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Preventing Intersection Collisions in Nevada

Many intersection collisions that happen in Nevada are caused by driver negligence and can be prevented.

Dangerous Intersections in Nevada

In Nevada, Las Vegas and nearby cities like Henderson with a high volume of yearly tourists are known for having wide open roads and large intersections built to accommodate heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Although these large intersections provide ease of traffic flow and pedestrian paths, they pose higher risks of serious traffic accidents for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Between 2012 and 2016, more than 2,200 people suffered severe injuries and another 301 people died in Nevada intersection-related traffic accidents. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), 75% of these accidents occurred in Clark County. Unfortunately, most of them could have been prevented because they were caused by negligent drivers who failed to follow traffic laws. Common causes of accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Failing to yield to other drivers
  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsiness and fatigue

NDOT accident data showed that 61% of intersection-related collisions occurred during daylight hours when visibility was not impaired by light or weather conditions. Most serious injury crashes and fatalities were caused by drivers going straight or turning left, and male drivers between ages 26 and 35.

A large percentage of Nevada intersection collisions are caused by drivers failing to yield the right-of-way. Drivers speeding through traffic lights before they turn red, rolling through stop signs, and making illegal turns put other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians at risk for injury and death. In Nevada, motorists are permitted to turn right on a red light after coming to a complete stop, unless intersection signage states otherwise. However, the driver must be in the far most right-hand lane and yield to all moving traffic, as well as cyclists and pedestrians before making a right-hand turn at a red light.

Attorneys in Henderson NV handle many personal injury claims for car accident victims injured by negligent drivers. Since Nevada laws do not allow the use of imaging equipment for speeding or red light violations, negligence is often difficult to prove without proper legal assistance. When seeking compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, injury victims must show proof of fault and negligent actions. If a personal injury lawsuit is filed with attorneys in Henderson NV, legal measures can ensure proper documentation and evidence that proves fault.

Overloaded Trucks Can Be Deadly

Overloaded trucks are at high risk of causing deadly truck accidents because they are harder to maneuver, mechanical failure is more probable, and the force of impact is greater if a crash occurs. Commercial trucks must comply with maximum weight limits to prevent accidents and fatal injuries.

Dangers of Overloaded Trucks

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulates commercial vehicle weight limits for all commercial trucks that travel on U.S. Interstate Highways. Overloading a commercial truck is illegal under federal and state laws, although each state may set their own weight standards for intrastate travel.

To promote traffic safety and prevent trucking accidents, FHWA sets maximum weight limits for commercial trucks at 80,000 pounds, with a limit of 20,000 pounds on a single axle. The distribution of weight on wheels and axles plays an important role in a truck’s structural stability during travel. Since commercial trucks have a high center of gravity, they can become unstable when they are overloaded or when cargo weight is not evenly distributed. An overloaded truck creates deadly dangers on the road including:

  • Brake failure
  • Tire blowouts
  • Uncontrolled downhill speeds
  • Longer stopping distances
  • Collapsed bridges and overpasses
  • Rollover crashes

Overloaded trucks have a higher risk of mechanical problems that can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. When loading cargo, truck drivers and cargo handlers must pay close attention to the vehicle’s identification plate which states the maximum permissible gross vehicle weight and the maximum permissible axle weight under federal regulations.

For maximum safety, all cargo must be evenly distributed and properly secured throughout the truck. If one side is heavier than the other, simple maneuvers such as making turns or changing lanes can result in deadly accidents. Unsecured cargo can affect the truck’s weight distribution. If cargo falls or shifts during transit, the truck can flip over during turns and lane changes. Uneven weight distribution and improperly secured cargo are major factors in many truck rollover crashes seen by Henderson truck accident lawyers.

According to federal trucking regulations, truck drivers are required to inspect their cargo at certain points during travel. A driver must inspect cargo within the first 50 miles of travel, after driving 3 hours or 150 miles, and when changing his/her duty status. Drivers who fail to comply with these regulations may be held liable for injuries if a problem with the truck’s cargo causes an accident. Under the Doctrine of Respondeat Superior, a driver’s employer can also be held liable for employee negligent acts or omissions when committed within the scope of employment.

Next-Day Delivery Is Taking Lives

Next-day deliveries from Amazon’s enormous delivery network are contributing to accidents, injuries, and deaths of innocent civilians across the country.

