Hit By a Drunk Driver? Understand Your Options
Car accidents are extremely scary, even if they are minor fender benders. But what’s even scarier is the idea that you could be involved in a car accident that is beyond your control, such as being hit by a drunk driver in Nevada.
No matter what you do to protect yourself and obey traffic laws, there is still a chance that you will be hit by a driver who has made the decision to drive drunk, thus putting others’ lives and their own life in danger. In fact, a convicted drunk driver has driven drunk an average of 80 times before they are arrested.
It’s an unfortunate reality that every driver faces in one way or another. Every day, almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-related vehicle crashes. In the state of Nevada, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives each year.
If you have been hit by a drunk driver in Nevada, it’s often difficult to know where to turn next. Not only are you dealing with painful injuries and high medical bills, but you’re also having to navigate complicated laws associated with drunk driving in Nevada.
Luckily, you have many options when it comes to receiving justice and fair compensation for any physical or property damages you have sustained. Read on to find out more about the rights you have available to you if you were hit by a drunk driver in Nevada.
Drunk Driving in Nevada
In Nevada, drunk driving is taken extremely seriously. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .02 percent for drivers under 21 years old, and .08 percent for drivers over 21—and Nevada does not have a legal BAC limit for commercial drivers.
Those who choose to get behind the wheel after over-consuming alcohol or other substances are often handed hard penalties once caught. Nevada has one of the highest DUI rates in the country, with about 10,000 drunk drivers arrested each year.
But even though drunk driving is widely discouraged and comes with severe consequences, victims of drunk driving accidents are not always afforded the same justices. Drunk driving accidents can cause extreme injury and even death, so it is important to ensure you are working with drunk driving accident attorneys who will fight for you and ensure that you receive fair compensation to cover your expenses.
Dram Shop Laws in Nevada
Figuring out who is responsible in a drunk driving accident seems simple, but can sometimes be complicated. Victims of drunk driving accidents may wonder if bars and restaurants serving alcohol can be responsible for over-serving their patrons, thus indirectly leading to drunk driving auto accidents.
Many states in the U.S. have dram shop laws that require bars and restaurants to serve alcohol responsibly. If they fail to do so, they may be held responsible for the actions of their customers, including damage caused by drunk driving accidents.
However, Nevada does not take legal action against bars for the mistakes of their patrons. No matter the patron’s age, level of intoxication, or number of drinks purchased, bars cannot be held responsible for drunk driving accidents in Nevada. Without dram shop laws in place, Nevada is an extremely popular destination for bars and restaurants looking to serve alcohol—especially in Las Vegas.
Legal Action Against Drunk Drivers: Civil and Criminal Lawsuits
Even though Nevada does not have dram laws, victims of drunk driving accidents can receive compensation through the state’s legal system. Those hit by drunk drivers usually file civil lawsuits, which are separate from criminal lawsuits.
- Civil lawsuits: If you have been a victim of a drunk driving accident, you have the right to file a civil suit against the driver to recover compensation for damages. If there was a death involved in your case, the victim’s next of kin will be able to file a civil suit in their place.
- Criminal lawsuits: As stated above, drunk driving is taken very seriously in the state of Nevada. Drunk drivers will be prosecuted by the state in criminal lawsuits, which serve the purpose of protecting the general public from dangerous drivers. Drunk drivers can be prosecuted even if no one was injured in their case.
In most cases, drunk driving accident victims benefit most from filing civil cases. This is often the only way for them to receive compensation for hospital bills, property damage, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
Of course, it makes all the difference in the type of attorney you hire to represent you in your case. Make sure to hire an experienced auto accident attorney to ensure you receive proper compensation for your damages.
Hiring a Drunk Driving Auto Accident Attorney
At Shook & Stone, our Nevada auto accident attorneys specialize in drunk driving cases, and have represented and won compensation for many victims and their families. Our award-winning attorneys will walk you through your case, assist you with filing a civil claim with a focus on personal injury, and ensure that you receive the financial benefits you need and deserve.
Since 1997, the auto accident attorneys at Shook & Stone have recovered over half a billion dollars in compensation for victims in Las Vegas, Reno, Henderson, and other cities in Nevada. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a drunk driving auto accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Shook & Stone today for a free consultation.