According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in children. Even worse, a significant number of these accidents can be prevented. In 2018 alone, 636 children (12 years and younger) passed away from a motor vehicle crash. In addition, 97,000 of these children suffered some type of injury.
There is nothing worse for any family than seeing their child hurt, especially in a car accident that can ultimately impact the rest of their lives. In this blog, we want to address some of these concerns. Specifically, discussing the injuries that children can experience following a car accident, the actions you can take to protect your child from these devastating injuries, and how a Las Vegas personal injury attorney can fight for the damages your child deserves following a life-changing car crash.
Because a child’s body and brain are still developing, when a child is involved in a motor vehicle accident, the injuries that result can lead to emotional and developmental challenges that can last the rest of their lives. Even though these injuries can differ based on the circumstances of the crash, some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Deep Lacerations
- Broken or Fractured Bones
- Neck and Back Damages
- Facial Injuries
- Chest Injuries
- Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Many times people may not even realize the significant impact that these injuries can have on a child. For instance, even a minor car crash can lead to a lifetime of damages. When a young child is out of school because of a car accident injury, it is not only their physical harm that can result in them suffering. This isolation from their friends and peers can often affect their social development, cognitive functions, and even their motor skills.
How To Ensure Your Child Is Safe in the Car
Unfortunately, not every accident can be avoided. However, a parent can take actions to help ensure that their child stays safe even if the car they are riding in is involved in a motor vehicle accident. Most research indicates that child restraints are one of the best ways to prevent a child from suffering a severe injury following a car accident.
According to the CDC, situating and buckling your child in age and size appropriate booster seats, car seats, and even seat belts can help reduce the risk of serious and fatal injuries. Consider the following statistics:
- A car seat can reduce the risk of injury in a car crash by up to 82% for children, compared to seat belt use alone.
- When a booster seat is used, the risk of serious injury for children aged four to eight is reduced by 45% compared to seat belt use alone.
- For older children, seat belt use is known to reduce the risk of a devastating injury or death by almost half.
Know The Different Stages of Car Safety
One of the best things you can do to keep your child safe is to understand the different stages of when your child needs to be in a car seat, a booster seat, or use a seat belt.
- Rear-Facing Car Seat: This rear-facing car seat stage occurs from birth until age two to four. To maximize safety, infants and toddlers should be in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the height limit or the upper weight limit of their seat.
- Forward-Facing Car Seat: This next stage occurs when the child outgrows their rear-facing seat and usually lasts until the child reaches the age of 5. When using this forward-facing car seat, the child needs to be buckled up, facing forward, in the back seat. They will be in this position until they reach the upper height or weight limit allowed for the seat.
- Booster Seats: Once the child is too big for their forward-facing seat, they will transition into a booster seat until the seat belt can fit around them properly. In this booster seat stage, the child will be buckled in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are able to sit in the car with the seat belt fitting them as it should. This proper seat belt fit usually happens when a child is 4 feet 9 inches tall and between the ages of nine and 12 years old.
- Seat Belt: A child will no longer need a booster seat when a seat lap belt can lay across their upper thighs, and the shoulder belt can lay across their chest. For best protection, it is recommended that the child remain buckled in the back seat.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Provide You The Help You Need
If your child is involved in a car accident and has suffered a serious injury, you need legal help that you can trust. This time can be extremely difficult and overwhelming for not only you and your child but also for your whole family. The last thing on your mind should be how to take care of a personal injury legal claim following a horrific car accident.
Fortunately, with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you will not have to tackle these complicated legal proceedings on your own. These lawyers have the skills and the knowledge to:
- Go over your case in detail and answer any questions or concerns you may have
- Begin investigating the accident and gathering critical evidence needed to substantiate your claims
- Handle all the discussions and negotiations with the insurance company
- Fight for the damages your child deserves
That is why do not wait any longer. Contact an experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer today or call our office at 702-680-1111. You have been through a lot. It is time for you and your child to start focusing on recovery while you let these lawyers go after the justice you want for your child.
Year after year, drunk driving continues to be a problem in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 30 people die every day as a result of a drunk driver. Unfortunately, a recent reportfound that Nevada has seen a rise in drunk driving arrests compared to this time last year. In fact, during one month this year, the number of DUI arrests nearly doubled from the same month just one year prior.
If you have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. The choices you make following an accident can directly affect the outcome of your case. If you are in an accident, here’s what you need to do:
The Aftermath: Things You Should Do Immediately Following an Accident
Every time you get on the road, there is a possibility you will be involved in an accident. That said, when it actually happens, most of us are not prepared. Accidents are scary and it’s natural for your emotions to set in. However, it’s important to keep a clear head. The steps you take directly after the accident and the days that follow can have a substantial effect on your recovery. So what should you do?
- Stay at the scene: You may have an instinct to get away from it all and just go home. This will not help your case, and is in fact, against the law. After an accident, pull over to the side of the road and get yourself to safety.
- Avoid confrontations: After an accident, we typically advise drivers to exchange insurance information with the other party. However, when a drunk driver is involved, it is usually best to avoid any interaction. A drunk person is unpredictable and may be agitated, angry or aggressive. Remain in your car and call the police.
- Gather evidence: Once the police arrive, you need to give your statement and gather any evidence. The police will take a written report and may take pictures, but this is for their criminal case. It’s always a good idea to take pictures of the scene to be able to reconstruct the accident for the insurance companies.
