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Large trucks — they are on our roadways every day. We cannot avoid them and frankly, we need them. We depend on trucks to deliver goods to our retail outlets, medical supplies to our hospitals, and prescription medication to our pharmacies. They also deliver fuel which is necessary to keep our homes supplied with gas for cooking and to ensure we can get into our vehicles and travel to work.

The challenge is this also means there are more trucks on our roadways, particularly in Las Vegas which has a 24 hour a day need for necessities. Unfortunately, too often, we learn tractor-truck accidents have claimed a life or caused serious injury. Pedestrians, motorcyclists, and motorists are all at risk when a truck driver is not operating safely.

When you lose a loved one in a truck accident, Gina Corena & Associates is here to help. If you have suffered a debilitating injury, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Any roadway accident can happen in the blink of an eye. We all assume when we are on the road that those who we are sharing the road with are paying attention to what they are doing, and what others are doing. This is not always the case.

A report which drawn up by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) following an investigation to determine the most common causes of semi-truck accidents provides some sobering statistics about distracted truck drivers.

Nearly 30% of all truck accidents — that means almost a third of them — are a result of inattentive drivers. Stopping a truck is not easy. If a truck driver looks at their GPS, is reviewing a text message, or changing their radio station, an accident because of the distraction can occur.

Truck accident victims should never have to bear the financial cost of a distracted truck driver in Nevada. You can fight back by seeking help from a highly qualified truck accident attorney. You have rights following a truck accident. Make sure you know those rights by contacting an accident lawyer who has experience handling truck accident cases.

Each of us had to pass a road test and a written test in order to obtain our driver’s license. Truck drivers require hours of training to qualify for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Unfortunately, not every company that employs drivers care about what happens if a truck driver has not completed their training hours. They hire a driver to fill a truck driver shortage and they may ignore Nevada CDL license requirements.

A trucking company ignoring training requirements, or otherwise putting an unqualified truck driver on Nevada roadways increases the risk for everyone they share the road with. The FMCSA report referred to previously shows nine percent of truck accidents occur because of a driver’s performance. When placed in a position where they need to make a quick decision, a truck driver may overcompensate, make a poor decision, or simply panic. This type of risky behavior can cause an accident in the blink of an eye.

An attorney who has experience handling truck accident injury claims will hold those responsible for your truck accident injuries accountable. When an unqualified truck driver causes an accident and as a result you are living with catastrophic injuries, the employer of the trucker can be held liable for your financial losses.

Trucking regulations occur on both the state and federal level. They are put in place to ensure everyone on the road, truck drivers, operators of motor vehicles, as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle operators remain safe. Regulations are disregarded by both truck drivers and their employers.

Rest times are important. We all know what happens when we fail to get enough sleep. Our decision making is slower, we have trouble focusing, and in some cases, we are drowsy. Any one of these factors are dangerous when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle. They are especially dangerous if you are sharing the road with a big rig operator suffering driver fatigue.

A commercial truck is large and when they are involved in what might otherwise be a major auto accident, the victims can, and do, suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries. Driver fatigue is a problem and after careful analysis, the FMCSA developed hours of service regulations. These regulations dictate how much rest a driver must have in order to continue operating safely.

Remember, a tractor-trailer needs more time to stop than passenger cars. In fact, they have very long stopping distances. A loaded tractor trailer may require a distance equivalent to two football fields in order to stop completely. That is a lot of room, and a semi-truck driver who is drowsy is unlikely to be able to distinguish when they should begin applying their brakes to avoid an accident.

When you have been involved in a car accident, the aftermath at the scene of the accident is often chaotic. You may not be aware the truck operator was violating required rest times, but you can feel confident that when an accident is being investigated the driver’s logbook will be reviewed for this violation. Your personal injury lawyer can explain how a logbook can help them identify violations of rest times.

The driver of a truck is not much different than the driver of a car. Many of the same issues which cause auto accidents also result in truck accidents. Unfortunately, due to the sheer size of a truck, the accidents are more likely to be serious. Sadly, all too many times they are fatal. Some of the potential causes of accidents which must be investigated include:

  • Impaired by prescription or street drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless driving including speeding, failure to yield, or other traffic violation
  • Failure to pay attention to changing road conditions
  • Brake or tire failure
  • External distractions on the roadway
  • Animals jumping into the roadway
  • Another car failing to pay attention to truck blind spots
  • Truck driver regulation violations

There are a number of issues which can lead to a serious truck accident. When a fatal accident occurs and you lose a loved one, their sudden death means your family is suffering an incalculable loss. While money cannot make up for that loss, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help ensure your family does not suffer financially because of the loss of a loved one.

