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Some Issues In Las Vegas Failure To Yield Collision Claims

Every year, there are about 800,000 failure to yield collisions in the United States. That includes both intersection collisions and unsafe lane change collisions. Sometimes, these incidents are low-speed “fender benders” that only cause property damages. But in many other cases, especially in higher-speed wrecks, serious injuries can result.

These crash victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. These damages usually include money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some extreme cases.

What Causes Intersection Crashes in Las Vegas?

Nevada laws regarding the right-of-way are rather intricate. Some of the rules are rather straightforward. Most people know they must always yield the right-of-way to other vehicles before they turn left and they must not “cut off” other cars in traffic. But other rules are more subtle. For example, vehicles must stop before they exit private driveways. Furthermore, drivers must always yield the right-of-way at intersections to vehicles that come from different roadways.

If they violate any traffic laws, including right-of-way laws, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) may be responsible for damages as a matter of law.

Other times, driver inattention causes failure-to-yield collisions. These collisions are especially common in vehicle-on-pedestrian and vehicle-on-bicycle wrecks. Some specific causes include:

  • Distraction: Many kinds of distracted driving, such as arguing with passengers while driving, are not specifically prohibited under Nevada law. Nevertheless, these activities are dangerously distracting.
  • Alcohol: Most drivers are not legally intoxicated until the third or fourth drink. But most drivers are legally impaired after the first drink. Alcohol deadens the senses and impairs judgement ability.
  • Speed: Excessive velocity decreases the amount of time that tortfeasors have to react to unexpected situations. Furthermore, speed multiples the force in any collision between two objects.

If the driver exhibited a lack of ordinary care, and that lack of care caused injury, the tortfeasor may be liable for damages.

Some Insurance Company Defenses in Failure-to-Yield Claims

Many FTY claims, especially intersection collision claims, involve the last clear chance defense. This doctrine excuses liability if a driver had a reasonable opportunity to avoid a crash, yet failed to do so.

Assume Victoria Victim stops at a four-way stop sign and then proceeds into the intersection. At about the same time, Taylor Tortfeasor approaches the intersection from another direction and runs the stop sign. If Victoria sees Taylor coming yet Victoria fails to get out of the way, Victoria could be legally responsible for the crash even though Taylor ran the stop sign.

The last clear chance rule only applies if the driver had a reasonable chance to avoid the crash. In the above example, if traffic was heavy, Victoria may not have been able to stop suddenly or swerve out of Terry’s path.

If the last clear chance does not eliminate liability, insurance companies often use the contributory negligence defense to reduce the victim’s compensation. This rule basically shifts part of the blame from the tortfeasor to the victim based on the facts of the case.

Contact a Hard-Hitting Lawyer

Failure-to-yield crashes often cause significant injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We routinely handle cases in Clark County and nearby jurisdictions.