Being in a serious car accident can have long-term consequences, especially for someone who has been injured and faces a long road to recovery. Amidst the fear and pain that comes in the immediate aftermath of a major crash, it’s important for people who have been injured to avoid making certain mistakes that could hurt their chances of recovering full compensation for their injuries from the at-fault driver or that driver’s insurance carrier. Naturally it’s essential to prioritize getting medical attention for those who need it after an accident. Once that step is resolved, there are some important things to avoid doing:
- Not gathering a complete record of information about the accident. It’s always important to exchange information with other people who were involved in the crash. Nevada law requires drivers who are involved in a crash to exchange basic contact information, as well as license and insurance details. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to note down the time and location of the accident and as many details about what happened as possible. If possible, taking pictures is always helpful. So is getting contact details from witnesses, such as passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers who stopped to help.
- Making statements that could imply fault. Although for many it’s instinctive to apologize after being an accident, an apology can become a tool of the other side in litigation as they seek to prove that their client wasn’t entirely at fault. One needn’t fear expressing concern for another person, of course, but it’s wise to avoid discussing the circumstances of the crash with the other driver. The inverse is also true: if the other driver begins to apologize profusely and offers a narrative about the accident that clearly shows fault, be sure to write down what was said.
- Posting on social media about the accident. For many, posting photos and stories about an accident can feel like a perfectly natural thing to do. But it can have repercussions in any ensuing legal case, where the specific words and photos posted to a social media platform can be used to contradict testimony or establish adverse facts. Social media posts can be used by a defendant to call into question the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, establish that the plaintiff bears at least some fault for the accident, or other important details.
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Nevada should discuss the accident with an experienced accident attorney. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in personal injury and auto accident cases. Contact us today for a free attorney consultation about your accident. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site
Nevada law imposes significant penalties on those who drive drunk, and for good reason. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30 people die every day
in the United States in crashes related to drunk driving. Many more than that are injured by drunk drivers every day. The consequences can be devastating for those who are injured and for their families.
Drunk driving is a crime, punishable in Nevada by a jail term of up to 6 months and a fine for first time offenders. Someone who kills another person as a consequence of drunk driving faces significantly harsher penalties. For the victim of a drunk driving crash, a criminal prosecution may offer solace in some regard, but it won’t necessarily pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other damages associated with injuries.
Even if state prosecutors are pressing charges against a drunk driver, an injured victim (or the victim’s family, if the victim has died or is incapacitated) can sue in civil court for financial compensation. Such a lawsuit probably will seek recovery from the drunk driver’s insurance company, but more than likely will also seek to recover additional damages from the driver personally.
A drunk driver can be sued in civil court regardless of whether prosecutors will press charges, and regardless of whether the drunk driver is found guilty. Criminal courts have higher standards for conviction than the standards applied in civil courts for purposes of determining liability. A criminal conviction of a defendant is conclusive evidence of civil liability in Nevada. NRS 41.133. If a defendant has been convicted of a drunk driving offense, the questions in the civil case may turn to the extent of the damages for which the defendant should be held responsible.
For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in auto accident cases. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, please reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation about your options. Call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site
Like anyone who is injured in an accident, victims of hit-and-run incidents should do what they can to seek compensation from the person who caused the accident. Unfortunately, in a hit-and-run situation the victim rarely has the presence of mind to capture information about the perpetrator. Especially when there isn’t another witness who can help identify the person responsible, recovering compensation can feel like a long shot. But there are steps victims can take to give themselves a chance.
requires drivers who are involved in an accident to give other involved drivers their name, address, registration and insurance information. Drivers are also required to provide aid to people who are injured. Failing to do these things is the definition of “hit and run” in Nevada. A hit and run can involve property damage (i.e., a driver runs into a parked car), personal injury, or a combination. Hit-and-run accidents can also be caused by people on bicycles.
