An attorney and former state senator is in the hospital recovering from injuries he sustained in a auto-large truck collision.
Matthew Callister is also a former city councilman and assemblyman. According to police, a semi-trailer collided with Mr. Callister’s passenger vehicle near the intersection of Main Street and Charleston Boulevard. Mr. Callister sustained multiple broken bones in the crash, as well as some other injuries.
No other details were available.
Determining First Party Liability in Car Crash Cases
The starting point in this exercise is almost always the police report, but this factual recitation is certainly not the ending point. For one thing, if the victim was killed, the responding officer only hears one side of the story. The same thing probably applies if the victim was seriously injured and rushed to the hospital. Police officers are emergency responders and not crash investigators, so one the scene is secure, the injured parties are receiving medical attention, and there is some record of what happened, police officers have done their jobs and done them well.
Moreover, there may be a difference between fault at the scene and legal liability for damages. If Car A pulls out in front of Car B, the police report may fault Car B for causing a rear-end collision, but this preliminary conclusion may not hold up in court.
Since the plaintiff has the burden of proof in negligence cases, it’s incumbent on the plaintiff’s attorney to not only verify the facts in the police report, but also collect additional facts. This process usually involves:
- Interviewing Witnesses: Even if the witness only saw part of the crash, an attorney can put together the witness testimony like a jigsaw puzzle and create a compelling picture.
- Gathering Physical Evidence: Most often, this evidence consists of the information stored on the vehicle’s event data recorder; because of privacy laws, an attorney usually needs a court order.
Even if the evidence is not favorable to the victim/plaintiff, it’s important to know that this evidence exists, so an attorney can be prepared for possible defenses.
Third Party Liability
Nevada has one of the highest uninsured/underinsured motorists percentages in the country, and if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) does not have enough coverage to fully compensate the victim, vicarious liability may fill in the gap.
If a truck driver or other commercial operator caused the crash, the respondeat superior (“let the master answer”) doctrine states that the employer is liable for damages. This rule applies if the tortfeasor was an employee who was acting within the course and scope of employment at the time of the crash. These ideas are broadly defined.
Damages in a car crash case include compensation for both economic losses, such as lost wages, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages are available as well, in some extreme cases.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Car crashes cause serious injuries and legal problems. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. Our main office is conveniently located off the 215 Beltway.