Nevada Motor Vehicle Negligence & Fault

Were you or a loved one injured in a motor vehicle accident? Are you unsure of who is at fault and how to get compensation for your injuries? When your family is dealing with a complicated car crash or truck accident claim, do not hesitate to ask for help.

Our legal team at Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers has years of experience investigating collisions, identifying negligence, and determining who is at fault. We have a strong track record of achieving results for our clients.

To learn more about motor vehicle negligence and fault after a crash, contact us at (702) 878-2889 or through our online form. We are available to schedule your free initial consultation.

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Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?

The person who is at fault for the car accident is the driver whose negligence led to the crash.

When you are involved in a common two-vehicle crash, this is not hard to decipher. You may have been rear-ended at a stop sign, and it is clear the vehicle that ran into the backend of your car is at fault.

However, many motor vehicle accidents are more complex. When three or more vehicles are involved, it may not be clear who began the collision. More than one driver may have acted carelessly or recklessly and contributed to the crash. The same issue can arise in two-vehicle collisions. Both drivers may be partly to blame. The question then becomes, who is more at fault?

When fault is not clear after a wreck, talk with a Las Vegas car accident attorney who can independently investigate your crash and hire an accident reconstruction expert to determine what went wrong and who was responsible.

What is Negligence?

Ordinary negligence is a failure to uphold a duty of care, which causes another person harm.

If you claim another driver was negligent, you must establish four elements:

  • Duty: You must show the other driver had a duty of care. All drivers on the road are required to uphold the ordinary duty of care, which requires them to act as a reasonably prudent person would under the same or similar circumstances.
  • Breach of Duty: You must demonstrate that the driver failed to act as a reasonably prudent person would. Common ways of establishing a breach of duty after a car accident are establishing that the driver was speeding, failed to obey a traffic sign or signal, or was intoxicated.
  • Causation: You must establish direct and proximate cause. Direct causation means that were it not for the driver’s actions, the collision would not have occurred. Proximate cause is a more complex legal rule. The collision must have been within the risks associated with the driver’s conduct. In other words, it must have been foreseeable.
  • Damages: You must prove you suffered a compensable injury in the collision. You can prove you were hurt with your medical records, testimony, medical bills, car repair or replacement receipts, and other financial records.

Common Types of Driver Negligence

Common forms of negligence by vehicle drivers include:

  • Driving faster than the speed limit
  • Driving faster than what is safe for the weather, road, or traffic conditions
  • Speeding in construction and work zones
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or over the legal limit
  • Driving while impaired by marijuana or over the legal THC limit
  • Driving after imbibing a controlled substance
  • Driving while distracted by eating or drinking, reading, grooming, or reaching for other objects
  • Using a cellphone while driving
  • Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
  • Failing to follow the Rules of the Road
  • Following other vehicles too closely
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Failing to maintain a proper lookout
  • Ignoring a vehicle’s blind spots
  • Driving while overly tired and sleepy
  • Making improper turns, including illegal U-turns
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street

Is Recklessness the Same as Negligence?

No, recklessness is not the same conduct as negligence.

Recklessness is a more significant departure from how a reasonably prudent person would behave than ordinary negligence. Recklessness means a driver showed a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of other people and property. This is also referred to as gross negligence.

Is the Negligent Driver Responsible for my Compensation?

Yes, typically, when you are injured in a car accident, you will pursue compensation from the negligent driver who caused the collision. You would pursue compensation through an insurance claim if the other driver carried auto insurance as required by law.

You can file a personal injury lawsuit, which may be an important step to maximize your recovery or if there are multiple at-fault drivers involved. Filing a lawsuit also may be necessary if your insurance claim was denied, or if the policy limit is less than the value of your damages.

However, the at-fault driver may not be the only person responsible for compensating you for your injuries. When you work with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer, we will look for all possible avenues toward obtaining your compensation.

Other Parties May be Liable for Your Recovery

When you are injured because of a careless or reckless driver, that driver may not be the only person responsible for your financial recovery.

Other avenues to obtain compensation include:

  • Employers – If the at-fault driver was employed and working at the time of the crash, you might pursue compensation from the business. You could not pursue compensation from an employer if the negligent driver was an independent contractor.
  • Vehicle Owner – If the at-fault driver was in another person’s car, then the vehicle owner’s insurance policy may cover your damages. Also, the vehicle owner may be liable if they negligently lent the car to an unsafe driver.
  • Family – A vehicle owner can be responsible for the negligence of a family member operating the car with permission.
  • Parents – A teenager’s parents are liable if the child’s willful or negligent conduct while operating a car caused property damage or injuries.
  • Rental Company – If the vehicle was a rental, then the at-fault driver may have had insurance coverage through the rental company.
  • Uber or Lyft – If the at-fault driver was working for Uber or Lyft at the time of the collision, you could pursue compensation through the rideshare company’s insurance coverage. The driver must have been signed into the rideshare app at the time.

An experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney will thoroughly investigate your case for other possible insurance policies.

Modified Comparative Negligence in Nevada

When two or more drivers were negligent and contributed to a collision, then the legal theory of comparative negligence applies.

Nevada follows a modified comparative negligence rule. You are entitled to pursue compensation if your amount of negligence or gross negligence is not more than the other driver or drivers’ negligence. In other words, if your percentage of fault is less than 50%, you can recover compensation. If you are 51% or more at fault, then you will be denied compensation for your injuries.

Comparative negligence can complicate your recovery when three or more motorists are involved. If two other drivers contributed to the crash, you might be entitled to pursue compensation from both. You should talk with an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer about handling two car insurance claims or filing a lawsuit against both at-fault drivers.

Intervening and Superseding Causes

Another issue that can arise in multi-vehicle accidents is an intervening or superseding cause.

When proving causation in a personal injury claim, there is what is known as a causal chain. This is the chain of events that occurs, beginning with one person’s careless or reckless conduct and ending with you being injured. That causal chain can be affected or broken by intervening or superseding cause.

An intervening cause occurs when a new act combines with the first negligent person’s conduct and contributes to or worsens your injuries. In this situation, both parties may be liable for your injuries. The intervening cause does not relieve the original negligent person of liability.

A superseding cause, however, does relieve the original negligent party of liability. A superseding cause is an intervening cause that is so significant or severe it breaks the causal chain entirely.

Talk with a Las Vegas Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today

Fault and liability can become contentious issues after a car accident. If an insurance company has denied your claim and stated you are at fault or the other driver was not negligent, contact us right away. You also should consult an attorney if two or more other vehicles were involved in the collision.

Our car accident attorneys at Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers are highly experienced in investigating collisions and identifying ordinary and gross negligence. We use the evidence available to establish liability and pursue the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.

Call us any time of day at (702) 878-2889 to set up your free initial consultation.