If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you probably distinctly remember that terrible sound and feeling at the moment of impact. Even if you escape unscathed, the effects are usually disturbing. And unfortunately, that traumatic moment is just the beginning of a series of potential problems.
According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are about six million car accidents in the U.S. every year. Whether it involves multiple vehicles, a motorcycle, a pedestrian, or property damage, a vehicle crash is bound to involve mounds of bills, paperwork, pain, and inconvenience.
Car Crashes in Las Vegas
In 2010, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) reported 51,664 traffic crashes, 18,675 of which resulted in an injury. Data from 2017 showed there were nearly 200 vehicle crashes in Clark County.
While drivers are always advised to obey traffic signals and avoid speeding, the high volume of tourists in Las Vegas certainly contributes to the number of traffic accidents. Many visitors come to enjoy the shows and casinos, and in addition to not knowing the roads, there are instances of people taking the wheel under the influence of alcohol.
If you know you’re going to be driving in Las Vegas, it is important to know the laws, and have the best insurance possible to protect yourself. According to the Nevada Division of Insurance, Nevada drivers are required to have at least $15,000 of coverage per person for bodily injury, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 per accident for property damage.
Sadly, it’s not enough just to protect ourselves. We’re also advised to protect ourselves from others. Most people are unaware of how many uninsured drivers there are on the road. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), about 13 percent or one in eight drivers in the U.S. was uninsured in 2015. In Nevada, that figure sits at 10.6 percent. Regardless, there is always a chance that you will be involved in a driving accident with someone who isn’t covered.
Most insurance companies have an additional option of coverage that protects you from uninsured or underinsured motorists (UIM). It can cost slightly more, but if you’re injured in a crash caused by someone who isn’t covered, the added protection is worth it. Uninsured motorist coverage should cover medical expenses and property losses.
Plan specifics differ, but most plans should also cover you in the event of a hit-and-run accident. Since the driver has left the scene, it can be treated as an uninsured motorist claim. There is even a specific type of coverage for pedestrians hit by an uninsured motorist, called uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage. It will likely cover medical expenses and lost wages.
Determining the Cause of Your Accident
If you’re injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, it’s important to remember that you do have rights. You may be entitled to receive compensation that can help ease the burdens you already face. Of course, in order to secure your award, you must prove that another party was responsible for causing the collision. The following are some of the most common causes of accidents in Las Vegas:
Drivers who disregard speed limits and conditions put everyone around them in danger. Speeding increases both the likelihood and the severity of traffic accidents.
- Drunk Driving
The illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Nevada is 0.02 percent for drivers under 21 years old. It is 0.04 percent for commercial license holders, and 0.08 percent for everyone else. Even under the legal limit, any amount of alcohol can impair a driver’s judgement, vision, and reaction time behind the wheel.
- Distracted Driving
In Nevada, it is illegal to talk or text on a cellphone while driving. Eating, smoking, changing a song, and looking at your in-vehicle navigation system can also take a driver’s mind and eyes away from the road and cause an accident.
Las Vegas Car Crash Injuries
Car accidents are the number one cause of accidental injury in the U.S. Even a seemingly minor collision can cause severe, life-altering injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal organ damage
Victims may be hospitalized, need surgery, and require ongoing medical care that can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many car crash injuries result in missed work days, adding another layer of financial hardship.
Hiring a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a driving accident in Las Vegas, you’re advised to have an experienced, reliable legal team on your side. Even if you believe that you caused the accident, there may be factors that were out of your control that could relieve you of some liability. If another party caused the accident and caused you preventable harm, you should quickly file a personal injury claim so an attorney can start investigating while the case is still fresh.
Keep in mind that even if another party apologizes at the scene of the accident, that doesn’t mean they have legally accepted liability. An attorney may be able to argue that they didn’t cause the crash, and their insurance may also try to take liability away from their policyholder. Similar to obtaining UIM coverage, securing a qualified Las Vegas traffic accident lawyer will help protect you from others.
Your legal counsel can also help assess the value of your claim based on your injuries. This is our specialty at Shook & Stone. We work closely with many medical professionals, economists, physical therapists, psychologists, and others who help us understand our clients’ injuries. This in-depth analysis helps ensure recovery of the full value of insurance claims, plus compensation from the party at fault. We make sure you are compensated for all present and future bills related to your recovery.
If you’ve been involved in a car crash in Las Vegas, contact us as soon as possible. We will discuss your case and let you know what your next steps should be. And you don’t pay us unless we take your case to court, and win.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Call Shook & Stone today for your free consultation.