- Go to the doctor: If you believe you have a serious injury, an ambulance will take you to the hospital. But even if you feel fine, it’s always a good idea to go to the doctor for a thorough check-up. This helps rule out any life-threatening injuries.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney: You have rights after an accident. It’s important to know, you don’t have to do this alone. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you talk to the insurance companies and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Proving Fault After a Drunk Driver Hits You
Fault following a drunk driving accident may seem pretty straightforward. However, often it’s not. Many drivers will deny liability or even the fact that they were drinking. It is not your job to prove the other driver was intoxicated or even your attorneys. Only the police can prove intoxication. However, you can take steps to prove fault. This includes:
- Accident scene pictures: Once again, photos are one of your biggest assets in a personal injury case. Take pictures of your vehicle, the other vehicle, and any other items that might be relevant.
- Witness testimony: First-hand accounts of the accident can help the insurance companies understand what happened. If there were witnesses at the scene, be sure to get their names and contact information.
- The driver’s previous record: While a previous DUI does not automatically prove fault, it does help show a pattern. Your attorney will be able to obtain these records from the police.
- Any citations given at the time of the accident: Did the police ticket the other driver? This is hard evidence for the insurance company to ignore.
Who Holds Fault for Your Accident?
There are several ways to recover damages after a drunk driving accident. In some cases, it may be more than just the other driver who holds financial responsibility. Other parties who may hold financial responsibility include:
A social host: Nevada’s dram shop laws hold social hosts responsible for over serving guests and letting them leave. If you can show the driver became intoxicated at a party or social gathering, the host may hold some financial responsibility.
A bar server: Dram shop laws protect servers in most circumstances. However, if the bartender knowingly served a person under the age of 21, they may hold responsibility.
A third party: Consider the following example – Two people get together to have a few drinks. One of the parties loans the other person their car to get more. That person then gets in an accident. The owner of the car may be found liable because they should have known the risks of the other person driving their car while being intoxicated.
Potential Damages for Your Personal Injury Case
A personal injury case can help you recover damages you suffer after a drunk driving accident. The purpose of a personal injury case is to help you become whole and recover from losses you sustained as a result of the accident. Damages can vary case by case, but may include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Nevada’s Statute of Limitations
Nevada law limits how long victims have to pursue damages from the at-fault party. Cases brought before the court after this time will likely not be heard. In Nevada, the statute of limitations for automobile accidents is two years. Keep in mind, you want to allow your attorney enough time to build a solid case. For this reason, you should consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
A drunk driving accident can change your world in the blink of an eye. You don’t have to suffer alone. At Gina Corena & Associates, our job is to help our clients get what they deserve. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Gina Corena & Associates at 702-680-1111 or fill out our online form for a free initial case evaluation.
Distracted driving involves one of three types of distractions: manual, visual, or cognitive. A manual distraction takes your hands off the wheel: reaching over to change a station on the radio, checking your GPS, or, in a worst-case scenario, texting and driving. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road: looking down at a text message, for example. Finally, cognitive distractions take your mind off of driving.
Texting and driving involves all three types of distractions, often at a high level. However, texting and driving is not the only type of distraction punishable under Nevada law.
Phone Use Behind the Wheel in Nevada
An October 2011 resolution made texting and driving, as well as using a cell phone held in the hand, illegal in Nevada. Drivers cannot legally access the internet, including checking their emails or viewing social content, while behind the wheel of a car. Drivers cannot make phone calls from their devices while holding those devices and driving. Texting and driving, in particular, involves all three types of driver distraction: cognitive, manual, and visual. Texting takes the driver’s attention from the road, pulls his eyes off the road, and requires him to remove at least one hand–and often both hands–from the wheel in order to address the text message. Unfortunately, many drivers quickly grow distracted by the chiming of their phones, leading them to take their attention from the wheel.
While Nevada drivers cannot use their phones to make a call if they hold their phones in their hands, they can use a hands-free device to carry on a conversation in the car. Usually, drivers choose to use Bluetooth technology, either through a headset or connected to the car directly.
Nevada law does provide exceptions for first responders or for drivers using their phones in emergency scenarios. If you need to use your phone due to a genuine emergency–calling 911 to report a passenger with a serious health ailment or letting emergency services know about a serious accident, for example–you may do so while driving. Utility workers may use devices provided by their companies in the course of their business, even while in the car, and you can report criminal activity while driving.
You cannot, however, use your phone for casual purposes at any time while behind the wheel. This includes actions you might not think twice about, including texting while sitting at a red light.
Other Distractions Prohibited by Nevada Law
Each year, more than 400,000 people suffer injuries in accidents due at least in part to distracted driving. While Nevada law focuses heavily on the dangers of driving while texting, other distractions can pose just as much danger to the driver and to others who share the road with him. Many familiar activities can result in a distracted driving citation.
Programming a GPS Device
You can certainly use your GPS to navigate the streets of Nevada and ensure that you reach your destination. Make sure, however, that you do not start up your device–or even reprogram it–while the car remains in motion. If you do need to start your GPS or make changes to your route, pull your car to the side of the road or even move into a parking lot to make sure you can pay full attention to the task at hand. Do not watch your GPS device while driving. While you can check directions as they come up with a simple glance, paying too much attention to your GPS can make it difficult for you to keep up with events on the road.
