Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is an enjoyable place to live, work, and visit. Getting around is a breeze in most areas, and there’s always something fun to do. Unfortunately, the appeal of the city in someone’s mind can be tarnished forever due to drunk drivers. The area is known as “Sin City” because things are often enjoyed in excess — and this very often includes alcohol consumption. If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone overindulging and then getting behind the wheel, you may have a valid personal injury case. To get a better understanding of your rights, you should speak with a drunk driving lawyer in Las Vegas.
At Bernstein & Poisson, our legal partners have over 60 years of combined experience. In that time, they’ve seen countless accident victims injured due to a variety of negligent acts. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are often some of the most tragic. The sheer magnitude of potential negligence involved results in many of these collisions being particularly devastating. And unfortunately, statistics show that this problem is only getting worse in our city. If you’ve suffered drunk driving accident injuries, reach out to our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys today. We provide a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose.
What Damages Are Available in Drunk Driving Accidents?
If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to a variety of damages. This will all come down to the specifics of your case. The simple fact is that two people could be involved in the same accident but receive very different levels of monetary compensation. These outcomes can depend on negotiations with the drunk driver’s insurance company, the extent of injuries suffered by victims, whether the case goes to trial, and a variety of other issues. No matter how a specific drunk driving car accident case turns out, though, there are only a few types of compensation available.
- Economic damages: Also known as special damages, this court award will focus on covering the financial loss suffered by the victim of a DUI accident. This can include expenses related to lost wages, therapeutic needs, current and future medical treatment, property damage, and other financial burdens.
- Non-economic damages: Also known as general damages, this court award is meant to reimburse accident victims for losses that don’t always have a price tag. For instance, there is no agreed-upon cost of pain and suffering, emotional distress, or even living with permanent disfigurements.
- Punitive damages: The previous two damage types are known as compensatory damages. However, punitive damages are not meant to compensate victims of drunk driving. Instead, such court awards have the goal of punishing the negligent driver for extremely reckless, malicious, or otherwise egregious acts.
Even if your drunk driving accident lawsuit is successful, there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive all these damages. For instance, punitive damages are not very common. Courts typically only hand down these verdicts in the most extreme cases. It’s also worth noting that punitive awards are capped at $300,000 if your damages are under $100,000. If you’ve suffered more than $100,000 in losses, however, these damages will be capped at three times the level of your compensatory award.
There are some nuances and exceptions to these laws, but a drunk driving accident lawyer in Las Vegas will be better able to explain whether these apply to your specific case. Contact Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free case evaluation and get a better idea of what compensation you may be entitled to.
How Big of a Problem Is Drunk Driving in Las Vegas?
Victims of drunk driving accidents rarely realize just how big of a problem this issue is in Las Vegas. They no doubt expect that there are a lot of intoxicated people — it is Vegas, after all — but when you look at the statistics, it’s no wonder serious injuries in DUI accidents are so common. In fact, a recent nationwide study found that Las Vegas is the worst city in America for intoxicated driving. This is based on data that shows we have the highest rate of drunk driving arrests in the country. Even more terrifying is the fact that the average person arrested in a drunk driving case has driven while inebriated at least 80 times prior to being caught.
This news is bad, but it’s gotten even worse since that study. In the first few years after the start of the pandemic, drunk driving accidents increased by 25% in Las Vegas. Of course, statistics don’t mean much to the victim of a drunk driver. They’ve got bigger concerns on their plate — such as lost wages, high medical expenses, property damage, and even dealing with permanent disabilities in some cases. Fortunately, these are not burdens that you have to deal with on your own. At Bernstein & Poisson, we can review your drunk driving accident case and help you understand your situation. Let us shoulder some of these burdens for you.
What Are Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents?
When you think of car accidents, identifying potential injuries might seem like a no-brainer. After all, wouldn’t it make sense that injuries are the same regardless of whether one driver was intoxicated? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Nearly one-third of all fatal accidents involve alcohol-impaired drivers — and alcohol involvement in any accident greatly increases the risk of serious injuries and fatalities. This makes sense when you realize that drunk drivers could be speeding down the wrong side of a nighttime road with their headlights off and not even realize it.
Extreme negligent acts such as these explain why the following are common injuries in DUI accident cases:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burns and disfigurement
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis and permanent disability
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Wrongful death
Even when someone only sustains relatively minor injuries, the psychological trauma of a serious accident can last for years. The important thing is to not try to estimate whether you think your injury is “worth the trouble” and never take the word of an insurance adjuster regarding what you’re entitled to. You should seek the advice of an independent third party with knowledge of personal injury law, civil penalties, and liability for impaired drivers. That’s exactly what we can offer at Bernstein & Poisson. We’ll work hard to help you get a fair settlement, and if the insurance company won’t properly compensate you, we have the trial experience necessary to take your case to court.
Will the Drunk Driver Always Be Liable for Injuries?
