Few cities can say that they have a nightlife that is even close to being as vibrant as the nightlife in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, being in a city that never sleeps is not without its risks. Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed on Las Vegas roadways by drunk drivers.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a driver who was impaired by alcohol, Las Vegas drunk driving accident lawyer, Pacific West Injury Law can help you understand your legal options for obtaining compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury.
Proving Liability in a Las Vegas Drunk Driving Accident
According to KSNV News 3, a recent study revealed that Las Vegas has more DUIs than any other city in the nation, with more than 4,300 drivers arrested for alcohol impairment on its streets each year. However, these numbers don’t reveal the true tragedy to the statistic: the amount of lives that are lost or permanently altered by serious injuries caused in drunk driving accidents.
Those who have been injured by a drunk driving accident in Las Vegas can seek compensation through the personal injury claims process, which can include a personal injury lawsuit. However, in order to have a successful outcome to your claim, you must be able to prove liability (legal responsibility) .
Showing the Driver Was Drunk
The simplest way to prove that the at-fault party in your car accident case was drunk at the time of the accident – and, therefore, liable for the expenses and impacts of your injury – is by showing that they were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving at the time of the accident and were convicted of this charge. However, because claims in civil court require a lower burden of proof than criminal cases, it is still possible to prove your claim even if the driver was not convicted.
The burden of proof in civil claims is a “preponderance of evidence.” What this means is that, based on the facts of the case, the accident was “more likely than not” caused in the manner that you claim it was. Evidence that can help satisfy this burden includes:
- Information from the police report regarding the driver’s behavior and appearance, such as the smell of alcohol on their breath, open alcohol containers in the vehicle, or statements made to the police by the at-fault party
- Results from chemical tests, such as blood alcohol breath or blood tests that reveal a level of impairment over .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, which is the legal impairment limit for operating a motor vehicle in Nevada
- Eyewitnesses or surveillance video that reveals how the accident occurred
Other Potentially Liable Parties in Your Las Vegas Drunk Driving Claim
In spite of the prevalence of liquor establishments in Las Vegas, Nevada does not have dram shop laws like most other states do that places liability on the owners or managers of these businesses if they over-serve a customer who later gets into a DUI accident, as noted by the Clark County Bar Association. However, there are potentially other sources of liability besides the driver in a drunk driving accident, including:
- Unlicensed individuals who furnish alcohol to minors or knowingly sell alcohol to an underage person
- The owner of the vehicle, if different than the driver, who knowingly allowed an intoxicated person to drive their car
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accidents lawyer serving Las Vegas, call 702-602-HURT
Types of Compensation You Can Seek After a Drunk Driving Accident
The point of a personal injury lawsuit is to obtain compensation for the expenses and impacts that were incurred as a result of someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, such as driving while impaired by alcohol. This is known in the legal arena as “recovering damages.” The types of damages that can be recovered after a drunk driving accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of the vehicle you were driving when the accident occurred
- Mental or physical pain and suffering
Las Vegas Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me 702-602-HURT
The Statute of Limitations in Las Vegas Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuits
Each state has its own deadline for when drunk driving lawsuits must be filed in court in order for the claimant to retain their rights to compensation for their injuries. In Nevada, most personal injury claims – including those involving drunk driving accidents – must be filed within two years, as noted in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §11.190.
If You File a Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit, Will Your Case Go to Court?
Contrary to how they’re portrayed on television, most legal claims are resolved without even being discussed in a courtroom. Because litigation is expensive and time-consuming, it is often in everyone’s best interests to resolve the claim by a negotiated settlement. That said, drunk driving accident claims can and sometimes do wind up in court, and it is important to have a drunk driving accident attorney in Las Vegas helping you with your claim who is comfortable with litigation.
How a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Las Vegas Can Help You with Your Claim
An experienced Las Vegas drunk driving accident lawyer brings two extremely powerful tools to your claim: experience and guidance. Experience is important, as a drunk driving accident lawyer not only understands the legal process involved in seeking compensation, but also the types of evidence that can be used to prove your claim, and has the ability to value your claim based not only on the expenses and impacts you have already experienced as a result of your injury but also those that you will likely face in the future.
Equally important, however, is the Las Vegas drunk driving accident attorney’s ability to compassionately guide you through the personal injury claims process. It is important to remember that the decisions regarding your case – including whether to accept an offered settlement or to proceed to litigation – are entirely yours to make. It is the goal of the Pacific West Injury Law legal team to make sure those decisions are informed ones.
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Let us help you explore your legal options after suffering an injury in a Las Vegas drunk driving accident. Contact us for your free case evaluation.