Motorcycle accidents can occur anywhere—and they often prove devastating. Motorcycle riders have little protection from the road or from the vehicles around them. In an accident, many riders end up with catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injury, broken bones, and severe road rash. Even with proper helmet use, victims can suffer traumatic brain injury.
Las Vegas is one of the most dangerous cities in the US for motorcycles. According to a 2017 study, Nevada ranks #1 in motorcycle accident fatalities. Many of those accidents occur in the Las Vegas area. In 2016, 49 motorcycle riders died in the Las Vegas area, up from 32 in 2015.
The Factors that Contribute to Las Vegas Motorcycle Accidents
Multiple factors can contribute to Las Vegas motorcycle accidents. These may include:
Las Vegas drivers are often in the city to cut loose and have some fun. As a result, they become more likely to engage in dangerous, risky behaviors that can lead to serious accidents: speeding, cutting between other vehicles, or even riding the center line. More accidents occur in younger riders riding sport bikes than in other drivers, which suggests that the risk-taking mentality may substantially increase the risk of accidents across the Las Vegas area.
Drunk driving has been on the rise in Nevada since 2012. Inebriated motorcycle riders may struggle to control their bikes or make impulsive driving decisions that prove difficult for other drivers to keep up with. Inebriated drivers of other vehicles might engage in riskier behaviors of their own, or might never notice the presence of a motorcycle.
Las Vegas certainly offers plenty of distractions. With flashing lights everywhere and things to look at on every corner, it can prove incredibly difficult to keep attention where it belongs: on the road. Unfortunately, accidents can occur in an instant. Drivers must keep track of their surroundings and keep their eyes on the road, especially when operating a smaller vehicle, like a motorcycle.
What Can You Do to Decrease Your Risks?
Motorcycle riders cannot avoid every potential accident, especially since they cannot control the other drivers around them. They can, however, take several steps to help reduce risks and keep themselves safer on the road.
1. Always wear appropriate protective gear.
Riders who do not wear a helmet, but who do suffer a serious crash, are 40% more likely to suffer serious head injury. Make sure that you not only have and wear a helmet, but that you take the time to get properly fitted so that you have a helmet that fits your specific needs. You may also want to consider protective gloves, a suit, or other gear that can help reduce your risk of road rash and other serious injury in an accident. While protective gear will not eliminate your risks entirely, it can keep you much safer in an accident.
2. Never drive inebriated.
You headed out with friends, planning to have “just one drink,” or perhaps “just a couple of drinks.” Unfortunately, your “couple of drinks” suddenly turned into more than intended.
Las Vegas has plenty of options that can provide you with a safe ride home, from taxis to Uber or Lyft. You can also walk many places in the city. You should never get on your motorcycle while inebriated. Driving drunk can decrease your reflexes, poorly influence your decision-making skills, and even interfere with your vision. Instead, leave your vehicle where it is and come back and get it the next day, once you have a chance to sober up. It may prove inconvenient in the moment, but an accident can cause far more damage and inconvenience.
3. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the controls.
Do not take your attention off the road while driving, no matter how tempting it might grow to look at your surroundings. When riding a motorcycle, you must pay attention to everything going on around you. You cannot guarantee that other drivers will look out for you, especially with the high risk of drunk drivers on Las Vegas roads.
Pay particular attention in heavy traffic, especially if you notice traffic slowing or you do not have adequate room around other vehicles. When possible, leave yourself room to maneuver so that you can get out of tight situations quickly if needed. Pay particular attention to any hazards that could increase your risk of an accident, including poor weather conditions, upcoming construction, or road hazards.
4. Always obey the laws of the road.
Riding a motorcycle can make it extremely tempting to ignore the rules of the road, especially if you get stuck in traffic. You can speed up faster than an ordinary vehicle. You can fit into tighter spaces. In fact, you can fit your vehicle down the center line between two larger vehicles, allowing you to slip through tight traffic.
Unfortunately, those behaviors can also quickly increase your risk of an accident.
Instead of courting danger, follow the rules of the road. Keep your motorcycle in its assigned lane and, when possible, stay near the middle of the lane. Follow the speed limit, even when you’re in a hurry. Follow posted street signs, including construction warnings. Simply following the rules of the road can help keep you and everyone else around you safer. While risk-taking may seem fun in the moment, it proves much less fun when an accident occurs.
5. Avoid other drivers behaving dangerously.
Drunk drivers can pose a substantial danger on the streets of Las Vegas. If you notice another vehicle moving erratically or the driver behaving dangerously in any way, avoid that vehicle. Pull off the road if needed, or take another route to reach your destination. Often, this simple step can substantially reduce your risk of suffering serious injuries in a severe accident.
If you do suffer injuries in a Las Vegas motorcycle accident, an attorney can help you understand and seek the compensation you deserve. Contact Gina Corena & Associates today at 702-680-1111 to learn more about your legal rights following an accident.
Driving without a license carries with it significant consequences, especially if you chose to drive on a suspended or revoked license. Simply driving before you have a license can bring with it fines and fees, while driving with a suspended or revoked license could lead to larger fines or even jail time.
But what happens if you suffer injuries in a car accident while driving without a license? Can you still file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your injuries?
Your Right to Compensation After an Accident
If you suffer serious injuries in a car accident due to the negligence of another party, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim. Your right to a personal injury claim does not depend on whether you had a license or not at the time of the accident. Instead, several factors will contribute to your right to compensation.
Who caused the accident?
When another party causes an auto accident, regardless of whether you have a driver’s license, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim. This includes a distracted driver, one driving under the influence, or a driver breaking the rules of the road, including speeding, ignoring red lights, or driving straight through stop signs.
