Car accidents, especially head-on collisions, are among Nevada's fatal accidents leading to severe injuries and death. Unfortunately, these accidents are most common in Las Vegas, densely populated areas. When you or your loved one suffers injuries from a car accident, a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm lawyer may be in a position to assist you to obtain monetary compensation after your accident.
When you have an experienced car accident lawyer, you can concentrate on recovering after your accident while they pursue your case. Sometimes you may be confined in a hospital room or at home after your car accident. You may be wondering where to start after a head-on collision accident, but you can rest easy knowing your case is in the right hands with an attorney representing you.
Understanding Head-on Collisions
Head-on collision accidents occur when the front of one car collides with another vehicle's front end while the cars are traveling in opposing directions. In Nevada, the state has enacted traffic laws to curb road accidents. You will notice road signs along the roads warning and guiding motorists on how to drive safely. Some of the preventive measures that the state has included on the roadways are signs warning motorists against driving while in the wrong lane. If you are in a residential area, you will notice signs about oncoming traffic, speed limits, and narrow streets. You will also notice signs indicating you are not to drive while distracted and not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Causes Of Head-on Collisions
Though these accidents are not very common but are very dangerous due to the high speed of the cars involved in the accident. Most of the time, head-on collisions accidents are a result of one or a combination of the following:
- Switching or passing lanes without indicating properly
- driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication
- Merging an arterial road from a minor road without signaling
- Entering the highway from the wrong direction
- Fatigue is a common cause of the head-on collision, especially if the driver has been driving over long distance
- distractions like texting, calling, drinking, eating, talking to other passengers in the vehicle, or even using GPS
- defective traffic signals
- extreme weather conditions
- Poor roadworks like potholes
Determining Who Is Responsible For A Headon Collision Accident
After a head-on collision accident, you should call the law enforcement officers to the accident scene. The police will determine who is at fault for the accident and the part of fault each is responsible for. Nevada applies comparative fault law, which means that the law assumes that each party involved in a head-on collision accident is partially liable for the accident. This means that you are partly responsible for the accident and that it will factor in when it comes to the compensation amount that you will obtain from the insurance providers.
You should engage the services of a car accident lawyer if you disagree with the findings of the police when it comes to who is at fault for the accident. You can also pursue additional damages from the other parties regardless of the comparative fault rules if you receive an amount that is less compared to your injury and loss.
According to the law, you will be at fault or responsible for a head-on collision accident if you contributed to or caused it. One way of determining if you are responsible for the head-on collision accident is if you were driving negligently. Driving negligently in this context means that you failed to exercise due care that a reasonable person in your situation would have used. You may be accused of driving negligently when you:
- Drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication
- Violate traffic rules.
- Being distracted as you drive
- Drive a car that's not roadworthy
- Drive on the wrong side of the road
- Make illegal u-turns
- Fail to obey traffic rules
The jury has reviewed all the available facts to determine that the other person was at fault after a head-on collision accident.
Head-on Collision Injuries
Though head-on collision accidents are not very common compared to rear-end collisions, they are among the topmost dangerous types of accidents today. If you or your loved ones are involved in a head-on collision accident. In that case, you will be at risk of sustaining some injuries like head injuries, Spinal cord injuries, Paralysis, Concussions, Broken limbs, Neck injuries, Traumatic brain injury, Whiplash.
Actions To Take After A Head-on Collision Accident
Despite the severity of a head-on collision, the following are some of the actions you should take if you are in a position to. If not, you can ask someone else to help you.
Ensure Your Safety First
Stop immediately and move to the side if it is safe. Ensuring your safety by moving to the side of the road, if it is possible, will help other road users and, at the same time, allow you time to calm down.
Notify The Authorities
If there are injured people after the accident, kindly call 911 and then notify the police of the accident, especially if there is property damage on the accident site. Call the police if they are not at the accident scene, and ensure you obtain a copy of the accident report that they will fill out.
Exchange Contact Information
Obtain names, telephone, addresses, and any other contact information of those involved in the accident. Ensure that you obtain the license numbers from the other drivers and their insurance company details. Try to take in as much information as possible. Information like the car’s model, color, make, and license number will come in handy and help your car accident lawyer fill out the insurance claim. You should also obtain the contact information of the passengers and other eyewitnesses at the accident scene.
Document Any Damages
If you can record the damages sustained before the vehicles are moved from the site, it will be helpful to your attorney. Document the loss, and you can achieve this by taking pictures of the cars and the angle of the cars involved in the accident.
