Being involved in an accident caused by a driver who was inattentive, drunk, belligerent, texting, or high at the time of the crash is both scary and frustrating. Unfortunately, these accidents are much more common than they should be, leaving victims in Las Vegas with terrible injuries and questions about what to do next. Here are some frequently asked questions that we receive from clients regarding dealing with bad drivers after a crash:
One of the most important things to know is what to do directly following an accident with a negligent driver (or following any accident at all). After a crash, it is important that you:
If you believe that the other driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs, or was otherwise operating their vehicle negligently, you should tell the police this when you file your police report.
If someone injures you while driving high or while drunk, it is normal to feel frustrated, upset, and downright mad. However, confronting the other driver about the intoxication is not a good idea for a number of reasons. First, if the driver is indeed under the influence, they may respond to your inquiry in an unsafe manner, which could put your wellbeing in jeopardy.
In addition to this, confronting another driver in general is not the best way to handle the situation; instead, you should contact the police and immediately file a report. In your report, include your belief that the driver was intoxicated or impaired, and what occurred to make you think this.
If you were injured by someone who was driving while intoxicated, or while texting, you need to file a report with the police as soon as possible after your crash, and preferably at the scene of the accident. You should provide as much information to the police as is necessary to file an accurate and thorough police report, but should not exaggerate or hyperbolize any information. For example, you should prove the police with:
If you think that the other driver was doing something illegal at the time of the accident, and that this illegal action contributed to the crash, you should absolutely tell a responding officer this.
If a driver was doing something that was clearly illegal at the time of the crash, such as driving while drunk, driving while high, or texting while driving, this may help your case if you have proof of it. When a driver breaks a law while driving, this is called negligence per se; if you can prove that negligence per se occurred, and that it was the direct cause of your crash, you will be able to hold the driver liable for your damages. However, even if you cannot prove that the driver was intoxicated or doing something illegal, if you can prove negligence–the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care–you can still hold the driver liable.
Yes! When another driver’s negligent actions, whether illegal or not, cause an accident that results in injuries or property damage, the not-at-fault driver has a few different options for recovering compensation. First, they can file a claim with their own insurance company if they have MedPay coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (and the other driver is uninsured or underinsured), or collision coverage. However, your insurance company will probably not approve your claim if you were not at fault for the crash until after you have already filed a claim with the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance.
In addition to filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, however, you may also file a lawsuit directly against the driver responsible for your injuries. Typically, filing a lawsuit is not done until settlement negotiations with the insurance company have been exhausted, and a settlement has not been reached.
You do not have to hire a lawyer to help you file your car accident claim, nor your lawsuit. However, working with an experienced Nevada car accident lawyer can be a boon to your claim. Not only can an attorney help you to investigate any suspicions that you have that the other driver was operating their vehicle while high, drunk, belligerent, or texting at the time of your accident, but an attorney can also guide you through filing a claim, speaking with insurance adjusters, negotiating for a fair settlement amount, and filing a lawsuit if need be.
To schedule your free consultation with our experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys at the offices of the Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, simply use the form on our website to write us a brief message telling us more about your case. You can also request your consultation by calling our offices directly.