If you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck in Las Vegas, the road ahead may seem daunting. Accidents involving commercial vehicles carry their own set of complex rules that can affect your claim.
Overview of Legal Steps After a Commercial Truck Accident
The steps from the zoomed out view are quite simple:
- Secure Evidence
Medical records, police reports, photos/videos/dash cams/traffic cams/security cameras, physical evidence from the crash, witness statements and contact info, expert statements based on the evidence, etc.
- Determine Negligent Parties
Figure out if the cause was due to someone else’s negligence and see who may be liable for the damages. The list of potentially negligent parties is long with trucking accidents – from drivers, driving companies, inspectors, mechanics, loaders, manufactures, and much more potentially causing fault. Often fault will be placed on multiple parties.
- Determine What Damages Can Be Claimed
Medical bills (past and future), pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost wages (past and future) and much more.
- Begin the Claim Process With Insurance Companies
Compile the evidence, lay out your case to the insurance companies and see what they offer.
- Negotiations and Settlement, or Court Trial
Typically first offers will be low, as their job is to save as much money as possible. It is up to you (and your lawyer) to negotiate this, providing more evidence, etc. If no fair settlement can be reached, then the claim will often fall onto a court.
While each of these steps is critical, the initial case evaluation and evidence gathering phase is critical, as it is the foundation of your lawsuit.
Hiring a lawyer with experience through these steps will not only only help you get the most compensation for your damages, it will also speed the process along. Lawyers do this for a living, skilled truck accident lawyers they know the ins and outs of laws, insurance company tactics, they have the connections to help speed healing and insure you get the justice you are entitled to.
Immediate Legal Steps Following a Truck Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a collision with a commercial truck, taking decisive legal action is pivotal in safeguarding your rights and future. This crucial phase involves initiating steps that lay the groundwork for a potentially complex legal journey ahead.
Seek Medical Assistance
Get checked by a doctor right after your accident with a commercial vehicle. Even if you feel fine, some injuries, like whiplash or a traumatic brain injury, can hide at first. Doctors will examine you and record any harm which helps later in your case.
Keep all records of medical visits and treatments. Bills for the hospital stay, x-rays, physical therapy – they all prove your pain and suffering. This makes sure you get what’s fair to cover these costs.
If someone else caused the crash, their insurance should pay for your health care bills.
Gathering Evidence at the Scene
After you get medical help, your next move is to collect evidence at the crash site. This proof will be key in showing what happened and who is at fault. Use your phone to snap pictures and videos of the accident from different angles.
Capture photos of the truck, your vehicle, any skid marks on the road, traffic signs, and injuries you or passengers have. Also look for any cameras nearby that might have recorded the collision.
Find out if the truck has an event data recorder (EDR). This device can tell you how fast it was going and other details about how it was driven before the crash.
Collecting Witness Contact Information
Talk to people who saw the crash. Get names, phone numbers, and addresses from everyone who witnessed the accident. These witnesses can help show what happened. Their statements might be key in proving who was at fault.
They may give statements later that support your side of things. Make sure to write down everything right away when memories are still fresh. Store all these pieces of evidence safely; they’ll help build a strong case if you decide to go after damages or talk with insurance companies.
Make sure you write down their info or put it in your phone right away.
Also, ask if anyone has photos or videos of the scene. If they do, their media could provide strong evidence for your case. It’s best to collect this before leaving the crash site.
Once you have everything you need from witnesses, it’s time to focus on getting a police report.
Obtaining a Police Report
Call the police right after the truck accident. The officers will come to the scene and make a report. This document is critical for your case. It has details about what happened and who was involved.
Make sure you get a copy of this police report.
The report can help prove facts in court or with insurance companies. It tells if any laws were broken, like speed limits or driving under the influence. Your lawyer can use it to fight for your rights and get you fair compensation for damages or injuries.
Always ask for the police report and keep it safe.
Determining Liability in Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Determining who is responsible in a commercial vehicle accident involves a complex web of laws and regulations – dig into the intricacies to ensure justice is on your side.
Truck Driver Liability
Truck drivers must follow many rules to keep roads safe. Sometimes, they make mistakes and cause crashes. These errors can lead to serious harm for other people on the road. If a truck driver in Nevada causes an accident, they might be held legally responsible.
The law says truck drivers need to drive carefully and follow specific standards. This means obeying hours of service rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
It also includes maintaining their commercial driver’s license and ensuring vehicle inspections are up-to-date. If they break these rules and someone gets hurt, they could face a personal injury lawsuit.
Companies must keep their trucks in top shape and make sure drivers are properly licensed. If they don’t, and an accident happens, the company might have to pay for the damage. This is called being vicariously liable.
