Car accidents are among the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. Although insurance has a role to play in easing the burdens caused by car crashes, insurance companies sometimes compound the problem by attempting to unreasonably limit or deny coverage.
Even with appropriate insurance payouts, victims may need to pursue additional compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The attorneys at Dimopoulos Law Firm are dedicated to helping victims seek compensation after a devastating car accident caused by the negligence of another driver. We will help you hold all liable parties accountable, including insurance companies, and push for a resolution that adequately covers your medical bills, property loss and other damages.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents and Injuries
What Type Of Car Accident Have You Experienced?
The attorneys at Dimopoulos Law Firm are ready to help you seek the compensation you need and are entitled to. No matter what type of car accident you have been involved in, we are the firm to call.
Keep reading to learn about common car accident scenarios and causes:
- Intersection crashes: These often stem from one or more drivers running red lights, illegally turning, failing to yield or otherwise disobeying traffic signals. Although many people think of these accidents as “fender benders,” they can actually be highly injurious or fatal.
- Left-turn accidents: Whether at an intersection or on a divided road, these accidents occur when one driver attempts to turn left across oncoming traffic without ensuring that the path is clear. When the oncoming driver is on a motorcycle or in a small vehicle, left-turn accidents can easily result in paralysis or death.
- Rear-end crashes: These involve a driver crashing into the back of the vehicle ahead of them (often at a stoplight or stop sign or in a parking lot). Rear-end crashes can result in head, neck and spinal cord injuries as well as whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries. These injuries may not be noticed right away, so it is important to be examined by a doctor prior to taking any legal or insurance actions.
- Head-on collisions: Depending on the speed of both vehicles, head-on collisions can be highly injurious or fatal. Common injuries include broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries and cuts/bruises.
- Side-impact accidents: More commonly known as T-bone accidents, these involve the front of one car smashing into the side of another vehicle. The person most likely to be hurt or killed in this scenario is the driver or passenger of the car that is struck (depending on which side of the vehicle takes the impact).
- Back-up and back-over accidents: These are likely to occur in parking lots and when backing out of driveways — particularly when driver visibility is limited. Injuries vary depending on the speed of the moving vehicle and whether it strikes another vehicle or strikes/backs over a pedestrian.
- No-contact accidents: Someone can be at fault for an accident, even if they never touch your vehicle. Whether someone swerves into your lane (forcing you to swerve) or dashes out in front of your vehicle, emergency maneuvering can force you off the road or cause you to hit something else. Injuries depend on the specifics of the situation, but the other driver could nonetheless be held liable if they are found to be at fault.
- Distracted driving: Can be caused by any number of activities that a drivers could be doing instead of focusing on driving. Distracted by their smartphone, eating food, dealing with children in the vehicle, and talking, regardless of whether or not they are doing so hands-free, all contribute to drivers not paying attention to the road ahead. While distracted, drivers can end up hitting other vehicles or even pedestrians.
- Drunk Driving, Driving Under the Influence: Whether from drugs or alcohol, Driving while intoxicated is a serious threat to others on the road. From reduced attention spans and reckless behavior to hallucinating and falling asleep, intoxication can often cause loss of control and car crashes.
- Speeding: Just a few miles over the speed limit, or blasting past 100 miles per hour, drivers that disobey speed limits are unable to stop in time if there is danger ahead. This often leads to rear-end and head-on collisions, which are notorious for serious spine, neck and back injuries to car occupants.
- Reckless Driving: Safe drivers rely on other drivers to drive safely as well, but that is all too often not the case. Speeding, swerving, street racing, disobeying traffic signs and signals, not using turn signals, tailgating and more contribute to reckless driving. These drivers put both themselves and others at serious risk by ignoring even the most basic road rules.
- Drowsy Driving, Driving While Asleep: With so many overworked, exhausted drivers on the road today, driving while drowsy or even asleep has quickly become one of the biggest driving dangers. Sleepiness affects attention, reaction times and ability to make decisions. According to the CDC, driving while drowsy can be as bad, if not worse, than driving while drunk. Being awake for more than 24 hours is equivalent to driving with a blood-alcohol level of .10%, well above the .08% legal limit in all states.
Car Accident Injuries
Although the damage to your vehicle can be expensive to fix, the damage to your health is the most concerning aspect of any car accident. In the aftermath of a serious crash, injuries and related health problems can be debilitating, with effects that last for years or a lifetime.
No two car accidents are exactly alike, and the specific injuries you may suffer are also unique. We represent crash victims who suffer a wide variety of injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries: These usually result from the head hitting the steering wheel, a window or other parts of the vehicle’s interior during a crash. The symptoms and long-term effects of a TBI can vary significantly, but these injuries always need to be regarded as serious.