Using Smart Devices
Most people now know that they should not text and drive (though a high percentage of drivers of any age do it anyway), but many people do not think about the smart devices, including those connected to their phones, that can pose an equal distraction. For example, your smartwatch connects directly to your phone. A glance at the screen will allow you to easily read your messages and, depending on the device, respond to those messages with the press of a button. Unfortunately, the smaller screen on a smartwatch may mean that it poses even more distraction than a phone, since you will need to take your attention from the road longer and it can provide more difficult to decipher those messages.
Other Challenges and Distractions Behind the Wheel
Nevada law directly prohibits texting or using your cell phone for any purpose while driving. It does not, however, directly prohibit many of the other distractions that can take your attention from the road. You can, for example, choose to pull through fast food restaurant, open up your fries, and munch all the way home.
That does not necessarily mean, however, that you will not face consequences for those distractions.
Many drivers try to save time by performing tasks behind the wheel that take their attention from everything happening around them. Eating and drinking poses a common example, but some drivers may try to put on makeup, prepare for work, or take on other tasks while driving. Each of these tasks can significantly raise the risk of an accident. When possible, you should try to avoid all distractions behind the wheel.
As a driver, take these steps to help decrease distractions.
- Place your phone somewhere else in the vehicle, out of reach.
- Silence smart devices, including your watch, before driving.
- Use an app that will silence text notifications and calls while driving. Some apps will even send an automated response, letting the sender know you will get back to them when no longer driving.
- Program your GPS, set your radio, and manage temperature controls before getting behind the wheel.
- Avoid cognitive distractions, including dealing with the kids, when possible.
Distracted drivers can end up causing accidents with serious injuries. If you suffered injuries in an accident with a distracted driver, you may need legal support to help you understand your rights and give you the support you need. Contact Gina Corena & Associates today for your free consultation.
Proving Lost Wages in a Las Vegas Car Accident Claim
Car accidents can cause serious injury and when you are forced to stay home from work during your recovery, there is an added burden of worrying about your finances. One option for being able to remain financially secure during your recovery is to file a lost wage claim. However, before you file such a claim, it is important to understand what lost wages are and how to prove them.
Understanding Lost Wages
When you work, there is a certain “base” which you expect your pay to be. Depending on whether you are a salaried worker, wage worker, or a tip-based employee, lost wages generally will include:
- Hourly Wages – your average hourly wage times the number of days you miss from work. If you are out of work for 2 weeks and you normally work 40 hours a week and get $25 per hour, then this would be considered your lost hourly wages.
- Overtime – some employees work regular overtime. Others, particularly those who work a great deal of seasonal work may have regular overtime at certain times of the year.
- Bonuses – if you earn bonuses which are based on meeting a certain sales threshold or production level, then you may be able to include these amounts in a lost wage claim.
- Sick Days – employees who are forced to use sick time to recover from an injury suffered in a car accident can reclaim those sick days with a lost wage claim.
- Vacation Days – if you are forced to use your vacation days for recovery time instead of actually using them as vacation time, you can include these amounts in a lost wage claim.
- Lost Perks – if your company provides you with specific perks such as gym membership, cell phone, or a company vehicle which you are forced to do without during the time you are unable to work, the value of the items you lose access to may be included in a lost wage claim.
- Tips – anyone who regularly claims tips as part of their normal income and can prove those tips may be entitled to include them as part of a lost wages claim.
Following a car accident, it is your best option to make sure you have completed or nearly completed any treatment for your injuries to ensure you know how much time you will lose from work. Your car accident attorney can then help you determine how to file a lost wage claim which can be done one of three ways:
- Filing a wage claim with your own auto insurance carrier
- Filing a wage claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Regardless of which avenue is pursued you will be asked to submit to an independent medical examination, turn over any medical records associated with your auto accident injury treatment, and show proof of lost wages.
Proving Lost Wages Following a Las Vegas Car Accident
In order to file a lost wage claim, you must be able to prove you have actually lost wages you are claiming to have lost. Some of the documentation you may be required to provide includes:
- Physician Statement — your physician will be asked to provide a statement which details your injury and specifies how much time they have recommended you remain off the job.
- Pay Stubs — your pay stubs can show what your normal wages were prior to your being injured in a car accident. In some cases, if you have no pay stubs to show, your W2 statement or last tax return can be used as a substitute. Those who are self-employed will likely have to provide a different level of documentation which your personal injury attorney can discuss with you.
- Employer Statement — in addition to other documentation, you may be asked to provide documentation from your employer. This statement would include your normal work hours, your normal pay, how many hours you normally work, and the dates of time you were out of work. Your employer will also have to include information regarding sick time, vacation time, and lost perks as a result of being out of work.
Victims of a Las Vegas car accident should speak with their attorney to make sure they understand what documentation they will have to provide to file a lost wage claim.
Victims of a Las Vegas car accident should know what their rights are when filing a claim for lost wages. Typically, anyone injured in a car accident has questions and the best way to get answers to your questions is to seek guidance from an experienced car accident attorney. It is important you know your rights, understand your options, and file claims in a timely manner to make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to under Nevada laws.
Someone who has a serious injury after a Las Vegas car accident can require weeks or months to recover from their injuries. While you may think you can file a claim on your own, in most cases, it is better to seek legal help with your lost wages claim. Remember, while you have two years following an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, the sooner you start the process the better.
