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Officers took a 15-year-old boy into custody for his role in a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a 17-year-old girl.

Authorities state that the boy, whose name was not released, was operating a pickup truck at a high rate of speed on Cheyenne Avenue near the Clayton Street intersection when he apparently lost control of the vehicle. After the pickup drifted into oncoming traffic, it left the roadway and then rolled over. Three teenage girls in the truck were all treated for serious injuries; the 17-year-old victim was subsequently pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The driver, whose name was not released, fled the accident scene on foot along with another teenage boy.

Excessive Velocity and Car Crashes

Speed is a factor in about a third of the fatal vehicle collisions in Nevada. That could mean a velocity above the posted speed limit, which is basically speeding per se, failing to slow down and account for adverse environmental conditions, such as rain or darkness, or operating a vehicle too fast for the driver’s skill level. A newly-licensed driver operating a car like a Dodge Challenger springs immediately to mind.

Velocity multiples the risk in a car crash, because speed increases stopping distance, which is the amount of ground that a vehicle covers in the few split seconds that it takes for a driver to see a hazard, transfer his/her foot to the brake, and safely stop the vehicle. Stopping distance is about six car lengths at 30mph, and it triples to eighteen car lengths at 60mph.

In other words, slower moving drivers have much more time to react to emergencies than speeding drivers.

Furthermore, speed increases the force in collisions, per Newton’s Second Gravitational Law. In fact, there is a multiplying effect, just like in stopping distance. As a result, what would have been a “fender bender” at a relatively low speed is a serious injury accident at a higher speed.

Passenger Injury Issues

If the victim is a passenger in the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) car, as opposed to a bystander or another motorist in another vehicle, insurance company lawyers often use the assumption of the risk defense to reduce or deny compensation. The theory is that these individuals are responsible for their own damages. There are two elements:

  • Voluntary assumption of
  • A known risk.

The first prong is usually easy to establish, but the second prong is much more difficult because the risk must be known as opposed to theoretical. Otherwise, everyone would assume the risk of injury whenever they drove down the street.

Third Party Liability

Unlicensed teen drivers usually have no insurance, but the victims of these crashes may still receive compensation for their injuries, thanks to the negligent entrustment theory. The owner of a vehicle is liable for damages if s/he allows an unqualified driver to operate the car, and that driver causes a car crash.

In most cases, victim/plaintiffs must establish actual knowledge, e.g. the owner knew that the driver had a poor driving record or that s/he was driving without required corrective lenses. However, persons without drivers’ licenses are usually incompetent as a matter of law, and the victim/plaintiffs do not need to introduce any additional evidence on this point.

Contact an Aggressive Attorney

Car crashes often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. An attorney can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.