Nevada is best known for the city of Las Vegas, a major entertainment center and tourist attraction, but it has even more to offer visitors. The Silver State features other cities worth visiting, and if you prefer to drive, you will need to keep a few things in mind while exploring the state. Nevada is not heavily populated, so some drivers take advantage of wide-open spaces and drive recklessly. However, despite your best intentions, you may find yourself in an auto accident.
The nearest hospital may be many miles from the scene, complicating an already distressing situation. In the aftermath, you may find yourself facing mounting medical bills and pressure from insurance companies to accept low payments. An accident attorney in Nevada can help you during a difficult time after a crash.
Nevada ranks 26th in the nation for auto accident deaths, with 312 in 2020. Fewer drivers took to the road in 2020 than in 2019 due to shelter-in-place mandates during the first several months of the pandemic. However, the state showed a 9.9% increase in auto accident deaths in 2020 compared to the previous year.
When pandemic were lifted, 2021 saw more drivers on Nevada roads again, increasing auto accident deaths even more. That year, 349 people lost their lives in auto accidents in the state. Behind these numbers, are real people who left behind devastated loved ones. These loved ones may seek legal counsel, however, only if another party is found responsible for the loss. In such cases, they may seek the expertise of an accident attorney in Nevada.
The role of Zero Fatalities
There were 24 auto accident fatalities in Nevada in January 2022. The top reasons were impairment and speeding, according to Zero Fatalities, an initiative of the Nevada Departments of Public Safety and Transportation.
Zero Fatalities’ goal is in its name; ultimately, it seeks to ensure no deaths occur in Nevada road accidents. It hopes to achieve this lofty goal by educating the public about road safety and encouraging motorists to share the message about safe driving habits with others.
Now in its 10th year, Zero Fatalities was founded to address the steady increase in auto accidents during the previous decade. The number of auto accident deaths fell 27% between January 2021 and January 2022.
While deaths are still happening, the survivors left behind may find they have options after fatal crashes. An accident attorney in Nevada may not be able to bring their loved ones back but can fight for justice. This may offer some comfort to the survivors.
Driving in Nevada
Driving in Nevada, like anywhere else, involves a certain duty of care. "Duty of care" is a legal term that means a driver must handle a vehicle on the road in a way that won't cause harm to others. In other words, drivers must use defensive driving skills to prevent a crash. It includes following the rules of the road, such as obeying traffic lights and signs and staying within the posted speed limits.
Also keep in mind that Nevada has a hands-free cell phone law. It allows drivers to talk on the phone while driving as long as they are using a hands-free headset. This law will still allow you to make and answer calls while traveling around the state and observing duty of care.
By following these tips for driving in Nevada, drivers can observe duty of care:
- When driving at night, it can seem like there is no one else on the road. Still, be alert and careful. Driving recklessly on stretches of open road is never a good idea, but extra dangerous if you encounter another driver unexpectedly and can't avoid a crash.
- When renting a car, make sure turn signals and high beams work properly; high beams are needed in rural areas.
- Wildlife is abundant; observe animal safety crossing signs but realize they are not everywhere, so watch out for animals. You’re on their turf.
These are good tips for safe driving. But if you find yourself in an accident, an accident attorney in Nevada can handle your case and fight for you.
How negligence plays a role in Nevada auto accidents
If you fail to obey traffic laws and cause an accident, you are considered negligent. An example of this is speeding, failing to reduce speed, and rear-ending the vehicle in front of you. This is an example of clear-cut liability, where one person is considered solely responsible. If you are at fault for this type of accident, it is likely because you have breached your duty of care. You can be liable for damages you cause as a result of your negligence.
The definition of negligence varies from state to state. Nevada applies the principle of comparative negligence to determine liability for auto accidents. In some cases, who is at fault for an accident is not crystal clear. Both drivers may share some of the blame. If one driver is considered more at fault than the other, the more at-fault driver can't recover damages to their vehicle.
