Las Vegas Truck Accidents

With a combined 50+ years of experience, the accident lawyers at D.R. Patti & Associates have seen our fair share of truck accidents in Las Vegas or involving Las Vegas residents. Truck accidents are not unusual in Las Vegas, as many commercial freight trucks pass come into or pass through town. Nor is it unusual for a Las Vegas resident to be hit by a commercial truck in Nevada or other states. Semi-trucks are everywhere, and the need for them have increased as our population has relied more on deliveries of online purchases.

Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyers

For the purpose of tracking truck accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a large truck as one with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 10,000 pounds. A commercial truck, however, can have a maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds. To put that weight into perspective, the average weight of a car is 2,871 pounds.

Do I Need A Personal Injury Attorney Experienced In Commercial Truck Accidents?

A personal injury claim involving a commercial truck can be complicated for several reasons as discussed more in detail below. In general, however, truck accident cases can involve wrongful death claims or claims involving catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries. The more devastating the injury is, the more money is at stake. And large trucking companies and their insurance companies can afford to compensate the victims due to the nature of their work. However, it also means that they have the money to fight truck accident claims. Because of the complexity of truck accident cases, an accident victim should retain a personal injury attorney with extensive experience in commercial truck accident cases.

An experienced accident lawyer knows that a commercial truck accident claim will involve detailed investigation of the crash, preserving the necessary evidence, hiring the right experts, and knowing the rules and regulations governing commercial trucks. With deep pockets, you can bet that the trucking company and its insurance company will hire a lot of expensive experts.

Catastrophic Consequences of Commercial Truck Accidents

Commercial truck accidents mostly involve a big truck and a passenger vehicle. Given that a big truck can outweigh the passenger vehicle by 20 to 30 times, it’s not surprising that the occupants of the passenger vehicles may suffer greater injuries than in a car accident. If a person is involved in an accident with a tractor trailer or other big truck, they are lucky if they only walk away with injuries to their knees or shoulders. Unfortunately, not everyone is this lucky. Big truck accidents often cause traumatic brain injuries and even death. The personal injury lawyers at D.R. Patti & Associates have worked with victims and victims’ family members who have been involved in accidents caused by negligent truck drivers.

Given the size of commercial trucks, a crash involving one pose a significant risk of death, not only to the occupants of a passenger vehicle involved but also for the truck driver. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimated a total of 3,852 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2015, an increase of 22 percent since 2009. The number of fatalities increased to 4,136 in 2018, representing a 31% increase since 2009.

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including driver-related and truck-related factors. A 2007 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which governs interstate commercial carriers, studied 963 crashes involving large trucks and listed the following as the top 10 factors causing the crash:

  • Brake problems
  • Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
  • Prescription drug use
  • Traveling too fast for conditions
  • Unfamiliarity with roadway
  • Roadway problems
  • Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
  • Over-the-counter drug use
  • Inadequate surveillance

Some of these factors are further discussed below.


One of the most common is driver fatigue. Trucking companies have delivery deadlines to meet, and to meet those deadlines, their drivers are on the road for longer than 8 hours. Truck drivers have been known to drive all night, with little rest, to meet those deadlines. And trucking companies are known to incentivize drivers to drive longer. Truck drivers are generally paid by the mile, and so they tend to earn more money by driving more for a shorter period of time. A result of longer driving time is fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.

Failing To Properly Secure Load

Another common reason for trucking accidents is the failure of the driver to properly secure their load. Many drivers do not put their loads on the back of their truck themselves, but it is their responsibility to make sure the load is secure before they hit the road. Even closed-in trailers whose loads are not secure present a danger to other drivers on the road.

If a truck driver has to slam on their breaks or swerve suddenly, an unsecured load is not going to move with the truck. Its force will continue carrying it in a separate direction. This can cause trucks to jackknife or even turnovers. Also, tractor-trailers with loads take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes. These accidents are due to the negligence of the driver. Anyone injured due to these accidents should seek a lawyer and report their injury in a timely manner.

Commercial Trucking Rules and Regulations

Truck drivers are held to a higher standard than most others on the road because they are driving a vehicle that can cause major accidents involving several vehicles and impose horrific damages. Because of the size and weight of large trucks, other drivers on the road in smaller vehicles are more vulnerable. Trucks can weigh as much as 20-30 times more than a passenger car. Trucks are also taller, which can cause smaller vehicles going underneath the truck.

To combat the tendencies to drive longer without rest, federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck operator can be driving. A summary of those hours of service regulations can be found here. These rules ensure that sleepy drivers are not turning their trucks into thousands of pounds of reckless danger on the roads. Because these rules and regulations do get updated, an accident attorney dealing with a commercial truck accident must routinely familiarize themselves with changes in the law.

Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch and up to 77 hours over a seven-day period. Surveys indicate that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

Federal rules also require truck drivers to keep track of how long he has been working and how often he or she has slept. This used to mean written driver’s logs. These logs have now largely been replaced by large trucking companies with onboard electronic systems.

Client Focused. Aggressive Advocacy.

Over $250,000,000 Recovered For Our Clients

Quality Service, Less Fees, Happier Clients

Nawana Gray was in a hit-and-run crash. Although the crash resulted in only minor property damage to her car, she sustained a severe neck injury. She hoped she would get better. She did not. Ultimately, she needed surgery on her neck. D.R. Patti & Associates recently settled her case. The settlement funds compensates Nawana not just for her medical bills, but also for what she had to endure. See how she feels about her settlement.

Chilton was driving for work when his car was rear-ended. The impact was so violent that he crashed into the car in front of him, causing the airbags to deploy. He felt immediate pain to one of his wrists. He was subsequently diagnosed as having suffered a fractured bone in his wrist. Despite surgery, the fracture never healed and causes him pain on a daily basis. D.R. Patti & Associates was able to settle his case for an amount that compensates him for the lifetime chronic pain.

Mientras conducía hacia el trabajo, el auto de Denis fue golpeado repentinamente por un camión grande. Denis pronto desarrolló dolor de espalda. Si bien todavía podía trabajar, hacer su trabajo ahora era más doloroso. Cuando el tratamiento conservador no alivió todos sus síntomas, Denis se sometió a procedimientos de mayor riesgo que le brindaron más alivio. Habla de su experiencia con su reclamo por accidente automovilístico y cómo D.R. Patti & Associates lo ayudó.

Nicholas Zink was injured when his truck was totaled in a three-car collision.

See our client, Christian Fernandez, be surprised with the amount he received from his car accident settlement. He started his personal injury claim with another lawyer, but then hired D.R. Patti & Associates. In this video, he talks about how happy he made that decision to switch to D.R. Patti & Associates and about the quality service he received from our personal injury law firm.

Another happy client. Rose suffered significant injuries and incurred extensive medical expenses when she slipped and fall at a local business. After years of litigation and of the business denying liability, Marc Naron, one of the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys of D.R. Patti & Associates, was able to obtain a settlement that will take care of Rose’s past and future medical needs.