A teenager is dead after he inexplicably wandered into the traffic lanes and was hit by a speeding car.
Nevada Highway Patrol responded to the scene just after the collision on U.S. 95 between Jones and Decatur. A teenage boy, who was traveling with his family, exited the vehicle and attempted to cross the road. At that moment, a driver hit him and then left the scene without stopping. He was declared dead at the scene.
Police have no clues as to the identity of the unknown motorist.
Obtaining Compensation in Hit-and-Run Cases
If an attorney can identify the tortfeasor, it is much easier to obtain fair compensation in these cases. That’s often possible, even with limited information to go on.
In criminal court, prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a Nevada hit-and-run case, this burden normally means that prosecutors must not only find the vehicle. They must also place the defendant behind the wheel at or near the time of the crash.
But in civil court, the burden of proof is much lighter. Victim/plaintiffs need only establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, identifying the vehicle is usually sufficient and there is no need to take that second step. It is more likely than not that the person who owned the car is also the person who was driving the car at a particular time.
There are a number of ways to locate such vehicles, even if police have little to go on. Some of these methods include:
- Surveillance Video: Most all business have security cameras. There are also traffic cams, red-light cameras, and other video equipment. It’s usually possible to obtain at least a fleeting image of the vehicle. Given the high-definition nature of most video, a more precise identification, such as a partial license plate number, may be possible as well.
- Additional Witnesses: There are a number of reasons that Nevadans might not want to talk about car accidents with police officers. However, these individuals are often willing to share their stories with personal injury attorneys.
- Body Shop Activity: Damaged vehicles almost always get repaired somewhere. Many times, drivers take these vehicles to under-the-radar body shops where snooping police officers are not welcome.
Many times, a personal injury attorney partners with a private investigator to collect evidence in a hit-and-run case.
Damages in Nevada car crash cases usually include compensation for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some cases.
These additional damages are rather common in hit-and-run cases. The victim/plaintiff need only produce clear and convincing evidence of reckless conduct. Leaving the scene of a fatal collision certainly qualifies as such.
Compensation in Defendant-Less Vehicle Collision Cases
Even if the tortfeasor is not identified, the victim/plaintiff may still have legal options in a hit-and-run case.
Many victims can file claims against their own insurance companies. Since the company wants to keep its customer happy, these cases often settle rather quickly. If there is no agreed settlement, the matter usually proceeds to arbitration instead of trial. Nevada law generally prohibits policyholders from suing their own insurance companies.
There may be other options as well. For example, defectively-designed or poorly-maintained roadways cause a significant number of collisions in Las Vegas.
Contact a Tenacious Lawyer
Significant compensation is often available in hit-and-run cases. 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.