Car accidents can be life-changing events for victims and their loved ones. Your car accident could set off a long process of filing insurance claims, determining who was at fault for the accident, and recovering from the injuries incurred. It can be highly intimidating when dealing with insurance companies and at-fault drivers all alone. This means there are possibilities of being compensated lesser than you deserve or end up without any compensation. This emphasizes the need for help from a professional car accident attorney.
At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we pride ourselves on being experts at navigating the confusing legal and insurance process to guarantee our clients the compensation they deserve. Please schedule an appointment with us today for a detailed case review and learn how to help you.
What You Should Do After a Car Accident
Once you're involved in an accident, there are certain things that you need to do to protect yourself and your interests. The following are several steps that you should take after a car accident:
Never drive away from an accident scene, regardless of how minor it is. Failure to stop can have you charged with hit and run offense. Therefore, it’s advisable to immediately pull over, assess the situation, and offer any assistance where possible. Note that the law requires car drivers to stop after an accident, even when they're liable for the accident.
Secure the Scene of the Accident
If you're involved in a minor accident, and your car is movable, drive at the side of the road, ignite its hazard, and set up warning flashers. However, if the vehicle is unmovable, wait for law enforcement to arrive at the scene to determine what you should do. For accidents that happen during the night, use a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait inside the car for the police to arrive.
Call the Police
It's always a good idea to call the police, even when you're liable for an accident or haven't suffered severe injuries. The police will write down a report, and it's crucial to be at the scene to ensure that its details are accurate. The police report will help you while claiming the at-fault party, and it's only imperative if it accurately records everything related to the accident.
Ensure that Your Records Are Accurate
You should accurately tell the police officers what happened during the accident to the best of your ability. If you're unclear of specific details, inform the officer about this. Avoid speculating, guessing, or misstating any facts related to the case. For instance, if you're asked whether you were injured, you would rather say that you are not sure rather than lying about this or agreeing to this.
Remember, pain and injuries associated with an accident become apparent a few hours after a collision. That's why you should be accurate about your experience to avoid contradicting yourself later on.
Take Pictures of the Scene of the Accident
Pictures can be a reliable source of evidence about the car accident. Therefore, use your vehicle's or cell phone's camera to take pictures of visible damages on your car and visible injuries on you as well. However, this doesn't guarantee that you can interfere with the ongoing police investigation.
Exchange Your Information with Other People Involved in the Accident
Ideally, the investigating officers or patrol officers take details from everyone involved in the accident. However, if the police don't respond, you should take the name, telephone numbers, and addresses of all people involved in the accident. This includes the drivers and passengers.
You should also take details about their insurance by asking them to see their insurance card. If there are witnesses involved, take their information as well to contact them in the future.
If police officers respond to the scene of the accident, ask for a report number. The report number will help you obtain a police report during your court proceeding.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
As soon as you're done exchanging information and taking pictures of the accident scene, you should call your insurance company immediately. Many insurance policies require policyholders to report an accident immediately to guarantee total compensation.
Take note of the instructions provided by your insurance company. One of the most crucial things to remember is to avoid giving information or accepting any form of negotiation from the at-fault party's insurer. However, it would help if you spoke with an attorney before you speak to your insurance company.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
A lawyer will help you interpret Nevada's car accident laws and communicate with everyone involved in the accident. Therefore, it's essential to contact a qualified Las Vegas car accident attorney to negotiate with all involved parties on your behalf. In addition, an attorney will make the whole process easy as you focus on recovering from the injuries sustained from the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
As stated above, injuries that result from a car accident don't show up immediately. A lot of car accident victims start experiencing a day or even a week after an automobile accident. Unless you're clear of your injuries, it's advisable to seek medical attention.
You can still sustain severe injuries after a minor collision. For instance, if you pass out after the accident, there are chances that you have suffered a closed head injury or concussion. These injuries can lead to cognitive and behavioral injuries if left untreated.
File All The Documents Related to the Accident
You should keep all your accident-related documents and information together. Your report must have a claim number, claim adjuster's contact, names and phone numbers of all contacts you collected from the scene, and other relevant information.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a typical tourist destination. Therefore, roads are usually busy, and traffic is always congested. Many drivers aren't familiar with the streets and can end up causing different types of accidents. Even drivers who are familiar with these roads can also end up in road accidents. Understanding the different types of accidents in Las Vegas will help you respond appropriately. Here are a few common types of crashes that you should know.