Working With a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney
If you are uncertain about how to go about filing a claim for lost wages, or you have other questions regarding a car accident claim, you should seek assistance from an attorney who has a proven track record of winning settlements for their clients. While past results cannot guarantee an outcome in future cases, it is always beneficial to hire someone who has experience negotiating settlements on behalf of their clients.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who has handled Las Vegas car accidents if you need help filing a personal injury lawsuit or a lost wage claim in Nevada. You should not have to bear the financial burden of losing wages because of a car accident which was not your fault. Take control today and speak with a car accident attorney.
Now that Fall is here, with the possibility of rainy streets and more pedestrian traffic out in the cooler temperatures, there’s no question that the most common areas for car accidents in Las Vegas in 2020 could see some impacts. Here’s some of what we think you’ll want to keep in mind.
Fatalities in January 2020
January 2020 held on to its atrocious vehicular accident record when 24 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on Nevada’s roads. In Clark County, home to Las Vegas, the yearly fatalities decreased by one person from 2019. In 2020 the number of fatalities was 15. Even more frightening, pedestrian deaths in Clark County from car accidents doubled from four in 2019 to eight in 2020. There were a total of 12 pedestrian deaths in January 2020 throughout Nevada.
The following are examples of the crashes in Las Vegas in January 2020 alone: A motorcycle crash on Decatur and Diablokilled a woman. A man was killed near McCarran airport in a wrong-way DUI-related crash. A three-car accident on South Las Vegas Boulevard caused one death.
A pedestrian walking in front of the Encore Casino tripped and fell into the street and was killed by a car. An impaired driver hit and killed a pedestrian on Fremont Street. Another man was killed by a hit-and-run driver in East Las Vegas. Another pedestrian killed by a car on South 1 Vegas Boulevard.
The Effect of the Shutdown
There is some good news amid all the pandemic dangers. The state-wide shutdown in March 2020 to combat COVID-19 reduced fatal car crashes in Nevada by 50% to a total of 61 fatalities. Of those, 34 (56%) took place in Clark County. According to the Department of Public Safety most of the accidents were due to factors within human control: lack of seatbelt usage, impaired drivers, and excessive speed.
What are the most dangerous intersections?
A study by the University of Las Vegas found that the most dangerous intersection in Las Vegas is Sahara and Decatur. The infamous intersection logged 50 car crashes that caused injuries in 2018 (the report was issued in the second half of 2019).
The next most dangerous intersection with almost as many crashes was Rainbow and Charleston Boulevards. And Maryland Parkway and Flamingo runs a close third. A spokesperson for the study indicated that red light runners are a major cause of crashes in Las Vegas and, unfortunately, it’s not limited to the intersections mentioned. There are a number of drivers that drive as if they think the road rules do not apply to them.
As evidenced by the number of pedestrians killed in January 2020, it’s also easy to see that the sheer number of pedestrians in Las Vegas are a big part of the motor vehicle accident problem. People who walk without paying attention, distracted by the dazzling Strip, or walkers impaired after a day of imbibing or witless after all night gambling sessions make a terrible combination with impaired drivers or excessive speed.
Staying Up-to-Date With Traffic Laws in Las Vegas
One way that drivers and pedestrians alike can try to avoid becoming a road traffic statistic is to keep abreast of the traffic laws in Las Vegas. The following are prime examples:
- Nevada increased the penalty for speeding to $20 for each mile per hour over the stated speed limit or the appropriate rate of speed. That will add up fast. For example, someone driving 80 mph in a 50 mph zone will face a $600 fine.
- It is illegal to drive at a speed that results in personal injury or property damage.
- A law known as the “move-over” law means drivers must slow down to less than the posted speed limit when approaching a traffic accident. The law was strengthened in 2020 to include slowing down when approaching non-emergency vehicles flashing emergency lights.
- Also, Nevada’s reckless driving laws have been expanded to include areas where the public has access like parking lots, parking garages and gated communities. The previous reckless driving law applied on public streets only.
Other traffic laws to consider are:
- Nevada requires seatbelts for all vehicle passengers over 6 years old.
- Nevada allows right turns on red after a complete stop.
- Pedestrians must walk to far left of the road facing traffic if there are no sidewalks. The sidewalk improvements in some intersections have led to a positive improvement in fewer pedestrian accidents.
- Talking on cell phones or other electronic devices while driving will incur a fine of $50 up to $250.
The blood alcohol limit in Nevada is tiered:
- .02% for drivers under age 21;
- .04% for drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license; and
- .08% for all other drivers.
It is everyone’s responsibility to report:
- impaired drivers,
- motor vehicle accidents,
- drivers/passengers left high and dry on the highways, and
- any other suspicious incidents.
Nevada’s residents may report such behavior by calling *NHP (*647).
A recent study found that Las Vegas was number 144 out of 200 cities for driver safety. That is because Las Vegas drivers were 21% more inclined to have a traffic accident than the national average. In fact, the report reckoned that Las Vegas drivers have a traffic accident every 8 years.
Nevada also leads the nation in DUI arrests every year. The arrests number more than 8,000. And Nevada’s traffic gridlock results from the streets designed with stoplights every mile. All of which add up to frustrated drivers thinking red lights are for running and to drivers distracted by cell phones, pet passengers, and eating/drinking while driving.
To read more about Las Vegas’ dangerous intersections, see the January 2019 article from ktnvtv.com entitled “Nevada Agency identifies deadliest intersections in Las Vegas Valley.”
If you would like to talk more about this topic, or have any other legal concern, please contact us. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will be happy to discuss your questions. We invite you to make us your resource for all your legal questions.
