Many people may think that the majority of car accidents in the Las Vegas area happen when drivers are traveling on the road, away from home, in unfamiliar areas.
Although this may be true in some cases, survey after survey reveal that the most car accidents happen within five minutes or less of a driver’s home.
Approximately one-third of all car crashes occur between one and five miles of where the driver lives. The most common type of collision that happens within this radius is drivers hitting parked cars.
Other types of common collisions are drivers crashing when they are driving on side or secondary roads, and drivers putting their vehicles in reverse and hitting walls or fences.
Most of the research that has been done has concluded that the reason why so many accidents take place near home is that there is a comfort zone associated with driving in your own neighborhood. Many drivers become complacent in practicing safe driving behaviors because they feel like they know the area so well.
It is similar to having the brain on “auto-pilot” and they do not fully focus on their driving as they would if they were driving farther away from home.
As experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys can attest, driving in your neighborhood – or other areas that are very familiar – can trigger drivers to rely more on muscle memory instead of being fully cognizant of what is taking place on the streets around them.
Not only do many Las Vegas drivers fail to stay fully alert to the road around them, they often also fail to wear their seatbelts when they are driving close to home, especially if they are only going for short drives in their neighborhood, and use this as justification.
Looking at these statistics, however, proves that it is just as important to buckle up no matter how short or far a distance you are planning to drive.
Although no amount of financial compensation can ever make up for the wrongful death of a loved one, Nevada, like most states, has tort law in place which allows the family of victims to sue the party or parties that have been deemed responsible for the death of their loved one.
Under Nevada Revised Statutes section 41.085, a wrongful death claim is defined as a civil remedy when the intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct of one party causes the death of another person.
In other words, it is a personal injury claim that the victim could have brought forward had they survived, but must now be pursued by someone else because the victim is no longer alive to do so.
There are certain criteria a wrongful death claim must meet under Nevada law. One of the most critical is the statute of limitations. The suit must be filed within two years of the victim’s death.
This is why it is crucial to consult with a Las Vegas wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to ensure that the time does not expire.
In order to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a victim, the plaintiff must be:
- A representative of the victim’s estate;
- The spouse, domestic partner, or a child of the victim; or
- The victim’s parents, if there is no surviving spouse or children.
Nevada law allows plaintiffs of wrongful death cases to seek two different types of damages, special damages, and punitive damages.
Special damages are those damages which the victim, their estate, and/or their family members have actually suffered due to the victim’s death. These damages can include:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Medical expenses as the result of the victim’s injuries;
- Property damage that happened as a result of the incident or incidents which caused the victim’s death;
- Lost wages and benefits. These losses can also include the amounts the victims would have received had they survived;
- Loss of companionship, care, and affection the victim’s loved ones have suffered; and
- The loss of benefits for the victim’s heirs.
Punitive damages may be available in certain Las Vegas wrongful death cases. The court may award punitive damages to the plaintiff as punishment for the defendant’s reckless or intentional behavior that caused the victim’s death.
Often when courts award punitive damages, it is to send a message to the defendant and society that these behaviors will not be tolerated.
Under Nevada law, every car owner is required to have liability insurance for their vehicle. The minimum amount you are allowed to have is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident. This liability insurance is supposed to cover the cost of damages in the event the car owner is at-fault in an accident.
Although this is mandatory coverage, when you consider the total costs of a serious vehicle accident, these minimum amounts often do not even come close to covering those damages.
From hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, loss of income from being unable to work – the minimum mandatory amounts can leave an injured car accident victim in an overwhelming financial mess.
This is where the underinsured/uninsured (UIM/UM) insurance benefit can help. With this benefit, once your damages exceed the amount of the other driver’s insurance limit, your own UIM/UM benefit will begin covering your damages, up to the limit amount you chose when you purchased the option.
Not only does this insurance benefit cover you in the event the at-fault driver has minimum coverage, it will also cover you if the at-fault driver has no insurance.
Although insurance is required in order to register a vehicle in Nevada, not everyone obeys that law and there are many drivers on the state’s roads who have let their insurance policy lapse.
If you are in an accident with an at-fault driver who has no vehicle insurance, your UIM/UM policy will cover your damages. UIM/UM insurance will also cover you in the event you are injured in a hit-and-run accident.
Unfortunately, many Nevada vehicle owners do not realize that this insurance benefit exists, or they incorrectly assume that they are automatically covered under their existing policy if they are in a crash with a driver who has no insurance.
This is not the case. Your regular vehicle insurance basically covers damages if you are at-fault in a crash. Your UIM/UM benefit will cover damages if the other driver is at-fault.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Nevada that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may find yourself totally overwhelmed with the situation you are suddenly in.
Not only are you likely dealing with the pain of those injuries, but you may also be facing mounting medical bills and other financial stress due to loss of income from being unable to work because of your injuries.
This is why it is important to find a skilled personal injury attorney to advocate for you against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But how do you hire an auto accident attorney in Nevada that will successfully represent you?
When considering an auto accident attorney, it is often a good idea to hire an attorney who focuses solely on personal injury cases.
You want someone who has extensive experience dealing with insurance companies, as well as an attorney who is well-versed in Nevada tort law. Look to your own network of family and friends to see if they can recommend a personal injury attorney.
If you have retained the services of an attorney in the past – such as for family law matters or estate planning – you can also ask that attorney to recommend someone.
When you are considering a car accident lawyer, check with the State Bar of Nevada to ensure he or she is in good standing. There are also several online attorney rating guides that can provide good information about any attorneys you are considering retaining.
Your initial contact with the attorney and/or law firm is also a good indicator if this is the person you can trust to handle your injury case. Some factors to consider include:
- How were you greeted by office support staff when you arrived for your appointment?
- Did you meet with the attorney or did you meet with someone else, such as a paralegal? This may be an indicator of just how available – or unavailable – your Nevada car accident attorney will be during your case.
- Did the attorney answer all of your questions?
- Was the attorney focused on your appointment or did he or she appear distracted by other cases? Were there frequent interruptions during your appointment?
The most important question to ask yourself when hiring a car accident attorney in Nevada is how confident and comfortable to you feel that this is the person who will aggressively fight for you to ensure you will receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
It is a good bet to say that Las Vegas has some of the busiest intersections in the country, especially with more than 40 million tourists visiting the city each year. The downside to that is it makes the risks of traffic accidents very high, especially in areas that are home to some of the more popular destinations.
The Las Vegas Metro Police traffic division prepared a list of the five most dangerous intersections in the city. The agency used traffic accident statistics – motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian accidents, etc. – to determine where the most accidents occur.
Police determined that the most dangerous intersection in the city is at Charleston and Lamb Boulevards.
The next three most dangerous intersections all have Tropicana Avenue as their cross street: Tropicana Avenue and Pecos Road, Tropicana Avenue and Rainbow Boulevard, and Tropicana Avenue and Decatur Boulevard.
Coming in as the fifth most dangerous intersection in the city is Sahara Avenue and Rainbow Boulevard.
The data police collected also showed that the number of fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists had declined compared with the same timeframe as the year before. However, the number of fatal accidents involving motorcycles had increased significantly compared to the prior year, with a 33 percent spike.
The number of arrests law enforcement made for drunk driving during the one-month time frame was also lower than it had been the year before.
According to some Las Vegas residents who regularly walk or cycle in the area, one of the main causes of all these crashes is that drivers are not paying attention to what is taking place around them.
They are so focused on beating the traffic light before it turns red that they are not stopping for pedestrians or cyclists who may have the right of way. This has led many residents to avoid these situations and take public transportation when available.