On the other hand, if you contributed to the accident, including failure to follow the rules of the road or driving unsafely, you may not have grounds for a personal injury claim. You cannot ignore the rules of the road while driving, even if you do not have a license or do not understand the rules of the road. You may share fault if you chose to speed, drive distracted, drive under the influence, or pull over in front of another driver. In some cases, you may also bear partial liability for an accident, which can reduce the compensation you can receive.
How severe are your injuries?
In order to determine the compensation you deserve for injuries suffered in an accident, an attorney will start by evaluating the extent of your injuries and how they contribute to your expenses and losses related to the accident. When you file a personal injury claim, you have the right to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages due to your accident and injuries, and pain and suffering. Most often, your medical expenses will form the basis of your personal injury claim. In addition to considering the extent of your injuries and the cost of your medical bills, an attorney will work with you to assess how much work you had to miss as a result of your injuries and how pain and suffering from the accident can impact the amount you ultimately receive for a personal injury claim.
Will You Face Consequences for Driving Without a License?
If you get caught driving without a license, you may face consequences, usually in the form of a fine. Most of the time, you need not worry about extreme consequences related to driving without a license. The police officer who responds to the scene of the accident may decide whether to issue a fine for an accident. You will not face a reduction in the funds you can receive as a result of a personal injury claim, but you may face penalties for driving without a license.
What Should You Do After a Nevada Accident in Which You Drove Without a License?
If you received serious injuries in an accident, regardless of whether you drove with or without a license, you should take the same important steps to protect yourself and your finances following the accident. You should:
1. Report the accident. You may be tempted to quickly leave the scene of the accident without reporting it after you have an accident while driving without a license. Leaving the scene of the accident, however, can impose additional penalties, even if you did not cause the accident. Instead, stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
2. Accurately report the events that led to the accident, but do not make statements that accept fault if you can avoid it. In your panic over driving without a license, you may errantly accept fault for the accident. “It’s all my fault! I should never have gotten behind the wheel without a license!” Instead, accurately, and as calmly as possible, report the events that led to the accident. Do not volunteer information about your lack of a license, but do not lie about it if asked.
3. Seek medical attention. Make medical care your first priority after any type of accident, even if you believe you did not suffer serious injuries. Adrenaline from the accident can camouflage serious injuries, leaving you unaware of how badly you got hurt in the accident. Not only that, a trip to the hospital or urgent care center can help establish exactly when your injuries took place, which can prove vital if you later need to file a personal injury claim.
4. Consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Any time you suffer serious injuries in an auto accident, regardless of whether or not you had a license at the time of the accident, a personal injury attorney can provide vital advice and assistance that can help you navigate your claim and improve your odds of receiving the compensation you deserve. An attorney can also help you better understand the potential consequences of driving without your license.
5. Get your driver’s license as soon as possible. If you did not have your license at all at the time of the accident, rather than driving on a revoked or suspended license, get your driver’s license as soon as possible. Do not drive again until you have a valid license, even if you feel that you urgently need to get somewhere.
Did you suffer serious injuries in an auto accident in Nevada while driving without a license? Do you need help understanding your legal rights and how to file a personal injury claim? Contact Gina Corena & Associates today at 702-680-1111 to schedule a consultation.
A serious car accident is stressful enough; learning that your car accident claim was denied is frustrating. You paid your premiums, met your deductibles, yet nothing about your claim denial makes sense. A personal injury lawyer can help you by examining your policy and the reason for the denial. In some cases, it may involve more than one reason. Let’s take a look at some reasons why an insurance company may deny a car accident claim:
You Failed to Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Experiencing a traumatic event like that of a car accident can leave you in shock. The adrenaline pulsing through your body may mask symptoms of serious injury. Your delay in seeking medical treatment may cause the insurance company to deny your claim by:
- Declaring that your injuries worsened as a result of not seeking immediate medical care
- Declaring that your injuries are not from the accident but rather stem from a pre-existing condition
These two key reasons for denial are why it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately following a car accident. You may believe you suffered no injuries when in fact, internal injuries or bleeding occurred.
You Did Not Report the Accident in a Timely Manner
An insurance company may question why you waited to report an accident to law enforcement. They may also question whether the accident was preventable. These questions can lead them to consider the validity of your claim and result in a possible denial.
Reporting a car accident right away is important for several reasons. Not only does it summon first responders in the event of injuries—but it also summons police who can provide an official report for your records.
The Amount of Damages Far Exceed the Limits of Your Policy
Car accident injuries can range from broken bones to a spinal cord injury. The medical costs associated with your recovery can reach far beyond the limits of your policy.
Your insurance company may pay for your damages up to the limit of your policy. A personal injury lawyer can explore other options for possible compensation. For example, if another driver is responsible for the accident, liability for your damages may come from their insurance company.
When a car accident changes your life due to the reckless action of another person, it is not fair. Pursuing a civil case is where a personal injury lawyer can help you.
You Broke the Law
Your policy most likely does not cover damages when you drove drunk, drugged, or without a license. Any actions—by you—that broke the law may result in a denial of your claim.
If you choose to fight your charges and you are found not guilty, the insurance company must act in good faith with your claim.
You Did Nothing Wrong and Your Claim Was Still Denied
If you did nothing wrong yet your claim was still denied, the insurance company most likely acted on bad faith. An insurance policy is a contract that you pay premiums toward for benefits in the event of an emergency. When an insurance company fails to honor the terms of your policy, they act in what is commonly referred to as bad faith.
Nevada law protects consumers when insurance companies act in bad faith. Examples of how an insurance company may act in bad faith include:
- Not disclosing the terms, exclusions, or policy provisions that result in the denial of a claim
- Misrepresentation of contract language and terms
A personal injury lawyer can navigate state law as it applies to your claim. The injuries you experienced—regardless of fault—demand your full attention. Negotiating with insurance companies is often challenging due to their steadfast desire to protect their profits. Trying to negotiate with them alone can leave you exhausted and without the funds you need.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You When Your Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
The denial of your claim can leave you feeling confused and unsure of what to do next. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim is an important first step toward securing possible compensation for your accident injuries.