This principle is known as comparative negligence because one driver is viewed as playing a more negligent role in causing the loss. On the other hand, the other driver, even though they may have shared some responsibility in causing the loss, can receive payment for damages. An auto accident attorney in Nevada can help with this issue when handling your case.
Nevada driving laws
Some Nevada laws that drivers may want to know about relate to the ability to collect payment after a crash in the state.
Collateral Source Rule
The Collateral Source Rule says that a driver who is entitled to collect damages for an auto accident can apply for settlement directly from the more at-fault driver. The insurance settlement already paid has no effect on this settlement. In other words, if you’re involved in an accident and you receive a settlement from your insurance, but the other driver is at fault, you can get payment from the at-fault driver to cover your losses.
Dram shop laws
Dram shop laws allow legal action against restaurants, bars, and other businesses that serve alcohol on the premises. They can be held responsible for supplying alcohol to customers who cause damages while impaired, such as in auto accidents.
Nevada has no dram shop laws. So, while impairment was a leading cause of auto accident deaths in January, the surviving families can't take legal action against the businesses serving alcohol to those who passed away.
Full Time and Attention Law
Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson all contain the same city ordinance governing drivers on the road. This is known as the Full Time and Attention Law, which is worded almost identically in all three city ordinances. The ordinance states that drivers should pay attention while behind the wheel. By failing to do so, you may be held responsible for a crash.
Accident attorneys in Nevada know the details of these laws. Hopefully, you will not find yourself in an auto accident or become a survivor of a loved one who passes away as a result of another driver’s negligence. However, if this happens, an accident attorney in Nevada can help you and your loved ones better understand these terms and how they affect you.
Las Vegas driving statistics
In the past year, an increase in auto accident deaths in Clark County caused concern for law enforcement officials. The number of deaths increased 23.5% year to year. By September 2021, a total of 142 deaths had occurred in the county for the year. They comprised more than half the deaths in the entire state. During one deadly weekend that month, at least six fatal crashes occurred. The Nevada Highway Patrol posted on Twitter with the hashtags “#slowdown,” “#buckleup” and “#drivesober.”
These numbers may raise questions about whether tourists to Las Vegas (county seat of Clark County) are causing the crashes, but actually, they’re not. The Department of Public Safety says 80% of the fatalities were residents, Nevada-licensed drivers who know the area better than Sin City tourists. The department has committed to educating residents about the dangers of speeding and driving while impaired. The sheriff and police departments are also checking for DUI and enforcing speed limits and seatbelt usage.
Henderson was described decades ago by President John F. Kennedy as a “city of destiny.” This city, which prides itself on being a big city with “small-town values,” continues to grow, attracting more drivers and traffic.
Ten fatal auto accidents involving 16 vehicles happened in Nevada’s second-largest city in 2019, the latest year for which statistics are available. Of those, five involved drunk drivers, many more than in previous years, when one or two fatal accidents were caused by DUI. Seven people on foot were also involved in the fatal accidents in 2019. Most of these accidents occurred during daylight hours and clear weather conditions.
Known as the “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno is the largest city in northern Nevada. This mountain city offers many outdoor activities: fishing, mountain climbing, camping, biking and, of course, skiing. These attractions bring a lot of traffic to Washoe County, where Reno is located, due to outdoor enthusiasts wanting to enjoy the great weather.
Washoe County saw a 21% increase in auto accident deaths in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. As in much of the country, fewer drivers were on the road. However, those who ventured out found that they had the roads to themselves and took advantage. As a result, 49 lost their lives in deadly auto accidents. Nearly half of those accidents had multiple causes, many involving substance use. Fast-forward to the present, and impaired driving continues to be a leading cause of deadly accidents.
North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas is its own city, separate from Las Vegas, and the fourth-largest city in Nevada. With its unique attractions and outdoor splendor, it attracts tourists year-round. It is also home to Nellis Air Force Base as well as a wildlife refuge and tracks for dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles.
