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Alcohol-Related Las Vegas Wreck Kills Passenger

An apparent drunk driver lost control of his car in a roundabout, causing it to overturn.

Police believe that 22-year-old Luke Rosseveare was intoxicated when he lost control of his Porsche on a roundabout. That roundabout was on West Flamingo Road not far from Town Center Drive. The car flipped over twice before eventually coming to rest on the opposite side of the traffic circle. A 64-year-old passenger, whose name was not released, died at the scene. Mr. Rosseveare and another passenger were both treated for serious injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

Liability in Alcohol-Related Wrecks

Even though law enforcement has tried to reduce the number of drunk drivers for at least twenty years, alcohol is still a factor in almost a third of the fatal crashes in Nevada. Because it both slows reactions and impairs judgement, people who consumer even one drink are too impaired to drive, from both a scientific and legal standpoint. Evidence of consumption includes:

  • Bloodshot eyes,
  • Erratic driving, and
  • Odor of alcohol.

In fact, due to the low standard of proof in Las Vegas negligence cases, evidence that the tortfeasor (negligent driver) recently visited a place which serves alcohol might be sufficient to establish impairment. Civil plaintiffs need only establish facts by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

If the tortfeasor consumed enough alcohol to be legally intoxicated, the victim/plaintiff may not need circumstantial evidence. The negligence per se doctrine establishes liability as a matter of law if the tortfeasor:

  • Violated a safety law, and
  • This violation substantially caused the victim/plaintiff’s damages.

Basically, the law establishes the standard of care in negligence per se cases. So, it does not matter how carefully, or how recklessly, the tortfeasor behaved.

Legal Issues in Nevada Pedestrian Injury Cases

Personal injury attorneys fight hard for fair compensation. On the other side, insurance company lawyers fight hard to reduce or deny compensation to victims.

The contributory negligence defense is one way to reduce compensation. This defense is common in passenger injury cases. Essentially, the insurance company shifts blame for the accident onto the victim/plaintiff. This defense is not always successful. Even if the jury determines that the victim was 49 percent responsible for the crash, the tortfeasor must still pay a proportional share of damages.

The assumption of the risk defense is rather common as well. If successful, it eliminates recovery altogether. The elements of this defense are:

  • The voluntary assumption of
  • A known risk.

There is a difference between a theoretical risk and a known risk. As mentioned, there is a higher statistical chance of a wreck if the driver is impaired. But that risk is only theoretical. The risk is not known unless the passenger actually sees the tortfeasor driving unsafely.

Work With an Experienced Lawyer

Alcohol-related crashes often involve complex legal issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. Home and hospital visits are available.