Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney
Large commercial trucks are essential to the economy of Nevada and the distribution networks running throughout the United States. Most of the resorts, hotels, casinos, and other businesses throughout the Las Vegas area rely heavily on commercial truck drivers to deliver the goods and materials needed in their businesses every day. While most drivers do not encounter any problems from commercial trucks they see on the roads regularly, truck accidents can and do happen for various reasons. In addition, when a truck accident does occur, the resulting damages are likely to be far more severe than those resulting from a typical motor vehicle accident.
Helping Truck Accident Victims Recover in Las Vegas
If you or a family member recently sustained injuries in any type of commercial truck accident, it is essential to know the first things to do after this type of life-changing incident to preserve your ability to recover your damages. You will need legal counsel you can trust to navigate the difficult proceedings ahead of you, whether you believe you can resolve your case with just an auto insurance claim or you think you will need to file a personal injury case as well.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton provide comprehensive and client-focused legal counsel to injured clients in the Las Vegas area. Our firm has decades of professional experience in personal injury law, and we have helped many past clients navigate the most demanding civil claims for damages. If you believe any other party is liable for your recent truck accident, our team will assist you in holding them accountable for the full scope of the damages their actions caused.
Benefits of Legal Counsel for Your Trucking Accident Case
There is no legal requirement for you to hire an attorney to assist you in your recovery efforts after any motor vehicle accident. You have every right to attempt to file an auto insurance claim or even submit a personal injury complaint to the court without legal representation. However, do not assume that foregoing legal representation amounts to saving money on legal fees and obtaining more compensation for your damages. The legal proceedings ahead of you after a truck accident are likely to be far more challenging than you initially expect.
When you have an experienced legal team advising you, it allows you to rest with peace of mind and focus on your recovery. In addition, your attorney and their team will address your case proceedings, from your initial insurance claim against the at-fault driver to your personal injury action when insurance alone can’t compensate your losses. Whatever your case entails, you will have a dedicated and responsive legal advocate ready to advise you through every phase of your case when you choose the attorneys at Easton & Easton to represent you.
Proving Liability for a Truck Accident
Truck accident cases are more challenging than most other vehicle accident cases in Las Vegas not only because they tend to involve more substantial damages, but also because proving liability is far more challenging than it is in most standard personal injury claims. The legal concept of vicarious liability can arise if a truck driver’s employer bears liability for the driver’s actions. This legal term is most often applied to an employer that is responsible for the actions of their employee, typically due to an intentional regulatory failing or any type of noncompliance with state or federal industry-specific laws.
While it is possible for a truck driver or a third party to bear sole liability for a truck accident, it is also possible that the truck driver’s employer failed in their legal obligations in some way that directly contributed to causing the accident in question. For example, the employer may not have conducted an appropriate background check on the driver before hiring them, or they may have failed to verify the driver’s professional records and certifications before assigning them work. It’s also possible that the employer failed to uphold applicable industry regulations.
When you hire Easton & Easton as your Las Vegas truck accident attorneys, we will carefully review all the evidence in play and the documentation surrounding the truck driver and their employer. If vicarious liability arises as a concern in any measure we will inform you as to how this will influence your case proceedings. No matter how your accident happened, proving fault typically requires a combination of physical evidence, witness testimony, and possibly even professional insights from various expert witnesses.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Las Vegas
Commercial truck accidents happen for many of the same reasons that all other vehicle accidents occur. However, the large size and heavy weight of these vehicles leave them especially vulnerable to certain risk factors unique to large trucks. A few of the most commonly reported causes of commercial truck accidents in Las Vegas and throughout the United States include:
- Distracted driving, which is the most commonly cited cause of all motor vehicle crashes throughout the country each year. Any type of distraction behind the wheel can easily result in a serious accident, even if the driver is only distracted for a few seconds. Our firm can assist you in gathering any evidence needed to prove an inattentive driver’s liability for your damages.
- Speeding. It is dangerous for any driver to exceed the speed limit, but this is especially true for large truck drivers. Speeding reduces the time and space the driver has to react to changes in traffic conditions dramatically. In addition, large commercial trucks have tremendous inertial force at high speeds, so speeding can significantly increase the chances of a truck accident causing catastrophic or fatal injuries.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. It is illegal for any driver to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. For commercial truck drivers, the legal BAC limit is .04%. Penalties for DUI conviction typically include fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. However, a commercial truck driver will likely lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL) as well, and it could be many years before they can qualify to hold a CDL again.