Amazon Under Fire for Delivery Accidents

According to a New York Times investigation, at least 10 people have died from Amazon delivery accidents since 2015. The investigation focuses on the pressure put on Amazon’s contract delivery drivers to deliver next-day shipments within a limited time frame. The New York Times report follows an earlier Buzzfeed news report that focuses on Amazon’s decentralized delivery system and denial of responsibility when delivery accidents occur.

In one accident case, a nine-month-old baby was killed after an Amazon delivery driver crashed into the back of the mother’s vehicle. The driver stated he was running late and failed to see the car in front of him in time to avoid the crash.

In another case, an 84-year-old grandmother was killed in Chicago when an Amazon delivery driver hit her while delivering packages during the Christmas season. The driver stated he was racing to get next-day deliveries made during the Christmas rush and did not see the woman crossing the street.

According to investigative reports, Amazon directs and tracks all drivers’ delivery routes, as well as package deliveries with hand scanners. If a driver gets behind in his/her schedule, a dispatcher in an Amazon warehouse can call the driver directly. In eight different states, work orders obtained showed that Amazon requires 999 out of 1,000 deliveries to arrive on time. Drivers involved in accidents and injuries say Amazon effectively acts as their employer because they retain so much control over daily schedules and actions.

Amazon’s contracted drivers work under rigorous demands to deliver hundreds of packages each shift for a flat rate of about $160 a day. Drivers say they are urged to skip bathroom breaks, meals, and rest breaks to ensure delivery of all scheduled packages on time. Amazon’s “no package left behind” policy urges dispatchers to keep as many delivery vans on the road as possible to complete scheduled deliveries. Drivers say they often deliver up to 250 packages per day, which allows less than two minutes per package during an eight-hour shift.

By contracting with third-party companies like Inpax who employ delivery drivers, Amazon avoids liability for delivery accidents, injuries, and fatalities that result in car accident claims and wrongful death lawsuits with accident lawyers.

You Are not in Good Hands with the Insurance Company

Crash victims often experience big delays, small settlement offers, and denied claims when the at-fault driver is insured by certain insurance companies like Allstate. As a result, many people must hire car accident attorneys and file personal injury lawsuits to recover fair compensation.

Drivers With Allstate Are Paying a Price

Allstate, an American insurance giant, is under investigation for the company’s practices in processing car accident cases. Numerous reports have surfaced about victims who face claim denials, unfair settlement offers, and years of delayed payments when a crash is caused by a driver insured by Allstate.

In a recent case, a crash victim was T-boned by an Allstate-insured driver. The victim suffered permanent wrist injuries as a result of the crash. Although the Allstate-insured driver was at fault for the crash, the company refused a settlement offer. The case went to court. Two years later, a jury ordered Allstate to pay a much larger settlement to the victim than originally proposed.

In another case, Allstate was investigated for low-balling car repairs caused by a rear-end collision. While an independent auto body shop estimated the cost of repairs at more than $19,000, an Allstate body shop estimated necessary repairs at $11,700. The difference prompted the car’s owner to inspect the Allstate-sanctioned repairs. Allstate officials stood behind their repairs stating that the company guarantees the quality of repairs from their network shops. Other body shops found the repairs inferior and unsafe.

Auto Insurance Claims

The process of paying for car accident damages and losses is referred to as indemnification. Once an insurance company determines fault for the accident and coverage provided in the policy, the company will likely pay the cost of damages minus the deductible, bargain with the other insurance company to determine a percentage they must pay, or seek payment from the other driver’s insurance company. Car repairs will be assigned to an approved auto body shop.

In car accident cases involving injuries, insurance companies commonly try to avoid paying for large medical bills, even when they are obligated to pay. Many insurance companies also try to prove that injuries were sustained prior to the accident and note them as pre-existing conditions that are excluded under policy coverage. If a Nevada insurance adjuster proposes a low-ball settlement offer, personal injury attorneys in Henderson NV can negotiate the offer for a higher payment that is reasonable and fair.

ELD Mandate in Full Force

Commercial truck drivers are now required to use electronic logging devices that record all their on-duty hours of service on the road.

