las vegas truck accident lawyer

Big Rig / Trucking Accidents in Nevada

Our national economy depends on cargo being transported quickly and efficiently across the country, relying on the trucking industry to keep the goods moving from place of origin to their destination. But with long hours and many miles on the road, accidents occur, often seriously injuring occupants of passenger cars.

In the United States, 333,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes during 2012, resulting in 3921 fatalities and 104,000 additional non-fatal injuries. That’s a disturbing 18 percent increase in injuries and a 4 percent increase in fatalities over the 2011 numbers. By far the greatest percentage of those injured in accidents involving trucks —nearly three-quarters of the total number—were the occupants of other vehicles. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA),the number of injuries to truck occupants rose by 8.7 percent from 2011 to 2012, while the number of injuries to drivers and passengers of other vehicles along with others not occupying a vehicle rose almost 20 percent!

Large commercial trucks can weigh up to 88,000 pounds when fully loaded, making them a serious danger to much smaller passenger vehicles and their occupants. This places a tremendous responsibility on the drivers of these highway monsters. At the same time, truck drivers are often under pressure to cover long distances quickly. Time is money in the trucking industry, and drivers may be tempted to push beyond their physical limit to meet tight schedules and increase their amount of earnings by driving to the point of exhaustion. They may also be tempted to exceed the speed limit for the same reasons. The result is often very serious injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
  • Organ damage
  • Fractures
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Chronic pain
  • Facial injuries
  • Scarring
  • Crush injuries
  • Burns
  • Crush injuries
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Death

Some of these injuries are catastrophic and life-changing, requiring months or years of medical treatment and time off from work, exorbitant expenses, use of assistive devices, and in some cases, a lifetime of personal care. If you have suffered a serious injury in a truck accident, you should contact a Nevada personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible to protect your right to recover money as compensation for your damages.

Why Trucks Are Predisposed to Accidents

Certain characteristics of large trucks predispose them to accidents:

  • Large blind spots limit visibility.
  • Trucks take longer to stop because of their weight, which, at 55 miles an hour, is more than twice the amount of distance required to stop a passenger car.
  • Trucks are more difficult than cars to maneuver.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Most truck accidents are caused by truck driver error. These are some of the different causes of accidents that can be attributed to negligence on the part of the trucker:

  • Driver fatigue and sleep deprivation
  • Driver distraction
  • Impairment with alcohol or drugs
  • Improper truck maintenance
  • Overloading of trucks
  • Improper securing of cargo
  • Improper securing of trailer to tractor
  • Road hazards
  • Aggressive driving
  • Speeding
  • Poor tire maintenance, allowing tread burn and tire blowouts
  • Stopping abruptly in traffic
  • Failing to check blind spots when turning or changing lanes
  • Applying brakes on a curve or steep decline and causing the truck to jackknife
  • Overcorrecting after running wheels off the road

Federal Trucking Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrie Safety Administration regulates trucks that operate across state lines, imposing stringent requirements regarding:

  • Safety standards and mandatory maintenance schedules
  • Driver qualifications and training
  • Limits on driver hours and required rest periods and breaks
  • Amount of insurance required
  • Licensing requirements for motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders

Any violation of these regulations will be indicative of negligence and can entitle the accident victim to damages when the violation was the cause of the accident.

Who Is Liable?

Although driver error is the most common cause of truck accidents, there may be other parties who share in the liability when an accident occurs:

  • the owner of the truck or trailer
  • the party that leased the truck or trailer
  • a maintenance company or mechanic
  • the manufacturer of the vehicle, its tires, equipment, or components
  • the shipper of the cargo, if the truck was loaded improperly

If you or a member of your family suffered serious injuries in a Nevada truck accident, call the law offices of Eric H. Woods, one of the Las Vegas’s most respected and successful personal injury attorneys. Eric has been helping accident victims recover enough money to pick up the pieces of their lives after a serious accident for more than thirty years; he handles truck accident cases regularly.

When you bring Eric Woods on board, he and his team of investigators will immediately set out to determine the facts of the accident and will make a minute examination of the evidence, including trucking logs, maintenance records, the truck’s “black box” data recorder, the trucker’s driving record, and the company’s history of prior accidents.

Get Help Today

Getting an early start with the investigation enables your attorney to gather essential information before it is lost or destroyed and to examine the evidence while it is still fresh. Furthermore, Nevada places limits on the amount of time in which you can file a truck accident claim. Protect your right to recover for your damages by calling Eric Woods today. There is never a charge for the consultation, and all accident cases are taken on contingency, so you pay nothing until the day you are paid your damage award.