A car accident can change your life in an instant. The injuries you sustain can negatively affect your finances, ability to work, and interact with your loved ones. In fatal cases, you will lose your loved one.
There are different types of car accidents, depending on the number of vehicles involved and the affected parts. These accidents have varying severity of property damage and injuries.
If you are injured in a car accident, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, you will need the help of an attorney.
At G. Dallas Horton & Associates, we work hard to ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve to make them whole again. We help you establish fault in the accident and negotiate a fair settlement for you.
Car Accidents Overview
Nevada is one of the top states in America, with some of the worst drivers. This means that the risk of being in an accident is very high.
These accidents are responsible for many catastrophic injuries that affect your ability to work, play, or relate with your friends and family. Some of these injuries include loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, and spinal injuries.
These injuries will alter the quality of your life and might cost you a lot to recover. You can, therefore, pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover these damages. Some of the damages you can recover include:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical costs, including the costs of treatment, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation. You can also recover the value of future medical expenses.
- Pain and suffering
- Burial and funeral expenses if your loved one is killed in the accident or succumbs to the injuries
Most road accidents arise due to avoidable errors. These mistakes arise due to disobedience to the law and negligence.
The common causes of car accidents include:
- Drunk or drugged driving: drugs, prescription, or hard drugs affect your ability to make sound judgments and operate a vehicle. This increases the risks that you will cause an accident. Prescription drugs can also lead to drowsiness behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving: driving requires that you put all your attention on the road and other motorists to ensure that you spot and avoid hazards promptly. However, if you are distracted by texting, eating, adjusting your radio, or communicating with passengers, you are at a higher risk of causing a crash.
- Speeding and aggressive driving, which increase the risk of losing control. Speeding also reduces the ability to stop and increases the severity of a crash on impact with another vehicle or stationary object.
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to observe traffic rules
- Running a red light
- Road hazards
- Weather conditions
When a driver fails to adhere to these traffic regulations, he or she is breaching the duty of care to other road users. The duty of care places responsibility upon drivers and other road users to watch out for each other and themselves to prevent an accident.
Breaching the duty of care is an act of negligence, which places others at risk of injury or death. As a victim of a negligent driver, you can file a claim or personal injury lawsuit against the party to recover the value of your losses.
The amount you recover will depend on the seriousness and extent of your injuries, the value of property damages, the future medical costs, and the effect the accident has on the quality of your life.
You can be involved in one of many types of car accidents. These accidents differ depending on the angle of collision, the number of vehicles and people involved in the accident.
The type of accident you are involved in will also influence the types of injuries you sustain and the damage to your car. The common accidents in Nevada include:
1. Rear-End Collisions
There were more than 2.4 million rear-end collisions in the nation in 2016. Out of these, about 2300 crashes were fatal, with more than 700,000 crashes resulting in injuries. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accidents in the nation, accounting for up to a third of all the accidents.
Nevada laws require that drivers maintain a safe distance with the preceding cars. The distance should be such that the tailing vehicle can stop in time in case of an emergency.
Rear-end collisions occur when the tailing car bumps into the leading car. The common causes of rear-end collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Tailgating (where the tailing driver follows the leading car too closely)
- Panic stops by the lead driver
- Weather (wet conditions increase the risk of hydroplaning and crashing into other vehicles. Poor visibility can also increase the risk of a rear-end accident happening)
- Poor road conditions which cause the vehicle to lose control
The severity of rear-end collisions depends on the rigidity of both vehicles and the speed. A less rigid vehicle that collides with a rigid vehicle such as a truck will experience a bigger impact of the crash. The people in the smaller vehicle could sustain serious or even fatal injuries, while those in the truck may not be injured.
The common injury from rear-end collisions is whiplash due to the sudden jerking movement. The injuries can be mild to severe with lifetime consequences, including paralysis.
Rear-end accidents are usually the fault of the tailing vehicle. The tailing vehicle must always maintain a safe distance with the leading vehicle. The only exception is when the leading vehicle was in reverse gear.
2. Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions are a deadly type of accident that occurs when two cars from opposite directions collide. These accidents are known for higher rates of deaths, especially if the cars were moving at high speed.
Head-on collisions are common on:
- Roads with sharp curves and narrow lanes
- Road without separation lines to separate opposing traffic
- Roads with a high volume of traffic
These accidents also happen due to steering overcorrection. Steering overcorrection happens when a driver suddenly turns in the opposite direction to avoid:
- Hitting a road defect
- Another vehicle that has swerved into your lane
- Weather conditions
- Animals crossing the road
Head-on collisions are usually due to the negligence of one or both drivers. The common causes include drunk driving, speeding, reckless driving, and losing control of the vehicle.
