The state of Nevada has in place traffic laws that are meant to keep every road user safe. However, accidents still happen, and most of them as a result of negligence. In its bid to punish traffic offenders, the state allows people who suffer injuries on the road to seek compensation from the responsible parties. Among the most severe forms of car accidents in the state are intersection accidents. These accidents can leave many people suffering severe damages, including physical injuries and other losses.
If you are in Las Vegas, NV, and would like to know what to do after an intersection accident, get in touch with us. At the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we have skilled personal injury attorneys who can direct you on what to do to get the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Car Accident Lawsuits in Nevada
Car accidents happen when we least expect it. Even a driver who considers themselves as the best on the road can still get involved in an accident. The truth is that something wrong can happen if everyone is not taking the necessary precautions on the road. Following a crash, one or more people can sustain severe injuries. A lot will run through their minds too, especially if they are not sure about what happened just before the crash. The most important question to ask yourself at that instant is whether or not you are responsible for what happened on the road.
The good thing is that the state of Nevada has very favorable laws for people who get injured in car accidents. Despite the kind of accident you have been involved in, auto accident laws in Nevada, as well as auto insurance regulations, ensure that you were well compensated for all the damages incurred. This way, everyone is sure to recover from the accidents and carry on with their lives. The total amount of payment you get is, however, determined by the types of injuries you have sustained in the accident.
In awarding compensation, a Nevada civil court will consider several things, among them the actual cause of the accident. The cause of the accident will help determine the at-fault party, who will be charged with the responsibility of paying for all the damages sustained by other people in the accident. Establishing fault is, therefore, a necessary step to take in ensuring that you are getting the compensation you deserve.
The state of Nevada is a tort or fault state. It means that the person who is found to be responsible for any form of a car accident is held liable for all the resulting injuries and damages. It also means that the injured person must have sufficient proof of fault for them to be awarded compensation in a Nevada civil court. The insurance company that has covered the at-fault-party will be accountable for all the damages and injuries.
In addition to that, the state of Nevada has an amended comparative negligence law, also known as shared fault law. The law allows a proportional recovery of compensation for people who have been injured in a car accident and were partly responsible for the accident. Note that their fault in the accident has to be below 50%; otherwise, they will not be eligible for any compensation.
How is Fault Determined in a Nevada Car Accident Lawsuit?
Establishing fault in a car accident is not a straightforward thing; more evidence is needed to determine how the accident occurred and whether or not it could have been prevented. Insurance companies also use insurance adjusters to gather as much proof as they can, to determine the amount that the company should pay in compensation. Note that establishing fault is not the sole responsibility of the injured person. Since insurance companies are also looking into the matter, they too can find the injured party partially at fault for the accident
Here are some of the factors that will make a significant difference in your personal injury claim:
- The speed at which you and the alleged at-fault driver were driving
- How the weather condition was at the time of the accident
- What the traffic rules and signals were in the area of the accident
- Reports from the police and other accident witnesses
- Whether or not the driver admits faults after the crash
It is worth noting that the insurance company of the at-fault party will not agree to pay full compensation without a fight. Once they realize that they owe the injured a large settlement, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will try to look for ways through which they can avoid making the settlement. The help of an experienced personal injury attorney will come in to help you prove the side of your story. There is a need to gather as much evidence as you can, just in case your case ends up in a civil court. It will happen if the injured party and the insurance company do not agree on an out-of-court settlement.
If you have been involved in any kind of car accident in the state of Nevada, and you would like to pursue compensation for all the damages sustained, here are the few options available for you:
- You could file a claim with your auto insurance provider if you have a policy that covers personal injuries
- You can submit a 3rd-party application to the insurance company of the at-fault driver
- You can file a personal injury claim with the civil court against the responsible driver
Of all these options, the lawsuit is the one that is likely to yield the most compensation. However, you will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the legal system and make the right decisions that will increase your winning chances.
Intersection Accidents and Their Causes
There are so many roads and streets that meet at some point in the state of Nevada, which leaves the state with several intersections. Caution is emphasized when motorists are approaching these areas because they are areas where drivers can easily cause or get involved in an accident. While some drivers will approach intersections with caution, some chose to ignore the lights and road signage, and just cut through with no care. The result is a severe road crash that leaves a trail of destruction in its wake.
