Truck accidents present unique challenges. Pursuing compensation after you have been injured in a crash with a commercial vehicle is more complicated than getting money from an at-fault driver’s car insurance. The injuries are often more severe. Truck drivers and trucking companies have to maintain higher amounts of liability insurance, so the financial stakes are higher.  More potentially liable parties exist in a commercial truck accident than in a passenger vehicle collision.

Pursuing compensation in such a situation can add more stress to an already difficult situation. You should understand your rights after a truck accident. It’s important to know whether you have a right to demand compensation for your medical bills and other expenses from the driver who caused the crash. You should not have to deal with the trucking company or their insurance company alone. An experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorney with Sam & Ash Injury Law can review the details of your 18-wheeler accident and explain your rights. Call today for a free consultation.

rights after a truck accident

Overview of Your Rights After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident in Las Vegas, an insurance adjuster will investigate the case. The adjuster may contact you and urge you to settle the claim quickly. It is easy to feel pressure in such situations and start providing information immediately.

If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you have certain rights, including:

  • A right to decline to speak to insurance companies other than your insurer and to decline to allow access to your medical file
  • A right to consult with a reputable personal injury lawyer about whether you are entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses
  • The right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you were harmed by others’ negligence

Many insurance adjusters start calling while you are still recovering from your injuries and feeling overwhelmed. They hope you will be ready to make a quick settlement. This is a common strategy since many people feel shaken after an accident, especially a serious one involving a large tractor-trailer. But you should not give up your rights.

How To Seek Compensation After a Truck Accident

You may be eligible to claim compensation for the following types of losses after a truck accident:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Losses related to a wrongful death
  • Expenses for long-term disability, including home and vehicle modifications, mobility devices, and continued rehabilitation

You must be able to prove that your medical expenses and related losses were caused by injuries suffered in a truck accident to be compensated for them.

As soon after the accident as possible, you should write down everything you can remember about the crash. Note whether there were witnesses. Record the location of the accident, the weather conditions, and whether you noticed anything in the behavior of the truck driver who hit you. Note whether the driver was swerving, speeding, driving erratically, or texting while driving. When you hire an attorney, the attorney can follow up on your notes to pursue evidence about the crash. The attorney will request the police report and verify the facts.

You should seek medical attention after a truck accident. That first medical visit establishes your injuries and documents what happened to you. Even if you leave your vehicle without assistance and don’t feel pain immediately, it is a good idea to have a prompt medical evaluation. You may have head trauma or an internal injury that isn’t apparent immediately. Sometimes, adrenaline after an accident masks pain and keeps you from realizing you are injured.

Once you start medical treatment, obey your doctor’s recommendations. Keep follow-up appointments with the doctor. If you must miss one, reschedule it immediately. Many cases fail to reach their maximum value because people skip appointments or fail to follow their doctor’s recommendations. Any gap in treatment can seem to an insurance adjuster as if your injury isn’t serious and give them a reason to reduce the value of your claim.

Consider keeping a journal. Note how your injuries affect your ability to perform your regular activities. Note your medical appointments. Write down whether the injury affects your mood or your relationship with others.

Because you can recover lost wages if you miss work because of your injuries, it’s important that you keep your paystubs. They can be used as evidence to show your reduced hours after the accident and any paid time off you used for the accident.

Keep receipts of additional expenses. Injured people often need more help with childcare, home maintenance, yard work, and house cleaning. Do not take these expenses for granted. Instead, track them so your attorney can include them when calculating the value of your claim.

Common Claims After a Truck Accident

When you’ve been injured by someone else in a truck accident, you might have the right to file an injury claim against those responsible for the crash. In commercial vehicle accidents, there are many potentially liable parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, or another negligent driver. Examples of claims you may be eligible to file include:

  • Personal injury claim or lawsuit against a negligent truck driver
  • Insurance claim against your MedPay policy, if you have this type of coverage
  • Insurance claim or lawsuit against a trucking company for insufficient training or screening of employees
  • Insurance claim or lawsuit against another driver for causing the truck accident
  • Insurance claim or lawsuit against the loading crew who improperly loaded the cargo if the cargo shifted or fell off the truck and caused the crash
  • Insurance claim or lawsuit against the maintenance crew who failed to maintain the truck properly
  • The lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective part on the truck that failed and caused the accident
  • Wrongful death claims when a loved one dies in a truck accident
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Why Truck Accident Claims Are More Complicated

Truck accidents present challenges when it comes to investigating and establishing fault. Specifically, truck accidents are often complicated by the following:

  • Severe injuriesA fully-loaded commercial truck weighs up to 80,000 pounds. That is 20 to 25 times heavier than the typical passenger vehicle or SUV. That weight disparity makes severe injuries more likely.
  • Presumption of negligence – Since truck drivers undergo training, commercial carriers often assume other drivers are at fault for the accident. While this doesn’t prevent truck drivers or their employers from facing liability, it does require finding evidence to prove the truck driver’s negligence.
  • Multiple defendants – Truck accidents may involve multiple defendants. A driver may be negligent, but so can the trucking company, maintenance staff, or warehouse employees who loaded the truck. Unbalanced loads or improper maintenance can contribute to accidents.
  • Investigative steps – Attorneys who investigate truck accidents examine driving records, safety reports, maintenance notes, and accident history. Since trucking involves delivery deadlines, shortcuts on maintenance and safety are not uncommon and can cause accidents.
  • Federal law violations – While most car-on-car accidents only involve state law, truck accidents can arise from violating federal truck safety regulations such as hours-of-service limits. A driver’s or company’s failure to follow regulations regarding rest periods and load balance can contribute to serious accidents.
  • Need for experts – Finding the cause of a truck accident may require hiring a truck mechanic to examine the truck and determine whether a mechanical issue contributed to the crash. In addition, a mechanical expert can provide an accident report supporting an injury claim.
  • Commercial insurance carriers – Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies are required to have higher amounts of liability insurance than automobile drivers because of the harm a large truck can cause. As a result, more insurance coverage may be available to pay your claim. But you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to build a strong case for compensation.

An experienced truck accident attorney can access investigative resources unavailable for an individual hoping to obtain a settlement on their own.

Finding a Qualified Truck Accident Lawyer

If you’re struggling to recover from a truck accident in Las Vegas caused by someone else, you deserve What’s Right. The Las Vegas truck accident lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law can help you determine who was at fault for your accident and hold the truck driver, the trucking company, and their insurance companies accountable. You do not have to face this ordeal alone. The Sam & Ash Injury Law attorneys genuinely care about the people who turn to us for help. Call us today for a case evaluation where we can explore your legal options. The consultation is free.

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