Published: May 28, 2024 | Jack Bernstein

If you’ve been in a car accident in Las Vegas, the legal term “proximate cause” might not be on your radar. But it should be. Why? Because proving proximate cause is often the cornerstone of a successful personal injury claim. It’s the legal key that unlocks the door to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers have decades of experience helping accident victims in Las Vegas navigate the complexities of proximate cause, and we’re here to guide you through it.

Were You in a Las Vegas Car Accident? Understanding “Proximate Cause” Could Be Key to Your Claim

In the aftermath of a car accident, the legal world can feel like a maze. One term you’ll hear a lot is “proximate cause.” Don’t let it intimidate you – it’s a crucial concept, and understanding it could be the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and walking away empty-handed.

What is Proximate Cause? The “Domino Effect” That Determines Fault

Think of a row of dominoes. You tip the first one, and it triggers a chain reaction, toppling all the rest. That’s proximate cause in a nutshell.

  • The Spark: It’s the action or event that sets off the chain of events leading to an injury.
  • Not Just Any Cause: It’s the primary reason the accident happened, the one without which the injury wouldn’t have occurred.

Example: A driver blasts through a red light (proximate cause), causing another car to swerve and crash into a tree. Even if the second driver was speeding, the red light violation is the spark that ignited the whole incident.

Proving proximate cause isn’t always straightforward. It can be a complex puzzle, but our experienced team at Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers is here to help you piece it together. With 40 years of experience in Las Vegas, we know the ins and outs of Nevada law and how to build a strong case for your claim.

It’s Not Always Black and White: Nevada’s Shared Fault Laws and Your Claim

In Nevada, the law doesn’t always see accidents as simply right or wrong. It recognizes that sometimes, more than one person might share the blame. This is where things can get a bit tricky, but understanding these nuances could be crucial to your case.

Nevada is a “Fault” State

Let’s start with the basics. Nevada operates under a “fault” system when it comes to car accidents. This means the person (or people) who caused the accident are the ones on the hook for damages. Proximate cause is the key to figuring out who’s at fault.

Shared Fault is Possible: Nevada’s 51% Bar Rule

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Even if you played a part in the accident, you might still be able to recover damages. Nevada follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule, also known as the 51% bar rule. In plain terms, this means:

  • If you are less than 51% at fault, you can still receive compensation, but it will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
  • If you are 51% or more at fault, you’re out of luck – you can’t recover any damages.

Example: Let’s say a jury finds you were 20% at fault for the accident. If your total damages are $100,000, you would receive $80,000 (your damages minus 20%).

Learn More about Nevada’s shared fault laws here.

Real-World Examples: Proximate Cause in Common Las Vegas Accidents

Accidents happen, and Las Vegas, with its bustling streets and endless flow of traffic, is no stranger to them. Understanding how proximate cause plays out in these common scenarios can shed light on your own situation.

Rear-End Collisions: Following Too Closely is Usually the Culprit

General Rule: In rear-end collisions, the rear driver is almost always considered at fault. Why? Because they had a duty to maintain a safe following distance.

Proximate Cause: The most common proximate causes in rear-end collisions are:

  • Tailgating: Following too closely behind the vehicle in front.
  • Distracted Driving: Texting, talking on the phone, or any activity that takes your eyes off the road.

Exceptions: There are rare instances where the lead driver might be at fault. For example, if they brake suddenly and without reason, or if they have faulty brake lights.

Intersection Accidents: Right-of-Way is Key

Las Vegas is notorious for its complex and busy intersections, making these accidents all too common. Understanding right-of-way rules is essential.

Proximate Cause: In intersection accidents, common proximate causes include:

  • Running a Red Light: Ignoring traffic signals is a recipe for disaster.
  • Failing to Yield: Not giving the right of way to vehicles or pedestrians who have it.
  • Illegal Turns: Making turns that are not permitted.

Nevada Law: In Nevada, the vehicle that enters the intersection first has the right of way (traffic signals and stop/yield signs will override this rule). If two vehicles enter at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right of way.