- Back and spinal cord injuries: The risks associated with spinal cord injuries should not be underestimated. Even if the spinal cord is not broken during a crash (leading to temporary or permanent paralysis), damaging the spinal cord or bones in the spine can lead to reduced mobility, chronic pain, loss of sensation or numbness/tingling.
- Internal damage: After a crash, not all injuries will be visible. Internal bleeding or damage to organs in your torso (often related to seat belt pressure) can be serious or life-threatening. Again, it is important to be examined by a doctor, even if you initially feel fine.
- Knee and leg injuries: Ranging from broken bones to dislocated knees to tearing and spraining of soft tissue, these injuries can lead to chronic pain or limited mobility.
- Whiplash and other neck injuries: A sudden jerking of the head puts considerable strain on the tissues, muscles and tendons in the neck. Although whiplash injuries can resolve quickly on their own, they often lead to chronic pain, reduced mobility of the head/neck and other problems. Sometimes, the symptoms are not immediately felt, so it is important to be examined by a doctor after a car accident.
- Face, jaw and dental injuries: After a crash, cuts and bruises are often the least of your concerns. Due to the head jostling around forcefully, it is common to experience jaw dislocation, teeth being knocked out and fractures to the bones in the face.
Additional injuries associated with car accidents can include amputations, lacerations, fractured or broken bones, burns and crush injuries.
Car Accident Statistics
Sadly, Nevada is one of the top-ten most dangerous places to drive in America. Our state is ranked in TENTH place for worst drivers in the country in 2019, according to a study from CarInsuranceComparison.com, using data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the SIXTH time since 2011 that Nevada has placed in the top 10. In the same study, Nevada also ranked:
- SIXTH place for careless driving
- ELEVENTH place for failure to obey traffic laws
- SIXTEENTH place for speeding
- THIRTY-THIRD for drunk driving
This is the THIRD time since 2011 that Nevada held the dishonor of ranking in the top 10 for careless driving, which shows that our state is especially dangerous for bicycle accidents and pedestrians, according to the study.
Sadly, car accidents resulted in 302 fatalities across the state in 2019, according to the Nevada Departments of Public Safety & Transportation. This year looks to be even worse; as of Sep. 22, 2020, there have been 189 fatalities, a 4% increase from this point in 2019.
With such a high potential for a car crash, it is important to have a great car accident attorney in mind before you run into trouble.
Have You Been Injured On A Freeway Near Las Vegas?
The freeways and highways in and around Las Vegas are heavily traveled and, in many cases, dangerous. In fact, the stretch of Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is considered one of the deadliest in the country. I-15 is notorious, but I-215 and I-515 are also notably dangerous.
Some of these roads are dangerous due to their design or the surrounding terrain. But in many cases, the most significant dangers come from other drivers. Hazards include:
- Distraction and inattention behind the wheel
- Fatigued or drowsy drivers (especially truck drivers)
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Vehicle maintenance issues
- Aggressive driving
If you have been seriously injured in a freeway accident, call the dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Dimopoulos Law Firm. We have the skills and resources to investigate your accident, determine causes and contributing factors, and pursue compensation from all liable parties.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents
The streets of Las Vegas are filled with commercial vehicles that do everything from delivering goods to transporting tourists. Most of the time, these trucks, vans, buses and cars blend in with regular traffic without incident. But when a commercial driver causes an accident, it can be devastating.
There are also numerous layers of liability. Unlike someone driving a personal car for individual transportation, a commercial driver is driving in a professional context. He or she is usually employed by a company responsible for hiring, training and monitoring that worker to ensure safe practices behind the wheel. After an injurious or fatal crash, both the at-fault driver and the company they work for may be held liable.
Dimopoulos Law Firm is ready to help you pursue compensation after being injured by any type of commercial vehicle, including:
- Delivery trucks and vans
- 15-passenger vans and similar-sized vehicles
- Large buses
- Shuttle buses and vans
- Semi trucks
- Garbage and recycling trucks
- Construction vehicles driven on city streets
- Municipal vehicles (police, fire, mail, etc.)
Common issues in commercial vehicle crashes include examples of negligence by commercial vehicle drivers, transportation companies or both. Common causes of these accidents include:
- Inattentive driving
- Distracted driving
- Driver error
- Equipment failure
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Driver fatigue
- Poor training or inadequate experience
- Improperly secured cargo or excessive weight
Injured As A Taxi, Uber Or Lyft Passenger? We Can Help.
