To stay safe on the road, a driver must avoid distractions that could increase their risk of an accident. Like most U.S. states, Nevada has set penalties for distracted driving; however, the issue persists despite the penalties, as outlined by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If you are a victim of a distracted driver, you could seek compensation from those liable for the accident. You can consult with a Las Vegas distracted driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, to understand your legal recourse. Call (800) 598-7557 to speak to a representative from our team.
Protecting Your Legal Rights After an Accident
The steps you take after an accident can make or break your claim. Even if the other driver left the crash scene, you must stay and notify the authorities immediately. Below are a few more steps that can help you preserve your rights.
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Try to collect as much evidence as possible at the accident scene. Take photos and videos of the vehicle’s damage, the crash scene at various angles, and visible injuries. If there are witnesses, get their contact information so that you can take their statements.
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Never Admit Fault
Refrain from apologizing or admitting fault in the accident. If you do, the liability in the incident might shift to you, eliminating your right to seek compensation from the at-fault distracted driver.
Never skip getting medical treatment, even if you do not feel any pain or notice signs of injury. The longer you delay medical care, the harder it will be to establish the link between your injuries and the accident.
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Consider Hiring an Attorney if You Want to Pursue Legal Action
If you are interested in seeking legal action to recover financial awards and hold the liable driver legally responsible, you can seek the counsel of a Las Vegas distracted driving accident lawyer before pursuing payment for your injuries and other losses. They can explain your rights and advise on how to submit your claim correctly.
Nevada’s Traditional Fault System
Nevada is an at-fault insurance state. This means those motorists found to have caused a car accident should pay for the resulting damages, such as medical expenses, lost earnings, and property repair or replacement costs through their insurance up to its policy limits.
In Nevada, drivers must carry liability coverage of at least $25,000 in bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 for injury or death of two persons, and $20,000 for property damage to cover one accident. If the damages exceed the limits, accident victims can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to recover the remaining amount. You could also take your case to civil court if the liable driver’s insurer offers you unreasonable compensation.
Determining Liability Based on Negligence
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny a claim or offer a low payout for the damages, even when it seems like you have substantial evidence that their client was at fault for an accident. These companies usually have savvy legal representation that could make it challenging to take them on by yourself. As such, you might want to consider seeking legal representation of your own to protect your rights and interests.
Determining who is liable for the collision is fact-specific. The court will award damages only if you have legal grounds to hold the other party accountable for your injuries. With vehicle accidents, negligence is the commonly used basis for determining liability. Their negligent behavior of driving with distractions harmed other motorists, making them responsible.
To make your claim actionable, you must prove the following core elements:
Duty of Care
All Nevada motorists must exercise a reasonable amount of care on the road. It means driving safely and following traffic rules.
Breach of Duty
When drivers disobey traffic laws, knowingly or unwittingly, they have breached their duty of taking reasonable care. In this case, distracted driving is an example of negligent behavior that caused an accident and led to injuries and damaged property.
Simply because you had an injury does not give rise to a valid claim—you must show your injuries’ causal connection to the distracted driver’s actions. If there is no link, the court will not allow monetary recovery.
The civil court awards damages if the victim can demonstrate that they suffered because of the at-fault driver’s negligent actions. An injured victim can support their claim through medical records, receipts, and other documents detailing out-of-pocket expenses. Otherwise, the court cannot hold the other party liable when there are no relevant losses.
Sorting out liability is a complex legal issue and often requires a professional. A Las Vegas distracted driving accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can handle this challenging task. Get in touch today to discuss the details of your case.
Negligence Does Not Apply Only to the At-Fault Driver
In most car accidents, liability does not always fall on the distracted driver—you might share the blame, too. Comparative fault is an issue that some injured victims face before they receive financial awards.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company and lawyer will raise this matter during settlement negotiations. Comparative negligence is a principle that assigns liability according to one’s degree of fault in the accident. By extension, it proportionately reduces a victim’s compensation by their contribution. For instance, you can only receive $7,000 out of the proposed $10,000 in damages if you are 30 percent responsible for the car crash.
Nevada is one of the many states that follow modified comparative negligence. Under this rule, one can only recover awards if their share of fault is less than that of the distracted driver’s contribution. Otherwise, your injury claim becomes invalid. You can work with a Las Vegas distracted driving accident lawyer who can help you determine what compensation you could recover if you pursue legal action.
Why Seek Legal Support
Pursuing an accident claim against an alleged distracted driver is not simple; those who self-represent are more prone to making legal errors that have costly consequences. For instance, filing a personal injury lawsuit is subject to state-imposed time limits.
In Nevada, victims have two years to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver, per Nevada Revised Statutes § 11.190. Missing the deadline or submitting insufficient documentation could cause the court to dismiss your claim. A lawyer can ensure that this does not happen to you.
Seek legal assistance from the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. A Las Vegas distracted driving accident lawyer can guide you through the legal process. To get started, reach out at (800) 598-7557.