Head-on collisions are responsible for serious to life-threatening injuries. The common injuries include traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, broken limbs, amputations, and back and spinal injuries.
These injuries often have a life-changing effect on the individual and their family. But you can hold the liable driver accountable for his or her negligence by filing a claim against the driver. You can also file the claim if you lost a loved one due to the crash.
3. Intersection Accidents
An intersection accident is one that happens when going through an intersection or crossing into another lane. These accidents are common due to reckless and negligent driving. In some cases, they can occur due to poor design of the intersection or malfunctioning traffic signals.
The factors that increase the chances of an intersection accident occurring include:
- Inattention and inadequate surveillance by the driver
- A false assumption of the other driver’s move
- Turning with an obstructed view
- Making an illegal maneuver
- Failing to obey traffic signals, yield signs and stop signals
- Distracted driving for example due to texting
- Misjudgment of the position of another motorist
- Aggressive driving
An intersection accident can lead to a side-impact collision or a T-bone crash. These crashes can cause severe injuries since the side of the car offers minimal protection from the impact of the crash.
Intersection accidents cause severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, neck injury, broken bones, spinal injuries, soft tissue injuries, and back injuries.
4. Side-Impact Collisions
Intersection accidents are the leading cause of side-impact accidents. These are accidents in which the front of a car crashes into the side of another vehicle. Side impact collisions contribute to more than 8,000 deaths annually.
The severity of a side-impact collision will depend on:
- The speed at which the cars were driving
- The safety features in the car
- The part of the vehicle affected
- The weight and construction of the cars
Cars usually have a crumple zone, which absorbs much of the energy from the collision. However, some accidents are so severe that the affected car rolls over or spins out of control.
The occupant next to the affected part suffers the most severe injuries, and in some cases, he or she might die.
Cars that are equipped with side-impact airbags can provide some protection to the affected occupants in case of a crash.
Side impact crashes can result from defects in a vehicle. Some of these defects include failed brakes or airbags that will not deploy.
If you are involved in such an accident, you need to contact an attorney to help you establish fault in an accident.
5. Low-Speed Collisions
A low-speed collision is one that occurs when the cars are driving at less than ten mph. These are less severe accidents with a lesser impact compared to high-speed collisions. Low-speed collisions can include:
- Bumping into the leading car
- Backing into another car at the parking lot
- Sideswiping a parked car or another stationary object
Low impact collisions occur due to several reasons, including:
- Distracted driving
- Poor visibility
- Failing to check blind spots before changing lanes
- Miscommunication between drivers who think they both have the right of way
- Weather and road conditions
Low impact collisions do not minimize the impact of an injury. These collisions are also responsible for neck injuries and back injuries. These injuries are common since the impact of the collision jerks the body in an unnatural and uncontrolled way.
6. Single Vehicle Collisions
A single-vehicle collision is a traffic accident involving only one vehicle. These accidents are common where the driver is fatigued, drunk, distracted, or is driving at excessive speeds.
These factors, coupled with road and weather conditions, can cause the car to roll over, run off the road, or collide with debris and rocks on the road. Other conditions that increase the risk of single-vehicle collisions include:
- Car defects
- Insufficient curve banking
- Narrow lanes
- Poor drainage
Most drivers in single-vehicle collisions are at fault for the accident. However, other parties could be responsible. Nevada follows the principle of negligence when establishing fault in car accidents.
Therefore, a driver in a single-vehicle crash cannot be liable for the accident if he or she followed traffic rules, and acted with reasonable care when driving. Some of the instances he or she may not be responsible for the crash include:
- The driver crashes while attempting to avoid a distracted driver who is on the wrong lane
- The car had a design or manufacturing flaw
- The road had a hazard which led to the crash
You can recover compensation for your damages if you can prove that you were not responsible for a single-vehicle crash.
7. Pedestrian Accidents
Collisions involving cars and pedestrians are common in Las Vegas. Vehicle collisions involving pedestrians would cause severe injuries to the pedestrians, especially if the car were moving at high speeds.
Pedestrians have less protection compared to the occupants of the car. This means that their body absorbs the full impact of the accidents, often with fatal results.
Pedestrians could also be sandwiched between two colliding cars. The fatalities in such accidents are higher.
The common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving and walking
- Failure to obey traffic laws and signs
- Drunk driving
- Poor visibility
- Left-hand turns
- Improper use of a crosswalk
- Failure to signal when driving, especially when a driver is making a turn
Collisions involving pedestrians are of different types, including:
- Intersection accidents where a pedestrian suddenly enters the road
- Collisions when passengers are crossing in front of a parked vehicle
- Backup accidents when the driver fails to check before reversing in a parking lot
If you are injured in a car accident, you can sue the at-fault driver to recover damages for your injuries. You deserve this compensation since the injuries you sustain are often catastrophic and require expensive medication, rehabilitation, and future costs.
