Car Accident Due to a Defect? Here is How to Navigate Your Claim

If you have recently been involved in a Nevada car accident, know that you are not alone in your experience. Studies show that as many as one quarter of all car drivers experience at least one motor vehicle accident annually in the United States. What is more, traffic accidents in Nevada — particularly in Las Vegas — have become more and more common. This is true even despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused many Americans to drive less (initially due to state-wide lock downs and later due to staying home to avoid further spread of the virus). 

Unfortunately, the reduction in drivers on the roads has caused some to take advantage and flout traffic rules and posted speed limits. While drivers’ behavior — whether drunk driving or recklessness — is typically the cause of most car accidents, another reason is quite common —  vehicle defects. 

Defective Vehicles Cause Deadly Accidents in Nevada

If you have recently been involved in a car accident in Las Vegas, or anywhere else in Nevada, your best plan is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. In the meantime, below are some simple and practical tips to follow in the event you are involved in a car accident that you suspect was caused by a vehicle defect: 

  • Stay calm and do not panic: While panicking is our first instinct after experiencing a car crash, it is actually the least beneficial thing to do. Instead, try to stay as calm as possible. Gather insurance and contact information from the other drivers. Even if it seems like the collision did not cause injuries, contact local police anyway for documentation purposes. Failure to do so can result in you being on the receiving end of a nasty lawsuit that alleges you caused harm and are liable for others parties’ damages;
  • Get a mechanic to look at your car: The law imposes a duty on the driver of a vehicle to ensure that his or her vehicle remains safe and in good working condition to drive. When it comes to defects and malfunctions, however, car manufacturers and distributors as well as parts creators may also be held liable. Finding an experienced ASE-certified mechanic will allow you to document the likely failure or defect in your vehicle. Moreover, a seasoned and certified mechanic will be able to let you know whether fault for your accident can be placed on you or the manufacturer;
  • Defending yourself: If your vehicle was the one that has the defect and caused the accident, contact an experienced attorney right away. Keep in mind that Nevada is an “at fault” state, meaning that both courts and insurance carriers must look at the cause of the accident. Nevada also uses the comparative negligence doctrine, which analyzes how much fault each party involved in the crash had. Any damage award is reduced by the percentage of fault allotted to the plaintiff(s). If an accident is the result of a vehicle defect that you could not have reasonably known about or had time to fix, however, then the fault shifts from you to the manufacturer or distributor of the vehicle;
  • Know deadlines: Like all states across the nation, Nevada has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims involving car accidents. This is basically a deadline by which a lawsuit must be filed in court or the claim will be forever barred simply by the passage of time. In Nevada, this deadline is up to two years after the accident. If the crash is due to a defect, the statute of limitations may be different. 

We Can Help

It is true that car accidents can be stressful. Do not try to navigate the legal system on your own. The skilled attorneys at H&P Law have years of experience fighting for the rights of the injured across Nevada. Contact us today for your initial case evaluation. 

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