First responders rushed a man to a local hospital after he was T-boned while making a left turn against traffic.
As a 50-year-old man in a 2014 Cadillac was traveling westbound on West Charleston Boulevard, an eastbound 19-year-old man in a 2018 BMW struck the Cadillac as its driver tried to turn left onto southbound Apple Drive. The 50-year-old man was not wearing a seatbelt. Both drivers were injured in the collision; the 19-year-old man was treated at the scene and released. Investigators have ruled out impairment but are still looking for a cause.
None of the names were released.
Establishing Liability in Nevada Car Wreck Cases
Las Vegas vehicle collision victims basically have two legal options to establish liability in these cases. Either way, they are usually entitled to significant compensation.
Sometimes, a driver is negligent, a term which basically means a lack of ordinary care. Non-commercial drivers have a duty to drive defensively while observing “the rules of the road.” When they fail to drive defensively, they are usually negligent.
Distracted driving is a good example of negligence. In Nevada, it is illegal to talk or text on a phone while driving. Hand-held cell phones involve all three types of distracted driving, which are:
- Visual (eyes off the road),
- Manual (hand off the wheel), and
- Cognitive (mind on something other than driving).
Other cellphone functions, such as using apps, snapping a picture, or surfing the web, are equally as distracting, if not even worse. However, since they are not illegal in Nevada, victims must establish duty, breach of duty (lack of care), causation, and damages. The same process applies to other distracted driving behaviors, such as arguing with passengers while driving.
Back to the “rules of the road” point. If a tortfeasor (negligent driver) speeds, makes an illegal turn or commits another traffic infraction, the negligence per se shortcut usually applies. Las Vegas tortfeasors are responsible for damages as a matter of law if they:
- Violate a safety law which
- Substantially causes damages.
Additional punitive damages are sometimes available in negligence per se cases, especially in extreme situations, such as an intoxicated driver with a very high BAC.
Can Nevada Insurance Companies Use the Seat Belt Defense?
Some people believe that they are ineligible for damages if they were hurt in a car crash and were not wearing a seatbelt, but that’s not true. In fact, state lawmakers expressly prohibited the seat belt defense in Nevada Revised Statutes 484D.495(4)(b).
This prohibition may seem unusual, but from a technical legal standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Restraint systems usually have nothing to do with driving the car so their use is irrelevant for causation purposes. Furthermore, Las Vegas victims have no obligation to mitigate (reduce) their damages before the car crash. Otherwise, we would all have to wear crash helmets, fireproof suits, and other protective gear every time we drove to the grocery store. The rule also spares the jury from meticulous and boring details, such as the proper use of a car seat.
Reach Out to a Tenacious Lawyer
Car crash victims are entitled to substantial compensation, but insurance companies do not give this money away without a fight. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.