Truck accidents are often more complex and damaging than other vehicle accidents because of the large size of the trucks. Fully loaded trucks can weigh up to 18,000 tons causing catastrophic injuries and wrecking cars and other smaller vehicles. Many trucks are owned by trucking companies and operated within strict federal and state guidelines. These guidelines and laws affect your ability to seek legal action and receive compensation.
If you or a loved one were recently involved or injured in a truck accident, you may have questions about what you should do next. Should you get medical care or call the police? What if you were working for a trucking company? Who is at fault or liable for your accident? In this article, we’ll discuss what you should do after a truck accident, what happens if you’re an employee or contractor of a trucking company, and how De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyer can help you with your truck accident claim.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
First, if you’ve been involved or injured in a truck accident, first and foremost, remain calm. Make sure you and your passengers are safe. Then assess your environment for safety hazards. Once you’ve determined it’s safe, following the four steps below can help you preserve your legal rights and obtain the compensation you deserve:
Step 1: Call 911.
Contact law enforcement and emergency services. The police will file a police report detailing the events leading up to the collision. When speaking with the police, be respectful but don’t admit fault. Emergency services are necessary, even if you don’t suspect any injuries. Sometimes injuries are not visible or immediately apparent, so it’s best to let them check you out.
Step 2: Obtain contact and insurance information from everyone involved.
Obtain the names and contact information of the other drivers, their employers, or the trucking company, if applicable. Don’t forget to get the contact information of any witnesses. Most importantly, obtain any available insurance information.
Step 3: Collect evidence from the scene.
Secure any physical evidence from the accident, including photographs of:
- The driver’s license and license plate of the parties involved.
- The accident scene, including any traffic signs and tire or track marks.
- Any damage to your property or vehicle.
- Your injuries and any injuries others with you sustained.
Step 4: Contact an experienced Nevada truck accident lawyer.
The process of filing a truck accident claim is a complex one that is best handled by an attorney who is knowledgeable about Nevada personal injury law. As soon as possible, contact an attorney, and don’t sign any insurance papers or other documentation regarding your accident before speaking with one.
Who May Be at Fault or Liable?
In a truck accident, multiple parties may be at fault or liable for damages caused. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and other factors, any of the following may be responsible:
- The truck driver.
- The owner of the truck.
- The trucking company.
- The truck or parts manufacturer.
- The mechanic or service provider who recently worked on the truck.
- Third-party companies, such as shipping or construction companies.
- Other drivers, motorists, or pedestrians.
What if You Are Involved in a Truck Accident While Driving as an Employee vs. a Contractor?
In Nevada, truck drivers are either employees of the trucking company or owner-operators, also known as independent contractors.
Your employer may be held vicariously liable for the accident if you’re an employee. Vicarious liability means that an employer can be held indirectly responsible for their employees’ acts of negligence or omissions. This is also known as the doctrine of respondeat superior, and it applies when:
- The employee is under the defendant’s control.
- The employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment when the wrongful act or omission occurred.
If you are a contractor, you are not considered an employee of the trucking company. The trucking company may not be liable unless there are other factors, such as they owned the truck that was involved in the accident and the truck was determined to be faulty.
An experienced Nevada truck accident attorney will be able to determine and assess your liability.
What if You or the Other Truck Driver Were Carrying Cargo?
Overloaded trucks and flying cargo are common causes of truck accidents. To help reduce the risk of injuries from cargo, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Nevada Department of Transportation limit loaded trucks to 129,000 pounds and require cargo to be properly secured.
If you or the other truck driver drove an overloaded or overweight truck or failed to secure the cargo properly, you may be liable for the accident.
Why Should You Consult With an Experienced Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney?
Due to the complicated state and federal laws governing truck accidents, difficulty in determining liability, and a two-year statute of limitation on the filing of claims, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible following your truck accident.
A knowledgeable Nevada truck accident attorney can help you prevent any pricey mistakes that might negatively affect your claim. They can determine the best course of action to limit your liability and maximize your compensation.
How Can De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyer Help You After Your Truck Accident?
At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyer, we handle each personal injury case with professionalism, dedication, and an extensive knowledge of Nevada personal injury law. Our team of experienced attorneys knows that being involved in a truck accident can be a confusing and stressful time. We work to maximize your compensation while protecting your legal rights so you can focus on recovering and getting back to a sense of normalcy.
Contact us online or at 702-780-6462 for a free consultation. There are no upfront costs with us. Let us get you back on the road, and remember, you only pay us if we win your case.