The wish for many drivers is that they can safely drive to various destinations without worry. Drivers also hope that other drivers will obey all traffic regulations and keep everyone else safe on the road. However, several cases of careless driving, distracted driving, and sometimes drunk driving has been reported as the leading cause of road crashes in the state. Some drivers will even drive aggressively or recklessly through intersections without stopping to allow other motorists to pass.
For such reasons, we have so many reported cases of intersection accidents in Nevada, especially in major cities like Las Vegas. That is why personal injury attorneys are always available to help people who have been injured because of other's faults to seek compensation for their damages.
The causes of intersection accidents in the state are many, including the following:
Running a Red Light
The red light is the most universal of all traffic signals on most roads. All drivers should know that when they see a red light, they must stop. It also applies to the global red sign, which means stop. However, this is the most ignored stop sign on most roads and the reason why we have so many car accidents in Nevada. Failing to stop when you are required to may cause you to crash on another vehicle or road user, resulting in an accident. It is so especially on an intersection where other vehicles are coming through the same intersection from different directions.
Speeding is a dangerous way of driving because it shows a driver's disregard for the safety of other motorists. While speeding, you may not be quick to react in case something happens on the road. Again, it is not easy to see and obey a road signal on time when you are driving at high speed. Speeding when approaching an intersection is extremely dangerous. Even in the presence of yellow lights, a speeding driver will not be able to stop on time.
Impatience at an Intersection
There is no need to rush while approaching an intersection because one never knows how heavy the traffic is on the other roads. If you choose to ignore a yellow light, for instance, and speed off instead of slowing down at an intersection, the other driver could slow down, and the result is a devastating T-bone accident. The speed at which the driver was moving at will determine the amount of damage that will result from the accident.
Following Too Closely
Drivers are advised to maintain a safe distance between their vehicles and the vehicle at the front. Following too closely is a recipe for disaster because if the other car abruptly stops, it may be too late to react and stop on time. Maintaining a safe distance is particularly encouraged when approaching an intersection. No one knows what they will find ahead, and so, it is good to be prepared to stop on time to avoid crashing on another vehicle.
Drivers cannot afford to be distracted even for a few seconds while approaching an intersection. A single second of distraction could result in a devastating accident, which is why it is not advisable to eat, text, or do something else while driving. When distracted, a driver is not usually aware of what is happening around them. Missing a sign or a traffic signal is also possible when you are not paying attention to the road.
Driving While Under the Influence
Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous, not just to the driver but also to other motorists on the road. A drunk or drugged driver is not able to think straight and may not react correctly or on time when there is a need. Alertness is needed when a driver is approaching an intersection, which the driver under the influence lacks. Intersection hazards are many, which can easily be missed when the driver is intoxicated.
Types of Injuries that You are Likely to Suffer in an Intersection Accident
From the causes of intersection accidents discussed above, it is clear that most of these accidents result from negligent behavior by some of the drivers. The result will be two main types of accidents:
A head-on collision happens when a driver crashes on another driver head-on. If for instance, one driver makes an illegal left-turn, it is possible to hit an oncoming vehicle
A side-Impact Collision is also called a T-bone collision. It happens when another hits a driver that is traveling on a straight line from one side. These types of accidents, too, can result from an improper turn
All these types of injuries can lead to devastating injuries, and others resulting in death. The most common types of accidents that could result from an intersection accident include:
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head suddenly moves backward and then forward, as it happens during an accident. Whiplash injuries can be mild or severe, depending on the severity of the accident. The main symptom experienced by a person who has suffered whiplash injuries is pain on the neck and shoulders. Some of these injuries can heal in no time while others will require physical therapy for a full recovery
Broken bones are among the most common types of injuries sustained in a car accident. Human bones break when there is stress or a high force impact. The severity of the fracture is what determines the length of time the accident victim will take to heal completely.