A personal injury lawyer can investigate your accident, review the evidence, and learn why your claim was denied. This process takes time and a dedicated focus—something your injuries can prevent you from doing.
Most personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations. This leaves you nothing to lose by discussing your options with a personal injury group firm today.
Your automobile insurance policy is not only required by law; it is costly. If you paid the required premiums to ensure you have benefits in times of tragedy, only to find your claim denied, you have options. Contacting a personal injury lawyer can help ease your mind that someone is on your side, protecting your best interests, and pursuing the best outcome for your situation.
You Must Act Quickly
Insurance companies are quite aggressive when it comes to fighting claims involving personal injury. An equally aggressive personal injury lawyer can act on your behalf to hold them accountable. Your medical bills demand payment and your injuries may prevent you from working. Let a personal injury lawyer get to work for you as soon as possible.
The statute of limitations is a state law that truly limits the amount of time allowed for pursuing civil action. If your lawyer discovers that a civil lawsuit is a possibility for your case, you must act quickly. Missing the deadline for filing your case is not an option; in fact, it can prevent you from pursuing compensation forever.
If you suffered serious injuries in a Las Vegas car accident and your insurance company denied your claim, do not give up. Seek the help of a personal injury lawyer by calling 702-680-1111 or contact a personal injury lawyer online today.
Texting while driving is not only dangerous, but it’s illegal in Nevada. Whether you’ve been in an accident because another driver was texting or you want to avoid causing an accident, you need to know the ins-and-outs of texting and driving laws in Las Vegas. Below we provide a general overview of Las Vegas texting and driving laws, exceptions to the rule, consequences drivers who text sometimes face, and what you can do if you suffer injuries in a traffic accident because a careless driver was texting.
Nevada’s Handheld Cellphone Ban
Nevada was one of the first states to jump on the no texting and driving bandwagon. Since 2012, Nevada drivers cannot text, read email, manually type, or hold their phone to their ear to talk while driving. The Nevada Department of Transportation states that drivers are four times more likely to crash while talking on a cell phone. Additionally, texting or talking delays reaction times as much as driving under the influence of alcohol. Drivers who do not comply with the ban face up to a $250 fine, double if they are in a work zone. Although NDOT advises against it, using a hands-free device while driving is still permitted in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada.
Exceptions to Nevada’s Cellphone Ban
Nevada’s handheld cellphone ban does account for certain professions and situations that require cellphone use. Exceptions to the ban include:
- Firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, ambulance attendants, and others providing emergency medical services who are acting within the scope of their employment can use a cellphone while driving.
- Police officers or anyone designated by the sheriff, chief of police, or Department of Public Safety who is acting within the scope of employment can also use cellphones while driving.
- People responding to a situation to protect the health and welfare of the driver or other person and who cannot safely stop a vehicle may use cellphones while driving.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed radio operators providing communication services during a disaster or emergency can use a cellphone while driving a motor vehicle.
- Public utility workers using a work phone to respond to dispatch can also use handheld cellphones while operating a vehicle.
Evidence to Prove a Driver Was Texting or Driving
Whether you find yourself in traffic court because you received a ticket for texting and driving or you end up bringing a lawsuit against a driver who was texting and caused an accident, the lawyers involved in these criminal and civil cases will typically review the following evidence:
- Phone records. A look at a driver’s phone records will reveal if he or she was having a conversation or sent a text at the time of an accident or ticket.
- Surveillance videos. If the driver who was texting was in a busy area, it’s likely nearby surveillance videos from a store, office building, casino, or hotel might have caught the misdeed on camera.
- Photos. Las Vegas is a busy city with many residents and tourists. Sometimes bystanders notice drivers breaking the law, take photos, and report them.
- Eyewitnesses. Similarly, bystanders and eyewitnesses who watched an accident occur sometimes notice if one or both drivers were using a handheld cellphone.
Consequences of Texting and Driving in Las Vegas
Those who do not comply with Nevada’s ban put others who share the road at risk for accident and injury. Not only does this include other motorists, but cyclists and pedestrians too. Aside from causing a potentially dangerous accident, other consequences of texting and driving include:
- A $50 fine for a first-time offender, $100 fine for a second offense, and $250 fine for the third offense within seven years.
- A ticket for texting while driving in Las Vegas will likely cause an increase in a driver’s auto insurance premiums.
- Nevada gives drivers, including those with commercial driver’s licenses, one freebie in terms of points, but once a driver has a second texting a driving ticket, he or she receives four demerit points on their driver’s license. A total of 12 points within a year leads to a six-month license suspension.
- CDL holders must notify their employers of a texting and driving ticket within 30 days, potentially leading to negative professional consequences.
- CDL holders who have two texting and driving tickets within three years face a two-month license suspension for violating federal laws about CDL drivers using cellphones while driving.
Seeking Compensation for Damages After an Accident Caused by Texting
If a careless driver starts texting and crashes into you, Nevada law permits you to seek compensation for damages related to the accident and your injuries. In the event you reach a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier or you sue in civil court and the court awards you damages, you may receive compensation for:
- Medical treatment costs including ambulance, emergency room visit, hospital stay, radiology, surgery, followup visits, medication, and travel to and from the doctor/hospital
- Rehabilitation costs such as visiting a physical therapist or occupational therapist to regain lost functions and cope with any permanent injuries
- Estimated future medical treatment costs if the accident leads to permanent injuries
- Lost wages from missing work
- Estimated future lost wages in the event of a catastrophic injury
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium with spouse
- Decreased quality of life
- Punitive damages
An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you on which specific damages apply to your case.