When going through the civil claims process, people are often surprised to learn that drunk drivers are not always at fault for accidents they’re involved in. While getting behind the wheel intoxicated is no doubt an extremely negligent act, it doesn’t negate all other liability laws in our state. For instance, what happens in drunk driving accidents when the intoxicated driver is rear-ended while sitting at a red light? It’s hard to rationalize how that individual could possibly be at fault. However, Nevada does practice a legal doctrine known as negligence per se. This applies in cases where a victim is harmed because another person is breaking the law.
Typically, a personal injury lawsuit will need to show that a defendant had a duty of care, that they violated that duty, and that their violation resulted in injuries or other damages. For negligence per se cases, one need only prove that the defendant was breaking a law (e.g., drunk driving) and caused injuries as a result. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your case will be simple or straightforward, but it does give you additional options when seeking compensation. There are also instances where the victim could share partial liability. Since Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state, though, it’s still possible to recover reduced damages in these situations.
Our drunk driver accident attorneys also frequently get asked about dram shop laws. These are statutes that can hold the owners of alcohol-serving establishments liable for overserving patrons who later cause injuries. Nevada is one of the few states that does not have some form of this law. However, you may be able to seek compensation from a private party if the other driver was underage and that party knowingly served them alcohol illegally. Clearly, a DUI accident case can have many nuances. This is just one of the numerous reasons that a drunk driving accident lawyer in Las Vegas can prove so invaluable to your case.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Every DUI accident lawyer gets asked — at least once a day — whether accident victims need legal representation. This is a particularly common question when liability seems clear on the surface — which is often the case when a drunk driver causes a car accident. However, it’s important to realize that cases aren’t always as clear-cut as we might hope. As discussed throughout this guide, there are frequently questions regarding liability. Additionally, an auto insurance company is going to offer the lowest possible settlement they can get away with — even if their client was well over the legal limit.
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters are skilled at what they do. During a seemingly pleasant conversation, they could guide the discussion to a point where you unknowingly admit some level of fault. A Las Vegas drunk driving accident attorney can help you avoid such pitfalls. Additionally, a skilled legal professional will have a better idea of how much your case is worth. This is vital if you want to obtain compensation that’s sufficient for covering your losses. If you’re looking for one main reason you should hire an attorney, though, just know that research proves that having a lawyer increases your chances of a fair settlement.
Not even the best personal injury attorney in America can guarantee specific results. However, having a legal professional on your side will always prove beneficial when going up against a drunk driver and their insurance company. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to contact Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for DUI Accidents?
Drunk driving crashes show a level of recklessness on the part of the negligent driver that we don’t see in many other cases. It’s one thing for a store owner to overlook a slip-and-fall hazard or a young driver to not realize they’re speeding, but it takes a completely different level of disregard to get behind the wheel after becoming inebriated. Even with this being the case, a drunk driving car accident still falls under basic personal injury laws. This means there’s a two-year statute of limitations in Nevada for DUI accident claims. If you don’t file your lawsuit within that time, all your medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenditures could be your responsibility.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is the same — two years. While this may seem like enough time to seek compensation for you or a loved one, these years can actually go by quickly. You’ll no doubt have a lot on your mind, and you might look up one day and realize that months have gone by. It’s also possible that an insurance company could try to drag out a settlement negotiation in order to take advantage of the filing deadline. Nevada law is on your side when you seek compensation for drunk driving accidents, but there are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations. This is why you should contact our law firm today if you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries or worse.
Contact a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Las Vegas Today
Las Vegas offers many enjoyable activities within the city limits, but there’s no doubt that drinking is one of the most common. Someone could literally sit down at the nickel slots, and waitresses with free alcohol will just show up. This and the “party atmosphere” of The Strip are among the reasons our city has had such a consistently high number of drunk driving accidents over the years. If you or a loved one experienced injuries or loss due to an intoxicated motorist, there’s a solid chance you have a valid personal injury claim. However, never forget that these cases can be complicated and also have filing deadlines. This means the time to seek help is now.At Bernstein & Poisson, our team of personal injury attorneys has spent years helping the victims of drunk driving recover financial compensation. We know that both the physical and mental scars resulting from such an accident can last a lifetime. Even worse, trying to hold a negligent driver responsible for their actions can seem overwhelming at a time when hospital bills are piling up and you’re unable to work. This is why you need a drunk driving accident lawyer in Las Vegas on your side. Contact us today by calling (702) 707-5934 to schedule a free consultation. Our legal professionals will work relentlessly to advocate for justice on your behalf.
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“After being in an accident my friend told me to call Bernstein and Poisson. A lawyer named Brian came to my home to meet with me and started my claim immediately. The legal team was extremely efficient, responded back to me quickly, listened to my concerns, and handled everything with speed and accuracy. Every step of the way was communicated. I received my settlement in 10 months’ time. I highly recommend using Berstein and Poisson. Thank you for helping get my life back on track.”
I Was Injured In An Accident.
What Do I Do Now?
By Scott L. Poisson
Do I Have A Case?
Dealing With The Insurance Company
When a Lawsuit Is Filed
Overcoming Common Defense Themes
Special Considerations in Specific Types of Cases