Over the past few years, scientists have come to understand more and more about cell phone addiction—and yes, it’s a real thing. Cell phone addiction has been linked to sleep disorders, underlying anxiety problems, and even relationship difficulties.
On the road, cell phone addiction is leading to severe accidents, often resulting in serious injury or death.
The Science Behind Cell Phone Addiction
Most people do not purchase a smartphone with plans to spend their lives glued to it. Instead, that addiction increases steadily over time. Smartphones appeal to the reward centers of the brain. When you check your phone, you have no idea what you will get to see: a great new post on Facebook? A fascinating text? An email that answers the quandaries you’ve been dealing with? When you check your phone, it activates those reward centers and gives you a small shot of dopamine. Your brain learns that your phone brings rewards—and it wants that reward, that small shot of “happy,” more and more often.
While the ability to remain constantly connected to friends and loved ones offers many advantages, it also brings with it plenty of disadvantages. Not only does it lead to a disconnect between people when they’re together in person, it can make it incredibly difficult to concentrate on other things—including driving.
Cell Phone Addiction on the Road
Most drivers now know and acknowledge that texting while driving poses a danger to everyone who shares the road with them. Unfortunately, they keep doing it anyway. They mean to glance down for “just a second,” chasing that dopamine-related reward. On average, however, drivers checking a text message take their eyes off the road for around five seconds. That leaves plenty of time for an accident to occur. At 55 miles per hour, you could move the length of a football field in those five seconds.
Even drivers who try not to check their text messages, emails, or social media pages while driving may find themselves dangerously distracted by cell phone addiction. A phone buzzing or ringing away in the backseat can have a driver twitching to respond, even if he doesn’t intend to actually check those messages until he reaches his destination. Many drivers wear smart watches, which can cause even more distraction than the phone itself. Not only that, knowing that the phone has gone off but not being able to check it can increase stress levels in cell phone-addicted individuals, increasing distraction and stress on the road and raising the risk of an accident.
What Can You Do?
Is cell phone addiction leaving you struggling to control your behaviors on the road? Do you know that you need to set your phone aside, but struggle to actually do it?
Do you, like so many other smartphone-addicted individuals, find yourself suffering from low-grade anxiety if you leave your phone somewhere else, even for a short period of time?
You can take several steps to decrease the addiction and ensure that you can safely navigate on the road.
1. Recognize the addiction for what it is.
The first step in dealing with any addiction is acknowledging that you have a problem and need to do something about it. As long as you continue to insist that you have no issues related to your phone, you will continue to engage in those dangerous behaviors.
Pay attention to your behaviors. Do you constantly check for your phone and feel anxious when you do not know where it is? Do you find yourself checking your phone even in places where you really shouldn’t? Does your phone disrupt interactions with loved ones? If so, you may have a cell phone addiction—and it could impact your driving behaviors.
2. Find a method that works for you.
Some people, especially those struggling with a strong smartphone addiction, may struggle to let their phones out of their reach while driving, even knowing they should not check them. You may not feel confident enough to put your phone where you cannot find it: in the back seat, for example. Others may want to use their phones for music or GPS while driving. Try some of these strategies to keep your eyes off your phone while driving.
- Silence all notifications while driving.
- Install an app that will prevent messages and notifications from coming through while the car remains in motion.
- Place your phone somewhere you cannot reach it and turn it off altogether until you reach your destination.
- Turn off smartwatch notifications and anything else that could distract you from the road.
3. Get in the habit of dealing with your phone before you put the car in drive.
You may have tasks on your phone that you need to take care of. For example, you may need to program your GPS. If you connect your phone to your car via Bluetooth, you may need to choose your music or set your volume.
Get in the habit of taking care of those tasks before you start driving. If you plan to use your GPS, program it before you ever get out of the driveway. Sure, you know how to get out of your own neighborhood, but you do not want to suffer that distraction once you get out on the road. Set your music to a playlist you know you can listen to until you reach your destination. Answer any emergency messages. Then, set your phone aside and leave it alone until you reach your destination.
4. If you must check a message, pull over.
Get off the road and out of the flow of traffic before checking or answering any cell phone messages. Keep in mind that most journeys do not take much time. Within a few short minutes, you can check your phone more safely. If you do need to deal with a message immediately, pull off the road to handle it. This can also help reprogram your brain to feel that checking your messages on the road creates problems, rather than activating your reward centers.
Did you suffer an accident due to another driver’s distraction or cell phone addiction? Need to learn more about your options on the road? We can help. Contact Gina Corena & Associates today at 702-680-1111.
Teenage drivers have a higher risk of accidents than any other age category, in part because of their lack of experience and skill behind the wheel. Learning how to drive safely and correctly, however, can go a long way toward improving teens’ outcomes. Whether you’re a teen driver or a parent looking for better driving tips, take these factors into consideration to help enhance teen safety behind the wheel.
1. Store the phone out of reach.
Teen drivers suffer from higher rates of distraction than other drivers. They may have more trouble remembering not to check a text message while driving or struggle more to pay adequate attention to the road while dealing with a phone call or email. Storing the phone out of reach while behind the wheel can help prevent dangerous distracted driving behaviors.
2. Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
Most people, especially teens, may assume that only texting and driving poses a substantial danger behind the wheel. In reality, however, any type of distracted behavior can lead to disaster. Avoid eating and drinking while driving, especially messy foods. If you must get a drink, wait until you bring the car to a full stop.