- Improperly loaded cargo. Large commercial trucks must be packed correctly, and their loads must be balanced to ensure the truck does not tip or roll over while driving. Additionally, certain types of cargo require specialized loading equipment. For example, large building materials, smaller vehicles, lumber, and other oversize loads all need to be secured correctly for every trip.
- Driver fatigue. All trucking companies and other businesses that hire commercial truck drivers must adhere to the trucking industry’s hours of service rules. These rules exist to ensure that drivers are not too fatigued to operate their vehicles safely. If a truck driver exceeds hours of service, or if their employer neglects to enforce these rules, both parties could potentially share liability for any resulting damages in a truck accident.
Proving the cause of your recent truck accident is the first step you must complete in securing compensation for your damages. The right Las Vegas truck accident attorney will be invaluable in this effort, and they can assist you in gathering eyewitness statements, physical evidence, and even expert witness testimony to help substantiate your claim for damages.
Filing an Auto Insurance Claim for a Truck Accident
Most commercial truck drivers and their employers have robust auto insurance policies that provide substantial coverage when an accident happens. However, you must prove liability before you can pursue compensation from a truck driver’s insurance policy. This means you must prove the truck driver and/or their employer bears direct responsibility for causing the accident in question. A Las Vegas truck accident attorney will help you accomplish this more easily, and once you have proven liability you can proceed with seeking compensation for the damages you suffered.
Filing an auto insurance claim requires a demand letter to the appropriate insurance company. You must explain the scope of your damages, provide proof that their policyholder directly caused those damages, and clearly state the amount of compensation you are seeking under the terms of their insurance policy. After you complete your demand letter, you submit it to the insurance company, and they begin their review process.
Unfortunately, not all insurance carriers handle claims in good faith, and many use various tactics aimed at encouraging injured and desperate claimants to accept lowball settlement offers. When you have an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney file your demand letter on your behalf, you inherently reduce the risk of facing such mistreatment. Once the insurance company notices that you have legal counsel, they will be more inclined to process your claim in good faith as expeditiously as possible.
Damages in a Truck Accident Claim
Even if you manage to succeed with your auto insurance claim after a truck accident with minimal difficulty, there is no guarantee that you will recover full repayment of all your claimable damages. You may need to file a personal injury claim as well, and a successful civil suit can significantly increase the total compensation you obtain for your damages.
The purpose of any personal injury case is to make the plaintiff as “whole” as possible again, and the defendant is liable for any and all harm their actions caused the plaintiff. Your Las Vegas truck accident attorney will help you calculate the full scope of claimable economic damages you can cite in your personal injury action. Depending on the scope and severity of the accident, you may be entitled to claim:
- Property damage. The defendant’s insurance policy should cover some or all of your vehicle repair or replacement costs. However, if there are any outstanding property losses their insurance won’t cover, you can seek compensation for these losses in your personal injury claim.
- Medical expenses. A commercial truck accident can easily cause a host of life-changing injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and more. The defendant is liable for any and all medical expenses you incur because of their negligence or misconduct. This includes not only immediate health care costs following the accident but also any ongoing costs for further treatment you require to reach maximum medical improvement from your injuries.
- Lost income. You could be unable to work for weeks or even months due to the severity of your injury. Under Nevada law, the defendant is liable for repaying all the income you are unable to earn during this time. This applies to any vacation time you are forced to use as well.
- Lost future income. In the event you suffer any catastrophic injury that results in permanently diminished earning capacity, the defendant is liable for your lost future income as well. An experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney can help their client calculate the future wages they would have reasonably expected to earn had their accident not occurred.
When you choose the attorneys at Easton & Easton to represent you as your Las Vegas truck accident attorneys, we will do everything we can to maximize the compensation you obtain for your economic damages. However, your recovery will not end there. State law also permits you to claim compensation for your pain and suffering, and this could form the bulk of your total recovery depending on the severity of the injuries you sustained.
Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Truck Accident Injury Case
There is no cap or limit on pain and suffering damages in most state personal injury claims. Therefore, the plaintiff has the right to seek accountability for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish inflicted by the defendant. When a plaintiff has suffered severe injuries, especially those that cause permanent harm and diminish their quality of life, the defendant is liable for compensating these intangible losses.