Never Admit Fault
Do not admit to being at fault or apologize even if you think you are at fault for the accident. Sometimes you may believe it to be the cause of the accident, but it wasn’t your fault. Your lawyer and the insurance company will review the police accident report and the pictures taken at the accident site and advise you accordingly.
Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention even if you feel fine. After an accident, you have some injuries that are not obvious and may show up later. It is essential to seek medical attention, for failure to do so may negatively affect your chances of obtaining better compensation.
Notify your Insurance Provider And The DMV
You should notify your insurance provider of the accident as soon as possible. If there are injured people, report the incident to the Department of Motor Vehicle(DMV) within ten days, or your failure to do so may lead to the suspension of your driving license.
Document All Your Medical Details
It is essential to keep a track record of all your medical bills, medication issued, and scheduled appointments. If your lifestyle has to change due to the accident, ensure you note this down. Ensure you jot down all the details about the accident as details tend to fade as time goes by, and by doing so, you will have all the facts fresh in your mind during the trial.
Do Not Discuss The Accident
Apart from discussing the accident with your car accident attorney, the police, and your insurance company, kindly refrain from discussing the accident with other people. Discussing your accident with other parties may jeopardize your chances of obtaining compensation on your claim against the parties responsible for property damage or your injuries. Do not answer any questions regarding the accident at the accident scene, especially if you are injured and not thinking clearly. Sometimes you may say something, and someone at the accident scene misinterprets it, and this could show that you were not seriously injured, or it may compromise your claim later on. If you are not calm and the police want some details from you, kindly tell them that you will provide them once you have calmed down.
Do Not Sign Any Document
It is crucial to ensure that you do not sign any documents, especially from the party's insurance company. If you have to sign any documents, ensure you have your lawyers go ahead.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney
It is important to note that insurance companies do not have your best interest at heart. They must try and convince you to settle for less than you are entitled to, especially if it will save them money. Therefore if you were involved in a head-on collision accident and have suffered injuries or property damage, you must consult a car accident lawyer who will advise you accordingly.
The Role Of A Car Accident Attorney After A Head-on Collision Accident
Having the services of a car accident lawyer can come in handy, especially after an accident. You will realize that sometimes you may start receiving calls and requests from insurance companies even before receiving treatment for your injuries, at this time when your sole concern should be about recovering and healing and not being overwhelmed by questions and requests from insurance companies or wondering how you will cover your medical expenses. A car accident attorney will help you after sustaining injuries in a head-on collision to recover monetary compensation. The compensation will help pay for your medical treatment and cover other losses like lost wages.
Some of the duties that your car accident lawyer will perform include and are not limited to:
Explain Your Legal Rights
Your lawyer will explain to you how your accident will affect your legal rights, and they will also explain the duration within which you should file your claim.
Your car accident attorney will walk with you in your journey to find justice and guide you throughout. With an experienced attorney, they will help you understand the legal jargon of complicated insurance procedures, interpret medical conditions and help you navigate through the maze that is paperwork required in your case.
Represent You In Court
Though most personal injuries cases do not end up in courts, most of them are settled out of court. If the insurance provider denies your claim, you may go to court to ensure you are compensated. Having a lawyer will greatly help as they understand the complex nature of these cases.
Conduct A Professional Investigation
Car accident attorneys have their investigators who will document all the evidence at the accident scene, develop theories on the cause of the accident, interview eyewitnesses, and liaise with the police. Professional investigations go a long way in helping your claim and will help when it comes to making your claim.
Insurance requirements After A Head-on Collision Accident
Nevada is at a “fault” state, which means that the state allows you to seek compensation from your insurance provider or the other party’s insurance company. Under Nevada Revised Statute(NRS) 41.141, the state requires you to carry a minimum liability insurance coverage for property damage and bodily injury. Though the state has enacted a minimum insurance coverage liability for all vehicle owners, sometimes it is not enough, especially if you suffer significant bodily injury after a head-on collision. Therefore, you should try to find other options that will protect your interest after an accident and ensure your personal property or assets are safe. The state of Insurance has laid down the following guidelines for minimum insurance coverage, and you as a driver should maintain your car insurance coverage.
- $25 000 in bodily injury or death of a person involved in one accident
- $50,000 for the bodily injury or death of two or more people involved in one accident
- $20,000 for property damage in one accident
You should note that it's a crime to drive in Nevada without the appropriate insurance coverage. You can have your driving license suspended and even pay hefty fines when you drive without your insurance coverage. Sometimes you may take the at-fault driver to court if their insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your injuries and property damage. This will mean that they will pay you from their pockets, and that is why it is crucial to involve a car accident lawyer to represent you and ensure your claim comes through.
