Authorities have few clues after a dark-colored sedan struck and almost killed a Central Valley pedestrian.
The Las Vegas Metro Police state that the accident occurred near the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Topaz Street. Shortly before midnight, a vehicle described as a dark-colored sedan hit a pedestrian hard enough to critically injure him. However, the sedan did not stop. First responders rushed the man to a nearby hospital with extremely serious injuries.
None of the names were released.
Legal Aspects of a Las Vegas Hit-and-Run Case
In criminal court, it is very difficult to successfully prosecute hit-and-run drivers. The burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) is extremely high. But that’s not an issue in civil court.
Essentially, a Nevada criminal prosecutor must have compelling evidence that the named defendant was also the driver at the time of the accident. Unless the defendant confesses, such evidence is probably not available.
Eyewitnesses or surveillance cameras probably do not get a good enough look at the person behind the wheel to provide a positive identification. Advanced DNA and fingerprint evidence may be available. But this proof only establishes that the defendant was in the car at one time or another.
But in Las Vegas civil court, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). It is more likely than not that a vehicle’s owner was driving it at any given time. So, the victim usually just needs to identify the owner. Unless the owner has an extremely good alibi, the jury must conclude that the owner was also the tortfeasor (negligent driver).
Even a partial license plate number, along with a vehicle description, is probably sufficient to establish ownership in civil court.
Winning a Hit-and-Run Case in Nevada
In a majority of these incidents, the tortfeasor does not come forward. Furthermore, unless it is a high-profile case, Las Vegas peace officers may only conduct a cursory investigation. So, it’s up to an attorney to uncover additional evidence. Some common sources include:
- Additional Witnesses: For various reasons, many people do not like talking to police officers. But, these individuals usually have no problem speaking to a victim’s attorney about what they saw or did not see.
- Physical Evidence: Most Nevada hit-and-run tortfeasors do not ask well-known mechanics to work on their vehicles. Instead, they approach shadowy “shade tree” mechanics. Similarly the the problem with witnesses, such individuals are more likely to speak with a victim’s attorney.
- Additional Video: Nevada peace officers often review video from near the scene. But they do not review nearby video that can help identify the tortfeasor’s vehicle.
To gather all this evidence, attorneys often partner with private investigators. This partnership makes the process much more efficient.
Damages in Las Vegas hit-and-run cases include compensation for medical bills and other economic losses. Money is also available for pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some cases.
Connect With an Assertive Lawyer
Hit-and-run victims have several legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. An attorney can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.