Your attorney may calculate appropriate pain and suffering compensation for your damages in one of two ways. The per diem method is most commonly used when a plaintiff is expected to fully recover from their injuries. This awards a specific amount of compensation every day until they reach maximum medical improvement. On the other hand, the multiplier method takes the plaintiff’s total economic losses and multiplies them by a factor representative of the severity of their condition after their accident.
Many personal injury plaintiffs in Las Vegas are surprised to discover that their claims are worth much more than initially anticipated when they have experienced legal counsel defending them. When you choose the attorneys at Easton & Easton as your legal counsel, our team has the professional resources and skill required to maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under Nevada law. The sooner you hire our firm to handle your case, the more likely you are to maximize the total compensation you obtain from your recovery efforts.
Comparative Negligence in Civil Claims
If you suspect that you bear any level of partial fault for causing your recent truck accident, this does not necessarily mean that you lose the right to claim compensation from the defendant. Under state law, the modified comparative negligence statute applies, and the plaintiff retains the right to recover compensation for their losses from the defendant. However, they lose a percentage of their final case award that reflects their level of responsibility for the incident in question.
As long as the plaintiff bears less than 50% fault, they can still claim compensation from the defendant. However, if their fault exceeds 50%, they lose the right to claim damages entirely. When the fault percentage is below 50%, this will be the percentage of their final compensation they lose under the comparative fault rule. For example, bearing 25% fault in a $100,000 claim means they lose $25,000 of their final case award. If you are concerned about comparative negligence arising in your case, it’s imperative to speak with an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton can help you overcome any disputes regarding liability for any aspect of your accident. We can work with expert witnesses like accident reconstruction experts and engineers to prove exactly how the accident happened and expose liability for the incident beyond any doubt. If the severity of your physical injuries is called into question we can arrange for expert witness testimony from a medical professional who can support your case. Whatever your unique truck accident claim entails, you have the best chance of reaching the best possible results when you have an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney representing you.
Truck Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: How Much Can a Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney Charge Their Client?
A: Most personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas accept clients on a contingency fee basis. This means the client is not obligated to pay any upfront or ongoing legal fees for representation, and they only pay their attorney a fee once they win their case. The contingency fee is a percentage of their final case award, and if the attorney fails to secure compensation for the client, the client pays nothing. Therefore, there is no financial risk to the plaintiff when they choose legal representation from an attorney offering contingency fee billing.
Q: How Soon Should I Hire a Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney?
A: It’s always best to hire legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible after experiencing any type of personal injury, especially from a motor vehicle accident. You have a very limited time in which to file your auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, and you face a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. Therefore, starting your claim filing process as soon as possible will yield the best outcome for your recovery efforts. Then, when you choose the attorneys at Easton & Easton to represent you, we will immediately begin gathering the evidence you need to make your case as efficiently as possible.
Q: What Happens When a Truck Accident Is Fatal?
A: If you have recently lost a family member in a fatal truck accident in Las Vegas, your family will need to file a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for the death in question. A wrongful death claim is functionally similar to a personal injury claim in many ways, but there are several key differences you must understand. Again, experienced legal representation from a compassionate and responsive attorney will make it much easier for you to navigate these difficult civil court proceedings and ensure the best possible outcome for your family.
Q: How Long Will It Take to Resolve a Truck Accident Claim?
A: The time required to settle a case depends heavily on the unique details of the case, such as the scope of the victim’s damages and the willingness of the defendant to accept liability for the incident. If you have an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney representing you and enough evidence to clearly prove the defendant is liable for your damages, it should only take a few weeks to negotiate a suitable settlement with the defendant. Otherwise, if your case needs to be resolved in litigation, this will likely take several months to complete.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney?
A: Investing in legal representation you can trust significantly increases your chances of maximizing the outcome of your recovery efforts. Your legal team can handle all your case proceedings on your behalf while you focus on medical treatment and your personal needs. Not only will your attorney make handling your claim much easier, but they will also increase the final outcome of all your recovery efforts. The sooner you speak with an experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney, the better your chances are of securing as much compensation as state law allows for your injuries.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have years of professional experience in personal injury law, and our team has guided many Las Vegas area clients through some of the most challenging truck accident claims. We are fully aware of the challenges and uncertainty you face in the aftermath of a truck accident someone else caused, and our goal is to help you approach your legal proceedings with confidence and understanding. If you are ready to learn how our team can assist you with your recovery efforts, contact us today and schedule a consultation with a Las Vegas truck accident attorney.