When a large truck collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the occupants of the car often absorb the brunt of the impact. The disproportionate size and weight of these trucks make them a hazard to other vehicles on the roadway.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we understand how devastating a truck accident can be. Our team of truck accident lawyers in Winchester is dedicated to ensuring that our clients get the money they need to rebuild their lives after a crash. If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free consultation.
Figuring Out Who Is Liable
The first step in filing a truck accident lawsuit is determining liability. While determining liability can sometimes be straightforward, it can often be complicated in truck accident cases because of the significant number of parties that could hold a level of liability.
In addition to the truck driver, other potentially liable parties include:
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The company that loaded the truck
- The company responsible for the maintenance of the truck
- Another driver either directly involved in the crash or whose actions caused the wreck to occur
An experienced truck accident attorney can help guide you through the confusion and determine who is liable for your damages.
What Happens During a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
There are many steps in the process of filing a truck accident lawsuit. The first thing your attorney will do after being hired is to begin investigating your case. The aim of this inquiry will be to determine who is liable for your damages and collect evidence to support your claim and build your case.
After completing their investigation, your attorney will assess the damages you have suffered and calculate how much your claim is worth. They will then submit to the court all of the documents needed to file your lawsuit. The next step will be to go through the pretrial process, which includes:
During discovery, both sides exchange the evidence they have uncovered in their individual investigations. The reason for this stage in the process is to ensure a fair trial where both sides are able to review all of the evidence and prepare to respond in court.
Depositions are given at the end of the discovery phase. Depositions are testimonies from witnesses and parties involved in the crash given outside of the courtroom. During a deposition, legal counsel for both parties will ask questions of the deponent, while a court stenographer records the proceeding. These testimonies can potentially be used at trial.
Mediation is the final step before a truck accident case moves to trial. During mediation an independent third party will attempt to help the two sides reach a settlement agreement and avoid going to court.
Through every step of the process, your lawyer will continue negotiating with opposing counsel as they attempt to reach a settlement agreement. If a deal is struck at any point, the case will end and you will receive the agreed-upon compensation. However, if a deal is not reached by the end of mediation, your case will go to court where your attorney will present your case.
Your Truck Accident Lawyer Only Gets Paid if You Recover Compensation
Many people fear that they will not be able to afford an attorney. Unfortunately, this fear sometimes results in accident victims attempting to represent themselves in court. This worry is valid in some legal matters. However, cost should never be a concern when it comes to hiring a truck accident lawyer.
Unlike attorneys who charge their clients a high hourly rate, truck accident lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. That means that your attorney will only collect a single fee upon the completion of your case. This fee will represent a fixed percentage of the compensation you recover. If you don’t collect compensation, your lawyer doesn’t get paid.
File Your Truck Accident Lawsuit on Time
Nevada law gives truck accident victims two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit in most cases. However, there are many special circumstances which could apply to your case and alter the amount of time you have to file. Sometimes, this means that a victim can file after the two years have passed, while other times it means there will be significantly less time to file.
To ensure that you meet all deadlines and retain your right to recover compensation, you should hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your collision. An experienced lawyer will be able to identify if the statute of limitations for your case is subject to alteration and make sure your lawsuit is filed without any complications.
Damages You Can Recover Following a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, you will likely be able to recover a wide range of damages. All recoverable damages can be grouped into three main categories.
Economic damages represent all of the losses resulting from your accident that affect your finances. Common economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Home or vehicle modifications needed to accommodate a disability
Non-economic damages consist of all of the other wide ranging losses you incurred as a result of your truck accident. Common non-economic damages include:
- Diminished quality of life
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and other disfigurements
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are only awarded in a small percentage of truck accident cases. While economic and non-economic damages are meant to replace losses suffered by the victim, this is not the case with punitive damages. Instead, these damages are meant to punish the liable party for their actions.
Punitive damages are assessed in cases where the liable party acted in a manner deemed criminally negligent. Truck drivers and trucking companies are held to a high standard of safety due to the dangers these vehicles pose. Deliberate and willful disregard of safety protocols can be considered criminal negligence and result in punitive damages as well as criminal charges.
Contact a Winchester Truck Accident Attorney Today
At Pacific West Law, our team of Winchester truck accident lawyers knows just how challenging it can be to put your life back together after a serious accident. We will work diligently to ensure you get the money you need after a collision. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free case review today.