Imagine a delivery driver causes a crash while working; the employer could be responsible because the driver is their employee.
Sometimes an employer could be at fault for not doing things right, like if they gave a truck to someone who should not be driving it. That’s what we call negligent entrustment. Employers must also manage their vehicles and staff well to avoid accidents – this typically is done via inspections or other forms of accountability.
If they fail here, they can also face legal consequences for any harm caused on the road.
Truck Manufacturers or Mechanics
Truck makers and mechanics play critical roles in road safety. If an accident occurs because a truck had faulty parts or design flaws, the manufacturer may be responsible. This is important to know if you’re dealing with a crash involving a commercial vehicle in Nevada.
The law states that these manufacturers must make sure their vehicles are safe to drive. When they don’t, they can be held liable for any harm caused.
Mechanics also have a big responsibility. They need to properly fix trucks so they are safe on the road. If a mechanic didn’t spot or fix something wrong with the vehicle, and that led to an accident, they might be accountable too.
It’s like finding out someone missed fixing the brakes after you brought your car into the shop – it’s not just bad service, it’s dangerous. Whether it’s brake failure or steering issues, proving that poor maintenance played a role could impact your case significantly.
Cargo Loaders or Shippers
Cargo loaders or shippers can make mistakes. They might load a truck carelessly. When things inside the truck move around due to an unsecure load, it can cause accidents, or make accidents worse, causing more damages or injuries. If this happens, cargo loaders could be in trouble for causing harm.
Victims from these accidents have rights. They may ask for money to help with injuries and other losses.
Shippers have rules they must follow when loading trucks. They need to make sure everything is safe and secure before the truck drives away. If a shipper doesn’t follow these rules, it’s not right and they may be held liable.
The law says they have to pay attention to safety first and foremost.
Your lawyer will look at all the facts after an accident with a delivery vehicle. This includes checking how the cargo was loaded onto the truck.
The Role of Legal Representation in a Commercial Truck Accident
With legal counsel, victims gain an ally to dissect complex liability issues and wrestle with formidable insurance companies, ensuring justice and proper compensation.
Comprehensive Case Evaluation
Evaluating a commercial truck accident case is like putting together a big puzzle. You need to look at every piece carefully. A lawyer checks all the details, from the crash scene to the truck driver’s actions.
They also see if the trucking company followed the rules.
Your attorney will work hard to find out who is responsible for your crash. They use things like accident reconstruction and expert opinions. This helps show how the accident happened and why.
With this information, they can fight for your rights better in court or with insurance companies.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Negotiating with insurance companies is a key step in getting the money you need after an accident. Truck accident lawyers take charge of these talks for you. They work hard to get a fair deal that covers all your physical and money losses.
Insurance companies often offer less than what’s fair at first. But, experienced attorneys know how to fight this.
They use their skills to argue against lowball offers from insurers. Your lawyer will aim for a settlement that pays for all your harms and losses—things like medical bills, missed work, and even emotional stress.
Next up, figuring out who should pay can involve looking at many different groups or people.
Identifying Multiple Parties for Compensation
In truck accidents, you may have the right to claim money from several people or companies. The truck driver could be at fault for driving badly. Their employer might also owe you if they didn’t check the driver’s skills or made them work too long without a break.
Litigation and Court Representation
Litigation is a serious step in seeking justice after an accident. Your lawyer will fight for you in court against commercial companies and their insurers. They use strong evidence to show the court why you deserve compensation.
This might include medical bills, lost wages, and pain suffered due to the crash.
Choosing the right attorney matters a lot for your case. A truck accident attorney with experience knows how to handle big cases like yours. They work hard to build a solid case proving that someone else was at fault—whether it’s the driver, trucking company, or vehicle manufacturer—and that they should pay for your losses.
They speak on your behalf, aiming to get you fair monetary damages for what you’ve been through.
After an accident with a commercial truck, taking the right legal steps is crucial. Get medical care immediately, then focus on gathering facts and evidence from the site. Remember to talk with witnesses and get their stories too.
Reach out to a lawyer like Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers, who knows the intricacies of truck accidents – we’ll work hard to insure you get the compensation you deserve. Your action today can shape your recovery tomorrow; don’t wait to start this important process!
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a trucking accident due to negligence, contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation with experienced Las Vegas accident lawyers. You will gain an advocate for every stage in the claims process until you have the compensation you deserve.
Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers is available to help you handle your injury claim in the Las Vegas metropolitan area and beyond. Jack Bernstein and his team can offer you the personalized service and legal representation you deserve after an accident.
Call us at (702) 633-3333 or contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.