Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney
People often assume catastrophic car accidents won’t happen to them. Yet, thousands of unsuspecting people become victims in serious car wrecks every year, in Las Vegas and throughout the country. Negligent drivers, unsafe roads and other dangerous conditions put drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians perpetually at risk. If you or someone you love has been in a car crash in Las Vegas, come to Claggett & Sykes Law Firm for experienced legal counsel and representation.
Car Accident Statistics in Las Vegas
Looking at the number of car collisions in Nevada can help you understand how many people are affected by negligent driving. Nevada has a Zero Fatality safe-driving plan in place with the goal of getting the statistics down to zero deaths per year. The plan focuses on the most common causes of accidents and high-risk locations throughout the state, such as intersections. According to data from the latest Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), 309 people died and 2,377 sustained serious injuries at intersections in Nevada from 2011 to 2015. Here are a few other facts about intersection accidents:
- About 75% of the Nevada’s intersection accidents occurred in Clark County.
- The people most at risk of intersection-related crashes are male drivers ages 26 to 35.
- Most intersection fatalities involve angle crashes. Single-vehicle crashes were the second-most common.
- The majority (68%) of these accidents occurred during the daytime.
Intersections aren’t the only locations that pose threats to Nevada’s drivers. The Nevada Department of Transportation also focuses on improving the safety of roundabouts, highways, and rural roads. Overall, there were 321 traffic deaths in Nevada in 2015. Clark County has the highest number of traffic fatalities every year, accounting for 136 deaths in 2016. Vehicle occupants account for the most accident-related deaths and serious injuries in Nevada. In fact, 66 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in 2016, compared to 32 motorcyclists, 29 pedestrians and two bicyclists.
About Nevada’s Transportation Network
The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) aims to increase the safety of the state’s roadways. The roads undergo maintenance and infrastructure improvements annually, yet these efforts do not always result in safe roadways. Too often, a poorly designed road or hazardous condition causes preventable wrecks. The more you know about Nevada’s roadway maintenance programs, facts, and infrastructure information, the better you can protect yourself from accidents. Here are a few facts about Nevada’s current transportation network and roadway conditions, according to a 2016 NDOT report:
- There were 2,084,089 registered passenger vehicles Nevada. Large trucks traveled 1.72 billion miles throughout the state in 2016.
- There are 1,163 bridges, 662 miles of urban highway, and 4,735 miles of rural highway.
- The NDOT won an award for repairs to I-15 after rain washed part of it away.
- The state has begun work on Project NEON, which will widen 3.7 miles of I-15 between Sahara Avenue and the “Spaghetti Bowl” interchange in Las Vegas (currently the busiest stretch of highway in Nevada).
- There are several major construction projects underway in 2017: the USA Parkway redesign, Project NEON, I-15/US-93 Garnet build, the I-15 Starr Ave. Interchange construct, US-95 from Durango Drive to Kyle Canyon Road, and FLAP SR-28 from US-50 to Country Club Drive.
- In 2016, the Freeway Service Patrol recorded 17,959 disabled vehicles, 2,977 crashes, and 1,922 incidents of roadway debris in Las Vegas. The total number of mitigations interrupting traffic increased by 6% from the previous year.
- Local counties maintain the majority of roads throughout Nevada. In Clark County, 5,581 roads are under local jurisdiction. The NDOT maintains 762 roads in the county, by comparison. Vehicles traveled 9,787 million miles on locally maintained roads in Clark County in 2015, and 7,265 million miles on NDOT maintained roads.
Keeping up with the locations of major construction projects can help you avoid those areas and reduce your risk of related collisions. Unfortunately, no matter how much effort the NDOT puts into increasing driver and pedestrian safety, there will always be opportunities for collisions.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics in Las Vegas
Distracted driving is a major contributor to car accidents in Clark County. Reckless and negligent drivers engage in distracted driving because they think they can safely multitask. This is never the case. It is impossible for drivers to dedicate 100% of their attention to the road when they are using a mobile device, eating, drinking, or distracted in any way. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people died from distracted driving in 2015. Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.
It’s illegal to use a cell phone or other electronic devices while driving in Nevada. As of 2012, drivers cannot text, send messages, read emails, or make phone calls while operating a vehicle. Nevada’s device laws are primary, meaning law enforcement officers need no other reason to make traffic stops and issue citations. The penalties range from fines of $50 for a first offense to as much as $250 with a six-month license suspension for subsequent offenses. The only state-approved devices are in-vehicle systems that use voice command, hands-free devices, and voice-operated GPS systems.
