Drunk driving is the leading cause of car accidents in Nevada and across the United States. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 10,497 people died in America in drunk-driving related crashes in 2016; these accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. that year. The same year, more than one million drivers were arrested in the United States for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These arrests, according to the CDC, account for just a mere 1% of 111 million self-reported accounts of drunk-driving among American adults every year. Nevada - Las Vegas in particular - has a high amount of drunk drivers due to its reputation for being a place where wild parties and spontaneous shenanigans happen. Indeed, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Adding to this risk is the lack of available public transportation in Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada.
Steps to Take After an Accident
If you have the unfortunate luck of being involved in a Las Vegas accident and suspect the other driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs, there are several steps you should take right away.
Contact the police immediately: When speaking with local law enforcement, be sure to mention to them that you suspect the other driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Try to avoid communicating with the other driver as he or she will likely become agitated. In fact, it is best not to speak with the other driver at all, if possible.
Get medical attention right away: Even if you are feeling fine after a Las Vegas car accident, you should get checked out by first responders. Keep records of any symptoms that appear right away or even in the days following the collision, whether or not they seem important. Some injuries take days or weeks to present themselves after a car crash.
Collect as much evidence as possible: Taking photos, video footage, getting contact information from witnesses, exchanging insurance information, and getting the responding officer’s name and badge number are all things that you should do after a car accident.
Seeking Monetary Compensation
Under Nevada law, in order to be be considered driving under the influence, a person must have a documented blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. In order to establish this, it is critical for the driver to be tested as quickly as possible after the car accident. The longer the test is delayed, the more likely the results will have a bigger difference from how intoxicated the person actually was at the time of the crash. It is also critical for you to be able to get a copy of the test results as evidence in a personal injury claim. Monetary compensation that may be recovered in a Las Vegas drunk-driving personal injury claim may include coverage for:
Past and future medical expenses;
Pain and suffering;
Loss of past and future wages;
Loss of quality of life;
Loss of companionship.
The statute of limitation for a Nevada personal injury claim - or the time during which a lawsuit must be filed in civil court or any claim to compensation will be forever barred - is two years. This means that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the accident. While this sounds like plenty of time, this passes quickly when you are dealing with medical issues, insurance companies, property damage, and other issues.
Seek Legal Advice
Contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau for help if you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident and you suspect the other driver was intoxicated.
(image courtesy of Oliwier Gesla)