Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney
Table of Contents
If you suffered injuries in a commercial trucking accident in Las Vegas, you’re going to need the knowledge, skill, and experience of an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you recover. You’ll need an attorney who knows about the regulations that apply to truckers and trucking companies; someone who understands the nuances involved in truck accident litigation. If you want to win your case, you’re going to need to hire truck accident attorney George T. Bochanis.
When large commercial trucks and passenger cars collide, the results are almost always catastrophic. The majority of people who are injured in motor vehicle accidents involving semi trucks are the people in smaller passenger vehicles. Around 17% of truck accidents result in fatalities. Since you probably encounter tractor trailers on a daily basis in Las Vegas, you are at a significant risk of becoming one of those statistics. The size of these big rigs is almost a guarantee that your injury is going to be a serious one.
Call the experienced truck accident lawyers at George Bochanis Injury Law Offices for a free consultation. (702) 388-2005. There is NO FEE unless we win your case.
Why Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
One of the most common questions a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer will hear from victims and their families is, “The trucker caused the crash. Why should I have to hire a truck accident attorney?”
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to get a lawyer to recover compensation for a crash someone else caused. If personal injury cases worked like they should, you would file a claim, and then the insurance company, trucking company, or both, would pay you for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You would be able to get the medical care you needed, and you would recover. After all, you deserve compensation for your financial losses, not to mention the physical pain and emotional suffering you’re going through. Unfortunately, that’s rarely how truck accident claims work. Without legal representation, you’ll be lucky to recover enough of a settlement to pay for your immediate medical expenses. That’s where we come in.
Experienced truck accident attorney George T. Bochanis goes up against large trucking companies and their attorneys to make sure accident victims recover full and fair compensation for their losses.
George will help by:
- Investigating the cause of your crash. Our law firm will review photos, videos, witness statements, and other evidence to determine how the accident happened.
- Working with experts. If necessary, we will bring in a team of investigators, accident reconstructionists, and other specialists to help us prove your case.
- Handling trucking and insurance companies on your behalf. We will negotiate settlement amounts for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and emotional distress.
- Filing a lawsuit and fighting for your rights in court to get you maximum compensation if a settlement with the insurance company does not occur.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
After a trucking accident, you’re going to be shaken up, and it might be hard to focus on the steps you need to take. Remember, your safety and well-being are priorities. If you are able, move to a safe location. Check on the condition of other accident victims. Call 9-1-1 and get emergency medical help and the police on the way.
When emergency responder arrive, allow them to check you over. The shock of the accident can hide symptoms of serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries or damage to internal organs. Even if you don’t feel like your injuries are serious, it is best to still get checked over by a medical professional.
If you’re feeling up to it, take photos of the accident scene. Include property damage, the positions of the vehicles, skid marks, debris, and anything else that might be helpful in determining the cause of the crash.
As soon as you are able, contact Las Vegas truck accident lawyer George T. Bochanis for a free initial consultation. George will make sure your rights are protected, evidence is preserved, and you have access to the medical help and resources you need to recover.
What If You’re Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Nevada follows the comparative negligence rule when it comes to commercial truck accidents. You can still recover damages as long as you are less than 50% responsible for the accident. If your personal injury claim is successful, your award amount will be reduced by a percentage based on relative responsibility.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
On average, there are over eight thousand truck accidents each year in Nevada involving big rigs and work or utility trucks. Over 100,000 truck accidents occur each year nationwide. The risk for a truck accident increases June through October, although truck accidents can occur year round.
Truck accidents happen for various reasons, but most often, a car or truck driver’s negligence is to blame.
Driving Under the Influence
Truck drivers are held to a higher standard than drivers of private passenger vehicles. For people with a commercial driver’s license, the legal limit for BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), is 0.04. Although some trucking companies have a zero tolerance policy and any amount of alcohol will cost employees their jobs, many truck drivers continue to drive under the influence. Mixing alcohol or drugs with control of an 80,000 pound semi truck is like asking for serious or fatal injuries. Alcohol dulls the senses and can lead to slower reaction times, weaving in traffic, driving the wrong speed, sudden stops or turns, and disorientation.
Distracted driving occurs when anything takes the driver’s attention away from the road. The more that a driver takes his or her eyes off of the road, the higher the potential for an accident to occur.
Some examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking or texting on a cell phone without the aid of a hands-free device
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting electronic devices
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
Nevada defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle in wanton and willful disregard of the safety of others by ignoring traffic laws. This can include endangering other drivers on the road, as well as pedestrians. Some examples of reckless driving include:
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals
- Trick driving
- Hitting medians or curbs when making a U-turn
Fatigue can be defined as tiredness or a feeling of weariness. Caused by lack of sleep over the course of several days, or staying awake too many hours in a row, fatigue is common in long-haul truck drivers. Tiredness can also be caused by doing monotonous work, or not moving enough during work hours.
