The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that more than 300 individuals died in automobile accidents in Nevada in recent years. This is a relatively small percentage of the more than 37 thousand traffic deaths that occurred in the U.S. that same year. However, for the family members and loved ones of the victims, the devastation, grief, and loss are immeasurable. If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, an experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney at Cogburn Law can help you build a case and gain the compensation you deserve.
Las Vegas Fatal Car Accident Key Points:
- Fatal car accident statistics
- What are the main causes of fatal car accidents?
- What should I do if I’ve been involved in a fatal car accident?
- How do fatal car accident settlements work in Nevada?
- What kind of compensation can I receive if my loved one died in a Nevada fatal car accident?
- How do I establish wrongful death in my loved one’s fatal car accident?
- When should I contact a Nevada fatal car accident attorney?
Fatal Car Accident Statistics
Getting the facts on deadly car accidents in Nevada and throughout the country can help you feel less alone in your battle. Although every case is unique, you aren’t the first who has lost a loved one in a fatal crash – nor will you be the last. Tracking fatal car accident data can help drivers know what causes collisions, and how to avoid them. Here are the latest car accident statistics available:
- In 2016, a total of 37,461 people died in fatal car accidents throughout the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This was a 5.6% increase from the previous year.
- Nationwide, accidents arising from reckless driver behaviors (e.g., speeding and drunk driving) increased, but distracted-driving fatal accidents decreased. Drunk drivers caused 10,497 deaths, while speeding caused 10,111.
- In 2016, 328 people died in Nevada car accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This equaled a death rate of 11.2 per 100,000 people (about half the highest death rate in the country, Mississippi with 23.1).
- Traffic accidents in Nevada killed 62 motorcyclists, six bicyclists, and 80 pedestrians in 2016. Most deadly accidents were single-vehicle collisions. Drunk drivers in Nevada took 108 lives.
When you retain Cogburn Law for your car accident claim, you’re anything but a statistic. Our fatal car accident attorneys see the person behind the injury. It’s our goal to give each client our full, undivided attention throughout the legal process. We’ll be by your side from start to finish.
What Are the Main Causes of Fatal Car Accidents?
Most fatal car accidents are preventable. It takes knowing what causes deadly collisions to prevent and avoid them in Nevada. Understanding the most common causes can also help you determine fault and liability for a fatal accident. Although you should seek legal counsel no matter what caused your loved one’s death, the following are the most frequent causes that lead up to a wrongful death car accident claim:
- Human error. Distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, lack of seatbelt wearing, and driving recklessly contribute to the highest number of fatal car accidents nationwide. Every driver has a duty to pay attention to the road, obey the law, and to drive prudently. Making unsafe lane changes, running red lights, and ignoring traffic laws often leads to fatal collisions.
- Defective car parts. Sometimes it’s not the other driver that caused the accident, but a product manufacturer. This is especially common in single-vehicle fatal accidents. An investigation of the vehicle could uncover defective or dangerous parts, such as bad brakes or a prematurely bald tire. In these cases, surviving family members may have a claim against the car part manufacturer or distributor.
- Dangerous roads. The city of Las Vegas is responsible for the maintenance and care of its streets, roadways, crosswalks, and sidewalks. If a road defect such as a pothole, unsafe construction zone, broken stoplight, bad design, or debris caused your loved one’s deadly crash, you may have a claim against the government or property owner in charge of managing the condition of the road.
The cause of the fatal accident can lead you to the at-fault party. Identifying the person or entity behind the proximate cause of the fatal crash is one of the first steps toward obtaining wrongful death compensation. If you don’t know the cause of your or a loved one’s accident, don’t worry. Our fatal car accident attorneys can investigate the crash, obtain police reports, and find the underlying cause of your accident.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Car Accident
If you were in a car accident in Nevada that took the life of someone close to you, you have allies at Cogburn Law. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can receive our tailored advice and legal recommendations. We truly care about your situation and the loved one you lost. We aim to serve your best interests any way we can, starting with this checklist of what you should do next:
- Report your crash. If you haven’t already, call 911 and officially report your car accident. You must report a crash to the police and to the Department of Motor Vehicles when it causes injuries or deaths. Give your side of the story to the police when they arrive.
