It is illegal to drink while under the influence of alcohol in all fifty states of the United States. Each of the fifty states have laws stating that if a driver of a vehicle has a blood concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, they are considered DUI (driving under the influence) and are breaking the law. It is extremely dangerous to drink while you are intoxicated (drunk), and if arrested, you are facing serious consequences. If you cause an accident while driving drunk, your consequences will be even more severe.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) found there are more than twenty-five people in the United States who die each day from motor vehicle accidents where there is an alcohol-impaired driver at fault. Alcohol is the leading cause of intoxicated deaths resulting from car accidents. Prevention methods have been getting stricter and are showing positive results of lowering the numbers of fatalities.
How Does Nevada Deal with Drunk Drivers?
In the State of Nevada, if you are arrested and convicted of driving while drunk, you can have your license revoked for ninety days, will be responsible for court costs to regain your privileges, and will be required to retake vision and driving tests. Other consequences include having your car impounded, receive up to six months sentence in jail, and a fine from $400 to $1,000.
These penalties, while may appear serious to the driver, but are no match for the painful injuries they cause when their decision to drive while intoxicated results in a car accident that involves you. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you need to contact Dallas Horton and Associates to protect yourself and your future.
Drunk Driving Crashes in Nevada
The State of Nevada has an impaired driving issue, and some counties have higher numbers than others. The Nevada Department of Transportation has created the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan in an attempt to reduce drunk driving fatalities to zero. The highest number of deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers happen on the weekends. Fridays have the third-highest percentage of serious accidents, Sundays have the second-highest percentage, and Saturday is the most dangerous day with almost twenty-five percent of fatalities or serious injuries caused by drunk drivers.
If you have been a victim of driver operating their car while drunk, you need to contact Dallas Horton and Associates to help you receive compensation for your injuries. Having an experienced attorney working with you through this difficult time will help to ensure your medical costs are covered and you receive compensation for any injuries that resulted from the car accident.
Nevada Drunk Driving Accidents
Being involved in a car accident is extremely traumatic, especially when the driver of the other car is drunk. You have most likely suffered physical injuries as well as damage to your car, and any personal items that may have been in your car at the time of the accident. There are more than physical injuries to deal with after an accident, such as anxiety, stress, and the frustration of having to pay for unexpected medical costs. Injuries sustained in a car accident can result in very expensive hospital bills, and the injuries you’ve suffered could affect you for years if not for life.
If you live in the Las Vegas area, you are most likely aware of the risks of being hit by a drunk driver due to the city’s festive atmosphere and nightlife. The city is known across the country for its excessive consumption of alcohol, making Las Vegas one of the highest risk cities for being involved in a drunk driver car accident.
If you know what your actions should be if involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, it could save you headaches and time. As soon as you are able to contact someone, contact Dallas Horton and Associates as they may be able to help you receive the financial compensation you deserve and will help you through this challenging and expensive time.
Drunk Driver Car Accidents and BAC
A driver’s ability to properly operate their car is impaired if they have been drinking alcohol. Under the influence of alcohol, a person will experience difficulty in estimating distances and speeds and have delayed reflexes. The State of Nevada prohibits a person from driving if their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is 0.08 percent or higher. If a person is under the age of twenty-one, their BAC is 0.02 percent or less, and for drivers of commercial vehicles, it is zero.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports most people reach their legal limit of alcohol after consuming four alcoholic drinks. At this point, a person typically suffers from reduced muscle coordination, find it harder to recognize danger, and display impaired judgment and a lack of control.
When a person chooses to drive while they are under the influence of alcohol, it becomes a danger to their passengers, themselves, and other motorists on the road.
What to Do if You have been Involved in a Drunk Driver Car Accident
If you are hit by a motorist who has clearly been drinking alcohol, there are some important steps to take that will help you through the legal process:
- If you are able to use your phone, you need to contact the police and have them come to the scene immediately and mention that you believe the other driver is intoxicated. Use caution when approaching the other drivers as they can become violent.
- You also need to request medical attention as soon as possible if your injuries allow you to move and speak. After the accident, you also need to check in with your regular physician to check for any possible injuries. Keeping a journal is also suggested to record any pain you might be experiencing that could be related to the accident. You do not want to hesitate or wait too long to make a record of injuries related to your car accident.
- The accident you were injured in has most likely caused extensive damage to your car. When you include this loss in your claim, you want to be compensated for the loss of value or the diminished value of your vehicle.