Contact the Experienced Nevada Car Accident Lawyers at Gina Corena & Associates
Texting and driving can lead to treacherous accidents that cause injuries for everyone involved. You should always avoid texting and driving in Las Vegas as to not cause an accident, but you must also beware of other drivers who choose to text and drive. If you have sustained injuries in a Las Vegas traffic collision as a result of a driver distracted by texting or other illegal cellphone use, contact the skilled Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Gina Corena & Associates online or at 702-680-1111 for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your accident claim.
Changing or merging lanes is something drivers do all the time, but it is also an action that can easily cause an accident if not done with the proper attention to the road. In fact, studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that more than 500,000 motor vehicle accidents occur each year due to lane changes and merging in the United States.
If you or a loved one were injured during a lane change or merge accident, you will need to determine who is at fault in order to seek recovery. Read on to learn more about establishing fault in a merging car accident and how to secure recovery for your injuries.
Causes of Merging Car Accidents
There are seven common pre-crash scenarios that lead to 88% of all lane change/merging (LCM) car accidents:
- An intentional lane change that causes a collision with another vehicle traveling on a parallel path
- A vehicle turning across the path of another driver at a junction
- A vehicle drifting into the lane of a vehicle traveling in a parallel path unintentionally
- A vehicle turning at a junction while another vehicle is passing
- A vehicle changes lane to attempt to pass another vehicle
- A vehicle exiting a parking spot as another vehicle passes
- A vehicle merging from a highway entrance that is sideswiped by another vehicle
In a notable portion of LCM accidents, some driver action or inaction contributed to the collision. Common contributing driver factors include:
- Driver distraction
- Failure to yield right of way
- Alcohol or drug consumption
- Speeding or going too fast for road conditions
- Reckless driving
- Merging too slowly or hesitating
- Failure to utilize safety mechanisms such as tail lights
Driver is distraction is the most common contributing factor to LCM accidents; anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road is considered a driver distraction, including using a phone, entering information into a GPS, or eating.
Building a Case for Fault
A party is only responsible for a car accident if they acted negligently or intentionally in a way that caused the accident and resulting injuries. Any violation of a traffic law or regulation is strong evidence of negligence. For this reason, it is important to secure a police report after the accident. The report will document the accident scene, witness statements and contact information, and any citations issued for traffic violations.
It is more straightforward to demonstrate fault when only one vehicle is changing lanes or merging during the accident. There is a presumption that the vehicle changing lanes is at fault because it is their responsibility to ensure that the maneuver is safe before acting. If you were struck by a vehicle that was changing lanes or merging, analyze whether there is any evidence that you acted negligently. Lack of negligence on your part will contribute significantly to your case against the other party.
The situation becomes more complicated when both parties were merging or changing lanes. Determining fault is a complicated analysis given that both parties took an affirmative action that may have contributed to the accident. It will be important to determine whether any other evidence of negligence exists, including distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence. If you are unable to establish the other driver’s negligence, both parties might be found partially at fault.
An experienced attorney can help you analyze the facts of the accident, gather evidence, and advise on the strength of your case.
Preparing a Damages Claim
Be sure to keep track of all the costs related to your injuries, including emotional and financial injuries. The value of these injuries will be included in your damages claim to the responsible party. Common damages after a car accident include:
- Medical Expenses: Include all costs for medical care in your damages claim. This includes doctor’s bills, hospital stays, prescription medicine, and long-term costs like physical therapy or in-home care. You will also need to calculate future medical expenses if your injuries will require ongoing care. Often a medical expert is required for a thorough analysis.
- Lost Wages: Injuries often force the victim to miss work or work a reduced schedule causing them to lose wages or salary. The negligent party is responsible for these lost wages, including any future lost earnings. If you anticipate future lost earnings, you will need to consult an economic expert to calculate the appropriate amount.
- Property Damage: Car accidents often result in a damaged vehicle. Other property is also often damaged in an accident. You are entitled to recover for the costs of repair or replacement of damaged property.
- Emotional Distress: A car accident can leave you shaken in the aftermath, but often victims suffer from long-term emotional distress as well. It is not uncommon for accident victims to suffer from anxiety, PTSD, or depression. You deserve to be compensated for these injuries.
- Loss of Enjoyment: If you are unable to participate in activities that previously served a meaningful position in your life, you should secure recovery for this loss of enjoyment. For example, if you were an avid athlete, you deserve compensation if you can no longer participate in sports.
- Exemplary or Punitive Damages: Exemplary or punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant rather than to compensate the victim. In Nevada, these damages are only available if the defendant acted with oppression, fraud, or malice.
An attorney can help you compile a comprehensive damages assessment. This is a critical step in building your case as it will impact any settlement offers and a jury award.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
Gina Corena & Associates is staffed by a team of attorneys who are dedicated to helping clients secure the maximum recovery for their injuries. Our attorneys have secured millions in settlements for clients and have been named “Top 40 Under 40” and “Ten Best Attorneys” in Nevada. Providing skilled and compassionate support to our clients is our number one priority.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, NV or the surrounding area, contact us today for a consultation.
Tourists flock to Las Vegas to try their luck in casinos as well as enjoy fabulous shows and world-class dining. A large number of tourists translates to rental cars traveling all over roads and highways in Las Vegas. Most drivers aren’t familiar with the area and as they focus on getting around, they lose focus on driving, leading to accidents. Also, many drivers do not drive rental cars with the same care they use in their own car.
Many scenarios can lead to a traffic accident involving a rental car, but the aftermath of a rental car accident isn’t as simple as it sometimes is with a typical car crash. Liability can be muddy when you get into an accident with a rental car because the driver in the rental and the car rental agency typically share liability for damages.
