A speeding driver apparently lost control of his vehicle and careened onto an east Las Vegas sidewalk, killing three boys and seriously injuring another one.
28-year-old Joseph Eskandarian briefly fled the scene before authorities apprehended him. According to witnesses, Mr. Eskandarian was unable to stay on the road as he tried to pass another vehicle. His car hopped a curb, struck the four boys, and eventually slammed into a light pole. Investigators speculate that Mr. Eskandarian may have been intoxicated.
The wreck occurred near the intersection of Theme and Desert Inn Roads.
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Speed and Pedestrian Accidents
Overall, excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal vehicle collisions in Nevada. Speed increases the force in a crash, so a relatively minor “fender-bender” that only causes some property damage becomes a high-speed serious injury or fatal collision.
This effect is particularly acute in pedestrian crashes. The serious injury rate is only about 25 percent if the vehicle is moving less than 25mph, but the rate skyrockets to 90 percent if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is traveling faster than 45mph.
Because of the vehicle’s speed, and also because pedestrians are completely exposed to danger in these situations, the average medical bill often eclipses $75,000 in these cases. Some of the specific kinds of injuries include:
- Head Injuries: The force of the impact usually throws pedestrians into the air, and whether they land on their heads or not, a brain injury is often the end result.
- Broken Bones: Since the victims usually either fly through the air or they are pinned between two objects, the broken bones they suffer usually require screws or pins during surgery. Afterwards, the victims usually must endure weeks or months of painful physical therapy to regain the function they lost.
- Internal Injuries: When internal organs grind together, they begin leaking copious amounts of blood. Many times, this bleeding goes undetected for precious minutes or hours.
Connecting victims with medical care is an attorney’s first priority. Most victims lack the funds to pay the aforementioned monetary expenses, and not all general physicians are qualified to treat injury victims. An attorney solves both these problems by connecting clients with an injury specialist who usually charges no upfront money.
Resolving a Pedestrian Injury Case
If both liability and damages are relatively uncontested, the insurance company usually has a duty to settle the case within a few months. However, insurance company lawyers almost always bitterly contest one or both of these elements, and pedestrian accidents are a good example of this phenomenon.
In terms of liability, the insurance company usually insists that the victim “darted out in front” of the tortfeasor (negligent driver), in order to put forth the sudden emergency defense. This doctrine excuses liability if the tortfeasor is faced with an unexpected situation, but a jaywalking pedestrian usually does not qualify as such, because such events are rather commonplace and drivers should be ready for them.
In wrongful death cases, there is often an issue as to damages as well, because the value that the insurance company assigns to a human life is usually a lot lower than the value that a reasonable juror would ascribe to such a tragedy. So, while the insurance company may be willing to settle early on, they often only offer pennies on the dollar, and the fight for fair compensation must continue.