- Check with your attorney at Dallas Horton and Associates to see if your case qualifies for seeking punitive damages. If the driver that caused the accident you were injured in was under the influence of alcohol or in other words, drunk, they are egregiously negligent, and you may be eligible for compensation for any unnecessary pain and suffering you are going through as a result of the car accident.
Talk with an attorney at Dallas Horton and Associates as we will be aware of any monies owed to you and will help you collect these amounts when the driver is drunk or a hit-and-run. A drunk driver's personal injury claim is serious. It will involve proving the drunk driver was negligent against their attorney's claims.
Who is Responsible for Drunk Driver Car Accidents?
If you have been involved in a car accident where a drunk driver is involved, the responsibility of the crash is easy to establish in Nevada. Drunk drivers in the Las Vegas area and throughout the State of Nevada are held liable when they cause a car accident. Police officers are trained to identify drunk drivers and will test blood alcohol levels and collect the necessary evidence at the scene of the accident. If the driver was drunk, this information would be documented in the police report.
In the State of Nevada, there is a duty of care rule regarding drivers and the reasonable measures they are required to take to prevent harm to other persons or property. If a person gets behind the wheel of their car when they are drunk, they are violating their duty of care and will be legally found negligent if they cause a car accident. Drunk drivers are subject to prosecution.
Are Providers of Alcohol Responsible for Drunk Driver Car Accidents?
Some states hold bars and pubs responsible for serving alcohol to intoxicated persons, but Nevada does not. NRS 41.1305 covers the liability of those who serve, sell, or furnish liquor to someone who has caused an accident as a result of consuming too much alcohol. It states that bars or pubs in Nevada who continue to provide alcohol to customers who are clearly intoxicated, and that person later causes an accident, cannot be held responsible. This rule also applies to social clubs, pool parties, special events, taverns, holiday parties, and restaurants.
Will My Insurance Company Cover a Drunk Driving Car Accident?
Most insurance companies do not look at drunk driving involved accidents any differently than typical car accidents. If you live in Las Vegas and are the driver who is intoxicated and caused the accident, your insurance company will pay damages up to the liability limit of your policy. If you are injured by a drunk driver who does not have insurance coverage, your insurance should cover damages. You will want to contact Dallas Horton and Associates if you are injured by an uninsured motorist to ensure you are compensated to the full extent. We will handle the insurance company so that you can focus on healing.
- Uninsured Motorists in Nevada
It is devastating to be injured in an automobile accident. Your life is put on hold while you recover from injuries, and you also have to deal with large and unexpected medical expenses. When the accident is the result of a drunk driver without insurance, you feel even more frustrated.
While each car accident is different, some general rules apply when a driver is at fault for an accident and is either uninsured or under-insured. Whether you are a passenger, driver, or pedestrian who has been hurt by an at-fault driver who is not insured or does not have adequate insurance, you can collect from your insurance if you have Uninsured Motorist coverage on your policy.
The Uninsured Motorist coverage is generally a small amount, and it will protect your passengers and yourself if you are involved in an accident by an under or uninsured motorist. This coverage is not part of every policy, so you will have to check with your provider to ensure you have it as part of your coverage.
The State of Nevada requires insurance companies to pay up to the limits of an insured’s contract. If you have no insurance to go after, you may have no way of collecting for your injuries through an insurance company. There are three parts to the uninsured motorist portion of your insurance policy:
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance
- Underinsured Motorist Insurance
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance
You have to select all three portions with your auto insurance policy, or you are not covered. Nevada, Uninsured Motorist coverage pays only the policy limit for pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost wages.
Underinsured and uninsured motorist policies are used in at-fault car accidents where the person responsible for the accident does not have adequate or insurance. To collect for your injuries, your attorney at Dallas Horton and Associates will have to prove:
- The accident occurred as a result of the other driver’s negligence
- The driver responsible for the accident did not have adequate or any insurance to cover your pain and suffering, medical expenses, or lost wages
It is crucial for you to obtain as much information as possible at the time of the accident regarding the other drivers involved in the incident. If your injuries allow you to talk with the other drivers, you will want to get the insurance information of all parties involved. This information is going to help Dallas Horton and Associates with our investigation into obtaining the compensation you deserve for any injuries suffered in this accident.
Can I File a Civil Suit Against a Drunk Driver for a Car Accident?
If you are a victim of a drunk driver, you have the right to file a civil suit against them to recover damages from the accident. If a death occurs as a result of a drunk driver car accident, the victim's family is able to file the civil suit claim. The civil suit will be handled separately from any criminal proceedings being charged to the drunk driver by the state or city.
Under NRS 41.133, if one is convicted of a crime, which is conclusive evidence of the facts needed to impose civil liability for injuries, it then presents judgment of conviction to impose civil liability for those injuries. Nevada laws also allow you to sue a drunk driver for punitive damages. Under the statute, NRS 42.010, a victim or plaintive, can, in addition to compensatory damages, seek compensation for damages as a means of punishing the defendant, or drunk driver.
If you are the victim of a drunk driver car accident or someone you love has been injured, you want to contact Dallas Horton and Associates. We have extensive experience working in the Nevada court systems and understand the laws associated with drunk driving accidents. We are ready to fight for your rights and seek the compensation you deserve, so you can continue to heal without stress and anxiety.
What Form of Compensation is Available for Drunk Driver Car Accidents?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident resulting from another driver getting behind the wheel while intoxicated from alcohol, you have the right to seek compensation for both non-economic and financial damages.
The financial damages you can seek compensation for include:
- Property damage
- Missed or lost wages
- Hospital expenses
- Medical bills including any continued care you will require
- Funeral costs if the accident resulted in a death
Non-economic damages would include all the adverse effects this accident has played on your life that do not have specific dollar amounts attached. One example would be the pain and suffering this accident has caused you.
How to File a Civil Lawsuit Against a Drunk Driver Involved in Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver, you are facing a long, uphill road ahead of you if you do not have strong legal counsel on your side. Dallas Horton and Associates will be by your side throughout this challenging time and help you with all the legal matters and paperwork while you concentrate on healing. Contact their office as soon as your able to, so your rights are protected.
If a drunk driver injures someone in a car accident, they can face charges in civil court. They may also face criminal charges, which could result in victim restitution and jail time. The driver who has been injured generally files the civil suit claim. Criminal charges will be filed as a means of protecting the public from harm and are intended to protect others from the negligent actions of drunk drivers in the future.
Criminal charges can be filed even if the drunk driver is injured in the car accident, and even if they did not harm others, only their property. In some states, 'social host' or 'dram shop' laws apply if the drunk driver is under the legal age to consume alcohol, and an establishment knowingly served them alcoholic drinks. Those who served under-aged persons alcohol, and they are involved in a car accident, could be held liable for the drunk driver's negligence in a drunk driver lawsuit.
- Dram Shop Law
Dram Shop Law or statute is effective in forty-three states, and it makes a business that sells alcohol, or a host who serves alcohol to a drinker who is clearly intoxicated liable if anyone is injured by that person. Nevada does not have robust dram shop laws, but it does enforce liability under certain circumstances, which are defined under NRS 41.1305.
- NRS 41.1305 states the liability of a person who furnishes, sells, or serves alcoholic beverages is present if they serve to someone who is under the age of twenty-one. They might face liability in specific circumstances if a person is over twenty-one, and these persons cause injury to others as a result of the alcohol consumption.
Generally, the only time in Nevada where a host or individual contributes alcohol to someone and it results in a car accident with injuries is liable is if the person is under the legal limit to drink (twenty-one years of age). A social host or property owner who knowingly provides alcohol to an underage person can be held responsible for any third-party injuries that occur as a result of the minor's intoxication.
- Social Host Law
Social host liability laws are designed to reduce alcohol-related injuries and deaths caused by minors consuming alcohol. Social host laws impose liability on hosts who have served alcohol to minors or adults, and because of the alcohol consumption, they are involved in a car accident resulting in another person's injuries.
Nevada does not follow this rule of thumb, as many other states have enforced. They would only apply liability if the social host served or provided alcohol to someone under the legal age of twenty-one.
The civil lawsuit is your way of recovering medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage that have resulted due to a drunk driver’s negligence. You will want an attorney working with you through this painful time to make sure you receive full compensation for your loss, pain, and suffering. Dallas Horton and Associates will be by your side throughout the entire process.
Who to Contact for Car Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers Near Me
Dallas Horton and Associates genuinely understand how complicated personal injury claims can become. Contact us at 702-380-3100 to learn how passionate we are about fighting for your rights and making sure you receive the compensation you deserve for any pain and suffering you are dealing with due to a car accident caused by a drunk driver.