Each year, hundreds of thousands of people drive on Nevada roads. And each year, thousands of vehicle accidents bring pain, suffering, and devastation to Nevadans. In 2018, 331 lives were lost on Nevada roads, an increase of more than 6.4 percent from 2017. It’s no surprise that vehicle accidents happen frequently, but it can be surprising when you are involved in an accident yourself.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Reno, it’s important that you know your rights. Whether your accident was a small fender bender or a severe crash, read on to find out more about vehicle accidents in Nevada, what you can do to protect yourself, and what steps to take next.
What Are the Causes of Vehicle Accidents in Reno?
There are many different types of drivers in Nevada, and there are just as many different causes of car and truck accidents. But determining the cause is an extremely important aspect of finding fault in a lawsuit. Insurance companies look at factors like weather, traffic signals, and rates of speed to determine how an accident occurred, and who is at fault financially.
Below are the most common causes of vehicle accidents:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents in Nevada. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, using a cell phone while driving increases your chance of getting in an accident by four times. The state of Nevada has tried to crack down on distracted driving, imposing a $250 fine for texting or talking on a handheld cell phone behind the wheel. Distracted driving can also include eating, putting on makeup, and adjusting music while driving.
- Speeding: Speeding is another very common cause of vehicle accidents. In fact, it is estimated that speeding is a contributing factor in nearly one in three fatal traffic accidents. Combined with following the car in front of you too closely, speeding is exceedingly dangerous for all drivers on the road.
- Drunk driving: Alcohol greatly impairs reaction time, judgement, vision, and physical capabilities. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent in the state of Nevada, and even lower for commercial license holders and those under 21 years old—0.04 and 0.02, respectively. But even if you’re under the legal limit, you could still experience driving difficulties, depending on your alcohol tolerance.
- Disobeying traffic laws: Traffic laws are in place to keep drivers safe, but many drivers disregard them on purpose or simply because they are not paying attention. One of the most common causes of vehicle accidents is failing to yield to right of way and failing to stay in the proper lane. Another common cause is disregarding traffic signs, signals, or markings.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Even if you do your best to obey traffic laws and avoid distractions, driving on Nevada’s roads always comes with risks. Other drivers may not be as careful as you are, and you could find yourself involved in a fender bender or serious collision despite your best efforts. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from dangerous drivers around you.
One thing you can do is invest in car insurance. As of 2018, the state of Nevada requires that drivers possess a minimum coverage of 25/50/20:
- $25,000 bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 bodily injury or death of two or more persons
- $20,000 for destruction of property
However, this is just the minimum requirement. Drivers also have the option of purchasing additional insurance:
- Collision insurance: This optional insurance covers damage to a driver’s own vehicle resulting from a collision, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
- Comprehensive insurance: This optional insurance covers a driver’s vehicle against theft or damage resulting from things other than collision. These could include falling objects, wind damage, fires, floods, or vandalism.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance: This optional insurance protects a driver if they are involved in an accident where the other driver is at fault, and is either uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover medical bills.
- Medical payments (Medpay): This optional insurance covers injuries to a driver and their passengers, no matter who is determined to be at fault in the accident. It also covers vehicle accident injuries sustained as a pedestrian.
When to Hire a Reno Car Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a car accident in Reno, you are not alone. You do have rights, and one of them is the right to have someone on your side. An experienced vehicle accident lawyer will fight to help you receive fair compensation for the injuries you sustained as the result of a crash. Even if you are determined to be at fault for the accident, an attorney can help examine the situation to ensure you are treated fairly.
When it comes to filing a vehicle accident claim, timeliness is essential. The state of Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. This may seem like a long time, but the legal process can often stretch longer than anticipated. That’s why it’s important that you contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
At Shook & Stone, our Reno car accident attorneys are on your side. We work side-by-side with you to understand your unique situation and to assess the value of your personal injury claim. With over 85 years of combined legal experience, our team has worked closely with medical executives, physical therapists, and mental health professionals to understand the physical tolls auto accidents can have. With our knowledge and experience, we will not only ensure your injuries are taken seriously, but also that you receive adequate financial compensation.
When you contact Shook & Stone, our Reno car accident attorneys will discuss your case with you and let you know what steps you need to take next. And you can rest assured that you don’t pay unless we win your case.
Contact Shook & Stone today for your free initial consultation.