Because North Las Vegas has a lot to offer and attracts many drivers into the area, it unfortunately has its share of deadly accidents as well. The city code of ordinances addresses the matter of following too closely while driving. It says motorists should avoid following other vehicles closer than necessary and be mindful of the speed at which they are traveling, as well as the traffic and road conditions. The goal is to avoid rear-end crashes, which are the most common type of collision.
However, 15 fatal crashes happened in North Las Vegas in 2019, with 32 people involved and 16 deaths. Six of these accidents involved drunk drivers, and five pedestrians were also involved. The most recent deadly crash in the area happened in January 2022 when a Dodge Challenger ran a red light at 100 miles per hour, killing nine.
Also located in Washoe County, Sparks borders Reno and is the fifth-largest city in Nevada. Sparks has a unique charm that attracts visitors, and sadly auto accidents occur there as well. Fewer fatal accidents reportedly occurred in Sparks than in the other cities above. In 2019, five people lost their lives in as many accidents. Twelve people were involved in these crashes.
The role of an accident attorney in Nevada
Nevada accident attorneys are familiar with the state's roadways, landmarks and terrain. They also know the laws of the state and have the legal authority to assist clients. If you've found yourself in an auto accident while in Nevada, you may feel uncertain about what to do next, especially if you've been injured. Remember, Nevada uses the principle of comparative negligence to determine fault in auto accidents, so even if you think you're liable, it's a good idea to talk to an accident attorney.
What an accident attorney in Nevada can do for you
After an auto accident, think of your well-being first. Seek medical attention even if you don't think you're hurt. Sometimes the adrenaline in your system prevents you from feeling pain immediately after an accident. Also, if you decide to take legal action, the medical attention you received will be documented and the attorney can use those records to support your case.
Your next step is to consider contacting an accident attorney in Nevada. Auto accidents can be devastating for many, causing pain and debilitation. People rely on their vehicles for business and pleasure, and often for daily use. Auto accidents can prevent you from reporting to work due to recovery from injuries and loss of transportation. If you are a tourist, you may feel even more overwhelmed because your trip may be ruined and you may be far from home, not certain what to do next.
An accident attorney can help you sort things out during this challenging time. The attorney can give you a chance to describe your situation. Then, if the attorney accepts your case, they will go to work for you. They can talk to medical providers and insurance companies for you, allowing you the freedom to continue with your recovery.
Your attorney can explain how the law applies to your accident and how they can help you get the settlement you deserve. They will negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies, so if you receive a too-low settlement offer, you might not have to settle for less than what you need.
Accident.com can help
Accident.com is an online referral site for those seeking legal action. By completing and submitting our website form, you can be on your way to a new relationship with a legal ally. We provide your information to an attorney in our network. You can speak to the attorney for a one-time, free consultation. If the lawyer agrees to accept your case, the two of you can then discuss how to work together.
You will provide all documentation and information you have available about your accident. Your accident attorney in Nevada will work on your case, order police reports, and make insurance claims and phone calls. In the meantime, you can rest assured that your attorney is working for you, allowing you to focus on getting better. However, time can run out for your case, so it's important to get these processes started soon after your crash. Don't delay contacting an auto accident attorney to get your situation resolved.
Accident.com also contains a resources section. You can read blog posts about many aspects of dealing with your car crash. They also describe how an auto accident attorney can help after a loss and why you may want to hire one. You can request a referral to an accident attorney in Nevada who is ready to hear your story and offer assistance.
Auto accidents are always possible, whether you're close to home or traveling in unfamiliar territory. Nevada is unique in many ways, offering thrills for fun-seekers in Las Vegas as well as scenic, sparsely traveled routes in remote areas. If you find yourself in an auto accident in the Silver State, an accident attorney can help you work through your case and restore your peace of mind. Visit Accident.com today for a referral to an experienced auto accident attorney who is ready to speak to you.