Some health conditions and medications can contribute to feelings of drowsiness. Fatigue can lead drivers to fall asleep while driving, drift into the wrong lane, react slower to road conditions, or make poor decisions. Drivers should always try to get enough sleep, especially if they have a longer commute time. Long drives allow for more opportunity for a truck crash if the driver is experiencing fatigue. Effects of fatigue might be felt more in the morning due to the body’s natural sleeping rhythm.
Schedule your FREE consultation with truck accident attorneys in Las Vegas now.
Call our law firm at: (702) 388-2005
Who Is at Fault for Your Truck Accident?
As the victim of a truck accident, you may be unsure about who is responsible for your injuries and other damages. Should you sue the truck driver, the truck leasing company, the trucking company that the driver was contracted with, or other parties connected to the tractor trailer? Our personal injury attorneys research the underlying circumstances of your accident to identify all responsible parties.
Determining who is at fault for a truck accident will depend on how the accident occurred, and what led up to the crash. All details of the accident will be important to help your truck accident lawyer to determine the responsible party.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Trucking Accident?
Most commercial truck accidents in Las Vegas involve a complicated web of liable parties. This is because so many parties play a role in moving cargo down the road, and each of these parties will typically have their own insurance policy with its own coverages.
Some parties that could be held liable in a truck accident lawsuit are the:
- Truck driver
- Truck owner
- Trucking company
- Truck manufacturer
- Auto repair shop in charge of maintenance
- Local government in charge of the roads
- Driver of another vehicle
Using Evidence to Determine Who Is at Fault
If the police are called to the scene, they will gather evidence to put in the official report. This report will state the officer’s opinion about the cause of the crash. In addition to photos and videos, the evidence that is used to build this report includes:
- Driver interviews
- Passenger statements
- Witness statements
- Road conditions
This same evidence can be used by your lawyer and accident investigators to determine who is the responsible party, even if the police were not required to appear at the scene.
Serious Injuries Sustained in Trucking Accidents
Trucks can cause serious damage to other vehicles on the road. Due to the large scale of the vehicles involved, they can also cause severe injuries to victims. Some truck accident injuries are severe enough to cause a lifelong disability that can change the victim’s quality of life. In the worst cases, victims lose their lives.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common injuries from truck accidents. TBI’s are also one of the most fatal injuries if left untreated. Symptoms may not always occur immediately after the accident. If any of these symptoms begin, the victim should seek medical treatment immediately:
- Headache and confusion
- Loss of consciousness and coma
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Vomiting and lethargy
- Speech difficulties
- Dilated pupils or blurred vision
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury can impact the nerves and motor functions of that section of the spine. Nerves are controlled along different parts of the spine, so the area that is affected will determine which nerves might lose function.
The spine is made up of four different sections, which are named:
- Cervical: the head and neck
- Thoracic: upper chest
- Lumbar: hips and legs
- Sacral: hips and pelvic organs
Broken bones and fractures are common in truck accidents due to the force involved in the collision. Many breaks can be due to airbags being deployed, as well as bracing for impact, even if the accident could be considered a minor one. Some common broken bones from trucking accidents include:
- Spinal breaks in the neck or back
- Pelvic bone
- Facial bones
Crush injuries involve crushing the muscles or prolonged compression of parts of the body, such as the torso. Resulting in damage to soft tissue, muscles, and nerves in the body part that was crushed or compressed for a length of time. Damage from a crush injury include:
- Bleeding and bruising
- Fractures or broken bones
- Lacerations and open wounds
- Infections from wounds
- Nerve injuries
Loss of Limb
Loss of limb includes accidental amputation of extremities or appendages during the accident, as well as the surgical removal due to injuries sustained during the accident. This includes both small and large extremities. Some common body parts that get amputated are:
This is not a comprehensive list of all appendages that could be considered under loss of limb. A truck accident lawyer can determine if an injury falls into this category.
Wrongful death occurs when a victim is killed due to the actions or negligence of another party. A lawsuit can be filed by the family, and plaintiffs can recover compensation for the damages they endured because of the loved one’s passing. Immediate family members can file a wrongful death suit. If there is no immediate family, then extended family is allowed to file. Additionally, a survival action may be filed on behalf of the decedent’s estate to recover the compensation that the victim would have received if he or she had lived.
“After my accident I was shook up and in pain and everybody was so nice to me. Estephania was especially helpful whenever I had questions. I would definitely recommend George T Bochanis law offices to anyone in need of an attorney. They made a very unpleasant situation very bearable!!”
