Truck Accident Liability | Who Do I Sue In A Truck Accident?

Trucks On The Road
Madeleine Jones
April 23, 2020

If you’ve been in an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial motor vehicle and are seeking compensation for your injuries, it’s important to determine the truck accident liability of the case. Who caused the accident? The driver? The company that hired the driver? The vehicle’s manufacturer? Did the truck driver hit and run? Hiring a truck accident attorney at Cogburn Law is your first step in determining who is liable and holding those accountable.

Truck On The Road

Who’s At Fault in a Truck Accident?

In most cases, it’s best to pursue claims against all defendants, because there is a good possibility that all may share the liability for the crash. A plaintiff does have to determine, however, whether the truck driver is employed by the company, or working as an independent contractor for that company.

A personal injury attorney can help determine whether the company may be held liable. In general, if the driver uses his own truck, takes care of his own repairs, and is paid per route, and if the company does not withhold taxes from payment, then the driver is most likely an independent contractor. If the company leases a truck to the driver, however, or acts in other ways like an employer, a plaintiff may have a case against them.

Say the driver is an employee and if the accident took place while he or she was performing work for that company, the trucking company can likely be held liable if evidence shows they were negligent. If the driver was simply running an errand in the truck when the accident occurred, the company can argue that they aren’t responsible.

Determining Liability In A Truck Accident Case

Determining liability is different in truck accident cases compared to other car accident lawsuits. Truck accident claims involve the liability of companies – often prominent trucking companies in the Clark County community or from around the country. On-duty truckers who get into accidents may vicariously place blame on the companies in charge of the run. Victims often need help from accident attorneys to shed light on the question of liability after trucking accidents. Especially if your case involved a truck driver hit and run.

The following parties could be accountable for your crash:

  • Trucking company. Thanks to a change in federal trucking laws, companies can no longer evade liability by hiring independent contractors instead of employees. The company will still be vicariously liable for the actions and negligence of its drivers. They could also be liable if they caused the crash through carelessness. Such as failure to maintain fleet vehicles, properly train truck drivers, or by pressuring drivers to meet their deadlines.
  • Cargo-loading company. Lost loads can occur if companies break the securement rules and regulations. Truck overloads, or trucks that are too heavy, cannot operate as the manufacturer intended. It can be difficult or impossible for drivers to control too-heavy trucks.
  • The city of Las Vegas. It’s possible that the city is liable for your truck accident if a dangerous or defective roadway was the cause. It is the city’s duty to keep the roads reasonably safe for drivers. Failure to notice and repair defects such as potholes, broken traffic lights, and obscured signs could be negligence. This, if the city reasonably should have done so. You have the right to file a claim against the government in these situations.

Assigning Liability In A Trucking Accident

Assigning liability for your trucking accident often requires an in-depth investigation of the facts. Investigators may need to revisit the scene of the accident, check the carrier’s crash history, talk to eyewitnesses, and hire experts to help understand who or what caused your wreck. There could be more than one party sharing fault, such as the truck company and a parts manufacturer. 

In Nevada, you can file a lawsuit against some or all of the defendants accountable for the crash. The party responsible for the accident (or their business insurance) is financially liable for injury compensation.

When Can You Sue For a Truck Crash Lawsuit in Nevada?

In general, Nevada trucking accident laws allow victims only two years after the victim discovers his/her injury to file a claim. Therefore, victims should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney can get to work right away gathering all the necessary evidence and information in order to commence legal action before the statute of limitations in Nevada passes. An attorney can also calculate whether special circumstances apply that extend the time limit to file suit.

What Truck Accident Compensation Should I Expect?

The compensation amount depends on many variables, but mostly the facts surroundings an accident and how severe the injuries are.

The injury compensation includes the compensation for the incurred medical bills, damaged property, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in some cases, the cost of future medical care. Some truck accidents get compensation of up to seven figures.

Most truck accident compensation reflects what the victim went through and how it affected their life after the accident.

How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

In truck accident cases, getting full compensation from insurance companies can be tricky. The trucking companies have commercial insurance with a higher per accident limit comparing to regular cars. But they also have many insurance attorneys who will fight back and reduce the compensation amount for you. Furthermore, driven by profits, the trucking companies not always complying with all safety government regulations. But, proving it can be NOT so simple. Finally, truck accident lawsuits often involve more than one vehicle, and its more likely to slow the process of settling the case.

Cogburn Law Offices in Las Vegas

Cogburn law offices in Las Vegas represents people involved in truck accident lawsuits. We help clients recover financial compensation for losses incurred due to another party’s negligence or recklessness. Our Las Vegas truck accident attorneys are very familiar with traffic safety, trucking industry requirements, and vehicle performance issues that underlie large truck accidents. We can help determine the liability of the parties involved. Call us today at (702) 748-7777 for a free consultation.

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