If you drive, you have likely experienced stopping at an intersection where your view of oncoming traffic is blocked. It is a frustrating experience and often nerve-racking for most drivers.
How can you tell if it is safe to go through the intersection when your line of sight is blocked?
If you are unsure about what to do, you are not alone. Some drivers may just take a chance and go through the intersection without being able to see if traffic is clear. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea that could result in an obstructed view accident.
At Bernstein & Poisson, you can avoid putting yourself or others at risk in this situation. Keep reading to learn more about an obstructed view accident, including who may be held liable and whether you can recover compensation.
Why try to handle a car crash claim on your own? Our firm has the resources and staff to handle complicated car crash cases, and we have a history of proven results. Call today to get started by scheduling a free case review.
What is an Obstructed View Accident?
An obstructed view accident, also called a line-of-sight crash, is an accident that happens when some obstacle blocks a driver’s view of the road.
These crashes can be caused by overgrown shrubberies, low hanging tree branches, poor road design, poorly-placed signage and even cars that are not properly parked.
Regardless of the type of obstacle, a line-of-sight crash is often severe and can cause life-threatening injuries to those involved. Pedestrians and bicyclists may also be vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries in these types of crashes.
Drivers approaching an intersection with a partially or fully blocked view of the road are required to exercise additional caution.
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Who Pays for Damages From an Obstructed View Accident?
Nevada is a tort, or “at fault” state, so in general, the person who causes the crash will also be responsible for the damages. However, liability for an obstructed view accident is rarely clearcut.
There are multiple parties who could be partially or even fully liable for this type of car crash, such as:
Municipal Government Agencies
Sometimes overgrown shrubbery or ill-placed signage is to blame for an obstructed-view crash. If a local or state government agency is responsible for maintaining that road, you may have a valid claim against them.
Property owners, whether public or private, are responsible for maintaining their premises, such as trimming tree branches or cutting back hedges. Additionally, if a property owner puts up signage, he or she must ensure it does not create a visual obstacle for drivers.
Vehicle Owners and Commercial Truck Drivers
Vehicle owners or commercial delivery drivers sometimes park their vehicles in such a way that it obstructs the view of traffic. If this happens and it results in a crash, the vehicle owner could be held liable. If it is a commercial vehicle, the driver’s employer could also be held vicariously liable for damages.
Drivers Approaching the Intersection
As a driver, if you fail to take steps that could keep a crash from happening, you could also share liability for an obstructed view accident. You are required to check for oncoming traffic and make sure the coast is clear before continuing through the intersection.
Often, more than one party may share liability for an obstructed view crash. For instance, you may be partly at fault if you did not properly check for oncoming traffic. However, the property owner could also be held liable for not maintaining his or her property. All parties assessed with fault will have to pay for their share of the damages.
Comparative Fault in an Injury Claim
Nevada follows a modified comparative negligence rule. If you are 50 percent or less at fault for a crash, you may have a claim against the at-fault party and his or her insurer. However, your percentage of fault will be deducted from any compensation you are awarded.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and are assessed with 10 percent of the liability, you will be awarded $90,000.
If you are 51 percent or more at fault, however, you will not be able to recover any compensation.
Recovering Compensation After an Obstructed View Collision
If you have a valid claim, you may be able to recover various types of compensation for your injuries. The amount and type of damages vary because each claim is unique. There are many factors to consider, such as what type of injuries you have and whether they are severe. Injuries that take longer to heal often result in higher medical costs. These expenses get added to the value of your claim and may include:
- Medical costs related to the crash
- Lost wages
- Future earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering damage
- Funeral and burial expenses
How Should You Handle an Intersection With an Obstructed View?
It is safe to say that no one plans to have a crash, but sometimes drivers may not consider how to avoid one. That said, regardless of whether your view is blocked at an intersection, you still owe a duty of care to others on the road. There is no doubt that an obstructed view at an intersection can be hard to navigate.
Here are a few tips that may help you to handle an intersection with an obstructed view more safely:
- Come to a full stop: Stop behind the stop line, before the crosswalk, or before moving into the intersection.
- Inch forward slowly: After coming to a complete stop, inch forward a little at a time until you see more of the road.
- Wait until traffic is clear: Once you can see past the intersection, wait for vehicles you can see to fully pass.
- Double-check: Looking twice is always a good idea in any intersection – it is easy to miss some vehicles.
- Proceed with caution: Continue to be aware of traffic as you pull into the intersection.
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Sometimes, despite following safe driving laws, accidents may happen. If you get injured in an obstructed view collision caused by another party, you may be eligible to seek compensation. You may still be able to file a claim even if you share some fault.
Contact the attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson to schedule your free case review to get started. Our Las Vegas car crash attorneys are ready to discuss your situation and determine your legal options. Remember filing deadlines apply, so it is a good idea not to delay if you plan on filing a claim.