An accident with a truck is all too likely to involve serious injuries and even death. Large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) such as semi-trucks and tractor-trailers weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, far heavier than a passenger car’s 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. CMVs are also larger and higher up off the ground.
A total of 4,951 persons were fatally injured in large commercial truck accidents throughout the United States in the last year for which statistics are available. CMVs were involved in nearly 5 percent of Nevada’s fatal accidents that year.
Truck accidents are not only dangerous, they usually create far more complex cases than other types of vehicle accidents. More entities potentially bear responsibility for the accident, and they may all carry different insurance policies with multiple insurance carriers. As a result, victims injured in truck accidents can find it difficult to obtain just compensation for the harm they have suffered.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or died in a Nevada truck accident, it is critical to consult a truck accident lawyer. But what questions should you ask them? Here is a list of suggested questions:
When Can I Receive Compensation if a Victim of a Truck Accident?
Injured parties can receive compensation if the accident stemmed from someone else’s negligence. Negligence is a violation of the duty of care a person or entity owes the public. A truck driver, for example, owes a duty of care to follow all traffic laws and drive prudently according to conditions, including avoiding alcohol and all other substances that could impair their driving. The violation of any one of these duties of care is negligence.
If a person or entity causes a truck accident through their negligent actions or failure to act, they are legally responsible for any harm that results. Injured people can seek financial compensation for the damages that directly result from the accident.
So the first step in receiving compensation is to know who or what caused the accident. The second step is to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company or to bring a truck accident lawsuit in civil court.
What Type of Damages Can I Get?
Injured people can seek:
- Medical expenses, both already incurred and expected in the future—for emergency treatment and transportation, doctor’s visits, diagnostic tests, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medication, assistive devices, and more.
- Wages lost from work for the time you needed to take away from work due to the accident, medical treatment, and recovery.
- The lifetime value of earnings: the total earnings the injured person could have expected to receive over a lifetime if the injuries prevent them from working.
- Personal property damage for damage or loss to the injured person’s personal property, such as a vehicle.
- Pain and suffering for physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering related to the accident.
What’s the Total Amount of Compensation I’m Likely to Receive in a Truck Accident?
The total amount of compensation victims of truck accidents receive varies, depending on the injuries and other damages they sustained. In other words, there is no one figure granted to all truck accident victims, and it’s a complicated task to calculate what a particular injury victim is likely to receive in compensation.
Economic damages are determined by adding up your expenses (such as medical bills) and what you have lost (such as wages lost from work). If future medical expenses or future losses are likely, expert testimony may determine the expected costs or your likely future losses.
Property damage is arrived at by determining the current market value of the property and or the cost to repair or replace the property in the event of a total loss.
Pain and suffering damages are not specifically economic, in the sense that you don’t receive a bill for them that an insurance company can reference. The overall effect on the victim’s life, the harm the injuries caused, and whether the injuries will resolve all help determine pain and suffering damages.
More serious and long-lasting injuries generally warrant larger total compensation awards.
Who Is Responsible for the Accident?
Determining who was responsible for a truck accident is not always easy. Why? Because multiple entities can bear responsibility. Usually, the only way to determine the responsible party is to hire an experienced attorney to undertake a thorough investigation.
Potentially responsible parties include:
- The truck driver, if they engaged in poor driving or decision-making;
- The trucking company, if they failed to maintain the truck in good working order or train or vet the driver properly;
- Subcontractors, if they failed to load or secure cargo properly and an unstable or too-heavy load caused the accident;
- Repair and maintenance companies, if poor maintenance or faulty repair caused the accident; and
- Manufacturers, if a defective truck or component caused the accident.
A truck accident lawyer can perform a thorough investigation and turn up evidence of who or what caused the accident. Consulting legal representation licensed in the State of the accident will ensure you receive the just compensation you deserve.