A rear-end collision refers to a crash that involves two vehicles traveling in the same direction. If the rear car doesn't stop, a rear-end collision usually happens. Rear drivers are generally at fault in a rear-end collision if they drive too close to the leading vehicle. The leading driver can also be liable if their vehicle doesn't have suitable warning lights or fail to use warning signals when making turns.
T-Bone or Side-Impact Collision
A side-impact collision refers to the collision of the front part of a vehicle and the side of another. This type of accident occurs when a driver fails to yield to the right of way or stop at a stop sign. Victims of a side impact must show that they had the right of way to be compensated for the injuries sustained in the accident.
When two vehicles travel in the same direction on a multiple-road, a sideswipe accident can occur. It usually refers to a collision of one side of the car to the side of the other. Sideswipe accidents typically happen when a driver tries to change a lane or someone else drives in that lane. The damages of a sideswipe accident might seem minor, but it might cause a chain reaction that leads to severe damages and injuries.
A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle tries to turn quickly at a high rate of speed. It can result from an attempt to evade a different type of collision. The vehicle's high center of gravity can be particularly susceptible to a rollover crash.
When there are two lanes of traffic in different directions, there are high possibilities of a head-on collision. It occurs when two vehicles traveling in the opposite direction hit each other directly. One of these drivers might lose control and drift to the center of the line, leading to a head-on collision. If you're involved in a head-on collision, you should investigate the cause of the crash. Head-on collisions usually result from distracted driving or operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Parking Lot Collisions
Experiencing a parking lot collision seems odd. However, these types of accidents happen and are usually common. It might be hard to see in a parking lot, especially one without a small path of travel. Parking lot collisions occur when a vehicle is backing off from its spot and end up hitting a car that's on the lane.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Las Vegas
A car accident may have one or several causes. These causes vary from speeding, poor weather, hazardous road conditions, and distracted driving. Determining the primary reason for a car accident is a crucial aspect of legal intervention. It helps you hold the at-fault driver liable for the accident and seek financial compensation for your injuries. Here is a breakdown of two primary categories of a car accident.
Driver behaviors cause the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents. These behaviors might be a driver trying to reply to a text behind the wheel, drinking too many alcoholic drinks, or a suburban mother who's speeding to get her children to school on time. Regardless of the exact cause of the accident, these can be traced to the driver's actions. The following are a few driver-related causes of car accidents in Las Vegas.
Most car accidents are caused by excessive speeding or driving too fast for the current road condition. Speeding increases the likelihood of causing an accident and the severity of the injuries since the impact is magnified.
A driver who has consumed beer or any other alcoholic drink, even below the required legal limit, may experience difficulty driving with caution. This is because alcohol impairs a driver's judgment, vision, physical abilities, and reaction time. That's why nearly a third of all accidents in Las Vegas are a result of drunk driving.
Distracted driving means doing something that takes your mind off your driving, hands from the wheels or eyes from the road. Common distractions include eating, smoking, talking with your phone, smoking, or looking into the vehicle navigation system.
Texting While Driving
Texting can dramatically increase the likelihood of causing a fatal car accident. For example, it takes an average of 4.6 seconds to look into your phone, which is enough to move along an entire football field while driving at a speed of 55mph. This shows how dangerous texting while driving is.
Following Too Closely or Tailgating
Following a vehicle too closely can also be a significant cause of an accident. Driving a car too close to another reduces the time a driver would react to a sudden stopping from the leading vehicle.
Running a Red Light
Running a red light refers to driving through an intersection after the traffic light has turned red. It also applies to a pedestrian crossing, where other kinds of lights give different signals. For example, drivers usually see a green light turning yellow and speed before it turns red. Others speed up to get to their destinations quicker, and stopping would mean they have to brake harshly and risk damaging their vehicles.
Failing to Yield
When drivers fail to yield, they don't allow traffic to go when they have the right-of-way. Failure to yield can occur in a four-way stop, at a lighted intersection, or left turns. Drivers who fail to yield will most likely cause an accident when they hit the vehicle that has the right of way.
Some Las Vegas accidents are caused by external causes, even though most result from drivers' behavior. Others might be a combination of external causes and driver behavior. The following are examples of external influences that may lead to a car accident, with or without the involvement of the driver's behavior.
Defective Auto Parts
A poorly designed or manufactured vehicle part may play a role in causing a car accident. Defective auto parts like a tire blowout or brake failure can unintended accelerate the vehicle, leading to a severe car accident. Manufacturers should be held liable for a defective auto part that causes a car accident.