Taxis have long been a fixture in Las Vegas, and ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are growing more popular all the time. Although it is great to have transportation options other than renting or owning a car, your safety is at the mercy of your driver.
When accidents occur, these commercial drivers (and the companies they work for) can be held liable. However, while taxis and ride-sharing companies provide the same service, the legal aftermath of an accident can be very different depending on which type of company you are dealing with:
- Taxi accidents: Because taxi services are regulated and well-established, liability is fairly straightforward. These companies are required to be well-insured. If you can show that the driver or taxi company was at fault for the crash, there should be no surprises or unreasonable obstacles in seeking compensation.
- Ride-sharing accidents: At first glance, Uber and Lyft may seem like taxis with less expensive fares. Unfortunately, however, the cheaper fares may not be worth the legal uncertainty after an accident. Ride-sharing services rely on nonprofessional drivers and a patchwork of insurance coverage. Insurance coverage can change from minute to minute depending on what conditions are necessary for the driver to be considered “on duty.” Drivers may think they are covered only to learn their ride-sharing company has narrowed its coverage to deny its own liability for the crash. This can leave the driver and the victim in a serious mess.
At Dimopoulos Law Firm, we represent victims of nearly any motor vehicle crash scenario, including ride-sharing and taxi accidents. We know the laws and we know how commercial drivers and carriers try to exploit loopholes to limit their own liability for crashes.
We will fight for you and work tirelessly to get you the compensation you are legally entitled to.
What to Do After You’re Involved in a Car Accident
The first thing you should do after an accident is take a deep breath and try to remain calm so you can properly assess the situation and make good decisions about what to do next.
- Check to make sure that all drivers and passengers are not still in danger of being struck or injured. Move to the side of the road if you are not already out of harm’s way.
- Ask each person involved if they are seriously injured. If someone says “yes” or is unable to answer, call 911 immediately.
- If there are minor injuries (or no apparent injuries), it is still a good idea to call for help, either in the form of a police car, an ambulance or both.
STOP DRIVING AND PULL OVER:
When you are involved in any car accident, no matter how small, do not drive away. Fight-or-flight instincts can be powerful, but do not panic. You are legally required to stop. If you are found to be fleeing the scene of an accident, you can face serious legal consequences, including time in prison. If the other driver or drivers involved in the accident attempt to drive away, stay at the scene and report the incident to the police.
CHECK FOR INJURIES:
Car accidents are often terrifying experiences. Your fight-or-flight reflexes can kick in, causing you to panic. Try your best to remain calm, as panicking is not safe for you or others involved in the accident. Take slow, deep, calming breaths if necessary, to avoid hyperventilating. Once you are more clear-headed, check yourself and any passengers for obvious injuries. Make sure everyone inside your vehicle is not in immediate danger and that they are conscious. If anyone in your vehicle is injured in a car accident, call an ambulance immediately. Do not attempt to move anyone that is unconscious or may have neck or back injuries unless absolutely necessary, such as a fire. While your instincts may be to help, moving people in such conditions may cause more harm.
ENSURE THE SITUATION IS SAFE:
Before moving out of the roadway or exiting your vehicle, check your surroundings. Look to see where your vehicle has stopped. Check for signs of a nearby fire, such as smoke. If so, exit the vehicle as soon as possible. Check for signs of dangers outside the vehicle as well, such as downed power lines. If so, remain in your vehicle until help arrives and it is safe to exit. Nevada law requires that you move your vehicle out of traffic if it is safe to do so. If possible, get out of the flow of traffic and to a safe place, such as the side of the road. Nevada law also requires that you give “reasonable assistance” to anyone injured at the crash scene. This may include steps such as arranging transportation to a doctor or hospital if the injuries appear to need treatment. Put any anger aside and ensure that anyone else involved in the accident is not in immediate danger and call an ambulance if necessary.
CALL THE POLICE:
Nevada law requires you to notify the police or the Nevada Highway Patrol if you are involved in a crash in which anyone is killed or injured, unless an officer is already at the scene or you are too injured to do so. However, it is in your best interest to call the police for even minor motor vehicle accidents. If the other driver tries to convince you not to contact the police, it may be a sign that they are in legal trouble, such as having a warrant or lacking insurance or a driver’s license. Information gathered by the police can be critical to your insurance claim or any legal action resulting from the accident. It can also help protect against scams, such as the other driver or passengers later claiming injuries and blaming you for the accident. Answer any questions the police may ask as simply and truthfully as possible.