If you suffer injuries in a Las Vegas rental car accident, it’s in your best interest to hire a Las Vegas car accident attorney to guide you through the complexities of these types of claims. We have provided this guide to help answer some questions you may have until you have the chance to consult with a lawyer.
The Driver’s Auto Insurance and The Rental Car Agency’s Insurance Cover Losses
When you are involved in an accident with a rental car in Las Vegas, you can file accident claims with the driver’s personal auto insurance policy and with the rental car agency’s insurance policy. Nevada law protects other motorists by requiring rental car agencies to carry the same insurance minimums on their vehicles that private vehicle owners must carry.
Additionally, Nevada rental car agencies who do not carry the required minimums open themselves up to joint and several liability under the law. Joint liability speaks to the idea that more than one party can be responsible for damages when a person suffers injury in a traffic accident. Several liability refers to the idea that each at-fault party in an accident is only responsible for their portion of the damages. These laws ensure that you will receive compensation for damages when the rental car driver caused an accident.
Over the years, Nevada drivers have put the above laws to the test, especially as it pertains to joint and several liability. Ultimately, the Nevada Supreme Court’s opinion in Salas v. Allstate Rent Car Inc. clarified the law and set a precedent for today’s accident claims involving rental car drivers.
Nevada Supreme Court Opinion: Salas v. Allstate Rent-A-Car Inc.
In Salas v. Allstate the Nevada Supreme Court had to decide whether car rental agencies must pay damages when someone who rents a car causes injury to others in a rental car accident after the renter’s personal auto insurance has paid out minimum coverage to those who suffered injuries. More simply, the court case answers the question of what happens after an accident when the driver and the rental car agency both have insurance coverage.
In 1996, Stephen J. Romeo leased a car from Allstate Rent-a-Car while in Nevada. Romeo was driving negligently and rear-ended Pedro and Florence Salas in their personal vehicle. The Salas family settled with Romeo through his personal auto insurance policy, but the settlement did not cover all the damages. In an attempt to recover more compensation, the Salas’ filed a claim with Allstate for the remainder of their damages.
All-state refused to pay the claim on the grounds that Romeo’s policy already paid them the required minimums for damages and allowing the Salas to recover from both parties creates an unfair financial windfall. The case eventually made its way to Nevada’s Supreme Court in 2000. The court ruled that injured accident victims from rental car accidents can recover damages from the rental car driver and the company because they receive compensation for real damages from the accident.
Order of Insurance Coverage After a Rental Car Accident in Las Vegas
The other question concerning liability in Las Vegas rental car accidents revolves around whose insurance pays for damages first when the rental car driver is at fault. Insurance companies stay in business by denying and fighting every claim that comes their way. Both personal auto insurance policies and supplemental coverage through a rental car agency typically state that their coverage is secondary, resulting in insurance companies fighting over who should pay first.
In an earlier Nevada Supreme Court opinion, Alamo Rent-a-Car v. State Farm Mutual, the court decided that the best policy is for the driver’s personal automobile insurance policy to pay for damages to injured parties first. The court based their opinion on the fact that insurance companies who provide individual automobile insurance review driver histories and increase premiums or change coverage based on their knowledge. In contrast, rental car companies do not have the opportunity to review driving history when renters choose supplemental insurance, and they do not collect an additional premium from someone with a poor driving history. This gives individual auto insurance providers a leg up, so it’s better policy to have them pay first when accident injuries occur.
Las Vegas Rental Accidents When You’re at Fault
If you have rented a car in Las Vegas and caused a traffic accident resulting in injuries, the above determinations about liability and order of coverage apply. Your auto liability insurance will kick in first to cover damages, followed by the supplemental insurance from the car rental agency if you purchased it. You should also check with your credit card company. Many cards automatically provide rental car insurance coverage when you use them to pay for your rental.
Contact Gina Corena & Associates After a Rental Car Accident in Las Vegas
Car accidents are sometimes simply a nuisance, but more severe car accidents lead to serious injuries that come with significant economic and non-economic costs. Being involved in a car accident with a rental car compounds the situation with questions of liability. If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident with a rental car, contact the skilled car accident lawyers at Gina Corena & Associates online or at 702-680-1111 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your rental car accident and injuries and determine the best path forward for your situation.
Las Vegas…there’s plenty of fun, glamour, and excitement to go around in Sin City, so many people opt for limo transportation more often than they might in the suburbs. Some parties call a taxi or hop in a limo to avoid driving under the influence; others book ahead for a special experience– but no matter why they’re there, there are lots of people moving around Las Vegas in limousines at any given moment.
So what happens when even the best-laid plans (or the best intentions) lead to trouble? What happens when limousine passengers are involved in an accident in Las Vegas? How can someone recover compensation if they’re involved in an accident while in a limousine in Las Vegas?
Limousine, Taxi, and Other Drivers Owe Passengers a Standard of Care
Individuals who drive public transportation vehicles like taxis and limousines owe their passengers a duty of care. That means that they’re expected to follow the rules of the road, act appropriately, and avoid harm. People trust vehicle drivers when they get into cars like this.
The unfortunate truth is that, sometimes, a driver’s patterns fall below the standard of care. Many drivers who violate the standard of care cause accidents due to their negligence and recklessness.
Two Common Causes of Limousine Accidents In Las Vegas
A limousine driver can behave negligently or inappropriately just like a normal driver would. These drivers are not at less risk of driving distracted, under the influence, or while they exhibit symptoms of road rage.
Driver negligence doesn’t always look so shocking, either. Anybody can be negligent while they drive, perhaps making an errant turn, forgetting to use a signal, or driving too fast on a certain stretch of road. Since limos are more difficult to operate than typical vehicles, negligent driving can cause the situation to get complicated quickly.
