Commercial trucks haul millions of tons of freight around the US each year. They are responsible for transporting almost three-fourths of all of the country’s cargo annually. Unfortunately, big rigs and 18-wheelers are not always suited for safe transport. In 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recorded 4,657 fatal large truck accidents. This was an increase of 10% from the previous year. Determining fault and liability for a commercial truck collision in Las Vegas could lead to financial compensation for the victims of an accident. At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm our experienced Las Vegas truck accident lawyers can help you hold the party responsible for your injuries.
Proving liability requires establishing fault for the commercial truck collision. The person or party at fault will be the entity most responsible for causing the accident. In many accident claims, the at-fault party is the truck driver. Commercial drivers are under a great deal of stress and pressure in their day-to-day jobs. They must meet tight deadlines and work tough driving schedules. Some drivers may turn to alcohol and/or drugs to cope with the pressures of work. Substance abuse is a factor in many fatal truck accidents each year.
Drunk and drugged driving can make it impossible for a truck driver to safely maneuver and control his or her big rig. An intoxicated truck driver may speed, tailgate, run red lights, weave through traffic, fall asleep behind the wheel and otherwise drive recklessly. This could lead to catastrophic and fatal truck accidents in Las Vegas. A commercial driver’s license holder is legally intoxicated at 0.04% blood alcohol concentration in Nevada, not 0.08%. If the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, the trucking company could be vicariously liable.
Truck driver fatigue is another common cause of Las Vegas commercial truck accidents. Driving a semi-truck, especially on long-haul trips, can cause driver exhaustion. To combat driver fatigue, the FMCSA has hours of service regulations limiting driver hours to a maximum of 14 consecutive hours per day, as well as 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days. Trucking companies will sometimes pressure drivers, however, to breach hours of service regulations to meet tight deadlines.
Driver fatigue can lead to a trucker having slower reaction times, poorer judgment or falling asleep behind the wheel. Other truck driver acts of negligence or recklessness, such as ignoring roadway laws, breaking federal rules, speeding, and driving while distracted can also cause truck accidents. In most cases, the fault of a truck driver will lead to the liability of the truck company. Truck companies are vicariously liable for the actions of their drivers, even if they are independent contractors.
Truck Company Negligence
Sometimes, it is not a driver but a trucking company that causes a semi accident in Las Vegas. Truck companies can be directly liable for accidents if they contributed to them through acts of negligence. Common examples include hiring unlicensed drivers, failing to properly train new drivers, breaking FMCSA regulations and ignoring truck maintenance requirements. Trucking company negligence could lead to unroadworthy trucks and accidents such as tire blowouts or jackknifes from improper braking. Other potentially liable parties after a Las Vegas truck accident include product manufacturers, cargo loaders, cargo companies, property owners and government agencies.
Contact Claggett & Sykes Law Firm
Liability is a complex and important part of personal injury law, but liability for a commercial truck collision in Las Vegas can be difficult to determine. You may need a lawyer’s assistance in investigating you or a loved one’s recent accident for signs of negligence and fault. Contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We may be able to obtain evidence of causation, such as the truck’s black box or the driver’s employment records, to identify the defendant. One or multiple parties may be liable for your injuries and damages. Call (702) 333-7777 today to schedule your consultation in Las Vegas.