At least three people were injured in a serious chain-reaction crash not far from Caesar’s Palace.
According to multiple witnesses, a taxi driver was talking on his cell phone when he apparently collided with a second vehicle near the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. The cabbie, who did not have any passengers at the time, was rushed to a local hospital along with two occupants in the second car. The third driver, a female, brushed against the wreckage and spoke briefly with police before driving away. Local authorities, who closed the Strip for several hours while they investigated the scene and interviewed witnesses, say that the woman is not facing charges.
None of the names were released.
Driver inattention is a factor in about one in five injury-related crashes. The actual proportion may well be higher, because the National Transportation Safety Administration only began seriously keeping distracted driving statistics in 2010, and the system is still imperfect. While the majority of drivers agree that distracted driving is dangerous, a majority of drivers also admit to cell phone use and other distracted driving habits.
Distracted driving comes from many sources, such as talking to passengers, adjusting the climate control, eating while driving, and the list goes on. Cell phones draw considerable attention in this area, because these devices combine all three forms of distracted driving:
- Manual, which is taking at least one hand of the wheel,
- Visual, or taking at least one eye off the road, and
- Cognitive, which means concentrating on something other than driving.
The problem may get worse, because evidence indicates that hands-free technology is more dangerous than hand-held cell phones. Navigational touchscreens still incorporate all three types of distracted driving, at least to some extent, and they give some drivers a false sense of security.
Damages in an inattention-related crash normally include compensation for both economic losses, like property damage, and noneconomic losses, such as emotional distress. Punitive damages are also available, in some cases.
Cell Phones and Distracted Driving
Nevada lawmakers recently broadened the state’s cell phone law to include “accessing the Internet,” a phrase that commonly includes using apps or GPS locating devices. So, in many cell phone-related cases, negligence per se (negligence “as such”) may be an option. In these cases, a plaintiff does not have to prove duty and breach. Instead, the plaintiff basically only has to prove that the defendant violated a statute and that violation caused injury.
Negligence per se is a question of fact in Nevada, which means that only the jury can decide whether or not the plaintiff can use this shortcut. Additionally, negligence per se might make it easier to prove punitive damages, because by violating a statute that is designed to decrease car crashes, the jury may well conclude that the defendant acted with reckless indifference and conscious disregard for the safety of others.
Contact an Aggressive Lawyer
Distracted drivers cause serious crashes almost every day. For a free consultation with an assertive personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. If you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence, an attorney can arrange for ongoing medical care, even if you have no money and no insurance.