Car accidents mostly involve complicated interactions between vehicles, drivers, weather, and road conditions. A road accident, whether significant or minor, can be traumatic to those involved leaving them with lasting impressions, especially rollover accidents. When a car rolls over in a crash, it can lead to substantial injuries and sometimes death. Rollovers are common in most crashes and account for about a third of all deaths in road accidents based on a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Fortunately, the state of Nevada has allowed victims of these accidents or their families to receive damages for properties and injuries sustained by the victims. When seeking compensation, it is essential to involve a lawyer familiar with compensation and personal injury laws to pursue the claim on your behalf. Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm has a team of lawyers experienced in seeking claims and will do the same for you.
Causes of Rollover Car Accidents
There are various causes of rollover accidents, but the most common ones include a driver losing control of their car and drifting off the road where the vehicle rolls over. The other prevalent cause of rollover accidents involves driving recklessly and at high speeds.
Aside from these two causes, there are various other reasons rollover accidents happen. These are:
- Lack of Control by the driver. – A driver can lose control of their vehicle due to multiple reasons. One of these reasons is fatigue. When a driver is fatigued, either he or she has not had enough sleep or has been driving for long hours, it may result in them sleeping on the wheel. When this happens, control of the vehicle is lost, and they can easily crash and rollover. Control can also be lost due to other negligent and reckless behavior on the road. The uses of phones, eating in the car, or reading a map are other causes of distraction that result in the lack of control.
- Risky maneuvers – rollover accidents are also as a result of aggressive driving and dangerous maneuvers. When a driver turns or swerves at high speeds, the vehicle can easily lose balance and rollover. Quick maneuvers usually result in the friction of the road surface and the tires. This often leads to flipping over of vehicles, especially those heavily loaded, trucks or vans.
- Multiple-vehicle crashes – although rollover accidents mostly involve a single vehicle, sometimes another car may be involved. For instance, if a car is hit with a significant impact on the side, it may tip over. This is especially when the driver is unable to control it.
- Impaired driving – driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol is never a good idea and is an offense in Nevada. When a driver is intoxicated, their thinking is impaired, and their response time to emergencies is slower than average. An impaired driver when met with a sudden emergency on the road or an unexpected bend, he or she may not control their vehicle in time. When they try to apply emergency brakes, the car would often lose control and tip over and sometimes rollover several times.
- Mechanical Failure – not all rollover accidents are as a result of the driver’s negligence or reckless driving. Sometimes, mechanical failure can result in a vehicle rolling over. When a driver applies the brakes, and they fail, chances are they will panic and lose control of the car. In an effort to avoid hitting other motorists as they try to control their vehicle, they would easily veer off the road and rollover. The unexpected failure of brakes can cause an otherwise careful driver to rollover and suffer significant damages.
- Road Conditions – the conditions of roads can also result in a rollover accident. If a driver comes across a road construction suddenly that had no warning, they can quickly get into this kind of a crash as they try to avoid hitting the objects on the way. Hitting potholes can also result in a vehicle losing control and tipping over.
The above causes are among many others that can lead to a motorist getting involved in a rollover accident. Knowing the cause of an accident is essential in establishing the party responsible for claiming damages.
Avoiding Rollover Accidents
Although one will get compensated after being involved in a rollover accident, no amount of money can pay for a person’s life or even the injuries sustained. Some injuries can be life-altering and require extended treatment. No matter the amount of compensation you may receive, it is not worth the suffering and pain you would endure as a result. The best thing, however, is to avoid them as much as you can.
Some of the practices that can help you avoid getting involved in rollover accidents or any other accidents for that matter include:
- Drive sober – drunk driving puts not only you in danger but also the other road users as well. Avoid drinking or taking narcotics or drugs that cause drowsiness if you know you need to drive. The slightest amount of intoxication can result in impaired judgment, which can lead to a rollover accident, among others.
- Understand your car – NHTSA says that not all vehicles are easily susceptible to rollover accidents. This does not mean that they cannot rollover. There are those vehicles that easily rollover compared to others. Pickup trucks, vans, or SUVs are easier to rollover in an accident compared to saloon cars. When the center of gravity is high and the weight as well, vehicles are not as stable, and any sideways momentum may not be easily stopped. This means, if you know your vehicle’s center of gravity is high, then the tipping probability is high, and you must be careful how you drive.
- Reduce your speed – driving at high speeds is often referred to as reckless driving. Many rollover accidents are as a result of high speed driving where a driver is unable to control their vehicle if faced with an emergency.
- Focus on your driving – it is dangerous to multitask while driving. Put your focus on the way and avoid engaging in distracting activities while you drive. Do not use your phone or attempt to read maps while driving. If you must, pull over, focus on your phone call or map reading, or even eating, and once done, get back on the road again.
