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.
Big trucks provide one of the most vital services in the nation when it comes to transporting the goods that people from one location to the next. Unfortunately, they also offer a number of potential hazards. Because of their larger mass and size, big trucks can cause substantial injury to accident victims in a collision. While you cannot avoid every potential collision on the road, you can decrease your odds of an accident with a big truck by following these safe driving practices.
1. Know how to identify big trucks’ blind spots.
Big trucks have massive blind spots in which they cannot see other vehicles around them. These blind spots exist on all sides of the vehicle, including both the front and rear. While some modern trucks have cameras that make it easier for the drivers to see around them, most trucks have not yet received these updates. Familiarize yourself with big truck blind spots.
Once you know where they are, do your best to stay out of them. If you must drive alongside a truck, try to stay out of its blind spots. When passing, try to accelerate fast enough that you do not linger in the truck driver’s blind spot. Remember, if you cannot clearly see the driver’s mirrors, he more than likely cannot see you, which can put you at risk for a sideswipe collision.
2. Leave plenty of room for big trucks to maneuver.
When sharing the road with a big truck, you must consider how long it takes those trucks to maneuver safely. Big truck drivers need more time to start moving, slow down, stop, and turn than the drivers of smaller passenger vehicles. Some drivers may make very wide right turns to afford more visibility around the front of the vehicle.
Leaving room for truck drivers to maneuver means several things.
Do not pull over too close in front of a big truck, especially while stopping or slowing. Big truck drivers know how much room they need to slow or stop safely, and they may allow more room between them and the vehicle in front of them to allow for that room. Pulling over in front of them abruptly erases that room and may make it difficult for the driver to avoid a collision.
Back off and leave room for a signaling truck. If you notice a truck signaling to change lanes in front of you, back off and leave plenty of room for the truck driver to execute the lane change safely. You can flash your lights to let the truck driver know that he has plenty of clear space for his trailer.
Do not pull into the space left by a turning truck. Some truck drivers will turn wide to execute a right turn. Do not move into this space. Instead, stay back and let the truck complete the turn before you move up.
3. Share the road safely.
Many drivers, especially when in a hurry, quickly get impatient with big trucks on the road in front of them. They may attempt to speed up or try to force the truck driver to drive faster, or they may change lanes abruptly, racing to get around the truck.
Increased rates of speed also substantially increase the risk of an accident for both you and the truck driver. To help reduce the risk of a collision, share the road safely. Even if a truck driver travels more slowly than you would prefer, keep in mind that he has a job to accomplish, too. Like you, he wants to reach his destination quickly and safely. Do not speed or ignore the rules of the road when sharing the road with a big truck. Instead, maintain a safe rate of speed to help keep everyone safe. Follow traffic signals and adhere to the rules of the road. If you often struggle with impatience, try leaving earlier so that you have more time to reach your destination.
4. Clearly signal your intentions when driving.
A truck driver can better predict your actions when you clearly signal your intentions. Avoid slamming on your brakes at the last minute, changing lanes without signaling, or turning abruptly, without signals. Instead, use your car’s turn signals and clearly indicate your intentions before you commit to a specific action. This makes it easier for truck drivers to predict what you will do next, which can make it easier for the truck driver to avoid an accident.
5. Pay attention to the truck.
Under the best of circumstances, you should avoid driving distracted. Do not check your phone, fiddle with your GPS, or eat or drink, especially messy food, while driving. When driving near a big truck, however, you should exercise extra caution. Keep in mind that the driver may not have full visibility around his vehicle, which means that he might not notice you if you sit in a blind spot for too long. Pay attention to his turn signals, which could indicate that he plans to change lanes. Watch his wheels: if they regularly slip out of his lane or start to slide over, you may need to get out of the way or signal him about the problem. Take note of the truck driver’s load: if you notice it shifting erratically or starting to slip, you may need to let him know that you have seen a shifting load accident.
Any time you notice a truck driver or his load doing something potentially dangerous, get out of the way. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road each day and have a higher rate of alcohol use than drivers of passenger vehicles. By paying careful attention to what the truck driver does and how he maneuvers, you can help get yourself out of the way of a potential accident.
Unfortunately, you cannot avoid every accident every time. If you suffered serious injuries in a truck accident. an experienced personal injury attorney can help you file a claim for the compensation you deserve. Contact Gina Corena and Associates today at 702-680-1111 to schedule a consultation.
