The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Nevada’s number of fatal crashes hit a 10-year high in 2018, with 331 deaths caused on roadways throughout the state. After dropping down into the 200s during the years of 2009 to 2013, the death toll has been steadily climbing since then. Part of the reason for the increase, the article notes, is a booming population in recent years and the failure for vehicle occupants to buckle up their seat belts. For every fatality, many more people are injured in car accidents across the state. If you’re one of them, you may be eligible to obtain compensation for your injuries. A Nevada car accident lawyer can help you understand if this option is available to you.
Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can be caused in a variety of ways. Here are some of the more common causes:
Impaired driving: The CDC notes that motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver result in the deaths of 29 people each day in the U.S., which equals one death caused by impaired driving every 50 minutes and a cost to society of around $44 billion a year.
Driver fatigue: The National Safety Council reports that a driver who has gone more than 20 hours without sleep has equivalent effects to his or her driving abilities as one with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent, making tired drivers three times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who are well rested. Drowsiness impacts drivers’ reaction times, attention, and ability to perceive hazards on the road.
Speeding: Approximately 27 percent of the fatalities from car crashes in the U.S. are the result of speeding. Speeding decreases the time that a driver needs to react to hazards in the road, makes the collision impact more severe, and renders automobile protective devices such as seat belts and airbags less effective.
Tailgating: Tailgating is a term used for a situation in which one car is following the other too closely. If the lead vehicle stops or slows suddenly, the following car may not have time to react before a collision occurs.
Distracted driving: Distracted driving caused the deaths of 3,450 people nationwide in 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes , and resulted in injuries for another 391,000. Common distractions for drivers include texting and other cell phone use, eating or drinking, talking with other people in the car, tending to pets, adjusting the controls on features such as the car heater or stereo, and external distractions such as a previous accident.
Types of Car Accidents
While there are many reasons for a car accident to happen, the list of types of car accidents is quite a bit shorter. Here is a look at them:
Vehicle rollover: There are two types of rollover accidents, tripped and un-tripped. The majority of rollovers are tripped accidents that involve the vehicle sliding sideways into soft soil or striking an object, such as another car, a curb, or a guardrail. Un-tripped rollovers involve top-heavy vehicles that are typically involved in high-speed collision maneuvers when the rollover takes place. Rollovers account for about 80 percent of all fatalities in single-vehicle crashes.
Rear-end collision: Approximately one-third of all rear-end collisions occur when one car is following another car too closely. This type of accident is commonly referred to as a “whiplash accident” due to its propensity to cause soft tissue neck injuries.
Single car accidents: There are two types of single-vehicle accidents, run-off-the-road (ROR) and on-road (OR) crashes. The more common type is ROR, where the vehicle leaves its lane of travel and encroach on the median, shoulder, or parking lane, striking a natural or man-made object. OR crashes typically involve a driver attempting to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, bicyclist, or hazard in the roadway.
Side-impact collision: Also known as the T-bone accident, side-impact collisions generally occur in the intersection when one vehicle runs a red light or does not yield the right of way to another. Vehicle occupants on the side of the vehicle that was struck often suffer life-threatening or catastrophic injuries.
Head-on collision: While this type of accident makes up an extremely small number of all traffic crashes, they account for more fatalities than many other types of accidents. Head-on collisions are so dangerous due to the velocity in which the vehicles collide. The impact of the collision is doubled that of a collision between one moving car and one stationary, as both vehicles are moving toward each other.
Common Injuries From Car Accidents
Virtually any part of the body can be injured in a serious car crash. However, some injuries are more common than others. Here are some of the injuries our clients have suffered due to a car accident:
Traumatic brain injury: Any injury that fractures or penetrates the skull, or causes the brain to hit the skull is considered a traumatic brain injury. Car accidents are the cause of more than half of all reported TBIs.
Spinal cord injury: Spinal cord injuries may cause a loss of sensation and function below the area where the damage occurred, or can even result in death. Spinal cord injuries include damage to the spinal column, spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments, or discs.
Internal injuries caused by the force of the accident may manifest as internal bleeding, organ damage, or broken ribs.
Broken bones: Broken bones caused by sudden impact or twisting are one of the most common injuries suffered by car accident victims. Broken arms and legs are frequently experienced in car accidents.
Whiplash: Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that is caused by the forceful back and forth motion often experienced in rear-end collisions. While most people find that their whiplash symptoms go away within a few weeks, the pain can linger for months or even years for some.