When a car accident occurs, in most cases, both passengers and drivers of the vehicles suffer an injury. While the injuries may vary significantly, this is a common occurrence. This is not always the case when there is a truck involved in a roadway accident. In fact, commercial truck drivers often are uninjured. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Trucks are higher off the ground — truck drivers are protected because the tractor hauling a trailer is higher off the ground than most vehicles. Most cars, SUVs, and other vehicles are far smaller in height than a semi-truck.
  • Weight differences between cars and trucks — commercial trucks outweigh cars by upwards of 30%. This is a huge difference in size. When a car strikes a truck, the truck may suffer little, if any damage, while the car operator could suffer life-threatening injuries.
  • Multiple vehicle involvement — unfortunately, because of the sheer size of a semi-truck, they are more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents. Despite this, in most cases, the trucker is likely to suffer minor or no injuries, while drivers or passengers involved in the same accident could suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.

A law firm an experienced legal team including those who have strong litigation experience can be helpful if you suffer an injury or lose a loved one in a Nevada truck accident. After seeking medical care, you should always contact a personal injury lawyer to find out what rights you have and how you should proceed.

Yes. A truck accident injury lawsuit is more complex than an auto accident lawsuit. One of the primary reasons for the complications is who may be responsible for the accident. Remember, in most cases involving a car accident there are two drivers — one will be at fault for the accident.

In the case of a truck crash there may be other people or entities who bear partial responsibility for an accident. Each of them may be working with a different insurance company which will be the first issue which must be dealt with. Some of the possible parties who may be held liable include:

  • Driver of the truck — when a driver gets behind the wheel of a truck and begins traveling on Las Vegas roadways, they owe a duty of care to other drivers. They owe a similar duty of care to pedestrians, bicycle, and motorcycle operators. When this duty of care is breached, the driver should be held accountable for their negligence.
  • Truck driver employer — a commercial truck accident which involves a driver who is ignoring regulations may do so because their employer has failed to train them properly. In some cases, an employer may encourage a driver to meet unrealistic deadlines which can result in truck crashes involving speed. Holding the employer responsible for bad decisions which lead to truck crashes is possible if you have the right legal team on your side.
  • Truck maintenance company — we all understand the importance of maintaining the safety equipment in our cars. Brakes, tires, and turn signals must be functioning properly for a vehicle to pass inspection. Big rigs travel far more miles than most cars and therefore require more maintenance. A poorly maintained rig can mean higher incidences of truck crashes. Losing a loved one in a truck accident is awful and knowing the accident may have been prevented with proper maintenance is devastating. A trucking accident attorney can help hold these parties accountable for their negligence.

Remember that each of these parties may have a different insurance company. When you have filed an accident injury claim, you need to make sure each of the responsible parties is held accountable for your financial losses. This is why it is always a good idea to make sure you hire a law firm with experience handling the complexities of truck accident claims.

When a truck accident investigation gets underway, there will be many questions to be answered. The answers to these questions will help determine who is liable for the loss of life, or injuries which occurred as a result of the accident. The questions can be broken out into categories.

Driver behavior questions
  • Was the driver of the commercial vehicle impaired drugs or alcohol?
  • Was the driver distracted by texting or talking on the phone at the time of the accident?
  • Did the truck driver fall asleep at the wheel while operating an 18-wheeler?
  • Was the accident the cause of speeding or other reckless behavior?
Truck maintenance questions
  • When was the truck last fully inspected?
  • What issues came up during inspection and were they addressed?
  • What was the condition of the 18-wheeler tires at the time of the accident?
  • Were the brakes on the semi-truck functioning properly?
Driver employer questions
  • Was the driver properly licensed and trained?
  • Was a thorough background check performed?
  • Did you hire a driver with a poor driving record?
  • Is the driver’s schedule compatible with FMCSA regulations?
Other important questions
  • Was the truck properly loaded to maximize safety?
  • Did the truck cargo shift in the trailer causing safety issues?
  • Did cargo fall off the truck causing a rollover?

While some of the answers to these questions may be evident at the accident scene, not all of them will be. This is why a thorough investigation of the cause of a truck accident is important to establishing liability. Experienced truck accident lawyers know what questions are the most important.

