Truck accidents frequently result in serious, life-altering injuries or even death. Trucks are much heavier than most other vehicles, which means they can cause catastrophic damage in a crash.
If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to review your legal options. At Bernstein & Poisson, an initial consultation with one of our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers is free.
Our partners have more than 60 years of combined experienced helping injury victims take on the insurance companies in pursuit of compensation for their damages. We have obtained more than $100 million for our clients, including a $3 million settlement for a truck accident victim who suffered a neck injury.
There are no upfront fees and no fees while we work on your case, so there is no risk to you. At our firm, we take care to provide the personal attention and support our clients need during a difficult time.
Why Should I Hire Bernstein & Poisson?
Founding partners Jack Bernstein and Scott Poisson are both personally involved in every case the firm manages. We know how difficult the aftermath of an injury can be, and we want you to know you are not just a number to us. We are here to help during this difficult time.
Our attorneys work diligently and efficiently to pursue the maximum compensation and there are no attorney fees unless we succeed.
We have the resources and legal knowledge and experience to help injury victims stand up for their rights against greedy insurance companies that only look out for their bottom line.
We are prepared to investigate your claim and take on the insurance company on your behalf so you may focus on recovering from your injuries. We know how to respond when insurance companies attempt to deny responsibility or devalue your claim by:
- Alleging you are responsible for the accident
- Offering you a small settlement that is nowhere near the value of your claim
- Suggesting the low offer that they make is all that the victim will be able to get
- Dragging their feet hoping you will accept a lowball offer
You can defend the value of your case simply by allowing your Las Vegas truck accident lawyer to manage various aspects of the process. This helps our attorneys to protect you from the insurance company and other parties looking to take advantage of you.
Some of the steps we may take to build a case include:
- Visiting the accident scene
- Documenting damage to the vehicles involved
- Hiring experts to help recreate the scene
- Drafting the initial claim
- Documenting your losses and injuries
- Recovering video footage of the crash
- Talking to medical experts to get a better understanding of the severity of your injuries
- Talking to witnesses
- Recovering and reviewing maintenance records from the truck
- Looking into the driver’s background to find violations of laws or regulations
- And much more
Do I Have a Valid Truck Accident Case?
Although no two accidents are the same, the premise of any injury case is whether someone else’s negligence caused an accident that resulted in your damages.
Negligence is a legal standard that consists of four elements:
- Duty of care to act responsibly to prevent injury
- Breach of said duty through action or inaction
- Damages were suffered
- Damages were a direct result of the breach of duty of care
Truck drivers owe the same duty of care to others on the roadway as other drivers and pedestrians. When truck drivers breach their duty, such as by running a red light or following too closely, an accident may occur which could result in life-threatening injuries or death.
Other examples of negligence that may lead to a truck crash include:
- Merging into another car
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Disobeying road signs or traffic signals
- Driving too fast for road conditions or weather
- Not securing cargo properly
- Failing to check blind spots
Truck drivers and their employers also have a legal duty of care to follow federal and state trucking regulations to make sure their trucks are safe and drivers are handling them in a safe manner.
Our attorneys may be able to help you determine whether your truck accident case is valid by investigating the facts of your claim and determining whether the driver of the truck, or trucking company, and potentially other parties, acted in a negligent manner.
Every claim needs to be assessed on its own to determine its validity. However, as many truck crashes result from negligence, you should strongly consider talking to an attorney about your options.
We are prepared to help victims of many types of crashes, including:
- Side-impact collisions
- Head-on crashes
- Rear-end crashes
- Jackknife collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Wide turning crashes
- Blind-spot accidents
- Spilled load crashes
- And more
These accidents may involve many different types of commercial vehicles, such as:
- Delivery trucks
- Garbage trucks
Do You Have to Go to Court for a Truck Accident?
You do not necessarily have to go to trial after your truck accident. Your Las Vegas truck accident lawyer may be able to negotiate an acceptable insurance settlement or pre-trial lawsuit settlement without you having to go to trial. Rather than needing to go to court as part of a trial, most plaintiffs in civil lawsuits agree to a settlement before a trial becomes necessary.
Most cases do not end up in court, but sometimes it may be necessary. That is why we are prepared for the courtroom, as our goal is to secure maximum compensation for your damages.
How Much Might My Truck Accident Case Be Worth?
There are several questions your lawyer may need to answer to help estimate the potential value of your claim:
- What injuries have you suffered?
- What non-economic damages have you experienced?
- Do you share any amount of fault for the crash?
- What medical costs have you incurred and what medical costs might you incur in the future?
If you contact our firm and we validate your claim and you choose to hire us, we will need to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the potential value of your case. Every case is unique, so we need to review the specific facts of your accident and injuries to determine what a fair settlement may look like.
Truck crash victims often pursue a variety of damages, which may include:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future mental anguish
- Past and future medical costs
- The cost of medications for pain or other ailments related to your accident
- Lost income caused by your injuries
- Rehabilitation for your injuries
- The cost of a loved one’s funeral
- The cost of losing a deceased loved one’s comfort and companionship
- The loss of a deceased loved one’s income
Bernstein & Poisson has recovered millions on behalf of motor vehicle accident victims. We know how important compensation is as you look to move forward after a devastating crash.