Roadway accidents in Las Vegas are nothing unusual. In fact, in 2010, Las Vegas was ranked 144 of 200 for the worst drivers across metropolitan areas. Protecting yourself while traveling on Las Vegas roadways can be challenging and one way to understand the hazards you are facing involves understanding what causes car accidents in the area.
External Causes of Accidents in Las Vegas
While external influences are not the primary cause of car accidents, they certainly play a role. External causes may be partially responsible regardless of the driver’s behavior. In some cases, external causes contribute to the accident because of a driver’s negligence.
- Roadway Hazards Pose Risks — whether a road is poorly designed, not maintained properly, or other hazards exist, you could be involved in an accident with an inexperienced, intoxicated, or inattentive driver. Sometimes the most experienced driver, who is paying attention to the road and driving carefully can run into trouble on a dangerous road in Las Vegas.
Drivers who are concerned about their safety should make sure they remain vigilant about traffic patterns, speed, and the actions of other drivers when traveling in Las Vegas to minimize the chances of being involved in an accident. Always be prepared to take evasive action when necessary.
- Manufacturing Defects in Vehicles — drivers who properly maintain their vehicles are often shocked when they hit the brakes on their car, and it does not stop or when a tire suddenly blows, and they lose control of their vehicle. Oftentimes, the resulting accident is not the fault of the driver, but of the car manufacturer.
Unfortunately, an accident resulting from a manufacturing defect can be challenging to avoid because it is nearly impossible to determine when or how they can occur. However, by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles on the roadway, you may be able to minimize the risks you are facing.
- Unpredictable Weather Conditions — there is no telling what can happen with the weather. You can leave home and minutes later be confronted with fog, rain, wind, or worse. We all know the best thing we can do when confronted with unexpected weather is to ensure we reduce our speed to match the conditions we are facing. However, an impaired driver, a trucker in a hurry to make a deadline, or someone anxious to get home after their workday can cause an accident.
The best option for those drivers who are concerned about being a victim of weather-related car accidents is to remain vigilant. Before you leave to head out on Las Vegas roads, check the weather forecast. This will better prepare you for what you can expect.
Driver Factors and Las Vegas Accidents
Poorly maintained vehicles, manufacturing flaws, and bad roadways are usually not considered the primary cause of roadway accidents in Las Vegas. The human factor will always play a role in auto accidents because sometimes, drivers act in a negligent manner. Here are some of the most common driver related causes of car accidents
- Speed Increases Severity of Accidents — drivers who deliberately ignore the speed limits set on Las Vegas roadways are behaving in a reckless manner and they are putting everyone on our roads in jeopardy. There is no doubt when an accident occurs and the driver is speeding, the potential for more serious injuries is increased.
If you identify a speeding driver, the best option available to you is to stay out of the lane they are traveling in. Try to monitor their movements so you can potentially avoid becoming a victim of a speed related crash. While this can be difficult, it is the best way to avoid being injured by a driver who is ignoring speed laws.
- Impaired Driving Takes a Toll — unfortunately, there are still numerous people who believe it is safe to drive impaired. This puts everyone in danger; not only are they putting their own live at risk these drivers are risking the lives of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians in Las Vegas.
Nearly a third of all traffic fatalities in the United States involve an impaired driver. The best way to protect yourself from an impaired driver is to be on the lookout for anyone who is traveling erratically. Impaired drivers often make bad decisions including weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and other dangerous maneuvers.
- Distracted Driving on the Rise — in today’s age of cell phones, GPS, and Rideshare applications, we have seen a number of states ban the use of handheld devices. However, there are still plenty of accidents which involve a driver who is texting, eating, smoking, or checking out their GPS and not paying attention to the road. These drivers are perhaps some of the most dangerous because it is often impossible to tell whether a driver is actually paying attention until it is too late.
While it is usually difficult to tell if a driver is distracted on the roadway, some signs include failure to slow down when they see a hazard, not staying within properly marked lines, or increases and decreases in speed. If you see these drivers on the roadway, a polite honk of your horn may gain their attention and help them realize they have lost their focus. However, that does not mean that two minutes later they will continue to pay attention. Always be on the lookout for poor driving habits which could indicate a driver is paying more attention to an electronic device than the roadway and proceed with caution.
Unfortunately, regardless of how careful you are on the roadways, there is often little, if any, time to think before a careless driver plows into your car causing you to suffer an injury. Whether you suffer an injury due to a reckless driver or because the owner of a car was not aware of a manufacturers’ defect in the vehicle, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Since the time frame is limited by Nevada’s statutes of limitations on filing a claim you should contact an experienced car accident attorney at Gina Corena & Associates at 702-680-1111 and schedule a free consultation today. Let our team help you determine the best way forward.