EXCHANGE NECESSARY INFORMATION:
Nevada law requires that you exchange information with the other individuals involved in any accident. This information includes your name, contact phone number, and car insurance information. However, other details can be helpful to know, including the make, model and year of the vehicles involved as well as time and location of the accident. You do not need to provide a copy or picture of your driver’s license; doing so can put you at risk for identity theft. If your accident involved an unoccupied motor vehicle, Nevada law requires that you either find the owner or leave your name and contact information securely in an easy-to-see location. A good example would be to leave a business card with a written note under the wiper on the front windshield.
While at the scene of the car accident, gather as much information and evidence as you can. The more you have, the better your chances are if any legal issues occur. Find out if there are any witnesses and get their contact information for future testimonials. Take photos of the scene, including all vehicles involved from several angles, including the interior. Pictures of any nearby signs, traffic signals, or debris and obstacles are also great assets. Photographic proof can protect you from the other drivers or passengers changing their stories after the motor vehicle accident.
- Visually assess the amount of damage to all vehicles involved and take pictures if you can.
- Write down license plate numbers and exchange insurance information with other drivers.
- Call police to the scene, have them file a report and provide them with your license and insurance information.
- Give factual answers when asked but avoid giving a detailed statement until you’ve had time to think it over and consult with an attorney.
Things to avoid after a car accident:
- Do not admit fault for the crash.
- Do not say things like “I’m OK” or “I’m not hurt.” You may not know the extent of your injuries until examined by a doctor.
- Do not make any statements about fault, liability or blame — especially statements that could limit your ability to pursue legal action later.
- Do not give more information to insurance companies than what is immediately necessary.
- Be wary of signing any documents, and do not sign anything without reading it carefully.
DON’T TALK, DON’T POST:
Other than exchanging the legally required information, you should talk with the other parties involved as little as possible. While emotions and tensions are high on both sides, you may accidentally say something incriminating, such as apologizing even if you are not at fault. You may also anger the other driver, which could result in a fight. Do not respond to angry threats or insults from the other parties. Let the police, insurance representatives, and your Las Vegas car accident attorneys handle things. You should resist the urge to post photos or videos on social media. In this new digital age, drivers and passengers all too often post things on social media that can come back to hurt them in future legal matters.
GO TO THE HOSPITAL:
- Seek medical attention if you feel (or even suspect) that you need to be examined for injuries.
- Pay attention to signs of injury or pain over the next few days.
- Write down everything you can remember about the accident. You may need it later.
Even if you think you or your passengers are fine, you should go to a nearby hospital and get checked out. Many injuries that can occur in car accidents are not easy to see or feel, especially shortly after a car accident when you may be in shock. This includes injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, organ damage, neck and back injuries, and spinal cord damage. Catching these issues early is of the utmost importance, not only for your safety but also for potential legal matters. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the other parties involved, and medical documentation of the injuries shortly after the accident are incredibly valuable in court.
INFORM NECESSARY PARTIES:
Was anyone injured or killed in the Nevada auto accident? Did there appear to be $750 or more in damage to the motor vehicle or property? If so, Nevada law requires drivers to submit a Nevada DMV Report of Traffic Accident Report (SR-1) as soon as possible, at most within 10 days of a collision.
If the police or Highway Patrol submitted a Nevada accident report including the driver’s contact and insurance information, you are not required to submit your own report. However, to be safe, it is recommended that you still do so.
Most car insurance companies require that you notify them of any accidents, as well as file an auto insurance claim. While some drivers may be tempted to not notify their insurance for minor, injury-free accidents, you can face consequences if your insurance finds out another way, such as from a police report.
Other than the basic legally-required exchange of information and reporting, you should limit contact with anyone else if you intend to hire an attorney.
CONSULT A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY:
Talk to a car accident attorney as soon as possible for a free case evaluation. They can let you know what you are facing in court and if you may be entitled to any damages. They will also be able to handle any further communication for you. Let your car accident lawyer handle matters with the government, police, your insurance, and other parties involved in the accident. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who can counsel you on your rights and make sure your interests are being served by the insurance company. Speaking of the insurance company, your lawyer is there to talk to them, so you don’t have to. Your focus should be healing from your injuries and taking care of your loved ones, not fighting with the insurance company and sifting through medical documents. Your insurance company will do everything in their power to pay you as little as possible, as will the insurance of the other driver. An experienced car accident attorney can get you the money you deserve. Likewise, you may be entitled to compensation from the other parties involved in the accident. An injury attorney can help you get that compensation. IF the other parties involved hire their own attorneys, you should absolutely hire your own legal protection as soon as possible. Do not sign any documents without first talking to your car accident lawyer.