Damages Available After A Head-on collision Accident
If you are a driver or a passenger involved in a head-on collision accident, you can recover some damages if you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Once your lawsuit is successful, you may be compensated for the following damages:
Nevada defines compensatory damages as the amount of money that the person responsible for your accident pays you to compensate for your losses after a successful personal injury lawsuit.
Nevada categorizes Compensatory or actual damages into two groups:
Economic damages are for the losses which can be readily quantified into dollar amounts. The role of economic damages is to cover the expenses you have spent or will spend due to your injuries. These damages include lost wages, medical bills, lost earning capability, property damages, and other expenses.
When it comes to non-economic damages, it involves compensation for the loss that is quite hard to quantify, like loss of companionship, pain, suffering, and disfigurement.
You can sue for punitive damages against the defendant or the person responsible for the accident. These damages are not based on your losses but on the other driver's wrongful actions or conduct. In this case, you can file for punitive damages if the other intentionally caused you harm. You can file a lawsuit and claim punitive damages if you show that your injuries resulted from the other person's malice, extreme recklessness, or fraud. The purpose of punitive damages is not to cover your losses but to punish the wrongdoer and to curb the same behavior in the future. If your lawsuit is successful, the court will award you punitive damages and compensatory damages.
Wrongful Death Claim
Since most head-on collisions accidents tend to be fatal, they could lead to the death of your loved one. As a surviving family member, you can file for a wrongful death lawsuit against the person at fault in the accident under NRS 41.085. The damages that you can recover after filing for the wrongful death of your loved one include funeral expenses, loss of future earnings that your loved one could have earned, burial expenses, loss of consortium compensation, and loss of companionship, among others.
As a surviving member of the deceased, you can file a survival cause of action lawsuit. Under this lawsuit, you can sue the other party for the loss suffered by the victim’s estate. Since you can not file for punitive damages under a wrongful death lawsuit, a survival cause of action will ensure you obtain punitive damages after a wrongful death.
Can You Recover Damages If You Are Partially At Fault For The Head-on Collision Accident?
Sometimes you may realize that you are partially at fault for the head-on collision accident or you contributed to the accident. For instance, you may be hit by the other driver but suffer a significant bodily injury due to your actions like failure to put on your safety belt. Since Nevada is a comparative negligence state, you can still recover damages from the other party even if you are partially responsible for the accident. In this instance, the amount you will receive will be minus your at-fault percentage of the accident. Comparative negligence law ensures that you still recover damages if you are 50% responsible for the head-on collision accident. If you are at fault for more than 50%, you will not receive any compensation. For example, if the court finds that you are at 20% fault after the accident, and you had claimed $50,000, you will recover damages worth $40,000.
How Does The Court Decide On The Level of Fault In A Comparative Negligence Case?
In a personal injury case, the judge or the jury determines the level or the percentage of fault of each party involved in the accident. For instance, if you claim that the other driver’s negligent actions contributed to your injury and property damage, you must prove that the other party was negligent and that they contributed significantly to your injury or property damage. After proving the other driver’s fault, the court will divide the fault among the parties involved.
Nevada Law On Head-on Collision Accidents
Under the law, Nevada requires motorists to exercise due care and follow all the traffic rules while using the roads. The law states that a motorist is negligent when they fail to apply reasonable care while using the roads or driving. Some of the standards that the law requires you to observe as a driver include the following:
- Control your vehicle’s speed
- always keep a lookout for other road users like pedestrians, and other drivers
- drive carefully
- yield right of way to vehicles approaching from the opposite side of the road until they turn safely
Statute Of Limitation
In Nevada, you have up to two years to file a personal injury claim. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this period, you may fail to recover damages from the parties responsible for your injuries or property damage. Since head-on collision injuries tend to be fatal, you will require the services of a car accident attorney to file your claim within the stipulated time.
Contact A Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
Since most personal injury cases settle before going to trial, you will require the services of an experienced car accident attorney to represent you during the negotiations. Your attorney will ensure you recover damages and, at the same time, save you the time you could spend going to trial in Nevada. After a head-on collision, you will need time to deal with your injuries, leading to a lifestyle change. One advantage of having a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm lawyer handling our case is the peace of mind of knowing someone concerned is looking out for you. With this peace of mind, you can concentrate on recovery, healing, and rebuilding your life after the accident. Feel free to contact us at 702-576-0010 and schedule your first no obligatory consultation with our friendly legal team.