Hit by a Drunk Driver in Nevada? A Las Vegas DUI Accident Lawyer Explains Your Path to Compensation

A recent incident in Henderson underscores the serious consequences of impaired driving. A 36-year old man, Darryl Smith, is facing charges for a DUI crash that resulted in the deaths of 38-year-old Rebecca Post and her two young sons, Leo Post-Quintanilla and Achilles Quintanilla. Reports from FOX5 indicate that Smith admitted to consuming wine and cough syrup before the accident. This case highlights the risks associated with driving under the influence and its potential to cause irreversible harm to families and communities.

Across Nevada, countless lives are upended each year by the recklessness of drunk drivers. More than just statistics, these incidents leave a deep and lasting impact on individuals, families, and communities.

In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, navigating legal complexities can feel overwhelming. Understanding your rights and potential avenues for recourse is crucial for securing the compensation and support you need to recover.

At Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, an experienced DUI accident lawyer is here to provide clear guidance on the path to compensation after being hit by a drunk driver in Nevada. Whether you're facing physical injuries, emotional distress, or the burden of navigating insurance claims, know that you don't have to walk this path alone. Contact us at (702) 222-2115 for a free, confidential case review and let us help you navigate this challenging time. Next, we’ll explain some of these avenues.

Pursuing Justice and Compensation

The trauma of a DUI accident extends far beyond the initial impact. Victims often face mounting medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress, creating a significant financial burden. While the criminal justice system may hold drunk drivers accountable, it often fails to address the full scope of harm inflicted. Here, we explore two legal avenues available to victims seeking comprehensive compensation and justice:

Civil Lawsuits

  • Personal Injury Lawsuit: This legal action allows injured individuals to recover damages associated with their accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. By meticulously documenting injuries, treatment costs, and lost income, victims can build a strong case for fair compensation.
  • Wrongful Death Lawsuit: In the tragic event of a fatality caused by a drunk driver, surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This seeks compensation for lost financial support, funeral expenses, and the emotional anguish caused by their loved one's loss.

Ultimately, civil lawsuits not only provide financial support for recovery but also serve as a powerful means of holding drunk drivers accountable beyond the scope of criminal sanctions.

Navigating Insurance Claims

Understanding the insurance claims process is crucial after a DUI accident in Nevada, which operates under a modified comparative negligence system.

  • Modified Comparative Negligence: Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover compensation from the drunk driver's insurance company. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you're found to be 20% at fault, your total damages will be reduced by 20%.
  • Uninsured Drivers: While uninsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Nevada, many drivers choose to purchase it as a safety net in case they encounter an uninsured driver. If you do not have this coverage and the at-fault driver is uninsured, you may have limited options for recovering your losses.
  • Seeking Further Compensation: Remember that insurance claims are just one avenue. You can also pursue a lawsuit against the drunk driver and their insurance company for negligence. Their intoxication can be an aggravating factor, potentially leading to higher settlements or even punitive damages.

It's crucial to understand that your specific situation will involve unique factors and calculations under Nevada's modified comparative negligence law. Consulting an experienced Las Vegas drunk driver accident lawyer can help you understand your options, navigate the complexities of insurance claims and potential lawsuits, negotiate a settlement, or take the case to trial if necessary – ultimately fighting for maximum compensation for your injuries.

Types of Damages Recoverable in Nevada DUI Injury Claims

The aftermath of a DUI accident can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. While the criminal justice system holds drunk drivers accountable, it often fails to address the significant burden placed on victims. Fortunately, Nevada law allows for the recovery of various damages through personal injury claims, helping you recover from the accident and move forward. Here are the key types of damages you can pursue in a Nevada DUI injury claim:

Economic Damages

  • Medical Bills: This includes all past and future medical expenses related to your injuries, from emergency room visits and surgeries to ongoing therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: You can recover compensation for lost income due to missed workdays, reduced earning capacity,or career changes enforced by your injuries.
  • Property Damage: Repairs or replacements for your vehicle and other personal belongings damaged in the accident are compensable.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering: This accounts for the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries, including chronic pain, emotional trauma, and psychological counseling needs.
  • Loss of Consortium: If married, your spouse can claim compensation for the loss of companionship, intimacy,and household services due to your injuries.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This covers the diminished ability to participate in activities you once enjoyed due to your injuries.

Additionally, in DUI cases, you may be eligible for:

  • Punitive Damages: While civil lawsuits and insurance claims aim to restore victims of DUI accidents to their pre-accident state financially, some cases warrant an additional layer of accountability: punitive damages.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, and the specific damages you can recover depend on the unique circumstances of your case. An experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer can help you identify and quantify all your losses to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

Criminal Charges and Civil Lawsuits

Criminal charges and civil lawsuits operate on separate tracks. While a DUI conviction serves as punishment for the drunk driver's actions, it doesn't directly compensate the victims for their losses. This is where civil claims come in, allowing you to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages linked to the accident.

While the burden of proof is higher in criminal cases, a DUI conviction can significantly strengthen your civil claim. It serves as concrete evidence of the driver's negligence, potentially simplifying fault-finding and expediting the legal process. However, remember that a civil lawsuit can still be successful even if the driver isn't criminally convicted.

Eric Blank Injury Attorneys: Your Path to Recovery and Justice

The trauma of a DUI accident leaves lasting emotional, physical, and legal challenges. Dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and complex legal procedures can feel overwhelming. But remember, you're not alone.

At Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys understand the complicated legal landscape of Nevada DUI cases. Our experienced team goes beyond identifying the responsible parties – we're dedicated to helping you regain control of your life and obtain the compensation you need to move forward.

We'll diligently investigate all contributing parties, from the impaired driver and their insurance company to any other entities involved. Whether it's navigating insurance claims or fighting for maximum settlements in court, we'll relentlessly pursue every available avenue so you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a drunk driving accident, don't hesitate to reach out. Contact us at (702) 222-2115, or fill out our online form for a FREE case review with a DUI accident attorney

Our friendly team speaks both English and Spanish, ensuring everyone feels heard and understood. And remember, we're on your side: you don't pay us a dime unless we win for you. See for yourself why so many say it’s always BETTER with BLANK!

Copyright © 2024. Eric Blank Injury Attorneys. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Eric Blank Injury Attorneys
7860 W Sahara Ave Ste. 110
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 222-2115

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