It is impossible to stress how important it is to seek immediate medical care following an accident with a truck. Too often, victims of a big rig accident are so shocked at the accident scene they think they have suffered only a few bumps and bruises. The fact is this is probably unlikely. A jolt of adrenaline rushes through our bodies when we are frightened. Let’s face it, there are few things more terrifying than looking in your mirror and realizing you are about to be struck by a roadway behemoth.

No two accidents are the same. However, when you suffer an injury in a truck accident, you could require weeks or months to recover. Some of the injuries can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries — when your head is thrust forward and back after the impact of a truck collision, your brain moves around inside your skull. A traumatic brain injury can have a long-term impact on your life. Victims often suffer from personality changes, some suffer a loss of balance or coordination, and others may lose some cognitive function. Any one of these situations means a change in lifestyle for a truck accident victim and their family.
  • Broken bones — the impact of a truck striking a car will nearly always result in at least one broken bone, and in some cases, multiple broken bones. These injuries should not be taken lightly because they can cause serious problems including infections.
  • Soft tissue injuries — these may sound like minor injuries but make no mistake about it, they are serious. Sprains, strains and other soft tissue injuries occur when tendons, muscles, and ligaments are pushed, pulled, or strained. These injuries are painful and in serious cases, they can cause weeks or months of pain.
  • Head and neck injuries — whiplash, concussions, contusions to the face, broken eye sockets, skull fractures are all possible when you are injured in a truck accident. Depending on the severity if these injuries, you may need follow up surgery, lose the vision in one or both eyes and suffer hearing loss.
  • Spinal cord injuries — unfortunately some victims may wind up paralyzed following a truck accident due to spinal cord damage suffered during the impact. These cases are devastating because they mean the loss of mobility from the site of the injury and restrict a victim’s ability to care for themselves and their family.
  • Death following a truck accident — life can end in the blink of an eye. When a truck and car collide, when a truck driver loses control and strikes a motorcycle operator, or when a truck fails to obey a traffic signal and hits a pedestrian or bicyclist, the aftermath can leave families deep in grief and suffering an unimaginable loss.

When someone loses their life in a truck accident, there is no way to ease a family’s pain. A wrongful death lawsuit can compensate them for their monetary losses but will never make up for the tragedy they have suffered.

If you suffered an injury in a semi-truck collision you may need weeks or months to recover from your injuries. When you combine the loss of income from being out of work with the financial drain of higher medical bills, the potential of needing to pay for in-home care while you recover, and other expenses, someone should be held accountable. You should not have to bear these costs when the truck accident was not your fault.

Once you have contacted a truck accident lawyer in Nevada, they will assist you in preparing an insurance claim. In some cases, you will have to wait until you are well on the road to recovery to ensure your claim is complete. You will have two years from the date of the accident to meet the requirements of Nevada’s statutes of limitations. Keep in mind, these claims are complicated though so speaking to an attorney as soon after your accident as possible is imperative.

As a victim, you have the right to compensation for your expenses associated with the accident which caused your injury. Some of the potential sources of compensation include:

  • Medical expenses — while you may have medical coverage either personally or through your employer, there may still be out of pocket costs you are responsible for following a truck collision in which you suffered an injury. Prescription medication, physical therapy, medical equipment like braces, wheelchairs, or crutches, and specialized tests may not be covered by your insurance. Those costs may be included in a truck accident claim.
  • Lost wages and benefits — you may be collecting short or long-term disability benefits if you have been out of work more than a few weeks thanks to your employer’s disability plan. However, there may be other wages and benefits you are losing because you are unable to work. First, disability payments do not cover 100% of your wages so your base salary is less than normal. Secondarily, you may have been forced to use personal days, sick days, or vacation days which you will be unable to use for your own purposes once you have returned to work. Other benefits you may be losing out on include bonuses, matching funds in retirement accounts, and pension benefits. Your accident settlement demand may include these losses.
  • Unanticipated expenses — while you are recovering from your injuries, you may need help with everyday tasks. The additional costs of housekeeping, in-home nursing services, landscapers, and even babysitters for your children which you are paying for only because of your injuries may be included in the claim for benefits associated with a semi-truck accident.
  • Property damage — your vehicle could be totaled or suffer serious damage as a result of a truck accident. Electronics such as laptop computers, GPS systems and phones may also be damaged. Any property damage which is a direct result of your accident should be included in your claim.