- Gather as much information as you can.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident it can be difficult to remember to look for details about an at-fault driver’s car. Part of that is an assumption many of us have that a driver will do the right thing and stop. But victims and witnesses should do their best to remember as much about the accident and the at-fault person as possible. Taking written notes or recording an oral description can provide important evidence later on. Ideally the driver’s license plate information can be recorded, but absent that, information about the car’s make and model and whatever details can be remembered about the driver can all be helpful to police as they try to track down the hit-and-run suspect. If the accident was witnessed by bystanders it’s important to get their contact information as well. Taking photos of the scene and making other “hard” forms of evidence are all good ideas.
- Report the incident to the police.
Once any emergency medical treatment has been obtained the first important step for a victim to take is to report a hit-and-run accident to police. Provide as many details as possible about the accident. The police will ask for an accident report to be completed. Sometimes a police investigation can track down a hit-and-run driver who tries to get damage to his or her vehicle repaired.
- Report the incident to your insurance company.
Drivers who have insurance policies that include uninsured motorist coverage can often recover something from their policy for a hit and run. The insurance company will be on the alert for fraud, so all the details that were gathered at the scene of the accident will play an important role in bolstering the legitimacy of the claim.
What if the hit-and-run perpetrator is caught?
If the police track down the person who caused the hit-and-run accident they may pursue criminal charges. Hopefully the investigator also lets victims know about the person so the victims have the option of pursuing a civil case as well. Because hit-and-run is a crime, it can be an especially powerful fact in a civil case for damages.
People who commit hit and run violations aren’t necessarily penniless. The urge to flee from responsibility could have many sources besides a driver’s inability to pay for damages. Perhaps the driver was drunk or just in a hurry to get to something important. If the perpetrator can be identified, it’s even more important to talk to an attorney about options for pursuing a lawsuit to recover compensation.
GGRM is a Las Vegas accident law firm
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and accident cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or ask us to call you through our contacts page
A parent rightfully feels a mix of conflicting emotions when a teenager earns a driver’s license and begins driving alone. On the one hand it’s great that teens can get themselves around, giving them access to work opportunities and social events without needing their parents’ help. On the other hand, teenaged drivers are much more likely
than older drivers to get into an accident, and car accidents are still a leading cause of serious injury and death among teenagers. Parents can take steps to improve their teenaged children’s safety on the road.
- Talk to your kids about safe driving habits.
Perhaps the most important thing parents can do to keep their kids safe is to talk about the importance of following safety rules. Reminding your teen that he or she is still learning how to drive well may induce an eye roll or two, but it may also spur second thoughts about making aggressive moves that cross the line into recklessness. Teaching kids about the importance of seat belt use should start well before they learn to drive, but as drivers it’s important to emphasize that both they and their passengers need to buckle up. Teenagers also need to be told about how to deal with fatigue and how to respond calmly to other aggressive drivers on the road.
- Establish and enforce ground rules.
Establishing rules and enforcing them can be effective ways to discourage bad behavior. Some rules should be applied to every teen driver. Drinking or using drugs and then driving is a serious mistake that increases the danger of accidents and puts the driver’s license at risk. Parents should go a step further and take steps to address what may be an early stage of a longer-term problem. Other rules may need to be tailored to a specific teen’s personality. For example, it’s often a good idea to prohibit a teenaged driver from carrying passengers for a period of time, to reduce distractions and potential peer pressure to do something foolish. Some teens may need to be limited in terms of the hours during which they are allowed to drive.
- Talk about costs.
Being up-front about the cost of driving—everything from the cost of cars and gas to the price of insurance and how it can change—can give teenagers an appreciation for the financial risks of accidents. Even if parents will pay some of these costs, teenagers should be asked to bear them in mind. The mechanics of insurance can be especially useful. Perhaps parents can only afford to pay premiums that are set when the teenager has a clean accident record. A teenager who knows this might be more careful about avoiding accidents than one who doesn’t connect his or her behavior with costs.
- Be prepared to take away driving privileges.
Although taking away a teenager’s driving privileges can be a hard step for parents as well as their affected kids, it can be a powerful way to send a message. Even if the law doesn’t step in to stop a teenager from making mistakes, parents should protect themselves and their children by taking away the keys when the teenager has shown a lack of respect for the risks involved in driving.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented accident clients in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. If you have questions about how to manage your teenager’s risks behind the wheel, please give us a call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page