- Go to the doctor. If your crash was serious, odds are you also have suffered some injuries. Never delay medical care because of the price. If someone else caused the crash, he or she will be liable for your medical costs.
- Collect information. Fatal accidents always deserve legal attention. Start building your case from day one. Collect information such as the names of drivers involved, insurance information, photographs of injuries, and eyewitness names.
- File an insurance claim. Nevada is a “fault” car accident state. This means you will file your auto insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. Make this phone call as soon as possible. Don’t admit fault or accept the first settlement offer.
Next, contact Cogburn Law. We can take over your insurance claim on behalf of you, your deceased loved one, and anyone else harmed in the fatal auto accident. We can even take your case to trial if that’s what it takes for fair compensation. You won’t pay anything unless we win.
How Do Fatal Car Accident Settlements Work in Nevada?
If you’re filing an insurance claim for the death of a family member in Nevada, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may offer you damages if you’re a surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent of the deceased person. This compensation award may cover related medical bills and property damage. If you’re filing for your own injuries, the insurance company could offer you a settlement to cover your personal expenses. Unfortunately, many insurance companies unfairly deny claims.
It is up to you to negotiate a fair settlement from an at-fault party’s insurance company after a fatal car accident. This may take help from a fatal car accident attorney. A lawyer can take over communications with insurance claims adjusters, argue for higher settlement amounts, and take a case to court if settlement negotiations aren’t working. If your settlement is successful, you can avoid trial and should receive a check from the insurance company within a few weeks.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive If My Loved One Died in a Fatal Car Accident?
When a Las Vegas fatal car accident attorney can prove that another party is liable for the tragic loss of your loved one, we can pursue a range of compensatory damages that have added to your current burden and that are casting a cloud over your future. These damages can include:
- Medical bills – Depending on the nature of the injuries, the medical insurance which the deceased had at the time of death, and other factors, these can amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Final Expenses – Expenses associated with a funeral and burial.
- Loss of financial resources – You may have depended on the deceased as the main, or sole, provider for your household.
- Loss of companionship – It is hard to truly quantify the impact of losing one’s partner in life.
- Pain and suffering – Losing a spouse or family member can have mental and emotional consequences that affect every aspect of your life, from your health to your ability to meet the demands of daily life or work.
- Punitive damages – You could also receive punitive damages, such as jail time or community service if the defendant was grossly negligent or intentional in causing the wreck.
How Do I Establish Wrongful Death in My Loved One’s Accident?
You will not obtain compensation in Nevada unless you can prove that the defendant is legally responsible for causing the death. This takes proving with “clear and convincing” evidence that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care, breached this duty, and consequently caused the car accident that killed your family member. Establishing wrongful death may take help from an attorney who can investigate the car accident, preserve evidence, and present a clear case to a judge or jury.
If it can be established that the death was caused by “the wrongful act or neglect or another,” Nevada law (NRS 41.085) allows you to pursue a wrongful death claim against that person, or, potentially, an employer who can be demonstrated to be responsible for the wrongdoer’s actions. If the individual who caused the death also died as a result of the incident you may still be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
These are difficult cases, involving significant emotional stress and high stakes. If you are seeking a judgment that exceeds the customary limits of the insurers involved, you can expect strong resistance. You’ve suffered enough. Connect with a Las Vegas wrongful death attorney at Cogburn Law and take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
When Should I Contact a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer?
There is no wrong time to contact a Las Vegas fatal car accident lawyer for help, but the sooner you make your call, the better. Call a lawyer once you’ve received medical care for your injuries and you have time to think about an insurance claim. A lawyer can strengthen your insurance negotiations from day one before the insurance company has the chance to take advantage of you. Feel free to contact a fatal car accident lawyer from Cogburn Law any time you wish, day or night. We accept wrongful death cases in all stages of development and can hit the ground running.
The Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Cogburn Law have many years of experience working with others in your situation. Guided by compassion and a sincere desire to help you through this difficult time, they can assess the facts of your case and determine the best course of legal action.