We look forward to listening to your side of the story. Schedule your free consultation with an injury lawyer today.
When Should You File a Truck Accident Claim?
It is best to consider filing a claim immediately after a truck accident has occurred. Insurance requires drivers to notify them after a scene has been secured, and any injuries treated, to begin the claims process. The process of determining who is at fault can take months, depending on the complexity of the accident. Insurance companies often delay investigations to frustrate victims and discourage them from pursuing compensation. They may also twist facts, shift blame, minimize injuries, and even deny coverage completely.
Hiring a lawyer from the beginning can help prevent processing delays and other unscrupulous tactics insurers use. A lawyer will also help ensure you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company.
What Information Should I Give to My Insurance Company?
When a semi truck crash occurs, the insurance company is going to request information about the drivers and any trucking companies involved. This will usually include the names of the drivers, driver’s license numbers, and the name of the other driver’s insurance company.
While you should cooperate with the insurance company, be sure that you provide factual information only. Their representatives are trained to twist conversations with victims to get them to unintentionally admit fault or otherwise jeopardize claims. Your lawyer can advise you about what information to provide, and even handle all communication with the insurer to make sure your right to compensation is protected.
Our law firm offers a free consultation to injured victims of truck accidents. Contact us at (702) 388-2005.
What Should I Do If the Trucking Company’s Insurer Contacts Me?
If a trucking company’s insurance agent reaches out after an accident, the way you handle the call can significantly impact your claim. If you have an attorney, direct the insurer to call the law firm. You are not required to discuss the crash. If you do decide to speak with the representative, you should:
- Get the caller’s name
- Get the name of the company he or she represents
- Get the caller’s contact information
- Not give a recorded statement
- Not sign any documents that might release liability
- Not give details of the accident that could be taken as an admission of fault
As soon as you’ve hired legal representation, provide documentation to your attorney about all communication between you and the insurer.
Types of Damages You Can Recover in Truck Accident Claims
Victims of truck crashes may be able to recover various types of damages from the at-fault party and the insurance company. A successful lawsuit will help ease the financial burdens you and your family face because of the crash, enabling you to focus on your health and well-being.
Financial costs of the accident that can be directly calculated are known as economic damages. This amount includes all out-of-pocket losses that arise out of the accident, including recovery and rehabilitation costs. If the injury was severe enough that the injury caused a permanent disability that impacts future work ability, that will also be taken into consideration when calculating how mush your claim is worth.
The amount of economic damages available in a truck accident case often include:
- Medical bills from the accident and an estimate of future medical costs
- Medications that have been prescribed
- Lost wages for the work time missed due to the accident, including lost opportunities
- Lost earning capacity
Even if some of these costs have been covered by insurance due to the Collateral Source Rule, the victim is still able to obtain those costs in a lawsuit.
Another type of damages that can be recovered through a truck accident lawsuit is non-economic damages. These are made up of intangible losses. Since these losses are not tied to a set monetary value, award amounts are left for the jury to decide.
Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Scarring or disfigurement
- A decrease in quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
No attorney can guarantee the amount you will receive if your personal injury claim is successful. Your lawyer will review your case to see which damages you may be entitled to receive, however, and provide you with a fairly accurate estimate of what to expect.
Can You Claim Punitive Damages in a Truck Accident Case?
Punitive damages are sometimes awarded along with the compensatory damages if the responsible party was found to be grossly negligent or acted with malicious intent. These are also known as exemplary damages, and they are intended to discourage the same type of behavior by the responsible party as well as others in the same type of situation. Although punitive damage awards are uncommon, they can be substantial when they apply.
FAQs About Truck Accidents
The statute of limitations is the time frame that the injured victim can file a personal injury lawsuit after a truck wreck. Typically, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the crash, although exceptions sometimes apply. Since the time limit to take legal action can be shorter or longer, it’s best to begin working with a personal injury lawyer right away.
A commercial truck is not defined by a particular type, size, or weight of a vehicle. A commercial truck is any vehicle that is not used for personal use, but instead is used primarily for the transportation of property or passengers. Some examples include buses, delivery trucks, and service vehicles. This does not, however, include taxi cabs.
Most truck accident lawyers accept cases on contingency. In a contingency fee arrangement, there are no upfront attorney fees. Instead, the attorney receives a percentage of the final settlement amount or awarded damages. If your case is not successful, your attorney does not get paid.
What Type of Injury Lawyer Do You Need?
Our law firm provides legal representation for those dealing with injuries caused by workplace accidents, negligence, or the intentional actions of others. George T. Bochanis is a: