Every driver hopes to drive safely to the intended destination. However, there are possibilities of incurring accidents due to several factors. There are different types of accidents that any driver can face. These situations are quite devastating and can leave anyone with injuries that can last a lifetime. It is vital to seek justice through a professional attorney and get compensated for the injuries sustained. We at Las Vegas Personal Injury Law Firm are ready to offer the best services to our clients living within Las Vegas, Nevada.
Car Accident Statistics in Nevada
According to the latest reports, traffic accident fatalities have risen to 331 from 311 between 2017 and 2018. The casualties resulted from 301 crashes, which rose from 292, which were recorded in the previous year.
The number of fatalities that resulted from failure to wear seat belts increased by 23 percent from the records provided in 2017. August recorded the highest number of accidents, which saw 37 fatalities on Nevada roads while April had the lowest toll with 18 deaths.
The number of pedestrian deaths that resulted from car accidents fell from 98 to 80, which records an 18% fall from 2017.
Along with the 292 crashes recorded in 2018, 82 of them resulted from driver’s influence from multiple substances. Alcoholic influence took sole blame of 50 fatalities, while 29 of them were as a result of Marijuana, and 17 of them were as a result of other substances. All these accidents happened in the wake of a zero fatality campaign by the state.
Common Types of Accidents
Whether you are driving on a highway, parking on your neighborhood, lot or side road, there are chances of incurring a car accident depending on different situations. There are different types of accidents. This variation depends on the proceeding and the cause of the accident. Here are the common types of accidents that any driver can experience and are common on Nevada roads.
Vehicle Roll Over
A rollover accident is signified by an upside down turn of the vehicle or toppling on its side.
There are two types of rollovers. They include the tripped and untripped rollovers. A tripped rollover results from forces from an external object like a collision with another vehicle and a curb. On the other hand, an untripped rollover results from speed, steering input, and friction.
An untripped rollover occurs when forces destabilize the vehicle. As the car takes a corner, there are three types of forces that work on it. These include the inertial effect, tire effects, and gravity. As it breaks, the cornering forces push the car to the center of the curve, which topples it.
In a tripped rollover, the vehicle slides sideways as the tires strike a curb or digs into the soft ground. Also, it occurs when an event similar to the tripped rollover occurs, and the lateral force increases suddenly.
Another cause of a rollover is the collision of an object or a vehicle. The collision makes the car unstable, especially when one side of the vehicle accelerates when hit by a narrow object. The side impact can easily accelerate the vehicle sideways, which results in a topple.
All types of vehicles are susceptible to rollover crashes. However, tall and narrow vehicles such as SUVs, vans, and pickups are at higher risks due to their high center of gravity.
Common Causes of Rollover Crashes
It is recommendable to know the cause of a rollover accident to determine who is at fault of the accident. Also, it makes you remain aware of the possibility of such an accident and makes you take precautions as you drive. Some of the common causes of such accidents include:
Speeding is the highest cause of rollover crashes. Braking a vehicle while on speed requires a considerable distance, which can be impossible on a corner. Therefore, drivers are urged to maintain the recommended speed when approaching a corner and even on the highway. According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NHTSA), almost 75% of rollover accidents occur when a driver goes straight into a curb with speed.
Drunk Driving and drowsy driving
Driving a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant or tired can make a driver make wrong decisions while behind the wheel.
Driving a vehicle with a flat tire or bad tires can also lead to a rollover accident. Tire problems make the car fail to break, which leads to a rollover.
Rollover accidents can lead to small injuries and severe ones, depending on the nature of the crash. Some of the common injuries that result from such accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries
- chest injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Bruise, cuts, and scrapes
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back and spinal injuries
Single Car Accident
This kind of accident involves one vehicle. In most cases, a single-car accident affects the driver and probably the passenger. It may also include an innocent bystander, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. Other instances that explain the single-car accident include:
- Crashing on a fixed object such as a tree, median or a telephone pole
- Crashing on an animal, which in most cases a deer
- Hitting a non-fixed object such as ruts in the road, potholes, tree limbs, and road debris
Please note that this sort of accident does not include hitting another vehicle while on parking.
Given that this kind of accident involves one vehicle, the law infers that only one person is to blame for the accident. This is usually common when the accident resulted from the driver's fatigue, negligence, and alcohol use. Other parties can be held responsible if they are directly associated with the accident.
Causes of Single Car Accidents
Understanding the causes of a single-car accident can help you remain safe while on the road and know whether you are at fault for the accident. The following are the common causes of single-car accidents.