3. Program the GPS before you pull out onto the road.
A GPS can make it easier to find your way around, especially soon after you get your license. If you need to use the GPS, however, make sure you program it before you pull out onto the road. Paying attention to the GPS, whether it’s internal to the car or on your phone, can make it difficult to keep your eyes on the road, where they belong.
4. Always wear your seat belt.
Modern vehicles, more than older ones, often have loud seat belt reminders that will continue to go off until you buckle up–and with good reason. Wearing your seat belt can provide vital protection during an accident, decreasing the risk of serious injury and increasing the odds that you will walk safely away from the scene.
5. Know your comfort zone.
Some drivers feel comfortable under all circumstances and in all weather conditions. Others, on the other hand, may need more time before they feel truly comfortable driving in heavy rain or in icy conditions. Know your comfort zone. If you do not feel safe driving, pull safely off the road and call someone to come get you. It’s always better to call a parent for a safe ride home than to continue driving when you feel unsafe.
6. Share your determination to drive safely with your passengers.
Let passengers know that they must wear a seat belt in your car and that they must not distract you while driving. Do not transport friends who cannot adhere to your rules, even under pressure. If needed, stop the car until the distracting behavior ends.
7. Continue to practice with your parents, especially in dangerous conditions.
To prevent yourself from falling into bad habits while driving, continue to drive with your parents on a regular basis. They may pick up bad habits or potentially dangerous behaviors before they become a more serious problem. When you do ride with your parents, watch their driving behaviors to help pick up good tips.
8. Do not assume other drivers will make way for you.
Always assume that other drivers pose a potential hazard on the road. Get used to looking for ways out of potentially sticky situations. Plan for the possibility that another car will pull out in front of you or slam on its brakes suddenly. When you assume other drivers will not necessarily drive safely, it increases your ability to respond. Plan ahead for what you might do in a dangerous scenario.
9. Leave plenty of following distance between you and the next vehicle.
In tight traffic, it may prove difficult to maintain a safe distance without another vehicle sliding into the available space. Leaving that space, however, can make a big difference if someone does need to slam on their brakes quickly. Get in the habit of leaving plenty of following distance. Never tailgate another vehicle. Keep in mind that in bad weather, you need more room to maneuver than you do in good weather, and leave extra following room.
10. Leave early so that you have plenty of time to reach your destination.
Accidents occur more frequently when drivers suffer from high levels of stress and impatience. If you must rush, you may catch yourself tailgating, speeding, and ignoring safety precautions you know you need to take. Unfortunately, those behaviors can all significantly raise your risk of an accident. Instead, leave early. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Not only can that simple step substantially reduce your overall frustration, it can make it more likely that you will reach your destination safely.
11. Do not speed.
Many teen drivers, in particular, give in to the temptation to speed, especially when in a hurry. Unfortunately, while speeding does significantly increase accident risk, it does not, in many cases, help you reach your destination that much faster. At 60 miles per hour, if you need to travel 60 miles, you can only shave 10 minutes off your time by increasing your speed to 70. If you need to travel around town, with red lights, stop signs, and traffic patterns that have the potential to slow you down, speeding may fail to improve your arrival time at all. Instead, get in the habit of following the speed limit any time you need to drive, even if you think it will help you get to your destination faster.
Teen drivers have a higher accident risk, but that does not necessarily mean that teens bear fault for every accident that happens with them behind the wheel. If your teen suffered injuries in a serious auto accident, Gina Corena & Assoicates can help. Contact us today at 702-680-1111 to schedule a consultation or to learn more about your teen’s rights following a serious auto accident.
After a car accident in Nevada, you may have a lot of questions about your legal rights. What comes next? How can you protect yourself? If you have individual questions about your claim, contact an experienced personal injury attorney like the ones at Gina Corena & Associates as soon as possible.
1. When do I have grounds to file a car accident claim in Nevada?
In order to have grounds to file a car accident claim in Nevada, first, the other driver must cause the accident. This can include accidents caused by distraction or inebriation as well as accidents caused by a driver who ignores the rules of the road. Next, you must show that you suffered losses as a result of the accident. You can file a claim for compensation for any damage to your vehicle through the insurance company. In order to file a personal injury claim, on the other hand, you must show that you suffered an injury in the car accident due to the other driver’s negligence. This includes injuries like broken bones as well as more serious injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or amputation.
2. How much compensation can I claim for a Nevada car accident?
In a Nevada car accident, the liable driver’s insurance policy may determine how much compensation you can claim for your injuries. Minimum liability insurance in Nevada offers up to $25,000 in protection for bodily injuries for a single individual who suffered injuries in an accident, or a maximum of $50,000 of coverage when more than one individual suffers an injury. Other drivers, including commercial drivers and Uber and Lyft drivers, often carry higher-limit policies that can provide additional compensation. The extent of your injuries will also determine the compensation you can claim. Most people, when they file personal injury claims after an auto accident, include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages due to inability to work after the accident
- Compensation for pain and suffering
The party that caused your accident can also impact the claim you ultimately receive: if more than one party contributed to your accident, or if you find that a party other than the driver caused the accident, you may have the ability to pursue additional compensation.
3. Who pays my medical bills after a Nevada car accident?
If you suffer injuries in a Nevada car accident, you must take responsibility for your medical bills. You do, however, have several options that can make it easier for you to pay for those bills. You can use:
Your health insurance. Following serious injuries in an auto accident, health insurance can provide an incredibly valuable layer of protection that can make it much easier to cover your medical expenses.