A deep tear or cut could also appear on the skin after an intersection accident. The tearing of body tissues could also result from a fractured bone when it pierces the skin. There are both mild and severe lacerations to watch out for, as they require different modes of treatment.
A very severe road accident could result in internal injuries and organ damage. Intersection accidents are usually high-impact accidents and so, could cause more internal injuries than other types of car crashes. Internal injuries could also cause internal bleeding. If not treated on time, they could result in organ failure. Some of the organs that are most affected by car crashes include the liver and kidney.
Spinal Cord injuries
The spinal cord is the most sensitive part of the human body, and is the most affected during a high-impact car accident. Injuries to the spinal cord can affect its functioning, and this includes the autonomic functioning of various body parts as well as the general sensation of the body
A severe car accident could also result in paralysis to a part of or the entire body of a person. A person who has suffered paralysis will experience an inability in various parts of their body, including their limbs. Paralysis mainly results from damage in the nervous system, especially if the spinal cord was injured in the accident. Most of these damages are expensive and could take a long time to heal completely
Losing a loved one to a severe road accident is possible. The problem comes when the accident was a result of another driver's negligence. In this case, the family of the deceased person has a right to pursue compensation for all the losses incurred due to the death of their loved one.
What to Do If You Have been Involved in an Intersection Accident in Nevada
If you have been involved in an intersection accident and you believe that another person is responsible for your injuries, it is time to think of what you can do to get compensated for your injuries. The good thing is that personal injury laws in Nevada are there to protect you and ensure that the negligent driver is paying for his/her carelessness. However, navigating the legal system may not be an easy thing for you, especially if you have sustained severe injuries. That is why the first thing you should do is get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney.
An experienced attorney will know the action to take and the process to follow to ensure that you are getting the compensation you deserve. He/she will also advise you on the dos and don'ts that could help and not compromise your chances of receiving payment. Your attorney will also make sure that you are receiving the right medical care for your injuries as well as collect enough evidence to back up your claims. Finally, he/she will prepare and file all the necessary documents on time with a civil court, where your case will be heard and determined by the judge.
Since your attorney will take care of much of what is needed to pursue your compensation with the negligent driver, you need to seek the best medical help for all your injuries. Do not downplay any of your injuries, because some of the injuries mentioned above are those that showcase sometime later, after the accident. Again, do not be quick to say that you are fine, especially to the other driver or a representative of his/her insurance company. Such utterances may be used against you to deny you the compensation you truly deserve.
One way of getting your damages paid by the other driver's insurance company is by settling the matter out-of-court. Such settlements will save a lot of money and time for the insurance company and the plaintiff. However, the insurance company must be willing to pay full compensation for all the damages you have incurred in the accident. If not, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the driver in a civil court.
How is Fault Determined in Intersection Accident Lawsuits?
If your case ends up in a civil court, your attorney should be well-prepared with sufficient evidence to prove that the other driver was indeed at fault for the accident. The cause of the accident will be determined then used to prove fault. Evidence can be gathered from the following sources:
- Police reports
- CCTV footage from the accident scene
- Videos and pictures of the accident scene
- Statements from eye-witnesses
- Maintenance records of the at-fault vehicle
- Phone records and those from social media
- Drug and blood alcohol tests
Once the cause of the accident is determined, your attorney will be tasked to prove that the negligent driver owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. If indeed he/she was careless and his/her negligence was the direct cause of the plaintiff's injuries; the court will order him/her to pay full compensation for all the damages the plaintiff will have incurred in the accident. These damages are categorized into three classes, as follows:
These are the types of costs in which the plaintiff suffered a direct financial loss after the accident. They may include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Lost earning capacity
These, too, are seriously considered, even if they do not involve a direct financial loss. they may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
The court awards these as a way to punish the at-fault party and caution him/her and anyone else against negligence conduct that could result in a similar accident.
Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm Near Me
If you have suffered damages in an intersection accident, it is advisable to work closely with an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney will know the right process and what to do to improve your chances of getting high compensation. At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we offer excellent legal representation to residents of Las Vegas, NV, who have suffered personal injuries as a result of other’s negligence. Call us at 702-996-1224 and let us make the process smooth for you.