Since a combination of factors probably triggered the fatal midday car wreck, authorities are still investigating the incident. According to police and witnesses, a 62-year old woman was riding a scooter northbound on Linn Lane near the Bonanza Road intersection when a 17-year-old man in a Nissan Sentra ran a red light, struck the moped, and pushed it onto its side. First responders immediately transported the woman to a nearby hospital, but she did not survive the serious injuries she sustained at the scene. The driver, who was carrying an 11-year-old passenger, showed no signs of impairment. Police speculate that some residential walls may have limited the young man’s visibility. None of the names were released in the 133rd, and final, 2017 traffic death in Metro Police jurisdiction.
First Party Liability in Nevada Traffic Collisions
As most riders can attest, lack of visibility is a common cause in motorcycle-vehicle collisions. In fact, lots of riders who have gone down probably heard the tortfeasor (negligent driver) tell first responders something like “he came out of nowhere” or “I never even saw her.” Typically, that’s because the tortfeasor failed to maintain a proper lookout, which is a classic breach of the duty of reasonable care. If the victim sustained injury because of the tortfeasor’s negligence, the tortfeasor is responsible for damages.
Sometimes, liability is even easier to establish, because of the negligence per se rule. Victims need not prove that the tortfeasor violated a legal duty if the negligent driver:
- Broke a safety law, such as stopping at a red light, and
- That infraction substantially caused the damages.
In most cases, negligence per se is negligence as a matter of law. Damages in Las Vegas usually include compensation for both tangible losses, including medical bills, and intangible losses, including pain and suffering. The award is usually tax-exempt.
Third Party Liability in Nevada Car Wreck Cases
Very often, the tortfeasor is not the only party who is responsible for damages. Nevada, like most other states, has very broad vicarious liability laws and rules which protect victims in several different ways.
People under 18 cannot own property, so if the tortfeasor was under 18, the negligent entrustment doctrine usually applies. Vehicle owners are liable for damages if they allow unqualified persons to borrow their cars and these individuals subsequently cause a car wreck. Liability attaches if:
- No License: People without valid driver’s licenses are unqualified as a matter of law, no matter how carefully or negligently they drive.
- License Violation: In Nevada, it is illegal for drivers under 18 to transport passengers under 18 unless the passenger is an immediate family member. So, if the driver in the above story had a valid license, he was probably still incompetent. The same result applies in situations like driving without required eyeglasses.
- Knowledge: If the tortfeasor had a poor driving record, and the vehicle owner knew about the poor record, the owner is liable for damages.
Typically, the judge apportions damages between a responsible first and third party based on their percentages of fault.
Contact an Aggressive Attorney
Victims usually have multiple theories they can pursue in court. 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.