Limo Company Negligence
A limousine company can actually be found liable for an accident, too.
- These companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles
- When the limo companies fail to do so, they knowingly put drivers and passengers at risk and display negligence
Poorly-maintained vehicles are ticking time bombs. There’s no reason for a limousine company to send out a car that could break down. Many limousine companies have been found liable for limo accidents throughout Vegas.
Limo Accidents Can Have a Range of Causes
Various factors can cause a car accident. In fact, there are notable stories in Vegas about police officers causing limo crashes. Just because your limo accident did not appear to have been caused by driver or limo company negligence, it does not mean that you don’t have a case.
Examples of Accidents With Limousines
A limousine can be involved in virtually any accident that a standard car can, but some common types of limo accidents include:
- Head-on collisions: The front of a limo receives the bulk of impact; may involve two vehicles receiving damage to their fronts; bumpers and airbags are supposed to help minimize damage in these crashes, but they can’t always keep passengers safe
- Rear-end collisions: Generally the most common type of limo accident; a limo may damage another vehicle’s rear end or have its own rear end damaged by someone else
- Side swipe collisions: Common at intersections; a limo may hit the side of another vehicle on the road or have its own side hit; commonly impacts door and central parallels of the limo
How Do I Recover Compensation If I Was Involved In an Accident While In a Limousine in Las Vegas?
There’s no complete and easy-to-understand answer to this question. It’s important to know that every limo accident– and every limo accident case– looks different. A range of factors influence the small details that make up how someone pursues compensation after an accident.
However, there is a general framework that limo accident survivors can follow to begin recovering compensation.
- Prioritize your own physical and mental healing| A limo accident case is one of many types of personal injury cases. Usually, personal injury cases cannot move forward until there’s a decent understanding of what injuries a survivor has sustained and how those injuries might impact them in the future. You should try to heal and understand your own condition and diagnoses.
- Partner with an attorney early on| The sooner you select a limousine accident attorney to help you recover compensation, the sooner he or she can actually start to work in your best interests. A lawyer can help you navigate talking to insurance companies and the limo company. He or she can start working with experts (like auto professionals) to build a case and prove what happened.
- Collect evidence and documentation if you can| Some accidents occur in a way that victims can collect evidence after the fact. We’ve handled numerous limo accident cases, many of which clients who have had pictures of damage to vehicles, physical injuries, and signs like skid marks in roadways. We’ve also partnered with plenty of survivors who could have never done this at the scene of the accident– and that’s okay too! Prioritize evidence recovery if and when you can, but don’t put yourself at risk.
What Compensation is Available If I’ve Been Injured In a Limousine Accident In Las Vegas?
A limousine accident lawyer can help injured parties pursue a variety of damages. Aside from the obvious (like emergency and other medical bills), you may be able to recover:
- Lost wages or diminished earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or loss of limb
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Involved in a Limo Accident in Las Vegas? Gina Corena & Associates Can Help
If you or somebody you love have been in a limousine accident in Las Vegas, our team can help. At Gina Corena & Associates, we work diligently to help support our clients throughout every step of the legal process. Contact us online today or call us at 702-680-1111 to learn more about how we can help you.
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies consider their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. Drivers who meet criminal background, driving history, and vehicle requirements can sign up and begin giving rides almost immediately. Rideshare companies do not interview or require drivers to go through a lengthy hiring process. After passing a basic screening, drivers log on to Uber or Lyft, start giving rides, and accepting money from their customers. The companies take a portion of the fare and drivers keep the rest.
Uber, Lyft, other rideshare companies, and any other company that contracts out work typically does so for economic reasons. Businesses do not need to offer benefits and have fewer legal obligations towards contracts. This is the case with Uber and Lyft drivers, who also contract to drivers as a way to decrease their liability when a driver causes a traffic accident.
If you have suffered injuries in a rideshare accident in Las Vegas, contact the skilled Uber accident lawyers or Lyft accident lawyers at Gina Corena & Associates to learn more about your legal options to recover compensation for your injuries.
Contractors vs. Employees at Rideshare Companies
When rideshare companies first came on the scene over a decade ago, they did not have to comply with special regulations. As the popularity of Uber and Lyft increases, drivers caused accidents, and riders along with others on the road faced more risk for injury, state legislatures started taking notice. Additionally, drivers have begun to fight for the change of status because they do not get paid time off, sick leave, nor do they qualify for unemployment, which is especially important after the onset of the global pandemic.
State legislatures have stepped up and implemented laws forcing Uber and Lyft to classify drivers as employees, and the rideshare companies’ responses have been to bring a lawsuit. In other states, drivers have sued Uber for recognition as employees, with courts often agreeing even though the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that Uber drivers are not employees. Colopy v. Uber Technologies is a recent case that might ultimately force Uber and Lyft and other rideshare companies to make sweeping changes in employment status.
Colopy v. Uber Technologies
San Francisco Uber driver, Thomas Colopy, brought a class action suit against Uber concerning the classification of drivers as independent contractors. In December 2019, a San Francisco U.S. District Judge ruled that Colopy had a viable claim against Uber. Previous cases and California’s bill requires companies to show the work a contractor performs is “outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.” Uber argues it is a technology app, not a transportation business, which gives them the right to classify drivers as independent contractors.
Currently, Uber and Lyft drivers are still independent contractors in Nevada and most other states. Yet, the tides are turning and it’s not unreasonable to think this could change in the near future. Drivers want this change for better pay and benefits. Also, hiring drivers as employees puts more responsibility on Uber and Lyft for training and hiring, potentially decreasing traffic accidents caused by rideshare drivers.
How Does Driver Classification Impact Uber or Lyft Claims?