Federal ELD Regulations

In 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new regulations that require all commercial truckers to use compliant, registered electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track their hours of service. Truckers were given two years to replace their old on-board recording devices with new ELD systems. On December 17, 2019, the deadline ended and the mandate to use ELDs went into full force.

All truck drivers and motor carriers subject to regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are mandated to comply. According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), roadside inspections will check for ELDs and inspectors will fully enforce the ELD rule with no grace period.

According to FMCSA, a commercial trucker without an ELD installed in his/her vehicle, or with an old logging device still in place will face penalties for noncompliance with federal regulations. The driver will have no record of on-duty status and service hours which puts him/her out-of-service for 10 hours. A driver carrying a passenger without a required record of duty status will be placed out of service for eight hours.

The federal ELD mandate was implemented to prevent trucking accidents and injuries caused by truck driver fatigue, a major problem seen by Henderson truck accident lawyers. Current regulations mandate a trucker’s service schedule on the road.

  • Each on-duty service period must be preceded by at least 10 hours of off-duty time.
  • 14-Hour Rule – Drivers may not exceed drive a 14-hour schedule each day, following 10 hours of off- time. A 14-hour schedule must include mandatory fuel and rest stops, meals, and breaks while on duty.
  • 11-Hour Rule – Drivers may not exceed 11 consecutive driving hours per day.
  • Drivers are required to take a mandatory break of 30-minutes before they reach 8 hours of driving time.
  • Drivers may not exceed 60 on-duty hours over 7 consecutive days, or 80 on-duty hours over 8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers must maintain on-duty logs for all work schedules.

Federal criminal penalties can be brought against trucking companies and carriers that knowingly and willfully allow or acquire violations; or against drivers who knowingly and willfully violate the regulations. Civil penalties between $1,000 and $11,000 can be imposed for each violation.

Death by Urban Design: Planning and Maintenance Could Save Lives

Negligent urban planning and poor roadway conditions are responsible for thousands of deadly accidents to motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists every year.

Better Roadway Designs Increase Safety

Poor road design and lack of regular road maintenance increase driving hazards that injure and kill thousands of American drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists each year. City planners have a responsibility to promote safer environments by designing well-planned roadways with proper maintenance that protect drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists from accidents and injuries.

When city roadways create dangerous conditions, urban planners can design safer roadways with features that reduce traffic accidents and injuries:

  • Improved traffic signals
  • Control signals at pedestrian crosswalks
  • Wider sidewalks
  • Pedestrian bridges and barriers
  • Speed bumps
  • Brighter street lighting

In Nevada, Henderson personal injury lawyers handle many car collisions caused by damaged pavement and potholes, poorly lit roadways, inoperable traffic signals, and lack of pedestrian crosswalks. Despite the significant impact on traffic safety, many Nevada roads need repairs and impact safety for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Although urban planners do not control roadway conditions, they do work closely with state transportation officials to promote traffic safety. In Nevada, the Office of Traffic Safety is recognized as the federal highway safety office for the state. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is responsible for regular repairs and maintenance on Nevada roadways. NDOT focuses on highway traffic safety, connectivity, and mobility for all Nevada state roads.

NDOT implements Safety Management Plans throughout the state by collecting and analyzing crash data, roadway engineering data, and public accessibility. The main goal is to improve roadway conditions, so drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists have safe, secure access to shared areas. NDOT is also responsible for the maintenance of all state roads. Regular duties include accident traffic control, paving repairs and maintenance, repainting of centerlines and yellow/red zones, snow removal, and other road maintenance tasks that prevent car accidents that cause personal injuries and deaths.

Designing better traffic flow, maintaining roadway conditions, reducing traffic speeds in high-pedestrian areas, giving pedestrians safe walking spaces, and designating safe bicycle lanes can prevent thousands of deaths each year in Henderson and cities across the country. When city planning is proactive, cities and taxpayers save millions of dollars on repairs and improvements and fatal accidents for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists are reduced.

Could the Mechanic Shop Be Liable for Your Crash?

Mechanics that falsify auto repair records or inspection reports can be held liable for injuries if a crash occurs.

Liability for Losses Caused by False Auto Repair Records

If a mechanic or other responsible party lied about vehicle repairs or falsified repair or inspection records and a crash occurs, injured victims can file a lawsuit against those parties. However, winning the lawsuit depends on establishing proof that the repairs were not made and that the crash was caused by the defective or malfunctioning parts.

