In Nevada, intersections are one of the most dangerous locations for drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and even cyclists to cross. Consequently, they are also one of the common places where accidents occur. An intersection car accident can lead to catastrophic injuries to anyone involved.
Luckily, state law offers recourse for persons involved in an intersection accident. If you are burdened by piling bills due to lost wages, medical care, or prolonged rehabilitative therapy due to injuries caused by another's negligence, personal injury compensation can help.
To ensure maximum compensation for your injuries and loss, you need help from an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have a track record of success in helping personal injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We will aggressively fight for you, exhausting every possible means to recover damages. If you have been in an intersection car accident in Las Vegas and wish to file a claim/lawsuit, please do not hesitate to call us for a constitution and legal advice.
Common Forms of Intersection Crashes
Irrespective of an intersection’s location, approaching vehicles are always at odds. Traffic lights, yield signs, or four-way stop signs are conspicuous at almost all intersections. Some prevalent forms of intersection crashes are:
- Rear-end collisions— these crashes are caused by inattentiveness, and they are the most prevalent intersection crashes. They happen because a motorist failed to see the vehicle ahead of them had stopped or slowed down. Failure to control their car can lead to severe injuries, including whiplash plus other problems.
- Broadside accidents— generally occurring in places where traffic is emerging, these collisions are the outcome of failing to yield the right of way. Whereas most broadside accidents affect the passenger part of the auto, they may also affect the motorist’s side.
- T-bone accidents— t-bone accidents are side-impact crashes that can cause severe injuries and generally result from someone running a red light, stopping, or failing to give way at an intersection. These accidents are the most fatal of the side-impact crashes mentioned above. T-bone crashes happen when an auto leaves an intersection and another car leaves from either the left or right corner, leading to a collision.
- Pedestrian accidents— even though accidents between motor vehicles frequently happen at intersections, they are not the only types of crashes. For example, pedestrians and bicyclists on crosswalks also face a higher risk of severe injuries, particularly if a motorist is distracted. Since there is a lack of protection from steel airbags and seat belts between them and the road, accidents between motorists tend to cause devastating injuries.
- Motorcycle accidents— per the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), most motorcycle collisions on urban roads occur at intersections. These crashes involve either:
- A driver who fails to see a motorcycle rider approaching the intersection, trying to turn left, or
- A driver sideswiping a motorcycle rider when the two parties are trying to make a left turn.
In nearly all cases, intersection accidents between motorcyclists and motorists occur due to one of the parties failing to yield properly or the motorist failing to check their blind spot. Additionally, since intersections are highly used, they are likely to have road defects, like standing water, loose asphalt, and potholes. Whereas these problems annoy drivers, they can be deadly for motorcycle riders.
Intersection Accident Victims
Most people think that intersection accident victims are only those traveling in the cars involved in the crash. But this is far from the truth. Other possible victims of intersection accidents include:
- Cyclists— since it is affordable to travel around Nevada cities by bicycle, many people have chosen this as their preferred means of transportation. Bikes have to abide by the same traffic rules as vehicles, although this usually places cyclists at a higher risk of being hit by an auto at an intersection.
- Pedestrians— surprisingly, many pedestrians lose their lives on Nevada roads annually. Most of these crashes would not have happened if the cities within the state were more pedestrian-friendly. But the truth is pedestrians are still at a higher risk of accidents at intersections.
- Motorcycle riders— even if the motorcycle is not directly involved in the collision, the unexpected accident may cause debris, like pieces of one of the autos or headlight glass. Since a motorcycle’s stability is lower than a car's, the motorcyclist could sustain injuries if they fail to control their bike due to the debris.
Common Injuries After an Intersection Accident
Any car crash is dangerous. However, accidents at intersections can be more so because of the number of pedestrians trying to cross and the complex traffic. These accidents can cause both minor and severe injuries, some of which include:
Spine injuries involve a fracture, dislocation, damage, or compression to the vertebrae or related nerves that impact the sensory and motor functions under the injury location. Spine injury may cause your hands, arms, legs, and pelvic organs to be paralyzed, depending on the injury's severity, site, or completeness. Common signs of a spine injury include:
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Distorted neck or back position
- Numbness in extremities like hands, fingers, feet, or toes
- Pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back
- Loss of sensation to heat, touch, and cold
- Body spasms
- Impaired breathing
Because of the strong force of the crash and the proximity of vehicle occupants, particularly the motorist, to the car’s steering wheel and dashboard, internal injuries are prevalent in intersection collisions. Internal injuries include punctured or collapsed lungs, internal bleeding, and organ damage. Based on the severity of the accident and the internal injury, a surgical procedure and more extended stay at the hospital are necessary.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that TBIs cause about 30% of deaths in the U.S, killing 138 people every day. A traumatic brain injury is a debilitating, life-changing, severe injury resulting from trauma to the head. Types of TBIs include:
- Diffuse axonal injuries— a diffuse axonal injury occurs when your brain is injured as it shifts and rotates inside the skull, leading to the tearing of its parts. This injury occurs when the head moves forward or backward rapidly or moves forward or backward swiftly and then stops unexpectedly. The injury may result in severe challenges such as losing consciousness or even death.