Las Vegas Drinking and Driving Accident Facts
Las Vegas is a major city for drinking and driving accidents. “Sin City” is famous for the Strip – where it’s legal to walk around with open containers of alcohol. People travel from all over the world to drink, gamble, and party in Clark County. Sadly, this leads to hundreds of alcohol-related collisions in the region every year. From 2011 to 2015, 369 people died and 708 were seriously injured in alcohol-related wrecks in Nevada. Most of these accidents (65%) occurred in Clark County. Male drivers between the ages of 26 and 35 were the largest demographic in these types of fatal and injurious accidents.
The majority of drunk-driving crashes in Clark County occurred on the weekends, with fatalities peaking on Saturdays and serious injuries peaking on Sundays. About 50% of impaired fatalities occurred in overturn accidents, followed by vehicle-pedestrian collisions (25%) and fixed-object accidents (25%). The most common types of alcohol-related crashes in Nevada are single-vehicle, angle, non-collision, rear-end, head-on, sideswipe, and overtaking. The Nevada SHSP strives to reduce drinking and driving through maximized driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement, educational campaigns, and focus on DUI crashes related to drugs.
What to Do After an Car Crash in Las Vegas
If you were involved in a collision and you suffered serious injuries, we encourage you to seek immediate medical treatment – your health is your top priority. Delaying medical care can result in worsened injuries and a longer recovery time. It can also work against you should you pursue a personal injury claim. The judge or jury could see your delay as proof that your injuries weren’t severe or painful. Explain to your doctor what happened during your crash. Keep records of your medical bills, diagnosis, and treatment plan. Here is what to do after a crash
- Stop at the scene and offer assistance. It’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident that resulted in injuries or property damage. You must stay on scene until you can legally take leave. Otherwise, you risk a “hit-and-run” charge and penalties. Stop your vehicle, assess the situation, and offer help as appropriate.
- If your car is blocking traffic and is drivable, move your vehicle out of the way. If you are in a minor accident and it is safe, push any incapacitated vehicles to the side of the road. Use your vehicle’s hazard lights and set out cones or flashers if you have them to warn other drivers of the accident. If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, don’t stay with it. Move yourself to a safe place, away from traffic, while you wait for law enforcement to arrive.
- Don’t admit fault. Nevada is a “fault” state, meaning the driver who causes the crash will be financially liable for damages. Do not apologize to the other party or say the collision was your fault. Wait for an investigation from police or an insurance company to assign fault. There may be an element at play of which you were not aware, such as the other driver’s partial fault or a hazardous road condition.
- Check for injuries. Check to see if you or other parties have injuries. Immediately request an ambulance if there are injuries, and call police. Don’t assume someone else has already called for help. Do not move injured people unless they are in imminent danger; moving an accident victim can make minor injuries major. Stay with the injured person, remain calm, and make the individual as comfortable as possible while you wait for emergency assistance.
- Report the crash to police. In Nevada, you must report a car accident if it results in injuries, death, or more than $750 of property damage. However, we recommend that you always call the police to report an accident as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police are now responding to non-injury collisions as well. You must either call the police or submit a Report of Traffic Accident within ten days of the collision. Stick to the facts when speaking to police officers. Give as detailed an account as possible, including the directions both vehicles were traveling and the names of any eyewitnesses.
- Gather information. Collect as much information about your accident as possible. If you are able to stay on the scene of the crash, gather information, such as the other driver’s name and insurance information. Record facts about the crash while they’re still fresh on your mind. Take down the name of the officer who arrives on scene, and the information of anyone who was involved in the collision or who saw what happened.
- Take photographs. If possible, use a camera or a cell phone to take photos at the scene of the crash. Take pictures of your vehicle, other vehicles or property damage, injuries, the roadway, and any other relevant details. For example, if a tree obscured a stop sign, making the other driver roll through an intersection and crash into you, take a photo of the hazardous condition. Photos can serve as inscrutable evidence during car accident claims and cases.
- Call your insurance company. Most car insurers have strict deadlines for when you must report an accident to qualify for coverage. Call your insurance company as soon as possible and explain what happened. Follow the agent’s instructions for reporting. Do not admit fault. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, do not give a recorded statement or accept a settlement before speaking to an attorney.
- Create an accident file. If you think you will need to take legal action to pursue compensation for your accident-related damages, create an organized file documenting everything from the crash. This includes the police report and any medical documents. The more information you can gather, the stronger your case.
- Get a lawyer. Finally, speak with a personal injury attorney about your Las Vegas car accident. A lawyer can help you understand what to do and what not to do following a harmful collision. A lawyer can also undertake communications with insurance companies on your behalf, negotiate a settlement, or take your case to court if necessary.
Claggett & Sykes Law Firm offers free case evaluations for car accident claims in Nevada. Keep our number in case you ever need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. Call (702) 333-7777 to speak with one of our attorneys today.