Nevada Car Accident FAQ
Whether you’re out for a leisurely drive or you’re heading to or from work, time spent on Nevada roads can quickly become dangerous. Many tourists and even locals don’t pay attention to where they are going. This can often lead to tragic situations where you or a loved one are injured in a car accident.
What Do I Do Right After My Car Accident?
Immediately following your car accident, take these steps.
Call 911. Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe and even if you don’t think there is much damage to your vehicle, it’s important to call the police. When the police arrive, they will speak with witnesses, all of the drivers and passengers, and document this information in their report. While the police report may not assign fault, it will provide a diagram of the accident scene. This is useful in determining fault later on.
Seek medical assistance. Your most important goal is to make sure you don’t have any serious injuries. You do that by letting a medical professional evaluate you. After an accident, your adrenaline is running high and you may not realize you have injuries. Having a medical professional document your injuries helps to ensure you’re taken care of and helps your car accident lawyer later hold the negligent party accountable for your medical expenses.
Take pictures. If you’re able and if it’s safe to do so, take pictures. You want to get pictures of your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident. Make sure you get pictures of the accident scene as well as your injuries. Taking these pictures will help document the accident and preserve the images which could help your car accident claim move faster.
Keep a journal. Use this journal to document your daily progress. During your recovery, you may not remember how you felt every day and you may forget the challenges you had to get better. By keeping a regular journal documenting how you’re feeling each day, you can help your car accident claim by showing how your injuries impacted your life.
What Should I Not Do After my Car Accident?
Just like there are things you should do after your accident, there are also things you shouldn’t do.
Don’t give a recorded statement. Aside from your statement to the police, do not give a recorded statement to your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. You may alert your insurance company that you were involved in an accident but do not give them a statement. This is important because insurance companies are looking for ways to not pay out your claim. If you say something innocent like you looked down for just a second, the insurance company could use that to deny your claim. This is why it’s so important to speak with a trusted car accident lawyer before you give a statement to the insurance company.
Don’t delay in filing a claim. In Nevada, you only have a certain amount of time after your car accident to file a car accident claim. If you wait too long, you could risk having to pay out of pocket for all of your medical expenses. We don’t want to see you in this situation since you didn’t cause the accident and shouldn’t bear any responsibility for paying your medical bills.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
Yes. A skilled Nevada car accident lawyer can make the difference in your claim. While car accidents are common, legal complexities surrounding the resulting claims. This process is complicated and time-consuming.
When you’re injured in a car accident by someone else, you deserve to have the best chance of making a full recovery. To do that, you need a lawyer who has your best interests at heart so you can focus on your recovery while we focus on the legal issues. Dealing with insurance companies, legal paperwork, interviewing, and document review is a process you should not try to handle on your own. You already have enough on your plate.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
The value of your car accident claim depends on:
Your existing medical bills
Estimated future medical bills
Any lost wages
The effect of your injuries on your enjoyment of life
While our goal is to recover as much as possible for your injuries so you don’t have to pay a dime out of your own pocket, we can’t estimate what your case is worth until we conduct a full investigation by meeting with you and reviewing all pertinent information. This is why it pays to work with an experienced Nevada car accident injury lawyer who has the resources, the knowledge, and the compassion to fight aggressively on your behalf.
How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Case?
This question also depends on many factors. The more complex your car accident claim is, the longer it will take. No two car accidents are the same so while our goal is to settle your case quickly, we will only settle if it’s right for you.
Sometimes insurance companies don’t want to offer fair settlements. When that happens, we are fully prepared to take your case all the way to trial to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Isn’t Hiring a Lawyer Expensive?
No. In fact, it’s more expensive to handle your car accident claim by yourself. Without the right lawyer at your side, you’ll miss out on the compensation you need to get better.
When you work with us, we will investigate your accident, review your medical records, review the police report and statements from other drivers and witnesses, we’ll negotiate with insurance companies, and aggressively represent your best interests in court. We do all of this at no cost to you. We only get paid when you win. Because of this, you really can’t afford to not hire a car accident injury lawyer.
Call Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC if You Suffered Injuries in a Nevada Car Crash
If you were injured in a car accident in Nevada, the experienced attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC would like to meet with you to discuss your legal options. We have four offices located in Nevada, including Downtown Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson and Reno. Our consultations are free of charge, and you can schedule yours by contacting us online or calling (702) 382-9797.