Insurance companies are prepared to fight hard to avoid accountability. Many commercial vehicles have as much as $750,000 in liability coverage and some have $5 million if they are carrying hazardous materials. That is just one more reason why you need an experienced attorney with a proven track record.
Who May Be Liable for my Damages?
Generally, truck drivers are the ones found to have acted negligently. However, other parties may be liable, depending on their connection to the driver and owner of the vehicle.
For example, company drivers work for a trucking company and drive their vehicles. Generally, the liability insurance policy for these types of drivers is provided by the company. In this situation, the driver and the company may bear liability for damages. Trucking companies may also bear liability for violating state or federal trucking regulations if these violations contributed to the crash.
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There are also owner-operators who own the truck and lease it to a trucking company. In these situations, the owner, driver (if it is someone besides the owner) and trucking company may bear fault. There are also independent owner-operators who may own a fleet of vehicles.
There are some situations when manufacturers of certain commercial vehicle parts may be held liable if their products, such as tires or brakes, were defective and contributed to the crash.
Cargo-loading companies, truck manufacturers, and shops that repair these vehicles may also bear some amount of fault.
As there are multiple parties who may be liable for your damages, and multiple insurance policies, you should let an experienced attorney review the facts of your case.
What Regulations Are in Place to Prevent Accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has various regulations designed to help reduce the risk for commercial truck crashes:
- Driver qualifications – Under federal guidelines all commercial vehicle drivers must be over the age of 21 and have a commercial driver license (CDL).
- Safety procedures – Trucks must undergo safety inspections by the FMCSA before they are cleared to be on the road.
- Weight limits – Trucks are subject to maximum weight limits. For example, trucks cannot have more than 20,000 pounds on one axle, 34,000 on tandem axles or more than 80,000 pounds for the entire vehicle.
- Cargo regulations – Cargo must be properly secured to lower the risk of a crash or the risk of cargo spilling out onto the road and causing accidents. Cargo needs to be secured so it cannot be moved around with things like shoring bars, tiedowns or dunnage bags. Cargo that is likely to roll around needs to be secured by chocks, wedges or a cradle.
- Vehicle maintenance and repairs – In addition to the inspections the FMSCA conducts before commercial vehicles are cleared for the road, these vehicles must undergo routine maintenance and repair to keep up to the safety standards set forth by the FMSCA.
- Hours of service – Under the FMSCA guidelines, drivers may not be on the road for more time than the regulations allow and are generally obligated to maintain a schedule and keep track of their hours on the road.
- Drug and alcohol testing – Drivers must be tested before being allowed to drive and there is also random testing. Drivers must also be tested following an accident or when there is reasonable suspicion of impairment.
The state of Nevada also has regulations on commercial trucks and commercial motor carriers.
At Bernstein & Poisson, we know how to research these regulations and determine if those at fault for the crash violated state or federal regulations.
Is There a Time Limit to Recover Compensation?
In Nevada, victims of truck accidents have up to two years to file a lawsuit in pursuit of compensation for their damages. If you fail to act within that time, you may be legally barred from filing a lawsuit.
Although two years may seem like enough time and you may consider delaying speaking to an attorney, it is important to understand that injury cases take time to investigate and negotiate. This means that you should strongly consider speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after a truck accident to help protect the value of your claim.
What Should You Do After a Truck Crash?
Your personal safety is the most important consideration while you are at the scene of your truck accident. The first thing you should do is move your vehicle to safety or get out of your vehicle and to safety once any oncoming traffic has passed. Next, you should call law enforcement so they can bring medical professionals to the scene, redirect traffic and complete report on what happened.
While at the scene of your accident, be sure to collect relevant information from the truck driver if possible, including:
- Their name
- Their contact information
- Their license plate number
- Their insurance policy number
- The company they work for
- Taking pictures can also be helpful.
If possible, take pictures of:
- License plate of the truck
- Identifying features of the truck, like the company name or logo
- Road conditions
- All vehicles involved in the crash
- Skid marks
After leaving the scene, medical treatment is your top priority. You need doctors to diagnose and stabilize your injuries to help prevent them from getting worse.
It may also be a good idea to write down what you remember about the crash as soon as you can. Jot down details like:
- Behavior of the truck driver before and after the crash
- Road conditions before the collision
- What you remember about the crash
- Name of the responding law enforcement officer
A lawyer can help you in many ways following an accident, so call a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. There is limited time to take legal action and it is important to immediately take steps to protect the value of your claim.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck crashes are commonly caused by negligence, either on the part of the driver, his or her employer, or other parties. Examples of negligence include:
- Following too closely
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Lack of proper training
- Poor job of maintaining the truck
Call Our Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyers Today
With over 60 years of combined experience, partners Jack Bernstein and Scott Poisson know how to build a strong case and aggressively pursue the compensation you need. Truck accident cases can be complex, which is why you need a firm with a track record of success and the resources to manage every aspect of the case on your behalf.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge you anything up front or while we work on your case, and we only get paid if you do.
Our office in Las Vegas is just a short drive from the Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Las Vegas.