Deadly Crashes Caused by Drivers on Cell Phones are Under Reported

by Gina Corena & Associates

posted in Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney on April 21, 2020

Deadly Crashes Caused by Drivers on Cell Phones are Under Reported

We depend on various government agencies at both the state and federal level to provide us with relevant data regarding roadway accidents. Insurance companies often depend on this data for setting insurance rates, new home buyers may review this data before deciding where to purchase and researchers depend on this data to increase safety on the roadways. Perhaps even more importantly, our legislators use this data to debate and implement safety measures designed to keep everyone safe on the road.

However, a report which was issued by the National Safety Council (NSC) tells us that between 2006 and 2017, crashes resulting from cell phone use may be harder to track than originally thought, due to a lack of reporting. At Gina Corena & Associates we believe residents in Las Vegas should know the number of crashes on our roadways and understand the hazards of under-reporting cell phone use involvement.

Understanding Why Cell Phone Use is Under Reported

Currently, Las Vegas laws are in place which require drivers to use “hands free” operation of cell phones. The laws are in place to help protect everyone on the roadway and to minimize distractions. However, there are some gaps in the law that allow some use of cell phones including:

  • Activation – you may dial a number, plug in a GPS destination, or swipe to answer a device while operating your vehicle. Once you have done any of these functions, you must follow the hands free requirements but even these simple motions are sufficient to cause an accident.
  • Lack of transparency – drivers are not necessarily going to fess up to using their cell phone, particularly if they are involved in an accident.
  • Inconsistent statements – witnesses can be confused immediately following an accident and even when there are several witnesses to an accident, some may have “seen” a driver using a cell phone and others may not have seen such use.
  • Failed system for reporting – the most common reason for having bad data about cell phone use as a cause of an accident is poorly designed reporting systems. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there are 26 states which provide no option for texting as a cause and 32 which do not capture hands-free cell phone use.

Victims of Las Vegas Deadly Crashes

Across Nevada, there were more than 250 fatal crashes during 2019 and in Clark County alone, 25 people lost their lives in fatal car crashes.  As a surviving family member, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim if your loved one died in a car accident. Gina Corena & Associates has handled countless wrongful death claims across Nevada and this experience can benefit you. While we understand money cannot make up for your loss, it can help mitigate the financial problems your family may face after losing a loved one in an accident.

Steps in Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims may be filed for up to two years following the death of a loved one. There are specific parties who may file a wrongful death claim including:

  • Executor or personal representative of the estate of the decedent
  • Spouse, domestic partner, or children of the decedent
  • Parents of the decedent if there are no living children or spouses
  • Other parties who may be dependent upon the decedent at the time of death

When you speak with an attorney, they can explain to you the required proof for a wrongful death lawsuit. Remember, wrongful death lawsuits do not require a person to be held criminally liable for death since they are civil lawsuits. Should there be a criminal case pending, you may still follow through on a wrongful death claim.

Damages Available in Wrongful Death Claims

Under Nevada Revised Statutes section 1.085 wrongful death claims may be filed to recover certain expenses. These expenses include:

  • Property loss
  • Medical expenses for the decedent as a result of the accident
  • Pain and suffering of decedent prior to death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages for the decedent including future wages and benefits
  • Loss of companionship and guidance

When you speak with an attorney at Gina Corena & Associates, they can help explain more about potential damages. Remember, every case is different, and while there are no guarantees that your case will be successful, working with a law firm who has a proven track record may increase the odds in your favor. In some cases, survivors may also be able to collect punitive damages.

Fortunately, not all car crashes are deadly, but this does not mean you may not have difficulty with a claim for your injuries following a car accident. Too often, victims are uncertain what steps they should take following an accident involving a driver who was on their cell phone. You have rights as a victim and that is why you should contact Gina Corena & Associates where you can speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.

Victims or surviving family members often have questions after a car accident because they do not know what rights they have. Most victims also do not understand how to deal with insurance company adjusters who may be pressuring them to accept a fast settlement.

Remember insurance companies have a vested interest in having you accept a fast settlement because it often means they will pay out less. You should avoid speaking with an insurance adjuster before you seek guidance from an attorney. If an adjuster contacts you following an accident, let them know you have spoken with an attorney and provide them the contact information.

Before you accept a settlement, or you speak with an insurance adjuster, contact Gina Corena & Associates at (702) 996-5643 and set up a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney.

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