What to Do When Involved in a Rollover Accident
As earlier stated, most rollover accidents involve a single car and often happen on rural roads. This makes them even scarier for the victims. However, when they occur, you may have to take the initiative to seek help if you can. Below, we discuss various tips that will help you personally, as well as when seeking compensation. These are:
- Stay calm – when the vehicle stops moving, relax, and try to calm down. The event is terrifying, but you must remember you must seek help, and you can only do this if you are calm.
- Check yourself – check the injuries you have sustained, and if some will inhibit your movement. See that you are not trapped in the vehicle, and if you are, try and free yourself.
- Get out of the vehicle – exit your car and help any passengers to get out. It is always easier to assess yourself when outside. Also, it is advisable to move a substantial distance from the vehicle, especially when you see gas leaking from the tank.
- Seek help – once in a safe distance, call for assistance, and explain your surroundings, and what happened to the operator.
- Gather evidence – collecting as much information that will help with your case as possible is essential. If there was a witness to the accident, get their details and a written statement if possible. Take numerous pictures of the surroundings and the accident, yourself, the vehicle, and passengers if present. Photos can also help determine the cause of the accident, which will help in seeking your claim. Such may include the roads in case you believe you hit a pothole and lost control of your vehicle. If another car was involved, get the details of the driver and their insurance as well.
Reporting a Vehicle Crash in Nevada
When a driver is involved in a car crash in Nevada, they are required to report the accident to the police, especially if no police came to the scene and the accident resulted in:
- Injuries or death
- Damages to property or other cars.
The driver must report the incident to the nearest Nevada Highway Patrol office or any other law enforcement agency.
If you willingly fail to report the crash, it may lead to the suspension of your driver’s license for a year in Nevada.
Vehicle Insurance Requirements in Nevada
Every vehicle owner or driver in Nevada is required to have auto insurance coverage that will cover any liabilities in the event of an accident. This insurance cover is expected to include in the minimum:
- Damages of up to $25,000 for injuries or death of one person when the owner of the car or a driver causes an accident,
- A total damages cover of up to $50,000 for injuries or deaths to more than one person, and the driver or owner of the vehicle was responsible for the accident.
- $20,000 in property damages. This is when the owner or driver of the vehicle caused the accident.
This liability coverage provides for both economic and non-economic damages other motorists, pedestrians or passengers suffer as a result of the actions of the policyholder. It is important to note that the losses paid will not exceed the cover limit. It is also important to note that in Nevada, the liability coverage is only applicable to cover damages suffered by other people but not of the insured.
If the policy limit is reached and the damages are more or not yet covered, the law allows the victim to seek the remaining damages directly from the at-fault driver. If you are a vehicle owner, it is encouraged to buy more insurance to increase your coverage limit. Besides this, a vehicle owner can buy an insurance cover that will cover their damages like those of repairing their vehicle or replacing it. An uninsured auto cover is also advisable to buy in case they are involved in an accident with a driver that has no cover or is underinsured.
The state of Nevada makes it a crime for a person to drive without an auto cover that takes care of the minimum liability, as discussed above. If you let your insurance coverage lapse without renewing it, to reinstate it may require you to pay $251 as reinstatement fees. Additionally, your driver’s registration will be suspended.
When you are involved in a rollover accident in Nevada where no other car was involved, without an extra auto cover that extends to your damages, you may not recover damages. However, if another vehicle was involved and was the reason for the accident, your lawyer can assist you in seeking damages suffered.
As earlier discussed, a rollover accident can be as a result of various things. If you hit a pothole that led to your accident, the state may be held liable for the crash. This means that you can pursue the damages from the state or government agency responsible for ensuring the roads are kept in good condition.
If your accident was as a result of mechanical failure or a vehicle part was faulty, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective part may be held liable for the accident. This means a claim will be made against them or their insurance provider.
The Fault System of Nevada
Nevada follows the fault system in regards to vehicle accidents. This means that the driver or party found at fault for an accident is liable for damages and injuries. When you suffer damages following a rollover accident, you will have the following options:
- If no other vehicle was involved, you could file a claim with your insurance provider. However, this is only possible if you have taken an extra cover from the minimum once required by the state. With an extra auto cover that covers your damages, you will be entitled to recover damages.
- If another vehicle or driver was involved in the accident and is responsible for it, you can get their insurance provider to pay for your damages. Your lawyer can file this claim on your behalf.
- You can file a personal injury suit against the liable driver or party in court.
Comparative Negligence and Rollover Accident in Nevada
Comparative negligence in Nevada is centered on modified comparative negligence. The state amended its statute under section 41.141 to mean that you can recover damages from a car accident lawsuit, but it is based on shared negligence. However, your award is reduced according to your degree of negligence, provided your share is not higher than the other party’s.
