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Hit by Debris from a Truck in Nevada

Trucks carrying gravel, construction debris, and other loose material are supposed to have covers that keep their cargoes safely under control. But accidents still happen, and some operators are more careful than others when they load their vehicles. Many of us have had our windshields cracked by a loose rock falling out of a truck. But sometimes falling debris can cause much more significant problems, including accidents that result in personal injuries. In such cases, an injured person may have a legal claim against the operator of the truck.

The rules governing cargo securement

A general principle that applies to all drivers on the road is that a driver has a legal obligation to operate his or her vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. Anyone who puts cargo on a vehicle must take reasonable steps to ensure that the cargo is safely secured against falling into the roadway or otherwise creating unsafe conditions. This is true for all drivers. For example, it applies to someone who loads a mattress onto the top of a car to bring home. Commercial cargo carriers are subject to a broad range of rules with a variety of sources. Federal law regulates many kinds of commercial vehicles that fall within the scope of interstate commerce—a broad concept that captures many types of businesses, such as those using interstate highways. Federal cargo securement rules impose specific requirements for certain types of cargo. Nevada state law may have rules that go further than the federal standards for a given type of cargo.

Suing a trucking company

Almost by definition, debris falling off a truck is a sign that the person who loaded the truck, the driver, or the business that owns the truck has failed to comply with cargo securement rules. Ideally the driver of the truck sees the accident and pulls over to render assistance and provide insurance information. Sometimes a driver may not see that debris has fallen from the back of the truck and might need to be tracked down by other means. Commercial trucking firms are required to carry significantly more insurance than ordinary drivers. Someone who has been injured in a cargo-related accident should be able to rely upon the trucking company’s insurance coverage to provide at least partial compensation for injuries. But there are cases where the insurance company refuses to provide full coverage, or where the company’s insurance limits aren’t sufficient to cover the full cost of an injury. A lawsuit may be necessary. In cases where a trucking company or its agents have failed to comply with applicable cargo securement rules, the fact of noncompliance can be an important component in litigation. As a rule, when a civil defendant was violating a law or regulation at the time of an accident, and that violation was a cause of the accident itself, the plaintiff can use the violation to establish that the defendant has committed negligence per se. This standard shifts the burden of proof to the defendant, who now must show that its negligent behavior was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In cases involving loose cargo, such a case may be difficult for the defense to prove. Instead, it likely will be forced to settle on favorable terms.

The GGRM Law Firm represents auto accident victims

The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented clients in the Las Vegas area in auto accident cases for over four decades. If you have been injured as a result of debris falling from a truck, contact us today for a free attorney consultation about your case. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Accidents with Food Delivery Drivers: Who Pays?

Like so many professions, food delivery is undergoing a rapid evolution. These days a food delivery driver might be doing the conventional work for a pizza chain or a single restaurant, but he or she could also be working for an Internet-based service like GrubHub. Because delivery workers drive for their jobs, they have a certain risk of being in accidents. For someone who gets into an accident with such a driver, the question of liability can raise interesting issues.

Who is liable?

There are a few related components to the question of who is liable when a delivery driver gets into an accident. The first question to ask is whether the driver was “on the clock” at the time of the accident. A driver who is out making a delivery or driving back to the restaurant to pick up more food probably is being compensated for that time. But the employer may argue that people working outside of those boundaries was driving on personal time. For example, accidents during normal commutes typically fall on the side of personal time. A second question that can be a factor in these cases is whether the driver is an employee or an independent contractor of the employer. From a legal standpoint this distinction shouldn’t really matter as far as the plaintiff is concerned, but it can add a layer of complexity to the case. Businesses are increasingly trying to shift obligations onto their workers by categorizing them as contractors. Part of this trend has been to make contractors more responsible for their mistakes. The reality is that an injured plaintiff should be able to overcome the employer’s attempt to hide behind a contract, but it may require a bit of extra work. For most cases where these issues arise, the question of ultimate liability may be resolved between the employer and contractor without the injured plaintiff’s involvement. A third component to the analysis can be the ownership of the vehicle involved in the crash. The owner of a vehicle used for business purposes has an obligation to maintain it in good working condition. If the driver also owns the car the driver may bear special responsibility if the accident was the result of a mechanical failure. One thing to note is that the employer will look for strategies like this to shift blame away from itself.

Insurance for food delivery drivers

Every driver in Nevada is required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance that protects other people in the event that the driver causes an accident. The minimum coverage limits ($25,000 per bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury to more than one person, and $20,000 of property damage) are quite low. On the one hand this makes policies affordable for people who work in low-wage jobs, like food delivery. On the other hand it can leave injured people under-covered in the event that an accident causes serious harm. The good news for people injured in this type of accident is that a driver who is working at the time of the accident should be covered by the employer’s insurance. If the employer’s insurance is inadequate to cover the full value of the plaintiff’s damages, the employer probably has other resources that the plaintiff can pursue to get compensation.

GGRM is here to help victims of car accidents in Las Vegas

For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in accident cases. If you have been injured in an accident with a food delivery driver we can help you examine your legal options and begin the process of recovering compensation. Reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation about your case. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site.

Who’s at Fault in Lane Change Trucking Accidents?

It's important to share the road responsibly. Whether you're a bicyclist, motorist, or big rig operator, certain dangers are imminent if you don't respect the potential perils that can happen on roadways. Everyone's trying to get from here to there and eventually, vehicles are going to need to change lanes. In cars, blind spots are dangerous enough, but for big rigs, the simple act of changing lanes can cause risks to everyone. If you've been involved in an accident with a big rig, call on the assistance of Las Vegas truck accident attorneys to help you legally establish fault immediately. Here's what you should know:

Common Causes of Lane Change Accidents

Commercial and non-commercial drivers are often guilty of causing lane change accidents for the same reasons. The difference is, the damage delivered by a big rig can often be exponentially more impactful than if two everyday vehicles collide on the road. These accidents often result from:
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Excessive speeding
  • Making a lane change in an intersection
  • Weaving in-and-out of traffic
  • Distracted operators (talking on the phone, texting, messing with the radio, eating, and drinking)
  • Driver fatigue
  • Intoxication

Two Main Types of Lane Change Accidents

Although by nature, accidents are unpredictable, accidents with trucks typically fall into one of two categories:
  • Rear-end collisions, often caused when the car behind the semi is unable to stop in time because the driver's view of the road ahead becomes blocked.
  • Side-swipe incidents, which often cause the most severe damage.

Proving Fault in a Trucking Accident Case

Generally speaking, there are a few main elements when it comes to proving fault in any vehicle accident, including collisions with semi-trucks.
  1. Duty of Care. The operator of the big rig must exercise duty of care. In other words, the driver of the big rig is legally bound to drive their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner.
Your Las Vegas truck accident attorneys will seek ways to prove the other driver's negligence, looking for evidence the accident was not your fault.
  1. Eyewitness Testimony.Given the fact many big rig incidents occur on busy roadways, there are often eyewitnesses. Obtaining testimonies from others who saw the accident take place can be imperative to your case.
  2. Injury.If you're able to prove your injuries resulted from the accident, you may be able to legally make claims against the driver of the big rig to recover:
  • Costs of medical care
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
You'll likely need your doctors' help to prove your injuries resulted from the accident.

Contact the Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorneys of GGRM

If you've been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, seek representation from experienced Las Vegas truck accident attorneys right away. Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez have been helping Southern Nevadans’ receive just compensation for over 45 years. Call 702-388-GGRM (4476) for a free consultation today.