Car accidents are terrifying — a truck accident is significantly more frightening given the size differences between automobiles and trucks. Chances are victims who are involved in a truck accident are going to suffer more serious injuries than those who are involved in a car accident. This is not the only concern victims have however, because the claims process for getting compensation for your injuries is more complicated when a truck is involved.
Car Accident Claims Process
When you are involved in an accident on the roadways of Nevada, you file a claim with the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident. Generally, this will be the other driver — there are exceptions of course which can complicate a car accident claim. For example, if you are involved in an accident with a rideshare driver, the process may be slightly more complicated. Another complication could be if the driver responsible for the accident had a mechanical problem resulting from a manufacturing defect. These minor complications pale in comparison as to the claims process for a truck accident.
Accident Claim Filing Complexities When a Truck is Involved
While it is perfectly normal to feel the only two parties involved in an accident involving a truck and a car are the two drivers, leaving the person responsible one of those two, this is not always the case when it comes to truck accidents. Here are some possible scenarios which demonstrate who may be partially responsible for an accident.
- Truck Driver — if a driver is speeding, using their cell phone, or fails to stop at a red light, chances are they are the only party responsible for the accident. This would make the claim process relatively straightforward; victims would file their claim with the driver’s insurance company.
- Parent Truck Company — truck drivers must adhere to guidelines set out by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) including proper rest periods. Truck drivers must also undergo rigorous training before being allowed on the roadway. Should the employer fail to conduct proper training, fail to ensure the drivers are aware of regulations, or fail in other ways, they may also be partially responsible for the damage caused by a driver. In this instance claims would be filed with the driver’s insurance company as well as the employer’s insurance company.
- Freight Brokers and Loading Companies — truck accidents are sometimes a result of poorly stocked loads which can result in rollover accidents. Overloading a truck can also result in various problems including the driver losing control of the truck. In cases where this occurs, the resulting insurance claims can be extraordinarily complex. The driver, their employer, and the freight broker or loading company may be all partially to blame for any injuries which are suffered by victims of the accident.
- Truck or Parts Manufacturer — we have all heard and read about various problems with parts of vehicles malfunctioning. Defective brakes, airbags, tires, and other mechanical failures can be at the root of a truck accident. When a defective truck part is partially responsible for the cause of an accident, there may be numerous parties involved which means numerous insurance companies. This further complicates the claims process.
- Mechanics and Other Service Providers — when a driver gets behind the wheel of his vehicle, he is depending upon the vehicle being properly serviced. When brakes or other mechanical parts fail due to bad, or non-existent maintenance, an accident can occur. From a claims filing standpoint, this is problematic on several levels — victims not only have to deal with the truck drivers insurance company, but may also have to deal with the insurers for the owner of the truck, the maintenance company insurance, and others.
Proving Who Liable for Injuries
As you can see from the various scenarios laid out above, the number of insurance companies who could ultimately require you to provide documentation following a truck accident can be overwhelming. In any type of accident, obtaining evidence is crucial. When a truck is involved, there may be additional evidence available to victims, including the “black box” located in the truck. There may also be video tapes including those found on business security cameras or traffic cameras installed by a state or municipality. These pieces of evidence must be requested as soon after an accident as possible to ensure they are not erased or otherwise modified prior to your truck accident attorney having access to them.
Multiple Defenses — Truck Accident Claims Are Challenging
There is a high probability if you are injured in a truck accident you will get a quick settlement offer. There are several reasons for this but primarily, the insurance company hopes you will accept an offer and not seek legal help. This step can save insurers hundreds or thousands of dollars in future claims. Remember, once you have accepted a settlement after a truck accident, all potential claims are considered settled. That means you get no compensation for future medical bills, lost wages, or other costs you may incur while you are recovering from your injuries.
Dealing with a single insurance company following a car accident is challenging — the at fault drivers insurance company is going to do everything in their power to minimize your claim including shifting some blame for the accident to you, claiming your injuries are a result of a pre-existing condition, or simply stating their customer was not at fault for the accident. These challenges are far more difficult when you have multiple insurance companies, often with policies covering millions of dollars in damages, trying to protect their bottom line by denying or minimizing the claims of a truck accident victim.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Today
When you have been injured in a truck accident, you need a strong advocate who is willing to look at all the facets of your case and make sure everyone who is responsible is held to account for your financial losses. After you have seen a medical professional to assess your injuries, your next call should be to contact the experienced and effective personal injury lawyers at Gina Corena & Associates at 702-680-1111 for a free consultation. Let someone who has the knowledge and experience serve as your advocate during this difficult time.