Even careful and experienced drivers may lose control of their vehicle while driving on a hazardous roadway. Poorly maintained or improperly designed roads are usually the cause of accidents.
Harsh Weather Conditions
Severe weather conditions like snow, fog, rain, and wind may all create dangerous driving conditions. A severe car accident may occur if a driver doesn't take the necessary measures to adjust speed and avoid driving.
Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Any car accident can cause severe injuries regardless of how minor it might seem. The severity of the injury depends on various factors like the structure of the automobile, the nature of the accident, and the vehicle's size. The following is an outline of the variety of injuries that are common in Las Vegas.
Broken bones are also referred to as bone fractures. They are common in both minor and severe vehicle collisions. The severity of the broken bones is related to the speed involved in the car accident, amount of force, and weight of the vehicles involved.
Burns, Laceration, and Scarring
There are possibilities of suffering burns and lacerations after a car accident. These types of injuries can result in permanent scarring, especially if the laceration and burns are severe.
Head and Neck Trauma
Damages of the head and neck are also common injuries sustained in a car accident. It can range from minor whiplash to a severe concussion.
A severe traffic collision can lead to some types of brain injury. Typically, brain injury results from swelling, bruising, internal bleeding, and nerve damage. In addition, a car accident victim can suffer a temporary or permanent impairment of the brain functionality, commonly referred to as TBI.
Back and Spinal Cord Trauma
Back and spinal cord trauma is another common outcome of a car accident. It ranges from fractures, lumbar spine injuries, thoracic spine injuries to ruptured discs. Unfortunately, many of the signs and symptoms of these injuries are not recognizable until a few days have passed on following a collision. That's why car accident victims are advised to seek medical help immediately after a crash.
Permanent Paralysis or Disability
Permanent disability is also a common type of injury sustained in a car accident. It's divided into paraplegia, paraparesis, and quadriplegia. Paraplegia refers to the paralysis of the lower part of the body. Para-paresis refers to the loss of motion and sensory ability, while quadriplegia is the paralysis of the torso, arms, and legs.
There are also possibilities of dying after a car accident. Family members of an individual who has died in a car accident can seek financial recourse for all the damages associated with the fatality.
Common Compensations for Car Accident Victims in Las Vegas
Car accident victims are entitled to monetary compensation. Your compensation depends on various factors. The type of compensation received after a car accident is referred to as damages. They fall under two broad categories of economic and non-economic damages. Read on and learn more about these damages.
Economic damages refer to out-of-pocket expenses in which a victim can place a monetary figure. There are two main types of economic damages. This includes:
Medical expenses can include the cost of paramedics, ambulance transportation to the hospital, hospital fees, costs of medical devices, emergency room treatment, and the costs of physical and rehabilitation therapy. They can also include anticipated medical expenses based on doctors' estimated time that you'll recover from the accident.
Lost wages refer to the time taken off due to injuries sustained in a car accident. They can include overtime, bonuses, job retraining, and loss of earning capacity. You may even receive damages for wages you're expected to earn in the future.
Non-economic damages refer to damages that don't have a monetary figure, though legitimate. They cover damages like pain and suffering, physical impairment, emotional distress, lack of consortium, among others.
If your loved one dies in a car accident, you may be able to seek wrongful death damages. These includes:
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Pain and suffering that the deceased had experienced before their death
- Loss of enjoyment of life they have suffered
Collecting Damages In Car Accident Lawsuits
You must file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company to collect damages after a car accident. Through this claim, you will need to prove:
- That the other driver was negligent.
- The negligence caused the accident.
- Your injuries and damages are directly related to the car accident and the at-fault driver's negligence.
- You can demonstrate your damage from the accident.
You and your attorney should gather evidence of the accident to strengthen your claim. Other than the pieces of evidence described above, you can use your medical treatment bills and receipts, and records of how the accident affected you as your evidence.
Statute of Limitation in Car Accident Cases in Las Vegas
Under Nevada Statute Clause NRS 11.010, car accident victims have two years from the day of injury to file an injury claim. However, several unique cases can extend this timeline. For instance, a victim needing an extended recuperation period will require an extension of the statute of limitation. However, if you suffer from minor injuries, you must start your suit immediately.
Contact a Skilled Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Hiring a competent and experienced car accident attorney is vital if you're injured in a car accident. Unfortunately, some individuals attempt to represent themselves but fail to acquire compensation. At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we do our best to ensure that you receive enough compensation. You can easily reach our attorneys anytime at 702-576-0010 and schedule an appointment.