Your lawyer can make sure you don’t bear the burden of a crash you’re not responsible for and ensure that you get the full compensation you deserve for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other damages.
What are the Rights of a Car Accident Victim?
If you are a car accident victim, you have the right to receive compensation. This may be from the other party’s insurance company, directly from them, or both. You have the right to file an insurance claim against the negligent driver. However, you may be entitled to more than the insurance initially provides. You may also be entitled to compensation and damages from other parties that may be at fault for the accident, some of whom you may not even be aware of, such as car manufacturers. Hiring an auto accident attorney is the best way to determine who owes you damages and compensation for your accident case.
Nevada is an at-fault state. This means that if someone else causes the accident, they are at fault for any injury or damage done to you or your property.
The most obvious possible at-fault party is the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Drivers are required to drive safely and follow all traffic laws at all times. Failure to do so constitutes negligence, which can impose financial responsibility, or liability, on the driver for any harm they caused. It is also possible that other parties may be at-fault and owe you compensation. Essentially any person, company, or public entity that engages in dangerous conduct that leads to an accident can be at-fault. This includes the organizations that maintain the roadways if unsafe conditions led to a crash, the manufacturer or repair company that built or repaired your vehicle if parts are a cause of the accident, and more.
Sometimes, the blame for an accident may not be fully placed on one driver or another. Nevada law state that in cases where both drivers are partially to blame, they may both share a portion of the at-fault status. However, under the state’s modified comparative negligence laws, you may still be entitled to damages from the other driver, as long as they are at least 50% to blame.
Figuring out what you are owed can be difficult, but a great Las Vegas car accident attorney can help you pursue your damages for maximum compensation.
Types of Damages and Compensation for Car Accident Victims
Medical Bills: If you are injured in a car accident, any medical bills that you incur from treatment of injuries directly related to the accident may be counted among damages. This includes physical therapy, rehabilitation, past and current treatments, as well as all future treatment that is anticipated due to the injuries you sustained from the accident, and any costs related to your health insurance.
Property Loss: The cost to properly repair or replace your motor vehicle is usually the first thing compensation is awarded for. However, while it is the most obvious damage under property loss, it is not all that is covered. Any property that was within the vehicle at the time of the accident that requires repair or replacement may also be counted.
Lost Wages: Injuries sustained from an accident all too often result in missed time at work or even potential loss of employment. Any lost wages or benefits incurred as a result of an accident may be counted.
Loss of Future Earnings: When a car accident leads to injuries that impact a victim’s ability to return to their current job or their profession entirely, these damages can be counted. This may also include any lost earnings due to returning to work in a diminished capacity.
Pain and Suffering: Direct physical injuries may not be the only damage you face after an automobile accident. The mental impact an accident can have may also be counted, such as depression and post-traumatic stress, as well as generalized pain.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Injuries from a car accident can have a serious impact on your lifestyle, including changing your ability to participate in activities you love and other life pleasures. These damages can help offset the detrimental impact on your changed life.
Punitive Damages: When a defendant is shown to have acted in a willfully negligent or dangerous manner, you may be entitled to damages. Punitive damages are put in place as a punishment for their behavior and to serve as a deterrent of repeating those actions in the future.
Hire a Nevada Car Accident Lawyer Today
Car accidents are traumatic experiences that can have a life-altering impact on their victims. If you have suffered as a victim of a car accident, you have many options available to you to get the financial compensation you deserve. You need an experienced, exceptional, trustworthy, and tenacious team to have your back in court. At Dimopoulos Law Firm, we will fight to protect your rights in any car accident damage claims. If money is an issue, do not worry, there are no fees unless we win.
At our law firm, our attorneys will investigate the accident as quickly as possible and review all evidence. We will gather and preserve all evidence and documents that will establish fault for your accident case. We will also investigate your case thoroughly to find all the damages you’ve endured as a result of another driver’s negligence.
At our Las Vegas law office, our attorneys will handle the motions and legal filings needed to start and continue the process of fighting for your legal compensation. Dimopoulos Law Firm will take care of the legal case so you can focus on your recovery. Our attorneys will communicate with everyone involved in the accident and put together the legal case for you, taking the burden and stress off your shoulders. With our team on your side, Insurance companies, at-fault parties and the government will take your case seriously and give you the respect and compensation you deserve.
Contact Us For A Free Discussion About Your Case
With an office in Las Vegas, Dimopoulos Law Firm serves clients throughout the area. To discuss your legal needs and schedule a free consultation with a skilled personal injury lawyer, call us at 702-476-0005 or send us an email.