Some car accident victims choose to save on attorney fees by handling insurance claims themselves after a minor collision. Yet, car accident victims involved in major collisions almost always hire a personal injury attorney. This logic might make sense to you, but it’s almost always in your best interest to consult with an attorney, even after a minor collision.
Car accident attorneys do far more than push paperwork for their clients. They protect you from insurance company tactics by handling communication and negotiating to get you the most compensation possible for your claim. One of the most critical tasks a car accident attorney does for clients is placing a value on their car accident claims.
You might think that valuing your claim is as simple as adding up medical bills and property damage to your car. It’s true that adding up the quantifiable aspects of a car accident claim is not that difficult, but the intangible loss that accident victims suffer is not easily quantifiable. Below we offer more information about how lawyers and insurance companies value car accident claims in Las Vegas.
Information to Determine an Estimate for Vehicle Damage
Compensation for damage to your car is pretty straightforward and typically does not cause much contention between accident victims and insurance companies. Some details lawyers and insurance companies use to place a value on your vehicle damage include:
- The initial value of your car
- Condition of your car at the time of the accident
- Amount of depreciation
- Cost of replacement parts
Elements Insurance Adjusters Use to Value a Car Accident Claim
After a car accident, the liable driver’s insurance company needs to pay for injuries up to the policy limit. Economic and non-economic damages make up the total value of the claim. Economic damages include medical treatment costs and lost wages due to injury and hospitalization. In severe accidents, future medical treatment costs and future lost wages might also be part of the claim.
Non-economic costs include damages that are more difficult to quantify such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any other emotional damages. Placing a value on these aspects of your car accident claim can be challenging. Insurance carriers rely on a few different methods to calculate the total value of the claim. Most methods are a variation of the multiplier method and some insurance companies refer to the equation they use to value pain and suffering as the damage formula.
Using the Multiplier Method to Calculate Pain and Suffering
The multiplier method is the primary method insurance companies use to calculate pain and suffering. The formula is the complete total of economic damages, typically referred to as special damages, multiplied by a particular number referred to as the multiplier. It looks like this:
Sum of Special Damages X multiplier = Pain and Suffering
The multiplier is typically a number between one and five but can be greater. It increases when injuries are severe, an accident has aggravating circumstances, and when accident victims need a long time to recover from their injuries. Typically, the multiplier falls somewhere between 1.5 and 3 for minor accidents. Insurance adjusters often multiple by five or more when severe injuries and permanent disability occurs. Some are critical of this method for calculating pain and suffering because the multipliers are arbitrary and produce inconsistent results among claims.
The Damage Formula for Las Vegas Car Accident Claims
The multiplier method is part of the broader damage formula that insurance companies use to calculate the value of a car accident claim. Once an adjuster has calculated pain and suffering, they add up other damages to reach a number. This total is often the starting point for negotiations. The damages typically included in most car accident claims include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Estimated future medical expenses if applicable
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity if applicable
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages from the multiplier method
Once the insurance adjuster and lawyer have a starting point, other facts can come to light and force the need to adjust a settlement amount. Additionally, the range of the multiplier leads to a wide range for a settlement amount.
Are Car Accident Claim Calculators Accurate?
Online you will find an array of car accident claim calculators. Any method used to calculate a settlement amount is only an estimate. Complete accuracy is impossible because car accident settlement calculators cannot collect all the information they need to determine an accurate estimate. Similar to the criticism of arbitrary multipliers in the damage formula, car accident calculators have no common system to provide consistency among different calculators. It’s likely that if you try three different car accident claim calculators, you will have three different amounts that aren’t anywhere close to each other.
The accuracy of a car accident claim calculator is highly dependent on the information the calculator allows you to input before it offers the value of your claim. More information allows the calculator to consider the specifics of your claim. It’s not in your best interest to use car accident claim values created by car accident claim values, but they can provide a ballpark estimate to help you get closer to a more reliable number to understand the settlement offer that will come your way from the insurance company.
A Note About the Per Diem Method
Although far less popular, some personal injury lawyers and insurance companies use the per diem method to calculate pain and suffering for a car accident claim. The per diem method, sometimes referred to as the daily rate method, is calculated by coming up with an amount of money that an accident victim should receive every day or week they must suffer from injuries related to the accident.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help Value Your Claim
Personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators who have extensive training in the calculation of accident claims. Their training and professional experience allow them to come up with the maximum value of your claim, removing many of the inconsistencies that come with calculators and other methods.
