.

What Damages are Available?

Because commercial trucks are so much larger and more dangerous than passenger vehicles, federal law requires interstate trucks to carry larger insurance policies than most state mandatory minimums. But while the amount of damages you can recover in a truck accident may be greater, the type of damages is consistent with other types of personal injury cases. You may be able to recover the following types of damages:

  • Medical costs
  • Future medical and physical therapy costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Occupational training if you’re no longer able to perform your pre-accident job
  • Pain and suffering

Under Nevada law, an injured plaintiff has only two years from the accident to file a lawsuit. This is one of many reasons it’s important to see an attorney as soon as possible; waiting until the last minute could leave you without much recourse. Your attorney can depose witnesses, request documents, and negotiate with the insurance company while you focus all your energy on recovery.