Driver classification impacts personal injury claims to the extent that those who suffer injuries in an Uber or Lyft accident might be able to sue for a greater amount depending on the situation. Currently, rideshare drivers have different insurance coverage based on whether they are signed in to the app, waiting for a ride request, or transporting a ride. Under this system, Uber and Lyft riders can typically sue for more than a motorist in another vehicle who suffers injuries from an accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver not carrying passengers.
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per individual when signed in and waiting for a ride
- $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident when signed in and waiting for a ride
- $1,000,000 in bodily injury liability coverage when rideshare drivers have a passenger in their vehicle
Uber and Lyft do not provide insurance for drivers who are signed out of the app. In these situations, injured accident victims must file a claim with the driver’s personal or commercial insurance policy.
In the event that a court ruling forces Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies to classify drivers as employees, companies will have more direct responsibility for drivers, which opens them up to liability for an accident. As direct employers, Uber and Lyft will be responsible for hiring, training, implementing safety protocols, reprimanding accident-prone drivers, and reprimanding drivers who receive traffic citations. If rideshare companies do not uphold these types of responsibilities towards employees, a court might find them negligent and liable for damages from a Lyft or Uber accident.
Steps After Suffering Injuries in an Uber or Lyft Accident
If you suffer injuries while riding with Uber or as a motorist or passenger in another vehicle, take the following steps to stay safe and collect the information you need to file an accident claim.
Seek Medical Treatment
Your health and safety is top priority. If you are in a severe accident, you will likely be transported to the nearest hospital via ambulance. If, however, you are fortunate enough to walk away from the accident, you still need to get checked out by a doctor soon after the accident. A physician can evaluate your injuries, even if they are minor. Your medical record serves as valuable evidence for an accident claim.
If you are physically able, gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Most will be in the official police report if an ambulance immediately transports you away from the scene. Get the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance information and vehicle information. Also, get contact information for the driver and any witnesses. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene, property damage, and any visible bodily injury.
Contact an Experienced Lyft and Uber Accident Lawyer
Rideshare accidents are complex cases and you deserve the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Let an experienced personal injury attorney from Gina Corena & Associates guide you through the claims process and deal with the insurance companies while you focus on healing. Contact us today online or at 702-680-1111 for a free consultation.
The Basics of a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Las Vegas
Personal injuries can occur at any time. While dealing with the injury is in itself an arduous task, what comes next can be equally tough to combat. If the personal injury occurs in Las Vegas, you need to be aware of the rules involved for you to file a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury case is when someone gets involved in an accident or injury and claims that the harm that was caused is the responsibility of someone else. Personal injuries can take place in several ways, be it a car accident, an incident of slipping and falling, using defective products, the presence of medical practice, and so on.
Personal injury lawsuits happen between private parties. While one person is called the plaintiff (the one brining the lawsuit), the other party is known as the defendant (the one responsible for the injury).
If you ever find yourself involved in a personal law injury, make sure to contact Gina Corena & Associates. We always see to it that our personal injury attorneys do their best to provide you with the maximum compensation possible. You can contact our legal team in Las Vegas on (702) 680-1111.
How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit in Las Vegas, and your matter involves over $10,000, then it’ll mostly be filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court. However, if the amount is slightly lesser than that, for instance, sums going up to $7500, it will be heard by the small claims division of the Las Vegas Township Justice Court.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the opening legal document is known as a complaint. It contains details related to facts about the injury, identification of the different parties, and gives brief reasons as to why the defendant should be held responsible for the damage caused, thereby proceeding to make a request to the court.
If in case your lawsuit isn’t filed within the timeframe specified, it could lead to you getting barred forever. These rules vary from one state to another depending on the cause of action, and are known as statutes of limitations. As far as Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada is concerned, the timeframe for a personal injury is usually two years. However, if a medical malpractice action is in question in Vegas, you get between one to three years. This depends on when the victim discovered the malpractice.
Once a settlement has been reached, the victim can choose to not sue the defendant in exchange for monetary compensation. Insurance companies generally try to get the victims to settle after the accident has taken place. They can try to get you to settle for less than you deserve, and in order to avoid that from happening, taking the advice of an attorney is the best thing to do.
Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company of the defendant, and once the details have been discussed, you will reach a settlement where you’re given exactly the compensation you deserve to take care of the injury. Insurance companies usually agree to the compensation amount so as to prevent the case from going to trial.
Proving the Case and Recovering Damages
To make sure that you prove your case, it is important to have solid points that prove the negligence of the defendant. This entails proving that the defendant acted in a careless and negligent manner, which in turn contributed to or caused the accident.
It does happen in some cases that more than one party is found guilty of being negligent. Las Vegas and the rest of the state have a theory known as the modified comparative negligence theory. This theory entails that if your negligence level is below 51%, you are still free to pursue your action, and your damages will lessen depending on the percentage of your fault.
The damages are mainly divided into two categories. The first category is that of the tangible damages. These refer to the more economic damages, such as lost wages or medical expenses. The second category refers to the less tangible damages such as the suffering or pain a victim goes through, and are therefore the general or non-economic damages.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Center for Gaming Research reveals that the casino business is alive and well with upward revenue trends. It can be fun to hit the casino with friends and family, whether you live in Las Vegas or are here visiting. The abundance of alcohol and the opportunity to cash in on your luck can lead to a trip to the hospital and injuries. The same experiences that can make casinos so attractive can also cause hazards. When it comes to slip and fall accidents in Nevada, casinos are a prime location.