If you have suffered injuries in a Las Vegas car accident, contact Gina Corena & Associates online or at 702-680-1111 for a free consultation to discuss the value of your claim.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of life for individuals across the United States. Children are home from school, adults are working from home. There are fewer visits to see friends and family or to attend events. During such a disruptive and confusing times, people are doing their best to see the silver lining. More time with family and reduced pollution are some positives that have been pointed out.
Many have speculated that another bright side to the pandemic shut down is safer streets. The assumption is that with fewer cars on the road, there will be fewer accidents. Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily the case — the risks have just changed.
Accident Statistics in Las Vegas
In 2019, there were 284 traffic-related fatalities in Nevada, down slightly from the 330 fatalities recorded in 2018. The 2020 data pre-pandemic indicated that fatalities were on the rise. January and February alone saw 14-traffic related deaths in the Las Vegas Valley. The Las Vegas Metropolitan police department has now invested 54 traffic-related fatalities.
The following statistics were compiled by the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Zero Fatalities Nevada initiative:
- One in five people admit to running a red light in the most recent ten intersections;
- Nearly 3,500 people were killed in 2016 because of distracted driving; and
- 30% of traffic fatalities were related to being intoxicated
While fewer cars on the road means less people able to run red lights, text while driving, or drive under the influence, new risks have emerged.
Reckless Drivers During the Pandemic
With emptier streets, risky drivers are taking the opportunity to put the pedal to the metal. Across the United States, state highway officials have noted a significant spike in speeding vehicles, with numerous drivers reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.
Las Vegas hasn’t escaped drivers seeking these increased speeds. In a three-hour period, Las Vegas police officers stopped six vehicles doing triple digit speeds. At least six fatal collisions occurred in between Las Vegas’ shutdown and the end of April, and four of the six were related to excessive speeds.
Extreme speeding is likely to result in increased vehicular deaths, even though there are fewer drivers on the road. While there may be less overall collisions, the ones that occur are likely to be more deadly. If you are struck by a vehicle going 100 mph or more, the damage and injury will be severe.
The impact of reckless driving has even wider reaching consequences during the pandemic. An increase in traffic-related injuries has the potential to place an undue burden on an increasingly overwhelmed hospital system.
Next Steps After an Accident
If you were injured in a car accident, your first step should be to seek immediate medical attention. This could be done at the scene or visiting a hospital, though a visit to the hospital can be more complicated given COVID-19. No matter what, it is important to take care of your health. Additionally, failure to secure prompt medical attention may limit your ability to recover for injuries. The other party can argue you exacerbated through the delay.
Once you have seen to your own safety, keep the following tips in mind:
- Secure a police report. A police report is a valuable piece of evidence in any car accident case. The report will include pictures of the accident scene, witness reports and contact information, and any traffic citations issued for violating traffic laws. Documentation of traffic violations is particularly important because it is compelling evidence that a party acted negligently — a critical component to proving your case for recovery.
- Watch your words. Be cautious what you say about the accident and to whom you say it. The responsible party will be looking for any opportunity to escape liability. This includes taking an innocent statement, such as “I guess I could have paid closer attention,” out of context to push the fault back on to you. Be especially careful of any statements made to the media or press.
- Keep track of paperwork. You will find yourself overwhelmed with paperwork after the accident, including medical records, doctor’s bills, and communications from insurance companies. All of this paperwork will need to be reviewed by your attorney to determine if it is relevant to your case.
- Don’t sign without reviewing. As more and more paperwork comes your way, you may be tempted to sign it without a careful review. Avoid this instinct. Some documentation can waive important rights, such as the right to file a lawsuit. Be aware of any restrictions placed on you before you sign.
- Act quickly. You may be tempted to put off taking legal action against the party responsible for the accident while you deal with your injuries. It is important not to delay too long. Any lawsuit for injuries caused by a car accident must be brought within two years of the date of injury.
One of the most helpful things you can do after a car accident is contact an experienced attorney who can help you manage each of the steps above as well as advise on the strength of your case and prepare a comprehensive case strategy.
Contact Gina Corena & Associates Today
If you are a victim of a car accident or have lost a loved one in a Las Vegas car accident, it is important to work with an attorney experienced in securing recovery for accident victims. Our team is staffed with compassionate and skilled professionals with deep experience in car accident cases. We have secured millions of dollars in settlements for our clients.
We work with our clients to analyze and advise on all aspects of their case. We understand each case is unique and deserves individual, focused attention. You should not be forced to bear the financial burden of a car accident that was not your fault.