10 Unusual Traffic Laws In Nevada & Their Role In Personal Injury Claims

10 Unusual Traffic Laws In Nevada & Their Role In Personal Injury Claims

You May Be Entitled To Financial Compensation If The Driver Violates Any Traffic Laws In Nevada

Nevada has its share of peculiar and normal traffic laws. The common thing between every law on Nevada’s books is that drivers must follow them to the letter. If a driver violates any traffic law or acts carelessly behind the wheel, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Here, we will describe some traffic laws in Nevada, from the unusual to the standard, and outline the role that they may play in an accident.

You Cannot Ride Or Walk a Camel On The Highway

Nevada has also seemed a little bit out of place for its time. Some laws on the books call to mind a bygone era before the motor vehicle dominated highways and streets.

In the old days, some people used to get around the Silver State on the back of a camel. If you find the current lineup of cars at the local dealership unappealing, you will still have to choose something you can find on a lot or online. These days, you are not allowed to ride a camel on a highway in Nevada.
Police Officer Attending a Serious Car Accident In Las Vegas
Seemingly, there is a good reason for this prohibition. As slow as the slowest car in the slow lane is, a camel will take things to a whole new level. Nevada highways can seem odd enough without contending with camels and bad drivers. Passing a camel can present some logistical challenges for even the best drivers.

Another unusual Nevada law allows for the smooth passage of funeral processions. The lead car in the procession has the legal ability to run a red light, and it will not be pulled over or ticketed. This is more than just the usual right-of-way that funeral processions will get in other states. In Nevada, all the lead car has to do is slow down, and then they can run the light. Presumably, every other car in the procession can follow the lead car through the red light.

Police Officers Don’t Attend All Traffic Accidents. Don’t Expect Them Unless There Is a Serious Injury

Moving from the strange to the more practical, practice after an accident is also different in Las Vegas. Here, there is no guarantee that a Las Vegas police officer will come to your accident scene.

So much personal injury advice depends on a police officer arriving at the scene right after the accident. Drivers expect that they can call a police officer to the scene of an accident, and the officer will write a police report detailing what they observed or heard from victims about the accident. This is not the case in Las Vegas.

The law leaves people on their own for many traffic accidents. If you have had a fender bender or an accident without serious injury, police will not come to the scene of an accident. They will only show up if there has been an injury or if the accident is blocking an intersection. Otherwise, you are left to deal with everything on your own.

If you even remotely think that you have suffered an injury, you should err on the side of calling the police. Their presence and report will only help you when you need to file an insurance claim. If the police do not come, make sure to do all the work you can at the scene to document the damage and what happened to cause the crash.

Nevada Traffic Laws Are Criminal

Another thing that you may not know about Nevada traffic laws is that breaking practically any traffic law is not a civil offense. This almost always surprises tourists who get tickets when renting a car. They end up with criminal records because Nevada traffic laws are criminal offenses. Efforts to decriminalize traffic laws in Nevada are happening on a limited basis.

While it is rare, even a simple speeding ticket can result in an arrest and jail time. A police officer always has that power when pulling over a driver. These laws lead to a large number of outstanding warrants against drivers.

In any traffic accident, several relevant traffic laws may come into play. If a driver breaks any of these laws, they may be held legally responsible for the accident. Below are some common traffic laws that drivers might violate, leading to traffic accidents.

Speeding

Speeding is the most common cause of car accidents, both in Nevada and nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a factor in roughly one-third of car accident fatalities. Speeding does not just mean traveling above the posted speed limit. It also means driving too fast for the conditions. For example, if one is trying to drive at the posted speed limit during heavy traffic or the rare Nevada rainstorm, it will be negligent. Drivers speeding are far more likely to lose control of their vehicles, and their traffic accidents will be more serious.

Reckless Driving

In Nevada, reckless driving is operating “a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” A reckless driving conviction can lead to six months in prison or at least a year of jail time if someone has suffered serious bodily injury or died in the accident.

Reckless driving is not only speeding, but it may also be aggressively weaving in and out of traffic or tailgating another driver. Reckless driving has increased dramatically in Nevada since the start of the pandemic. Fewer cars on the road, along with a lax attitude towards following the law, have caused drivers to take more chances and behave far more recklessly.

Reckless driving can even be one of the rare instances in which a defendant may have to pay punitive damages if the case goes to trial.

