There is an old saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” While this may be apt for circumstances such as the nightly news or what goes on behind the closed doors of our neighbors, claiming ignorance of traffic laws will not save defendants from having to pay compensation for damages and personal injury expenses in the event of an accident due to negligence.
Nevada law uses a system known as “modified comparative fault” or “contributory negligence” when determining compensation amounts in personal injury cases. Under this system, the courts will evaluate the actions of every party involved in an accident. Ultimately, compensation amounts will be awarded in respect to what percentage of an accident for which you as the plaintiff are deemed responsible.
For example, if you incur personal injury after an accident where another driver hits you, you will likely want to take that driver to court. However, if it becomes discovered that you were speeding at the time of the accident, the court will likely determine that you were partially at fault and adjust compensation amounts relative to your assessed fault level.
If you are found to be over 50% at fault for an accident, your compensation can drop to zero. In addition, you may be on the hook for additional citations and fees due to traffic violations. For these reasons, it is important for drivers in Las Vegas to understand the traffic laws in their state as they relate to common traffic violations.
Read on to discover what Las Vegas drivers should know about Nevada’s traffic laws.
Cell Phones and Texting While Driving
In Nevada, it is illegal for drivers to text, access the internet, or use a hand-held phone to talk while behind the wheel. Because of the high level of distraction, combined with split-second decisions that must be made while driving, only hands-free devices are allowed on the road. Courts will look at testimony from drivers as well as any video or phone logs to determine if a driver was texting or talking on the phone in the moments leading to an accident.
Bicycle riders share the road with motor vehicles, and thus they must obey the same rules of the road. When attempting to pass a bicycle, Nevada law says that drivers must move into the lane to the left if possible, and if not they must give at least three feet of space between their car and the cyclist. With the ubiquity of helmet cameras today, it is becoming easier for cyclists to show whether or not a driver obeyed the traffic laws in the events leading to a crash and subsequent personal injury.
Driving Under the Influence
Nevada, like many states, has strict rules regarding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When involved in an accident, it is always best practice (and often legally required) to contact the police. When they arrive on the scene, officers can conduct tests for impairment if drivers are acting suspicious or are clearly under the influence.
Getting Legal Counsel
Nevada’s laws regarding fault determination can be complex. That is why many Las Vegas residents choose to employ the services of a personal injury attorney. For years, the attorneys at H&P Law have been helping Las Vegas residents fight for their rights to compensation. Contact H&P Law today to get your case started off right.