If a car owner becomes aware of the falsified records before a crash occurs, he or she can notify the mechanic that problems were not repaired, but charges were made for repairs. The car owner can insist that repairs should be done free of charge. If the mechanic refuses the request, the car owner can contact the state’s Bureau of Automotive Repairs. If an accident occurs before the repairs are made, the car owner can contact an accident lawyer to discuss legal remedies for crash liability.

In a recent New York case, a discount tire shop falsified records, claiming that brake repairs were completed on a limousine. A few months later, the limousine crashed killing 20 people. Experts claim that catastrophic brake failure caused the accident. The manager of the repair shop said he purchased a master brake cylinder and charged the customer for repairs. After a civil lawsuit for crash damages and passenger deaths was filed, it was discovered that the master brake cylinder was never installed, despite invoices and records that showed it was. According to the County District Attorney, the master brake cylinder was returned to the auto parts dealer eight days after purchase.

A lawsuit against Prestige Limousine alleges that the company kept the vehicle on the road despite two failed inspections and orders to remove the limo from service. The inspections were performed by the New York Department of Transportation, the state agency that handles inspections of limousines equipped to carry 11 or more passengers. 

The crash killed the driver, 17 passengers, and 2 pedestrians in the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie, New York. Lawsuits against the store contend that Apple Barrel should have known the parking lot was dangerous and taken steps to prevent injuries and deaths.

The son of the owner of Prestige Limo told investigators he was running the company while his father was away. He has been charged with 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide and 20 counts of second-degree manslaughter, charges that could result in a life prison sentence if convicted.

Car Repair Scams

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), consumers are scammed out of billions of dollars in faulty or unnecessary car repairs every year. Auto repair problems make up the largest group of consumer complaints seen by federal and state agencies around the country. Unfortunately, unethical mechanics can easily deceive vehicle owners that repairs are necessary when they’re not, or repairs were completed when they weren’t.

New automobiles have complex, high-tech mechanical systems that can make it difficult for many people to work on their own cars. The average car owner is forced to rely on an auto mechanic for car maintenance and repairs, creating an easy path to deception for unethical mechanics and repair shops. Since many Nevada consumers depend on car mechanics to perform necessary repairs, proving repair fraud without a Henderson accident lawyer is often difficult.

The U.S. Consumer Protection Agency is aware of numerous types of scams involving car mechanics.

  • Highway bandit scams
  • Maintenance hook scams
  • Bait and switch scams
  • Sub-standard and counterfeit car parts
  • Falsified part and labor charges
  • Falsified repair invoices and records

Preventing False Repairs and Accidents

Notifying the local consumer protection agency, state attorney general’s office, or the Better Business Bureau when false repair or inspection reports are made can help prevent crashes from happening.

Additionally, the following can help prevent accidents and injuries from falsified repair scams.

  • Choosing car repair shops with certified auto mechanics
  • Performing a background check on the repair shop
  • Getting several estimates from different shops
  • Getting a written estimate before authorizing any repairs
  • Making sure repairs are guaranteed
  • Making sure the work was completed as stated

If falsified repair scams result in a car crash, victims can file a lawsuit through an accident lawyer for property damages and injuries. If someone dies in the crash, the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit with an accident lawyer based on the negligent actions of the repair shop or car mechanic. Maintaining accurate vehicle service records and keeping mechanic shop invoices can help car owners and their accident lawyers ensure that mechanics are held liable when falsified repair reports cause a crash.

Talking to Your Doctor After an Accident

Providing doctors and health care providers with as much medical information as possible leads to a better healthcare outcome and provides valuable evidence for a larger personal injury settlement.

Gathering Medical Evidence

Following a car accident, it’s important to seek medical treatment from a doctor and document injuries as soon as possible. Each doctor’s visit provides detailed documentation of injury symptoms, clinical diagnosis, and recommended treatment plans. If a lawsuit is filed with a personal injury lawyer, these medical records will become important evidence used to calculate damages.

When seeking medical treatment after a car accident, it’s essential to talk openly to the doctor, follow the doctor’s advice, and continue treatments as long as pain and injury symptoms are present. There are five important things to discuss with the doctor.