Failure To Stop At a Traffic Signal Or Stop Sign

Drivers tend to get aggressive at traffic signals, forcing their way through as the light changes because they do not want to wait at long Nevada traffic lights if they even see the traffic signal at all. The same goes for stop signs, as drivers roll through without coming to a complete stop. The surge in distracted driving has made drivers far less attentive and led to increased intersection accidents.

In Nevada, roughly one-third of traffic fatalities occur at intersections. These are dangerous crashes because they tend to happen at a T-bone angle, meaning the front of one car crashes into the broad side of another car.

Intoxication Laws

In Nevada, the blood alcohol limit is 0.08. If a driver is over this by even a small fraction, they can receive a conviction of DUI. Alcohol contributes to many accidents in Sin City, as tourists and residents get behind the wheel after a night out and cause crashes.

Even drivers below the legal limit can cause crashes because some alcohol can still impair judgment and driving abilities. Drunk driving crashes are far more dangerous than an average car crash because the drunk driver often does not attempt to avoid the crash. The average driver is too surprised to take any evasive maneuvers themselves.

Distracted Driving

Like nearly every major state, Nevada bans the use of handheld devices while driving. Motorists cannot send texts behind the wheel, nor can they check email or social media. The problem is that far too many drivers ignore the law, causing them to miss things like stop signs and cars stopping or traveling slowly in front of them. Most distracted driving crashes in Nevada happen in urban areas like Clark County and Reno.

Even though distracted driving crashes account for only 4 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities, these accidents will cause serious injuries. Again, one driver has no idea that another distracted driver is about to hit them.

Following Traffic Laws Is a Must

Although some of these traffic laws may seem strange and somewhat arbitrary, road rules are an absolute must to maintain safety. These days, it feels like fewer people are following traffic laws. While drivers may not know about the laws described above, they certainly know about the more common ones, such as prohibitions against speeding and reckless driving. When they break these laws, other people and their passengers can suffer injuries in serious accidents.

When you suffer injuries in a traffic accident because another driver has been negligent or violated a law, you are entitled to full financial compensation when you can prove that the other motorist caused the accident. An experienced car accident attorney can not only help you show what happened to cause the accident, but they can also negotiate financial compensation to pay for your damages.

A man filing a personal injury claim in Las Vegas, NV

You Must Prove The Cause Of a Traffic Accident

You cannot always rely on law enforcement to document the accident in a way that will put you in a position to receive financial compensation. Even if the police show up at the scene and write an accident report, there are limits to how you can use that report in your claim. First, police may not reach any conclusions on the accident report itself. The officer may just note their findings of the conditions and what they saw at the scene. The police officer did not see the accident.

Second, police reports are hearsay and not admissible as evidence at trial. Police reports can help with insurance claims where hearsay limits do not apply. Further, if the driver has pled guilty to a traffic offense described above (even to riding a camel on a highway), it is proof of their negligence in a civil case.

However, if a driver gets a ticket connected to a traffic accident, they have every reason not to plead guilty. Then, even a conviction is not evidence. However, you can still prove that they took the action that led to the traffic ticket with your evidence.

Why You Need a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident

In nearly all traffic accident cases, it is up to you to prove what happened. Especially if the other driver did not receive a ticket, you will need evidence to prove that they were negligent to receive financial compensation. Negligence means that another driver owed you a duty of care, and they acted unreasonably under the circumstances.

All drivers owe a duty to everyone else on the road, including other drivers and their passengers. If they break any traffic law listed above, they might have to pay financial compensation.

It is not easy for drivers to prove what happened in their car accident because:

  • You are too close to the facts to think objectively about what may persuade a third party
  • You are dealing with accident injuries that make it difficult for you to do anything while you recover
  • Car accident evidence can be lost very quickly, before you may be in a position to handle things yourself
  • You may not know enough about the process to know where to get evidence

These are reasons why you should hire an attorney after your car crash. You can worry about your health and your family, while the attorney will do the hard work of gathering evidence to prove what happened. Then, your lawyer will work to obtain fair compensation for your accident injuries – negotiating a settlement agreement or arguing your case in front of the jury.

The first step towards getting this legal help is to contact an experienced attorney for your free consultation.

An attorney can examine whether another driver received a citation or faced criminal charges—whether it was a weird or expected law. However, you can prevail even if someone did not face criminal penalties for violating the law.

The right Henderson car accident lawyer will know how to prove negligence whenever possible and seek the necessary evidence to obtain the compensation you deserve. Reach out for legal help today.

 

Nevada Personal Injury Attorney
Joseph L. Benson II, and Ben J. Bingham, Personal Injury Attorneys

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