PIP insurance, if you carry it. Though Nevada does not have a no fault law, which states that each driver must handle the first percentage of their own bills after an accident, you can still add PIP insurance to your policy. Personal injury protection insurance covers your immediate financial losses as a result of a serious auto accident, including your medical bills and lost wages in those early days.
A personal injury claim against the driver that caused your accident. A personal injury claim can help you pursue vitally-needed compensation after a Nevada auto accident with serious injuries. If you cannot pay your medical bills while you wait for a settlement to arrive, an attorney can draft a letter of protection that will share your intent to pay with the doctors and other medical care providers who handle your treatment. This letter will stave off legal action until you settle your claim.
4. Who bears liability for my car accident?
In many cases, you can clearly identify the driver that caused an auto accident. That does not necessarily mean, however, that only the driver bears liability for your accident and your injuries. By working with a personal injury attorney, you may identify other parties that share liability for the accident, which can also increase the compensation you ultimately receive. Consider:
Was the driver who caused your accident on the clock? The driver’s employer may share liability for the accident, particularly if the driver exceeded the federally-mandated number of hours he could spend behind the wheel due to the company’s expectations.
Did a mechanical error cause the accident? If so, the company that manufactured the vehicle or a mechanic that recently worked on it may share liability.
5. What should I do after an auto accident in Nevada?
If you suffer injuries in a car accident, the steps you take immediately after the accident can help protect your finances and provide you with a better outcome in a personal injury claim. You should:
Seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Make medical attention your first priority after an accident, even if you believe that you did not suffer serious injuries. Some injuries, including traumatic brain injury, may not appear immediately at the scene of the accident. Not only can a trip to the hospital provide you with a more accurate diagnosis of your injuries, it can provide evidence of when your injuries took place.
Contact your insurance companies. Let your health insurance company and your auto insurance company know about the accident. You may need to cancel your current auto insurance policy or ask questions about what your health insurance provider will cover as you seek treatment for your injuries. Make sure you understand how many therapy sessions your insurance will pay for each year as well as any other coverage concerns.
Get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced auto accident attorney can provide you with a better idea of your legal rights following a serious auto accident. Always consult an attorney before accepting a settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company, since that offer may not reflect the full damages you suffered as a result of the accident.
Did you suffer injuries in a Nevada car accident? Gina Corena & Associates can help. Contact us today at 702-680-1111 to learn more about how we can help after a car accident with serious injuries.
Any type of auto accident can leave you with serious questions about how to handle the aftermath. Just how much compensation do you deserve after your injuries? Who, exactly, do you have the right to file a personal injury claim against? If you suffer injuries in an accident with an unlicensed driver, on the other hand, you may have even more questions.
What comes next?
Do You Have the Right to a Personal Injury Claim?
The status of the liable driver’s license does not change your right to file a personal injury claim after an accident. You have the same right to compensation for injuries sustained in an accident with a driver who does not have a license that you do after an accident with a fully licensed and insured driver.
Unfortunately, it can prove more complicated to collect the compensation you deserve after that type of accident. Sometimes, you may even have trouble locating the driver that caused the accident, since an unlicensed driver may flee the scene of the accident or otherwise complicate the process. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can make it easier to determine how to handle your claim after an accident.
Who Can You Seek Compensation From After an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver?
After an accident with an unlicensed driver, you have several options for seeking compensation.
The Driver’s Insurance Company
If the driver recently lost his license—a suspension for driving while intoxicated, for example—he may still carry auto insurance. If the driver carries auto insurance, it does not matter if he has a license or not: you still have the right to file a personal injury claim, and the insurance company must still provide payment for the accident.
The Driver Directly
In some cases, you can seek compensation from the driver of the vehicle directly. Keep in mind, however, that it may prove difficult to get compensation from a driver directly, especially if the driver does not have significant assets. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about how to pursue compensation directly from an unlicensed driver that caused severe injuries.
Insurance that Covers the Car
Often, an unlicensed driver may borrow a vehicle from a friend or family member. The owner of the vehicle may not even know that the driver does not have a license, especially if the driver lost his license recently or has driven for a long time without a license. Auto insurance usually follows the car, though it may also provide coverage for a specific driver. That means that if the owner of the vehicle carries insurance on that vehicle, you can claim compensation through that insurance policy, and it will pay out, regardless of the license status of the driver.
Keep in mind that this applies only when the unlicensed driver drives the car with permission. If an unlicensed driver drives the car without permission, including theft, the owner’s insurance policy may not apply.
Your Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
An individual who does not have a license can buy a car. Unfortunately, nothing but the law prevents him from operating it. An average 10% of Nevada drivers, including some who do not have a driver’s license, do not carry auto insurance.
Your insurance can provide some protection if you have an accident with a driver who does not carry insurance. Most insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage usually adds relatively little expense to your monthly auto insurance premiums, but can provide substantial coverage if you have an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you suffer injuries in an accident with a driver who does not carry insurance, contact your insurance company to learn what coverage they offer.
What Should You Do After an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver?
The actions you take after an accident with an unlicensed driver can help protect your financial status and your rights after an accident. Make sure that you:
1. Report the accident to the police and wait for them to arrive. An unlicensed driver may attempt to convince you not to report the accident to the police, since the driver knows he will face additional legal penalties for driving without a license. Failing to report that accident, however, could prevent you from seeking compensation for damage to your vehicle or any injuries you suffered in the accident. Make sure that you report the accident and honestly share what happened with the police officer.
