Two people are in the hospital after a dump truck and paratransit bus collided near the intersection of South Rainbow and West Oakley.
When emergency responders arrived, the RTC Paratransit bus was already on its side. Two passengers were rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Investigators believe that a dump truck was involved in the collision, but they have not as yet determined fault. About two hours later, two other vehicles were involved in an unrelated non-injury crash at the same intersection.
None of the names were released.
Legal Issues in Large Vehicle Collisions
Because they transport goods and/or people for a fee, truck drivers, bus drivers, and other large vehicle operators are common carriers in Nevada. This designation has an impact in both the negligence and damages portions of a personal injury trial.
Since they are professional drivers, common carriers have a higher duty of care than non-commercial drivers. For example, whereas non-commercial drivers have a duty to use more caution in heavy rain, common carriers arguably have a duty not to drive at all until the rain at least diminishes.
As a result, it is somewhat easier to establish negligence in common carrier cases. THat means victim/plaintiffs need less evidence in these cases.
The higher duty of care also makes a difference in terms of damages. Since they have greater responsibility, common carriers are also liable for a larger measure of damages.
These damages include money for medical bills and other economic losses. The average injury-related hospital stay costs about $75,000, and when follow-up care, physical rehabilitation, and ancillary costs are added to that figure, these expenses are substantial.
Victim/plaintiffs are also entitled to money for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium (companionship), emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. While no amount of money can completely restore a broken life, financial compensation can make post-injury life much less stressful, and that is clearly the next best thing.
Third Party Liability
When a commercial vehicle is involved in a collision, the respondeat superior (“let the master answer”) theory often comes into play. Employers are financially responsible for the negligent actions or inactions of others if:
- Employee: The tortfeasor (negligent driver) must be an employee. In this context, that word has a very broad meaning, and usually includes owner-operators, unpaid volunteers, and independent contractors in addition to traditional W-2 workers.
- Scope of Employment: Similarly, most any action that benefits the employer in any way is considered to be within the scope of employment. So, a tortfeasor who is fetching or dropping off the boss’ dry cleaning is within the scope of employment, even though the trip has very little to do with the job itself.
- Foreseeability: The injury must be a foreseeable result of the tortfeasor’s conduct, and traffic collisions are almost always foreseeable though they are not necessarily inevitable.
Usually, if there are multiple tortfeasors, the judge apportions damages among them based on their percentage of liability.
Contact an Aggressive Attorney
The negligent driver is often not the only legally responsible party in car crash cases. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. Home and hospital visits are available.