- Penetration— a penetration injury happens when a sharp item forces matter from your skull into the brain. Mostly, the injury causes death.
- Hematoma or blood clot— hematoma is a mass or pronounced blood clot between the skull and brain. At times it can occur inside your brain.
- Concussion— often, a concussion results from an impact to the head, violent shaking of the head, or whiplash-kind of movement. It can lead to post-concussion syndrome, which may last for several months or years, substantially inhibiting the capability to do your daily activities. You should not ignore a concussion. It requires urgent medical care.
You can sustain a chest injury by your chest hitting the steering wheel or dashboard and your body being tossed around unexpectedly, pressing against the seatbelt. Chest injuries may cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, bruises, and shoulder, rib cage, shoulder, and arm pain.
Whiplash happens because of a forceful or unexpected back and forth head movement. The unexpected force can make the bones in the neck or spine break. It can also cause nerve damage, damage to soft tissue, ruptured discs and strained ligaments or muscles in the neck or back. Symptoms you may experience after sustaining a whiplash injury include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Back, shoulder, and arm pain
- Diminished range of motion in your neck
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Ringing in your ears
- Memory loss
- Numbness in the arms
- Blurred vision
Luckily, whiplash can be treated, and many victims recover after a short period. Medical treatment aims to restore the range of motion, manage pain, and help you resume your day-to-day activities as soon as possible. But not all whiplash injuries are treated the same way. More severe of these injuries may require more extensive treatment.
Amputations and Lost Limbs
While it rarely happens, you may face permanent disability if an amputation injury occurs. Often, an amputation will negatively impact all aspects of your life. Amputation is done after your limbs like toes, fingers, arms, and legs are severely damaged that the doctor cannot save them. In most cases, people who have amputated limbs use prosthetics.
Causes of Intersection Car Accidents
Per the most info retrievable from the state’s Office of Traffic Safety, the leading causes of deadly accident collisions in Nevada over the recent five years include:
- Failure to give way at intersections— any motorist should obey traffic rules to maintain safety. If a motorist did not give way to you at an intersection, causing a crash, the motorist ought to be held liable for their acts. The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety approximates that about 32% of all crashes throughout the state involved a motorist who failed to stop at an intersection or was negligent in a similar way.
- Trying to run a yellow light— often, motorists drive through the intersection on a yellow light. The yellow light tells drivers to slow their vehicles down and stop. Most drivers see the yellow light as a sign to hurry through the intersection and beat it. This is illegal, and those who speed through the intersection to beat the yellow light can cause accidents.
- Lane departures— motorists left their designated lane in about 37% of all deadly accidents.
- Impaired driving— nearly 43% of all accidents in Nevada State involved motorists impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Failure to stop for a red light/running a red light— Nevada laws say that motorists must stop at a red light. Failure for them to stop can lead to an accident.
- Trying to make a right turn with traffic in the lane— motorists wishing to make a right turn have to halt before turning completely. Failing to do so may lead to a deadly intersection accident involving pedestrians.
- Left turns at intersections— a left turn is usually tricky, and motorists must watch out for oncoming vehicles and pedestrians before turning left. Given the frequency of left-turn collisions, arrow signals are added at intersections to lower the frequency of left-turn collisions.
- Distracted driving— if a motorist is inattentive to the oncoming traffic or traffic signal before them and is rather on their phone, texting, looking through the window, or is otherwise distracted, it may be the direct cause of an intersection accident. Per the Office of Traffic Safety statistics, distracted motorists were involved in nearly 4% of all deadly accidents in Nevada.
- Speeding— The state’s office of Traffic Safety lists speeding among the leading intersection car accident causes in Nevada. Per its statistics, slightly over 32% of accidents involve at least a motorist who was speeding. Speeding makes it hard for drivers to respond appropriately when an emergency arises. It also elevates the force of the impact when an accident occurs, making the chance of death and catastrophic injuries even higher.
Other prevalent causes of intersection accidents include:
- Obstructed views
- Failure to survey the surrounding area
- Defective equipment
- Failure to adjust for road or weather conditions
Liability In Intersection Accidents
Several parties can be held liable for an intersection car accident. They include:
- The driver— careless motorists can be held responsible for causing crashes. Therefore, a motorist who violated traffic rules or was negligent can be held accountable if they caused an intersection collision. If you are the victim driver, the other motorist in the accident with you may also be liable for the accident.
- The driver's employer— where the motorist was working for their employer when the crash occurred, such as an Uber or Lyft driver, the driver's employer may be held liable for losses.
- Government agency in charge of road maintenance— if road maintenance or design caused or contributed to the accident, the agency or party with the duty of maintaining the roads could be held responsible for accident victim damages.