2. Contact your auto insurance company. You should always notify your auto insurance company about an accident, especially if your vehicle has serious damage or you suffer serious injuries. You should tell your insurance company that you had an accident with an unlicensed driver. If the other driver also did not have insurance and you need to use your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, let your insurance company know and ask about what compensation you can expect.
3. Seek medical attention if you need it. Always pursue medical care after a serious accident, even if you do not think you suffered serious injuries. That medical exam can provide vital evidence that will later show exactly when your injuries took place as well as ensuring that you receive the right treatment for any injuries you suffered.
4. Get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney after an accident, the sooner that attorney can start working on your behalf. A personal injury attorney can provide vital advice about how to handle a claim after an accident with an unlicensed driver, including how you can seek financial compensation for damage to your vehicle or injuries sustained in the accident.
Did you suffer injuries in an accident with an unlicensed driver? Do not wait to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Gina Corena & Associates today at 702-680-1111 to schedule a free consultation that will help you learn more about your legal rights following any auto accident, including one with an unlicensed driver.
These days, even something as simple as riding in a car as a passenger can be fraught with risk. Traffic congestion in cities is horrendous, increasing the risk of accidents. Even worse, highway driving speeds sometimes make traveling feel like the Indy 500. Add to that the dangers posed by cell phones and other distracted driving habits. It’s no wonder then that injuries to passengers happen on a regular basis. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may wonder: can I still make a claim if I’m a passenger in a car accident whose driver is at fault? As it turns out, when you ride as a passenger, the law considers the driver of the automobile as responsible for your safety. With that in mind, we have five tips for you to consider.
Recovering damages from your driver
If you are injured in a car accident, you hope that your driver carries auto insurance on his vehicle. The bodily injury liability portion of the driver’s insurance coverage pays for bodily injuries of other persons injured in an accident where the driver is at fault. This coverage includes the passengers in the driver’s own vehicle. If you are a family member, the insurance carrier may consider you a named insured under the policy. If you are not a family member, coverage may still remain available under the bodily injury portion as an injured third-party.
There is also another insurance policy provision that covers medical expenses and loss of income no matter who is at fault for the accident. Insurance companies often call this provision “personal injury protection” or “medical payments”coverage. The popular name for this coverage is “no-fault”. Limits vary by state from $2,500 per accident to $20,000. Coverage also varies by state; for example, some states cover different types of expenses, and some only over 80% leaving the injured person to cover the balance. If you live in a no-fault state, there is no need to prove fault. Each driver’s policy covers their expenses.
If you do not live in a no-fault state, then you live in a “tort” state which does not have restrictions on the right to sue to recover personal injury damages. The at-fault driver is generally responsible for paying claims for medical expenses, lost wages, legal fees, pain and suffering as well as funeral costs for injured individuals under the bodily injury portion of the policy. This applies even if the driver of the car in which you were a passenger is the one at fault.
In some states, drivers can share responsibility for the accident. If that is true in your case, then you will be allowed to file a passenger injury claim against the other driver as well.
Where the responsibility for a car accident is split between drivers based on their portion of fault, you will need to prove each driver’s portion of the fault, and they will each pay according to the percentages proved. Naturally, that means presenting evidence, calling expert witnesses, and hiring an attorney to help you sort things out. You will also need to present evidence of your medical expenses and lost wages in order to recover.
Recovering from the other driver
If the driver of the car you were riding in was 100% at fault, then you probably cannot recover from the driver of the other car under their insurance policy.
One thing to bear in mind is that bodily injury coverage often does not pay a lot of money. In most states, there is a minimum coverage amount required under all car insurance policies, and drivers often only pay for the minimum coverage. These limitations vary state by state and are often low, especially where the accident causes bodily injuries to multiple people. If the claims exceed the policy coverage amount, then the driver is responsible for paying the balance.
For example, Nevada’s minimum limits for bodily injury are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If an accident causes injuries to two people amounting to $25,000 and $30,000, then the first person’s injuries would be covered at 100%. The second person would also receive $25,000. That leaves the person with the $30,000 claim responsible to look elsewhere for the balance of $5,000.
Passenger Assumption of Risk
Passengers generally are not responsible for the accident caused by the driver of a vehicle in which they were riding. However, passengers are responsible for not assuming the risk of riding with an impaired driver. If a passenger willingly gets into a vehicle with a driver they know to be intoxicated or a reckless driver, the insurance company may dismiss their claim on the theory that they assumed the risk of riding with that driver.
If you were injured in an accident caused by a driver under the influence but you did not know they were under the influence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you can prove you did not assume the risk. For example, you can defend against the assumption of risk argument if you did not have actual knowledge of the risk or did not appreciate the danger. In this situation, hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way for you to prove you are entitled to your claim for compensation.
Some states have developed an assumption of risk defense, known as the seat belt defense, based on statutory provisions or case law. Not all states have fully developed seat belt defense rules.
Personal Lawsuit for Compensation
If your personal injury claim exceeds the amounts payable under the driver’s insurance policy, you may be able to sue the driver personally for the balance. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be indispensable in resolving your claim.
To learn how the seat belt defense works in comparative negligence cases in different states, you may enjoy the article from claimsjournal.com entitled “Seat Belt Defense in All 50 States.”
If you would like to talk to one of our attorneys about your personal injury claim from an auto accident, or anything else, please contact us. Our experienced staff will gladly answer all your questions. We invite you to make us your resource for all your legal questions.