For instance, if you take your case to court after a rollover accident involving another vehicle, your lawyer, as well as the other party, will present their arguments. The jury is typically burdened with establishing the at-fault driver. If it is determined that the other driver was at fault and you shared in the blame, then the verdict may affect your claim.
If the jury says the other driver was 80% to blame for the accident, then you will be compensated for 80% of your damages. However, if the other driver was only responsible for 20% of the losses, you will not be eligible for any damages. According to the modified comparative fault rule, if your degree of blame for the accident is more than that of the other party, you cannot recover damages.
This rule binds the jury and judge in making rulings in court for who is at fault in an accident. Insurance adjusters are also guided by this rule when evaluating your claim.
However, there are no set guidelines for establishing who is at fault, how your lawyer will represent your case and negotiate with the insurance adjuster matters.
Claims for Wrongful Death in Nevada
As earlier stated, many rollover accidents result in fatalities of the driver or vehicle occupants. The law allows the family of the deceased victim to pursue compensation for their wrongful death. However, not everyone that claims to be family can sue the at-fault driver for damages. The law only allows the living spouse, children of the deceased, their domestic partner, parents, or representatives of their estate, to seek compensation for their death.
If other people can prove they depended on the deceased financially, they too can pursue a wrongful death claim.
When damages for wrongful death are sought, those that will be compensated according to the law include:
- Medical expenses the deceased incurred due to the accident. This means that the dead victim did not die at the accident scene but instead sustained injuries that required medical attention. The cost of treatment and all medical procedures, as well as medicines before their death is all compensated.
- The expenses incurred in the funeral arrangements and burial of the victim. However, these costs must be within reason.
- If the deceased suffered any damage to their property during the accident, the family can seek compensation.
- The family can also seek damages for the loss of affection and care due to death.
- Lost income for the deceased should he or she not have died in the accident. In compensating for this, the insurance adjuster takes into consideration the job the deceased was doing, their income and education level, and their age.
- Lost benefits to the heirs are also compensated. This means that whatever the children of the deceased were to benefit or were benefiting from their deceased parent, the insurance must pay them.
Statute of Limitations in Nevada
Every state has its own statute of limitations. This is a law that gives a strict guideline on when a victim can bring a lawsuit seeking a claim in court. It is important to note that if you are claiming from the insurance company, the statute of limitations does not apply.
However, insurance providers, whether for the at-fault driver or your own, will require to be informed of an accident that may result in a claim. This is usually expected to be in the days following an accident.
Nevada revised its statute section 11.90, which talks about the time when damages can be sought. If one suffers injuries as a result of a car accident, in this case, a rollover accident, they have two years to file a lawsuit. This means, from the date the accident happens, the clock starts counting, and a suit for claims must be filed in the two years. If you let the two years lapse, you will lose your right to a lawsuit, but you can still pursue the insurance provider for damages.
If there were other victims of the accident such as pedestrians or cyclists, they also have two years from when the accident happened to file a lawsuit for damages.
In the case of wrongful death, the family of the victim also has two years to seek damages for the wrongful death. However, unlike for injuries, in death claims, the clock starts counting from the day the victim dies.
For property damages that include vehicles or any other properties, the victims must file the lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident.
In case you attempt to file your suit after the lapsing of the time, the defendant will point it out and seek a dismissal of your petition. The court in Nevada will always adhere to the time limit and will likely grant the defendant’s petition and dismiss your claim.
Filling a Claim for a Rollover Accident in Nevada
When filing for a claim following your rollover accident, you must ensure all the information is factual. Your lawyer will guide you on all the required documents such as medical reports, a letter from your employer, police reports, witness statements, and photos from the accident scene.
The insurance company upon receiving your claim will evaluate them and carry their independent investigation into the accident. The insurance adjuster will talk to the parties involved, the witnesses and the police that reported to the scene. The adjuster will also assess the damages claimed for and structure their settlement based on what they find.
Afterward, the insurance will either agree to pay your claim, decline it, and make a counteroffer, or refuse to pay it. If you are satisfied with their offer, you can receive your payment. However, if their offer is not satisfactory, you can negotiate through your lawyer to adjust the offer. If no agreement is reached, your lawyer can then file a lawsuit seeking damages on your behalf.
After presenting all the evidence in court, the jury will decide who is to blame and apportion damages based on their findings.
Find a Lawyer Near Me
Rollover accidents are extremely violent and result in substantial injuries and damages. In some cases, the impact of the accident is so forceful that it results in death. The expenses that come in treating your injuries and repairing your car as well as losing your loved one, can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you can claim damages for all the costs associated with the accident. An experienced lawyer can help you with your claim for damages. At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we have years of experience in getting our clients compensation. Reach us at 702-996-1224 and let us discuss your claim in detail.