A six-car crash killed one person and seriously injured at least four others. The intoxicated motorist who caused the crash briefly fled the scene.
According to witnesses at the scene and Nevada Highway Patrol officers, an impaired woman was speeding when she clipped a car not far from the intersection of Warm Springs Road and S. Las Vegas Boulevard. She partially lost control of her vehicle, ran a red light, and t-boned another vehicle. The force of the impact catapulted both vehicles into a line of cars waiting at a stop light. After the crash, the woman fled on foot into a nearby clothing store. She swiped a T-shirt and tried to hide in a changing room. Witnesses soon found her and detained her until authorities arrived.
None of the names were released.
Establishing Liability in Las Vegas Alcohol-Related Crashes
Despite the presence of tough laws and aggressive law enforcement tactics, alcohol impairment still causes about a third of the fatal crashes in Nevada. Victims in these cases have basically two options to recover fair compensation for their injuries.
As outlined below, the burden of proof is very low in Nevada negligence cases. If the victim/plaintiff establishes that the tortfeasor (negligent driver) had one drink, the jury can conclude that the tortfeasor was impaired for tort purposes. Sometimes, that evidence comes from observations made at the scene, such as:
- Erratic driving,
- Bloodshot eyes,
- Unsteady balance, and
- Odor of alcohol.
Other times, the tortfeasor’s previous activity is sufficient. If the tortfeasor visited a place where alcohol was served within about an hour of the crash, the jury can presume that the tortfeasor had recently been drinking and was therefore impaired.
Much more often, however, there is direct evidence of impairment in Las Vegas. That evidence comes in the form of a DUI or related arrest. Moreover, under the negligence per se doctrine, the tortfeasor may be liable for damages as a matter of law in these situations. This rule applies if:
- The tortfeasor violated the DUI law or another safety law, and
- That violation substantially caused the accident.
Damages in Nevada alcohol-related crash cases usually include compensation for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Winning Compensation in Nevada Hit-and-Run Crashes
If you want to avoid civil liability in a hit-and-run crash, you’ll have to do a lot more than surreptitiously change shirts in a changing room. That’s because the burden of proof is very low in these cases.
Something like the minimum amount of required evidence may seem like a random technicality. But in a Las Vegas hit-and-run crash, this technicality has tremendous significance. An attorney can often identify the vehicle’s owner, but not identify the driver. In criminal court, this information is almost useless, because of the high burden of proof. But since it’s more likely than not that the owner was also the driver, such proof may be sufficient in civil court. “More likely than not” is the definition of preponderance of the evidence, which is the burden of proof in most civil cases.
If an attorney cannot identify the tortfeasor, it’s very difficult to obtain fair compensation for a victim.
Join Forces With an Assertive Lawyer
Car crash victims usually have a number of legal options to obtain the compensation they deserve. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.