Drugs and Alcohol
The NHTSA estimates that about 30% of single-car accidents are alcohol-related. Most drunk drivers over speed without their knowledge ended up crashing on objects along the highways. It is also hard for a drunk driver to react to a sudden turn of events such as a deer rushing past the vehicle.
A driver can get into a single-wreck when something like a phone distracts him or her from regular driving tasks. A driver can easily drift away from the road by simply checking on a text or replying to one. Other distractions that can affect a driver include conversing with a passenger, GPS, radios, eating and drinking, and personal grooming.
Young and inexperienced drivers are more prone to being involved in a single-vehicle accident. They do not know how to deal with hazards such as wet asphalt, potholes, and animals and might eventually end up causing an accident.
Vehicle Defects and Roadway
In some cases, single-vehicle accidents are not entirely as a result of the driver’s recklessness. Defective parts such as tire blowouts and bad brakes can also play a role in such an accident. At this point, the victim can claim liability from the manufacturer if the problem is directly related to their negligence.
Another factor that results in defects is roadway defects. Things such as loose gravel, unsafe turns, road collapses, fallen ribs, and debris on the road can lead to a single-vehicle accident in Nevada.
In case you are at fault of such an accident, the possible outcomes that result include:
- Traffic Tickets
- Paying for your injuries bills
- Criminal charges if the accident occurred from drunk driving and reckless driving
- Both minor and severe injuries
A rear-end collision explains a crash that a vehicle crashes on the back of the one in front. A typical scenario of a rear-end collision is when the car in front makes a sudden brake, and the one that is trailing on its back collides with it. Another instance would be the trailing vehicle accelerating rapidly than the one in front leading to a collision.
The trailing driver is usually considered at fault, especially when he or she lacks attention or follows too closely. An exception might occur when the leading driver puts on reverse gear and fails to consider the vehicle behind him or her.
Determining Fault in a Rear-end Collision
In most cases, the trailing driver is usually responsible for the crash. The rear driver is held accountable for failing to observe basic driving rules and failing to maintain the best practice while on the road. Some of these factors include:
As a rear driver, you need to maintain a reasonable distance between your vehicle and the one that you are following to allow enough space to react in case of sudden braking. In Nevada, driving too close to another car is an offense that can be included in your at-fault charges.
Other than following at a close distance, there are other instances where a collision can happen while the trailing driver is not at fault. Some of these circumstances include:
Multi- vehicular Collision
When the vehicle trailing you at the back pushes and makes you hit the one that is in front of you, then the driver operating the car at your back is responsible for the accident. Such a collision is common when there are more than three vehicles involved in an accident.
Drivers depend on vehicle warning lights to determine the kind of decisions that the driver in front is making. Therefore, if the tail lights are non-functional, it is hard for the driver at the back to realize if the other driver has deployed the brakes, resulting in an accident.
Abnormal Driving Behavior
There are possibilities of rear-end accidents if the driver in front displays erratic driving behaviors such as accelerating while on the reverse and applying brakes while at unusual and unpredictable intervals.
There are also chances of incurring a rear-end accident if there are mechanical problems with the vehicle. Such issues are rare nowadays based on the level of improvements in modern vehicle production.
A head-on collision occurs when two vehicles crash front to front while driving in opposite directions. According to NHTSA statistics, 58% fatality rate is recorded on occupants in a head – to- head crashes as of 2017. Such an accident is most likely to occur in rural areas where opposite vehicles have to share a single road.
The main reason behind a head-on collision is overtaking carelessly. In most cases, drivers underestimate incoming vehicles and fail to overtake the car in front of them on time as the other close by. Other reasons behind such an accident include distracted driving, driving under the influence, unsafe passing, and some sort of confusion, such as entering the wrong direction on a highway.
How to Establish Fault in a Head-on Collision
If you are a victim of a head-on collision or you lose a family member due to the accident, the at-fault driver insurance or company is responsible for paying your claim. The first step is to establish whether the other driver was at fault. Here is what you should look for.
Duty of Care
Every driver should be responsible enough on the road and avoid harming others. Therefore, one is expected to remain sober, rest, and pay attention to road signs. If a driver is under the influence (including over-the-counter prescription), then the driver is not exercising any duty of care.
Negligence is a conduct that is out of the expectation of what a reasonable person would do. For instance, if the driver drives on the wrong side in a one-way street, speeding, or uses an off-ramp, the driver is deemed to be negligent.
Causes of the Accident
For a plaintiff to prove their injury, he or she must show that the direct actions of the defendant directly caused the injuries. For instance, if the defendant was swerving into your lane, resulting in the accident, he or she becomes liable for the accident.
