When a fatal truck accident is caused by the negligence or recklessness of truck drivers or trucking companies, the families of victims have a right to pursue financial compensation and accountability. Truck accidents are complicated events, though, and insurance companies will fight to keep payments to families as low as possible. That’s why you need a knowledgeable Las Vegas fatal truck accident lawyer to guide you through the process and demand justice for your loved one.
At Sam & Ash, our compassionate legal team will be at your family’s side every step of the way. You can expect the personal attention and care you and your family need during this difficult time. Our attorneys will take the time to get to know you and your family to understand your specific needs so we can do What’s Right for you.
Contact us for a free initial case review to discuss your legal rights and options. We will dedicate ourselves to pursuing the financial recovery and justice you deserve following the loss of your loved one. Call us or get in touch with us online today.
Who Can File a Lawsuit After a Fatal Truck Accident?
Under Nevada’s wrongful death statute, a fatal truck accident lawsuit may be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, typically the administrator or executor appointed by the court. A fatal truck accident suit might also be filed by the “heirs” of the decedent, or the surviving family members who would be entitled to inherit from the decedent’s estate. This may include:
- A surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Individuals who were dependent on the deceased at the time of his or her passing
When Does a Truck Accident Claim Turn into a Wrongful Death Claim?
A truck accident can result in serious injuries. Even if these injuries do not cause a victim’s death at the scene of the crash, the victim may eventually succumb to the injuries suffered.
A truck accident claim may turn into a wrongful death claim when an accident victim’s death can be attributed to the injuries suffered in a truck accident, including from medical complications arising from those injuries.
If the truck accident was caused by the negligence or recklessness of the truck driver, the trucking company, or other parties, the family of the deceased may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim against those parties.
Pursuing Compensation After a Fatal Truck Accident
While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, pursuing compensation after a fatal truck accident can help your family recover from the financial burdens of your loved one’s passing. It can also give you some measure of justice to hold the negligent parties accountable.
In a fatal truck accident claim, you may be entitled to recover:
- Medical expenses from your loved one’s last injuries
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Conscious pain and suffering experienced by your loved one prior to death
- Lost income
- Loss of reasonably expected future financial contributions from your loved one to the family, including the loss of benefits such as health insurance or pensions
- Loss of the growth of the value of your loved one’s estate
- Loss of your loved one’s companionship, care, guidance, affection, and society
In addition, depending on the circumstances of the accident, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are intended to punish the parties at fault for the conduct that resulted in your loved one’s death.
Truck Accident Fatality Statistics
According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, truck crashes resulted in 4,119 fatalities in one recent year. The majority of these deaths, 67 percent, were occupants of passenger vehicles involved in truck crashes. By comparison, 16 percent of fatalities were occupants of the truck cab. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians accounted for about 15 percent of fatalities.
When you look specifically at two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle, 97 percent of the fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicles.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report, in Nevada, there were 24 fatalities in accidents involving large trucks in one recent year.
Common Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents
The size of commercial trucks, often combined with their speed on the highway, can impart violent forces on the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. These forces frequently result in fatal injuries. Some of the most common causes of fatal truck accidents in Las Vegas include:
- Reckless driving, including speeding, tailgating, overtaking, swerving in and out of traffic, or other aggressive behaviors. Truck drivers often face strict delivery schedules and may feel the temptation or pressure from their employer to get to the delivery destination on time no matter what, even if a driver has to deal with traffic or construction delays on the highway.
- Fatigued or drowsy driving. Truckers must drive for many hours in a day, often for multiple days in a row. Even though regulations limit the time drivers can spend behind the wheel and on duty, truckers still often become fatigued or drowsy while driving. This can impact a driver’s concentration, judgment, or reaction times. It may even cause them to fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving. Truck drivers face many of the same tempting distractions as other motorists, including texting or emailing while driving. But when truck drivers take their eyes or their attention off the highway for even just a few seconds, they may travel the length of more than a football field without being in full control of their vehicle.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Truck drivers may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the stresses of the job or use stimulants to help themselves stay awake. Any illicit drugs or alcohol will negatively impact a truck driver’s ability to operate a commercial vehicle properly and safely.
- Inexperienced drivers or lack of training. Newer truck drivers or drivers unfamiliar with a type of truck can cause a fatal accident when they don’t know how to handle the vehicle under certain circumstances.
- Inadequate truck maintenance. Trucking companies may sometimes cut corners on vehicle maintenance to save money. Unfortunately, this also creates a risk of catastrophic mechanical failure on the road.
- Vehicle and part defects. Design or manufacturing defects in trucks or parts used in the truck may also cause a catastrophic failure that triggers a fatal crash.
- Unsafe cargo loads. Truck drivers and freight companies have an obligation to ensure that a cargo load doesn’t exceed the truck’s capacity and that the load is properly balanced and secure. An overloaded truck or cargo that is unbalanced or allowed to shift during travel can cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle on the road.
How Can a Las Vegas Fatal Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Losing a loved one places a great deal of emotional trauma and stress on you and your family. It can seem overwhelming to also try to pursue a legal claim for compensation and accountability from those parties at fault. The Las Vegas fatal truck accident lawyers at Sam & Ash can help take the burden off you by:
- Taking the time to get to know you and your family so that we can develop a strategy aimed at doing What’s Right for you
- Making ourselves available to answer your questions and concerns and keeping your family up to date on the progress of your case
- Handling all of the legal legwork in your case so that your family has the space to heal after your loved one’s passing
- Negotiating skillfully on your behalf to pursue maximum compensation in your wrongful death case
- Representing you in court if needed to pursue the financial recovery and justice you deserve
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident in Las Vegas, contact Sam & Ash today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Learn more about how our legal team can protect your interests and fight for What’s Right for your family.