Driver or manufacturer error causes over 90 percent of car crashes. Sudden acts of God, like wind gusts and lightning strikes, cause a handful of collisions. Dangerous roadways cause most of the rest. The danger could have occurred during the roadway design or construction phase. Or, the defect could occur while road work is ongoing.
Regardless of the underlying cause, dangerous roadway crash victims may be entitled to significant compensation. This compensation could include money for economic damages, such as medical bills, and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some cases.
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What Causes Hazardous Roadway Crashes in Las Vegas?
Since about 2010, the Las Vegas metro area has grown substantially. The “sin city” image of yesterday is long gone. Today, many people just see a good place to raise a family. Overall, the city’s infrastructure has struggled to keep up with this growth. As a result, officials and engineers rush many projects. In so doing, they cut corners.
One area includes big-picture planning. More often than not, no one stops to think about things like how traffic will merge or the types of vehicles that will be on the road. Moreover, additional traffic studies sometimes do not get done. So, road planners may do something like apply the presumed speed limit when a lower one, or higher one, is more appropriate.
These same errors often occur during a renovation, repair, or expansion projects. The lack of foresight can lead to a hazardous roadway.
Other times, the fault lies not with the government, but with the private company tasked with the construction or repair work. These companies are almost always the low bidders, so they too may cut corners. Some common issues include:
- Inadequate signage,
- Failure to redirect traffic away from hazardous areas, and
- Substituting cheap materials for stronger ones.
Many times, the field workers make these negligent decisions. But as outlined below, the construction company is usually responsible for damages.
Your Claim for Compensation in Clark County
If private construction workers are negligent, the respondeat superior rule usually applies. This legal doctrine has two major prongs:
- Employee: The tortfeasor (negligent actor) must be an employee of the company. In this context, “employees” are not just people who receive W-2s and regular paychecks. This category also includes independent contractors and unpaid interns.
- Scope of Employment: Any act that advances the employer’s interests in any way is within the scope of employment. So, respondeat superior applies if a tortfeasor drives a pickup that bears the company logo and causes a car crash. In that instance, the employer benefited from the free advertising.
Additionally, the victim/plaintiff’s injuries must be a foreseeable result of the tortfeasor’s negligence. This requirement exists in pretty much all negligence cases.
If a government entity defectively designed the roadway, victim/plaintiffs must normally file a notice of claim with the appropriate government agency. This agency then has a chance to settle the claim out of court. If the parties cannot reach an agreed settlement, the victim/plaintiff may file a legal claim.
Generally, the statute of limitations is shorter in notice of claim actions than in regular civil actions. So, an attorney must get to work quickly in order to protect your rights.
Work with an Experienced Lawyer
Defective roadways cause many car crashes in Nevada. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. Home and hospital visits are available.