Note, Nevada considers a defendant to be at-fault if he or she is 51% responsible for the accident. Otherwise, you will have to share the fault as provided by the comparative negligence law.
Damages in Head-on Collision
As a victim of a head-on collision, you have a couple of damages to recover. These damages include:
- Property damages such as cost related to vehicle repair and external properties such as electric poles and broken guardrails
- Physical injury damages such as cost related to your treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages such as loss of consortium, emergency medical care, burial costs, and loss of future income.
Side Sweep Collision
A side sweep collision occurs when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction, and one hits the other on the side of the other. This usually happens when the driver on the left-hand tries to enter the lane on the right hand. Such an accident is quite dangerous and can turn out to be fatal since neither of the vehicles involves sees the other, and it is usually hard to avoid the impact.
There are a lot of factors that can cause a side sweep collision. Most of these cases result from failure to pay attention to their surroundings. Other causes of such accidents include:
- Reckless driving and road rage
- Failure to check blind spots when changing lanes
- Intoxication, which leads to weaving in and out of lanes
- Failure to signal the other vehicle when changing a lane
- Careless merging of lanes
- Hydroplaning on an icy or wet road
- Distracted driving
Determining Fault in a Side Sweep Collision
One of the fundamental driving rules is maintaining a single lane and moving from the specific lane until it is safe to do so. Therefore, the party that becomes liable for such an accident should be the one that left the lane. However, if both parties were changing lanes, both of them share responsibility for the accident. Again, the defendant becomes responsible for the accident if he or she has a 51% liability on the disaster.
Multiple Vehicle Collision
In this type of accident, several vehicles are involved, including trucks, buses, vans, and cars. It usually occurs in freeways where there are a lot of vehicles using the road. It is also common in intersections when a driver runs a red-light ending up hitting a vehicle, and the rest pile up due to loss of control or inevitable circumstances.
Some of the common causes of multiple vehicle collision include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Poor weather conditions such as fog, heavy rain, and snow
Determining Fault in a Multi-vehicle Collision
It can be hard to determine who is at fault in a multiple vehicle collision. For instance, if a speeding vehicle hits another one at its back, causing a chain of collisions, then it takes the blame for the whole wreck. Also, the vehicle leading in front might make sudden braking, which leads to rear-end collision to the vehicles that follow leading to the accident.
It might be unfair to deem the at-fault driver full responsibility for the accident. That’s why Nevada law (NRS 41.141) provides a 51% blame to consider the at-fault driver liable for every damage incurred. For the prosecutor to determine whether the alleged at-fault person is responsible, he or she must consider the following.
- Whether the driver violates traffic laws
- Witness statements
- Location and extent of the accident
- Review of video surveillance if applicable
- Position of the vehicles after the accident
- Data provided in the police reports
In this sort of accident, the driver hits a person, probably a pedestrian or bicyclist, and knowingly leaves the scene without providing his or her information. In such an accident, the driver neglects his or her duty of care and can lead to additional charges.
Most drivers run from the scene of the accident due to the following.
- Driving under the influence
- Driving a borrowed or stolen vehicle
- Lack of a driver’s license or insurance
- Having an arrest warrant
- Possession of illegal property or drugs
- Running from multiple traffic tickets and avoiding another one
- Being in the country illegally
The driver involved in the hit and run is usually at fault for the accident. Still, the 51% fault rule applies in this kind of accident to determine whether one is liable for the accident.
Reasons Why You Need an Attorney After a Car Accident
There are several issues that you need to consider once you are involved in a car accident. First, you should seek medical treatment to ensure that you are physically well before you address anything else. Once you are sure of your safety and well being, you can contact an attorney. Here are a couple of reasons why you should contact an attorney.
- There is a limited timeline to bring the case to court. In Nevada, the statute of limitation for anyone injured as a result of an accident is two years while a property claim can be filed within three years
- Settling your case in court helps in solving it completely
- Accident laws are complex, and it might be hard to handle them alone
- It is hard to prove liability without the help of a professional attorney
- There are chances of losing out financially if you try handling the case alone
- Attorneys are best suited in negotiating a settlement more than you could do
- Attorneys are well-versed in gathering evidence, conducting investigations and getting the right resources to ensure fair compensation
Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
A car accident can leave a heavy financial burden on the victim and the family members of a deceased victim. That’s why it is advisable to seek professional legal intervention to ensure that you get the right compensation. We at Las Vegas Personal Injury Law Firm are committed to ensuring that our clients get the best services. Contact us at 702-996-1224 and speak to one of our attorneys.