Slip and Fall Dangers in Casinos
When most people think of safety in a casino, they may think about protecting themselves from being a victim or a crime or theft or limiting the amount of alcohol they consume. However, the chances of experiencing a slip and subsequent fall are higher than becoming a crime statistic and are enhanced with alcohol consumption. Casinos are home to many hazards that can cause patrons to fall, such as:
- Leaky pipes
- Spilled drinks or other liquids on the floors
- Patrons under the influence of alcohol
- Crowds and people moving quickly
- Uneven floors
- Floors that transition to a different material
- Shiny floors
- Servers who are in a hurry and do not pay attention to their surroundings
It is not your job to determine precisely how your slip and fall accident occurred; a knowledgeable Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can do this for you and determine who is liable.
Compensable Slip and Fall Damages
Not only will a slip and fall ruin your fun in a casino or your entire vacation, but it will also lead to many other damages. If the casino or another person or party were negligent and caused your slip and fall injuries, they will owe you financial compensation for your damages. Damages can represent the financial cost of your injury as well as the cost of non-tangible factors. Your Las Vegas personal injury attorney can work with you to determine the types and amounts of damages you should claim in your case. Your damages for a slip and fall accident might include:
- Medical bills
- Attorney fees
- Lost wages
- Cost of future medical services required
- Household bills and necessities
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental anxiety
- Loss of companionship
You can also claim property damage if something you own was damaged in your fall. For example, if your wedding ring lost its diamond or the face of your watch cracked. All of these damages will be taken into account during potential settlement negotiations or by the court if your case proceeds to litigation.
Settlements in Slip and Fall Cases
In many cases, the legal counsel for both the plaintiff and the defendant are able to negotiate a fair settlement that everyone agrees on. The plaintiff agrees not to sue for this same issue again, receives their settlement check, and all parties go their separate ways. On the other hand, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, the plaintiff’s attorney can take the case to court and ask a judge or a jury to decide the matter and award their client fair compensation.
Statute of Limitations in Nevada
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident in a Nevada casino, your time to bring a lawsuit is limited to two years from the date of your accident or the date that you discovered or should have discovered your injuries by the statute of limitations. If you file your lawsuit once the statute of limitations has expired, your case will be thrown out of court on that basis. Your Las Vegas slip and fall accident lawyer will have more time to build your case and file it on time the sooner you reach out to them after your slip and fall accident. Another benefit of reaching out to them early on is that they may be able to find and save evidence that might later be unavailable or destroyed.
Meet with a Las Vegas Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Don’t accept settlement offers from a casino or anyone else without first consulting with an experienced attorney. It is quite likely that an attorney could obtain more money on your behalf than you can on your own. With an in-depth understanding of Nevada’s personal injury laws and the value of slip and fall cases, getting a lawyer only makes sense. Contact Gina Corena & Associates to schedule your consultation today at 702-680-1111 or complete our online contact form.
Las Vegas Pedestrian Accidents: Protecting Your Rights
Everyone has been a pedestrian at multiple times in their life. The safety of pedestrians should matter to everyone, especially those behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2018 saw a three percent increase in pedestrian crash fatalities, the highest number since 1990.
If you or someone you love was injured as a pedestrian by another driver, legal recourse might be available with the help of a knowledgeable Las Vegas personal injury lawyer. Immediately after the accident, even before you meet with your attorney, there are steps you can take to help protect your legal rights.
See a Doctor
Whether you go to the hospital via ambulance or see your own doctor the next day, it is crucial to your claim that you receive medical attention. Any injuries you sustain need to be medically documented and diagnosed. Furthermore, if your healthcare provider gives you instructions, you need to follow them. If you fail to take prescribed medications, refuse surgery, or don’t bother to show up for physical therapy appointments, the insurance company will get the impression that you either aren’t truly injured or that you don’t care about your injuries and getting better.
Call the Police to Report the Accident
Even if your pedestrian accident is minor, it is a good idea to call the police. Have them investigate the accident and file a formal report. Insurance companies will need this report as it is an important legal record of what happened to cause the accident and the results of the accident. The law enforcement officer should speak to everyone involved and witnesses to take their statements about what happened.
Evidence is best when collected immediately after the accident. When gathered immediately, the evidence is less likely to be tainted or lost. Whenever possible, you or someone else should take pictures at the scene of the accident. Get pictures from multiple angles of:
- Any vehicles involved and damages they sustained
- Traffic lights or signs
- Your injuries
- The area around where the accident occurred
- Anything else pertinent to the accident such as weather conditions or shoes that flew off of your feet
Speak to Witnesses
If it is feasible, you or someone in your party should speak to any witnesses who saw what happened immediately preceding the accident and the accident itself. Be sure to obtain their contact information as well. Their testimony could be a valuable tool for your Las Vegas pedestrian accident attorney to use in your case and is often the most critical piece of evidence.
Create an Accident Journal
As time goes by, your memory of the accident may change. The sooner you document your version of what happened, the better off you will be. In a notebook, another type of journal, or digitally record whatever you know and recall about the accident, the injuries you sustained, and any financial losses you’ve suffered, such as loss of income, consequential to the accident.
In this journal, you should also take accurate and thorough notes of conversations or correspondence that you have with people involved with the accident.
Keep Copies of Bills and Records
You should also maintain a file of any medical bills you receive that relate to the accident as well as medical records and any other paperwork that pertains to your damages or the accident itself. This will be helpful for you and your attorney in calculating and proving your damages. It can also help ensure that all of your medical and other related bills are paid.
Hire an Experienced Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident Attorney to Help Protect Your Rights
Finally, and most importantly, hire a Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer to protect your rights and get you fair compensation for all of your damages. Injuries from pedestrian accidents are often severe, causing pain and incurring expensive medical bills. You should not have to endure this pain or pay out of your own pocket for your injuries.
If contacted by the driver’s insurance company, do not give any statements and do not accept or negotiate any settlements without hiring your own attorney. Studies show that accident victims can receive more compensation when they have an attorney on their side than when they do not. Insurance companies know that victims who hire legal counsel are serious about securing the payments that they deserve and will not back down.