- Another private company, for instance, a parts manufacturer, automaker, commercial delivery auto service agency, or livery. A vehicle or vehicle parts manufacturer may have manufactured a bad auto part or failed to caution about a weak roof or some tendency to make the car un-crashworthy.
To prove the liable party is to blame for your injuries, you have to show that they were negligent. Proving negligence entails establishing four factors:
- Duty of care— you have to show that the liable party owed you a duty of care; for instance, they were responsible for driving with caution or not violating traffic rules.
- Breach— after proving the duty of care; you have to show that the liable party failed to uphold that duty of care by either breaking the law (for instance, driving while intoxicated or recklessly) or failing to act reasonably.
- Causation— you also have to show that their breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of your injuries.
- Damages— lastly, you have to prove that you incurred damages due to the injuries.
Compensation After an Intersections Accident
Nevada law dictates that intersection car accident victims are entitled to recover damages due to the injuries and losses they suffer due to someone else's negligence. The state divides these damages into various categories. The most prevalent of these categories are non-economic and economic damages. Economic damages compensate for the losses related to a given tangible loss. It is easier to allocate a dollar value to these damages, which are easily calculable. They include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Vehicle replacement or repair costs
- Lost wages
- Lost/diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of business or employment opportunities
- Physical or psychological therapy
Non-economic damages compensate for injuries that are not easy to compute, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Lack of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement
Nevada law allows a victim of an intersection car accident to seek punitive damages, although they are rarely awarded. Punitive damages differ from compensatory damages (non-economic and economic damages) because, unlike compensatory damages, they do not compensate the victim. Instead, they are meant to punish the liable party for their negligent behavior and deter other people from behaving similarly.
To recover punitive damages, you must prove, with clear, convincing proof that the defendant acted maliciously or with wanton disregard for human life. Acting maliciously, in this case, does not mean acting with evil intent. Rather, it means behavior meant to cause injury to the victim or conduct performed with conscious and willful disregard for the rights and safety of others.
In Nevada, punitive damages may generally not exceed:
- Three hundred thousand dollars (if the awarded compensatory damages amount is lower than a hundred thousand dollars)
- Three times the compensatory damages amount (if the awarded amount is a hundred thousand dollars or more
However, these caps do not apply where the crash was caused by an intoxicated driver who willfully consumed alcohol or used drugs (including prescription ones).
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If your loved one succumbed to injuries suffered in an intersection car collision in Nevada, you might be able to sue the liable party for damages. However, only specific parties are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim/lawsuit in Nevada. They include:
- The surviving domestic partner or spouse
- The victim's children
- The victim's parents (if there is no surviving child or spouse)
- The personal representative of the estate
Other family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they can prove they were dependent on the deceased financially when they were still alive. Recoverable damages in a wrongful death lawsuit/claim include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses arising from the deceased's final illness or injury
- Loss of companionship, affection, and care of the deceased
- Property damage due to the crash
- Loss of wages and benefits the deceased might have earned if they had survived
- Loss of heir benefits
The Nevada Comparative Fault Rule
Nevada follows the modified comparative negligence rule when assigning liability in personal injury cases. Under this rule, liability for a crash is divided between more than one party. The rule may eliminate or reduce the compensation amount a victim can acquire.
If the crash victim is 50% or lower to blame for a crash, they can still recover damages for their injuries, but their percentage of guilt will lower their compensation amount. For instance, if they were awarded a hundred thousand dollars and were 40% to blame, they would recover only sixty thousand dollars from the at-fault party. If the victim is 51% or more to blame, they cannot sue for damages.
The Statute of Limitations for Intersection Car Accident Cases
The statute of limitations refers to the timeframe a victim is allowed to bring a lawsuit. If the victim files the lawsuit after the timeframe has elapsed, the court will dismiss it for falling outside the statute of limitations. The time limit to sue the liable party for damages in intersection car accidents is often just two years from the date of the accident, with a few exceptions, such as when the victim is a minor.
If your loved one died, you also have two years from the date of death to bring a lawsuit. However, if you only suffered property damage, you will have three years to sue for compensation, counted from when the accident occurred. And if the liable party is a government agency, you will have only six months to bring your lawsuit. Either way, you should consult a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible about filing your suit. The earlier you start the process, the higher your chances of winning you will have.
Remember that the statute of limitations timeframes only applies to lawsuit filing. They do not apply to the insurance claim filing, which generally should happen as soon as possible after the accident.
Find an Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
The most critical step you can take after an intersection car collision caused by a negligent party is contacting an auto accident attorney. Whether you were the driver of the hit vehicle, a passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or cyclist, you need a reliable advocate by your side if you sustained an injury.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we are dedicated to obtaining the maximum possible settlement for intersection car accident victims. Contact us today at 702-576-0010 to schedule a cost-free consultation. If you choose us to represent you, we will work on a contingency fee, meaning we will not ask you for any legal charges until we have obtained a settlement for you. Do not wait for too long to bring a lawsuit/claim. Call us today for help.