8. Multi-Vehicle Collisions
Multivehicle or chain reaction car accidents are the deadliest forms of car accidents. They involve several vehicles and multiple injuries and fatalities. Severe multi-vehicle collisions have been known to include more than a hundred vehicles.
Poor visibility on roads is the most common cause of multiple vehicle collisions, as the driver behind may not see the car ahead of him or her leading to a crash. Other vehicles then crash into these vehicles leading to a chain reaction.
Even in good visibility, conditions such as black ice and blind curves can lead to multiple vehicle accidents.
Speeding also increases the severity of these accidents since drivers do not have sufficient time to stop without colliding with the crashed vehicles.
Multiple vehicle collisions also trap the innermost cars, thus making it hard to access survivors. Those whose injuries require immediate care often succumb to the injuries. A fire can also spread rapidly, increasing the severity of the injuries.
Identifying the at-fault party in a multiple vehicle accident is a complicated process. While it is easy to assume that the first driver was at-fault, other factors influence the accident. These factors may include:
- The weather conditions
- The road conditions
- The speed at which other drivers were traveling
- Manufacturer defects
Where no party admits fault, then the attorneys must investigate the case to determine the possible causes and the contribution of other drivers to the crash. These accidents require a serious gathering of evidence and evaluation of the possible factors that –played a role in the accident.
Sometimes, an attorney could use an expert to provide fresh insights into the case. Statements from other drivers and onlookers can also help in establishing fault in the accident.
What to do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatizing event. Most people are unsure about what to do when involved in an accident and could end up making mistakes that will cost them in the future.
The actions you take immediately after an accident can make a lot of difference. First, it allows you to take the initiative and charge of the situation. If you can, you are able to gather the details of the accident so that you can use them during a personal injury claim.
Some of the steps to take include:
- You should remain at the scene of the accident to help anyone who needs medical assistance. You are also legally required to remain at the scene to avoid charges for hit and run.
- Seek medical assistance for yourself and others who may need it. Helping with medical assistance includes calling 911 and offering first aid if you can.
- Move to a safe area to prevent blocking traffic or worsening the accident. However, be careful about moving injured persons as this could worsen their injuries. Also, warn oncoming traffic about the accident.
- Exchange information with other parties involved in the accident. The information you should collect includes the license plate numbers, the description of the car, including the make, model, and car. You should also get the contact information of the other driver(s), including the address, the insurance company, and the coverage number and the driver's license information.
- Collect the contact information of witnesses and their accounts of what happened during the accident
- Do not assign or admit fault. The words you say at the scene of the accident can haunt you later. You might think you are at-fault, only to realize another person was at fault or contributed to the accident. Therefore, let the investigators do their job to establish fault in the accident.
- Do not say you are not injured to the other driver or parties in the accident. Remember, the adrenaline released during the accident can mask your pain. You are also less likely to identify internal injuries, especially if you seem okay on the outside. Seek medical attention first before you rule out the possibility of an injury.
- Gather as much evidence and notes as you can. You should record the date and time of the accident, the location, the speed estimate for each of the cars, and the road and weather conditions. Record the information as clearly and as accurately as you remember. Details of the accident may fade over time as you recover, or due to the injuries, you suffer. Take photographs and videos of the accident scene and any external injuries you have.
- Report the accident immediately or within ten days if anyone was injured or if any property worth more than $750 was damaged. You should also report the accident to your insurance provider even if you were not responsible for the accident. Your insurance company will conduct its investigation, which increases the company’s ability to defend your claim.
- Hire a personal injury attorney to help you with the case. The attorney will investigate the probable cause of the accident as well as the liable party. He or she can also help you recover the value of the damages you suffer from the accident.
Find a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
A car accident has the potential to change your life forever. These accidents happen in an instant and are often due to human errors. These errors could be the driver’s fault, a manufacturer, the government body responsible for maintaining the road and the victim.
You can recover damages, including medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. You can recover these damages even if you were at fault; you just have to prove that the other party was at least 50% responsible.
G. Dallas Horton & Associates fight for your right to compensation after a car accident. We help you establish fault in the accident and negotiate for the compensation you deserve. We have made it our commitment to serving you with dedication by leveraging our knowledge and experience in dealing with car accident settlements in Las Vegas.
Call us at 702-820-5917 so that we can discuss your case. You can also visit our offices for a one-on-one consultation.