Health History

Informing the doctor of a complete health history will help with healing times and treatments, since past injuries often impact new injuries. A person with certain pre-existing health conditions may heal slower than normal and be prone to infections. Knowing an injury victim’s health history can prevent the possibility of further injury-related complications.

How Injuries Occurred

When explaining a car crash to the doctor, it’s important to be specific about how the injuries occurred. Discussing details of the crash like getting thrown into the dashboard or hitting the windshield will help the doctor with a more accurate diagnosis. Little details discussed with the doctor may become important medical facts used for evidence in a settlement or lawsuit.

Diagnosis and Medical Treatments

Once a proper diagnosis is determined, the doctor will order medical treatments. Planning for immediate and future follow up visits, medical treatments, prescription medications, physical therapy sessions, and surgeries will help a lawyer build a strong personal injury lawsuit. Medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress will factor into awarded compensation.

Job Restrictions

A doctor needs to know about any pain and injury symptoms that may impact job limitations and restrictions. If the doctor recommends a limited work schedule or restricted work duties, the employer needs to be notified as soon as possible. If injuries are severe, vocational rehabilitation may be necessary.

Projected Prognosis

Injuries sustained in a car crash can range from broken bones to head and brain injuries. Injury victims need to discuss their recovery time and prognosis with the doctor. Projected prognosis following a car crash will be an important factor in a personal injury claim.

These Are the Most Dangerous Highways in America

Highway I-80 in Nevada is one of the most dangerous highways in America with an average of 153 car crashes and 173 fatalities every year.

Safe Highway Driving

Safe driving can help prevent accidents on dangerous roads and highways. Although there’s always the possibility of a car accident while traveling, some roads are more dangerous than others due to heavy traffic and high-speed limits.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have identified states with some of the most dangerous highways in America. Based on recorded vehicle crashes, certain states rank high in car accident injuries and fatalities. Although Nevada is not on the top 10 list, Henderson car accident lawyers see a high rate of car crashes on highway I-80, with a yearly average of 153 injuries and 173 deaths. 

Preventing Accidents

Every driver plays a role in preventing car accidents on America’s roads and highways. Since accident statistics show that 90% of car crashes are due to human error, safe driving behaviors are essential. NHTSA recommends the following safety tips:

Don’t Follow Too Closely

Rear-end collisions account for approximately 30% of car crashes, so tailgating should be avoided. When following too closely, drivers are focused on the car in front of them instead of their surroundings. If the driver in front slams on the brakes, the following driver will not have adequate time to react or safely stop the car. Car accident lawyers see many tailgating accidents with deadly consequences.

Don’t Drive Drowsy

Travelers often experience drowsy driving. On long trips, it’s easy to be lulled to sleep by silence and the hum of the engine, especially if deprived of sleep the night before. Sleep-deprived drivers are four times more likely to have car crashes than drivers who get adequate sleep each night. Drowsy drivers should open a window, drink water, turn up the radio, or pull off the road.

Avoid Distractions

While it’s well-known that alcohol and drugs contribute to fatal car crashes, distracted driving can be just as dangerous. Talking or texting on cell phones, checking navigation systems, eating and drinking, watching videos, and snapping selfies while driving cause thousands of deadly car crashes every year.

Buckle Up

Seat belts will not prevent car crashes, but they will minimize injuries and deaths if one occurs. According to NHTSA officials, buckling up promotes safety and often saves lives.

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To our valued clients and friends:

We hope that everyone is taking the recommended precautions to protect themselves against this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The David Boehrer Law Firm always has and always will put the safety and well-being of our clients, and staff, before all else. We have taken the necessary steps to comply with all recommendations from the CDC, the SNHD and Governor Sisolak, while also allowing us to continue to serve our clients.

We will be limiting in-person contact in our offices. We will be available via telephone and e-mail, and we have set up video conferencing for face-to-face interaction with our clients, which also permits us to conduct electronic notary signatures. When in-person meetings are requested or required, we will take all necessary precautions, including social distancing and disinfecting our conference rooms after every meeting. While some employees will work remotely, each and every staff member will be available to clients during office hours.

We appreciate the seriousness of this pandemic and will consistently reassess our Firm’s procedures to keep our clients and staff safe. For now, we will continue to operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thank you and please stay safe!

David D Boehrer, Esq.