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How 18-Wheeler Accidents are Different

It is no surprise that accidents involving 18-wheelers result in significant and life-long injuries to passengers in the other vehicles in the crash. Moreover, accident victims seeking monetary compensation for harm suffered often come up against complicated legal issues when trying to prove the other party’s negligence. 

Nevada Truck Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA), as many as 4,751 people died in accidents involved in large trucks in 2017. Moreover, 72% of the deaths resulting from 18-wheeler traffic accidents were passengers of the other vehicles involved in the collision. Conversely, only 18% of the deaths from 18-wheeler accidents were occupants of the large truck. In 2017, nearly 40 people died in Nevada as a result of large truck accidents. 18 of those deaths were in Las Vegas’s Clark County.

Common 18-Wheeler Accident Injuries

Due to the sheer size of 18-wheelers, it is no surprise that injuries resulting from truck accidents are serious. The most common injuries from 18-wheeler accidents include:

  • Internal bleeding;
  • Internal organ damage;
  • Severe whiplash;
  • Soft tissue damage;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Broken bones;
  • Torn muscles and ligaments;
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis;
  • Amputation and disfigurement; or
  • Deep lacerations and cuts.

Many victims involved in a large truck accident can take years to recover from injuries resulting from an accident. Indeed, many of these injuries are permanent requiring life-long medical care and rehabilitation. 

How 18 Wheeler Accidents Differ

Not surprisingly, 18-wheeler accidents are quite different from collisions involving passenger vehicles. Because these large trucks can weigh as much as 25 times more than a typical car, when an 18-wheeler is involved in a crash with passenger vehicles the results can be devastating. This significant risk of serious harm or death causes large truck accident cases to be more complex.

First, both state and federal regulations govern various parts of large truck maintenance and operation. Second, there are several critical trucking regulations that are specific to the industry. These include:

  • Hours of service rules: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) places limits on the amount of hours a driver can legally operate a truck. The limit on the hours of service is aimed at preventing serious and/or fatal accidents caused by driver fatigue, which may include falling asleep at the wheel or losing concentration while on the road; 
  • Size and weight restrictions: The FMCSA also places maximum weight limits on large trucks that are traveling on interstate highways. Truck drivers who violate the imposed weight restrictions are at risk of losing control of the truck and may have more difficulty slowing or stopping the vehicle in response to changes in traffic;
  • Cargo regulations: Because cargo on large trucks often weighs thousands of pounds, the load must be properly secured within the vehicle with adequate restraints for the materials being transported, according to FMCSA specifications. If a truck’s cargo is loose or suddenly becomes unsecured, the truck driver is at a high risk of losing control of the vehicle including experiencing a rollover or jackknife accident.

Contact Experienced Las Vegas Lawyers

If you have been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, or know someone who has, our lawyers at H&P Law can help fight for the compensation you deserve. We have extensive experience representing clients in serious and fatal accidents and will fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

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