All Las Vegas trucking accident attorneys know how devastating this particular type of traffic crash can be. Large trucks, especially 18-wheelers and semi-trucks are nearly 20 times bigger and heavier than the average passenger car. Thus, the result of the impact between a commercial vehicle and a regular car is devastating in most cases: people lose their lives or suffer catastrophic injuries, sometimes resulting in permanent disability or impairment.
As a consequence, most truck accident victims need to spend a lot of time in hospital, undergoing surgery and even skin grafts, in order to recover from their injuries. Afterwards, they also spend many months in rehabilitation and physical therapy, trying to recover the use of their limbs and other body parts to the largest extent possible. All these are translated into very high medical costs, combined with loss of wages for a long period of time. Recovering economic damages and non-economic damages after a truck accident can be challenging. This is why you need an experienced Las Vegas, NV personal injury lawyer from the Nettles Morris law firm.
What Are the Challenges of Filing a Truck Accident Claim?
Trucking companies are among the biggest and most powerful entities in the US. They make possible the moving of goods from coast to coast, ensuring that all consumers find everything they need on store shelves. As a result, trucking companies make millions of dollars in profits and are not willing to part with any cent, even if they are liable to do so.
Thus, they hire lots of attorneys and the biggest insurance companies to ward off any liability claims from people injured by their truck drivers driving their trucks. This attitude contradicts the vicarious responsibility principle, stating that an employer is liable for the negligence, actions and omissions of their employees while on the job.
As Las Vegas truck accident attorneys can attest to, negotiating with these companies and their insurers is extremely difficult. A regular person, who did not retain professional legal representation, stands no chance. They will most likely recover just a part of their damages from the driver, while the trucking company remains untouched.
Benefits of Hiring a Las Vegas, NV Personal Injury Lawyers
Las Vegas truck accident attorneys have experience in all sorts of personal injury cases, no matter how complex they may be. This is what they do on a daily basis and they rely on both knowledge of the Nevada law, and their experience to reach the best results for their clients.
A lawyer can maximize the amount of money you collect as compensation by doing the following:
1. Establishing That the Truck Driver Was an Employee, Not a Contractor
Many trucking companies will claim that their drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Why do they do that? The answer is because the vicarious liability principle is not applicable to independent contractors.
As their name states, they are not under the company’s control and, thus, the company cannot be reasonably expected to be responsible for their actions. However, an experienced Las Vegas trucking accident attorney can quickly establish the actual employment relationship between the negligent driver and the trucking company.
2. Determining That the Driver Was On the Job
If they cannot prove that the driver was not an employee, trucking company representatives will say that the person was not on the job, or that they were going on an unauthorized route. Again, this will relieve them from liability to pay for your hospital bills and car repair costs.
In reality, a truck driver cannot simply make a detour to visit friends or parents. They must keep a log recording their driving hours, as well as documents pertaining to the goods they are delivering, to whom these goods belong, and where they are supposed to arrive.
A Las Vegas, NV personal injury lawyer knows how to obtain the necessary information and evidence, including by getting a full statement from the truck driver.
3. Proving the Trucking Company’s Liability for the Accident
Trucking companies have a very good financial position, but this is on many occasions at the expense of their drivers’ wellbeing and safety. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has clear rules for the number of consecutive hours on the job and mandatory breaks, many drivers must break these rules in order to make their deliveries on time.
Any late delivery means a fine retained from their paycheck or even losing their job. Thus, a significant percentage of truck drivers are drowsy and fall asleep behind the steering wheel. And they cause horrific car accidents, which claim the life of innocent people or leave them with severe injuries.
4. Proving That the Driver Had a History of Traffic Violations
Another way in which trucking companies can be held liable for traffic crashes is by proving that they were negligent in hiring a driver. Each company should perform a background check on job applicants to determine that they can be trusted behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck loaded with valuable goods.
If your Las Vegas, NV personal injury lawyer finds that the driver had a history of speeding, reckless driving or DUI before being employed by the trucking company, then the company is liable. They could have performed the same verifications and realized that they are dealing with a dangerously negligent driver.
5. Proving That the Truck Driver Was the Fault Party Causing the Accident
As a last resort, an insurance adjuster representing the trucking company will claim that you were partly at fault for the truck accident, or even the main party responsible for the crash. As Las Vegas trucking accident attorneys will explain to you, the state of Nevada uses the comparative negligence principle in personal injury law. This means that you must not be more than 50% at fault for your accident in order to be eligible to file an insurance claim.
By carefully investigating the crash, with the help of accident reconstruction experts if necessary, your Las Vegas. NV personal injury lawyer will demonstrate that the truck driver was more at fault for the crash. Thus, you are perfectly eligible to seek and receive monetary compensation.
6. Filing a Lawsuit within the Statutes of Limitations
Not all insurance companies agree to settle a case out of court. However, they will try to delay the negotiation process as much as possible, until it would be too late to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In Nevada, the statute of limitations is 2 years, starting with the date of your accident. Skilled Las Vegas trucking accident attorneys will quickly identify the insurer’s tactics and push the negotiations towards a conclusion or advise you to file a lawsuit within the 2-year timeframe.
Let a Top Truck Accident Law Firm Win Your Case!
At Nettles Morris, you will find a team of personal injury attorneys with a combined experience of 30 years. We used to work for insurance companies, so we know exactly how they handle accident claims. This gives us an advantage in negotiating on your behalf. However, we are not afraid to go to court if an insurer refuses to settle and we have a proven track record of victories on behalf of our clients.
Do not wait too long before securing the best legal representation – call us to schedule a free case review with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer: 702-410-6239!