When you meet with a truck accident lawyer, you will be able to get a better idea of what can be included in an accident claim. Remember, there is only one opportunity to get the claim correct which is why it is always a good idea to have your attorney prepare the demand for settlement to submit to the insurance company.

Family members who are filing a wrongful death claim should have a basic understanding of Nev. Rev. Stat. § 41.085 (2021) so they understand the limitations of these claims as well as their rights. Your personal injury lawyer can explain this portion of Nevada law to you so know what to expect.

Wrongful death claims will be handled in the same manner as a standard personal injury claim when the settlement demand is being put together. All expenses associated with medical care of the victim prior to their death can be included.

Family members can include compensation for the wages their loved one would have earned through their lifetime had they not died in a tractor trailer accident. Other damages including loss of companionship can also be included. Unexpected expenses would also include funeral and burial expenses.

It is worth bearing in mind the same theory applies to wrongful death claims — specifically that you must be able to prove liability for the truck accident — as apply to other standard personal injury suits. In some cases, either a standard personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim can include punitive damages which are designed to punish the party who is responsible for your injuries or a family’s loss.

One of the primary challenges victims of an accident face when they file an insurance claim is dealing with the insurance company. This is particularly true when cases are complicated like truck accident injury claims. Remember, in some big rig cases, there may be a need to work with more than one insurance company. This will create a whole range of issues.

Insurance company adjusters may contact you or a family member shortly after an accident. Use caution when speaking with any insurance adjuster because they are not there to protect your interests. If you receive a call from an insurance adjuster after you have hired a truck accident lawyer, then the best thing to do is provide them your attorney’s telephone number and let them speak with them. If you have not hired a lawyer, do so immediately.

Remember there will be at least two types of claims which will be filed, one for personal injury and one for property damage. This means at a minimum there will be two insurance adjusters working on your claim. Neither of them is there to protect your interests. They are there to protect the insurance company and the best way for that to happen is to minimize the settlement amount you are offered.

When there are multiple liable parties involved in a claim, the insurance companies will do their best to minimize their portion of the liability. This may be done in various ways including denying your claim outright. You do not want to let the insurance company take advantage of you so there are some things you should avoid:

  • Recorded statements — you should never provide an insurance adjuster, or anyone associated with the insurance company with a recorded statement because it could jeopardize your truck accident lawsuit.
  • Signing documents — never sign documents without a legal review. Insurance carriers will want to obtain your medical records to determine if you had a similar, prior injury which could help them minimize the value of your claim.
  • Agreeing to fast settlements — insurance carriers are smart enough to know if they make a quick settlement offer before you have legal representation they can often wind up paying far less for your injuries.

Since an insurance carrier is protecting their own interests, they will do a lot of things to minimize the amount of money they offer a truck accident victim. One thing many victims are unaware of is what happens following a settlement offer. Hidden in the fine print of the document which contains the offer there is usually a disclaimer which states that once the offer has been accepted, the insurance company has no future liability for the victim’s losses. Do not get tricked into accepting a fast settlement, these offers are usually well below the compensation amount you might otherwise be entitled to collect.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS) states that large trucks only make up approximately five percent of all registered vehicles. This is small comfort to victims of a truck accident. After a truck collision, you need someone on your side who will advocate on your behalf and work tirelessly to ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries.

Victims often wonder how they can possibly afford to pay a truck accident attorney. The fact is your case will likely be taken on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no legal fees up front, and you pay nothing unless we are successful in obtaining compensation on your behalf.

Those who have lost a loved one in a truck accident, or if you have suffered an injury during a truck accident on Nevada roadways, you should contact Gina Corena & Associates today for help. You can reach us by calling our offices at (702) 680–1111 to schedule a free consultation.

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Gina was absolutely FABULOUS… from the very beginning when she came to our bedside at the hospital! She was comforting and had a positive uplifting spirit, and yet so professional! She fought tooth and nail every inch of the way. She was especially personable, taking time to immediately answer any texts and always kept us updated. She was sincere and honest , nothing phoney about her. She did a fantastic job for us!

Rob Williams

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Gina is the nicest most sweetest person I’ve ever met. I was nervous going through an attorney for my injury case at first but she definitely took care of me. She was always on time and made me feel as if I was the only case she was handling. She makes you feel important which i think can be hard to do when your attorney. She gets things done on time so you don’t have to worry. I love gina and will refer her to everybody!!

Lorena

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This office took great care of me. They were so accessible – always answered all my questions and any concerns. I just wrapped up my case and I am beyond content with my settlement. Thank you for everything Gina!

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