Accidents Involving Impaired Drivers: Zero Tolerance in Nevada

Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol or drugs, is a serious problem in Las Vegas and a leading cause of fatal accidents.

Proximate Cause: In virtually every case, the impaired driver is considered the proximate cause of the accident. Nevada has a zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving, meaning there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel under the influence.

Remember: Even if you think the other driver was clearly at fault, proving proximate cause requires solid evidence. That’s where we come in. Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers can investigate your accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.

After the Accident: Proving Proximate Cause is Your Path to Compensation

In the chaotic aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But remember, proving proximate cause is the linchpin of your personal injury claim. It’s the crucial link between the accident and the compensation you may be entitled to.

What’s Your Case Worth?

Car accidents often leave victims with a pile of bills and a mountain of stress. Fortunately, Nevada law allows you to seek compensation for both the financial burdens and the intangible losses you’ve suffered. These are known as:

  • Economic Damages: The tangible costs of your accident, including:
    • Medical Expenses: Hospital bills, doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, etc.
    • Lost Wages: Income you missed out on due to your injuries.
    • Property Damage: The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • Non-Economic Damages: The intangible losses that are harder to quantify, such as:
    • Pain and Suffering: The physical discomfort and emotional distress caused by your injuries.
    • Emotional Distress: Anxiety, depression, and other psychological impacts of the accident.
    • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: The inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed.

The Proximate Cause Connection: The extent of your injuries and losses—and how directly they are linked to the accident—will significantly impact the amount of compensation you can receive.

Gathering Strong Evidence: Your Arsenal for Proving Proximate Cause

Think of evidence as the building blocks of your case. The stronger your evidence, the stronger your claim for compensation. Some key types of evidence include:

  • Photos and Videos: Of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries.
  • Witness Statements: Accounts from people who saw the accident happen.
  • Police Reports: The official record of the accident, often containing crucial details about fault.
  • Medical Records: Documentation of your injuries and treatment.
  • Black Box Data: Information from your vehicle’s onboard computer, which can reveal speed, braking, and other details.

Expert Witnesses: In complex cases, expert witnesses like accident reconstruction specialists can provide valuable insights to help establish fault and prove proximate cause.

Don’t underestimate the power of evidence. It’s the key to unlocking the compensation you deserve. Let Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong case.

Get Legal Help to Build Your Case

While understanding proximate cause is a great first step, navigating the legal maze that follows a car accident can be daunting. That’s where an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney comes in.

Why a Lawyer is Essential:

  • Investigating the Accident: Attorneys have the resources and know-how to dig deep into the details of your accident. They’ll gather evidence, interview witnesses, and consult with experts to build a rock-solid case for you.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators, and their goal is to settle your claim for as little as possible. A lawyer knows their tactics and can fight for a fair settlement that reflects the true value of your case.
  • Calculating Damages: Determining the full extent of your damages isn’t always straightforward. A lawyer can accurately assess your economic and non-economic losses, ensuring you don’t leave any money on the table.
  • Representing You in Court: If a fair settlement can’t be reached, your lawyer is ready to take your case to trial and fight for your rights before a judge and jury.

Don’t Go It Alone – Contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers Today

We know dealing with a car accident is stressful. It’s a confusing time filled with paperwork, medical appointments, and uncertainty about the future. But you don’t have to face it alone.

At Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers, we’ve been fighting for the rights of those injured for over 40 years. We understand the complexities of Nevada law, and we’re committed to getting you the compensation you deserve.

Jack’s Got Your Back!

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your story, explain your options, and help you take the next steps towards recovery. Your fight is our fight.

Our Location

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in an accident, contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation with experienced Las Vegas accident lawyers. You will gain an advocate for every stage in the claims process until you have the compensation you deserve.

Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers is available to help you handle your injury claim in the Las Vegas metropolitan area and beyond. Jack Bernstein and his team can offer you the personalized service and legal representation you deserve after an accident.

Call us at (702) 633-3333 or contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Get a Free Consultation!

Fill the form and we will contact you immediately. NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
Contact Us
By submitting you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy