A 68-year-old woman died after a ping-pong crash that occurred in the western Las Vegas Valley area. Police say that Shirley Roush, of Henderson, was inside a Kia Rio on Peacock Avenue between Charleston Boulevard and Alta Drive when the driver of a Honda Civic, who may have been racing against another vehicle, lost control of the car, crossed over into oncoming traffic, and struck Ms. Roush’s vehicle. Her Kia then careened into the pathway of a Ford van that was southbound on Peacock. As the investigation is still ongoing, the coroner is unsure which collision proved to be the fatal one. Authorities are still searching for the driver of the other red car.
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Speed in Collision Cases
Excessive velocity both increases the risk of a collision and increases the force in that collision, so speed is a factor in many of the fatal car crashes in Nevada. In both these instances, speed has a multiplying effect.
First, velocity exponentially increases stopping distance, which is the distance that a vehicle travels from the time a driver sees an approaching hazard to the time the vehicle stops safely. In just these few moments, most small vehicles cover about six car lengths when they are traveling at 30mph. At 60mph, the same vehicle’s stopping distance triples to eighteen car lengths, making it almost impossible to avoid a crash, especially if the driver was not maintaining a safe following distance.
Second, per Newton’s Second Law, speed multiples the force in any collision between two objects. In car crash cases, this law means that what would have been a non-injury “fender bender” at relatively low speeds is a serious injury collision when it takes place at higher speeds.
Although officials still do not know whether the first or second collision actually killed the victim, the outcome probably does not matter for tort law purposes, because of the foreseeability rule.
If a person is negligent, that person is liable for all the foreseeable consequences of that negligence. This rule often comes into play in rear-end collision cases, when a tortfeasor (negligent driver) rear ends a victim and pushes that vehicle into oncoming traffic, whereupon the victim is injured. The fact that the racing driver is responsible is important for punitive damages purposes, as outlined below.
In all cases, car crash victims are eligible for money that compensates them for their economic losses, including medical bills, and their non-economic losses, including pain and suffering.
Additionally, if the tortfeasor deliberately ignored a known risk and thereby endangered the safety or property of others, additional punitive damages may be in order. This money is available whenever the tortfeasor acted recklessly, perhaps by street racing or by driving with a very high BAC. The victim must present clear and convincing evidence of such wrongdoing to obtain such damages.
Contact an Assertive Attorney
Car crash victims are often entitled to substantial compensation for their serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in car crash cases.