Author: Steve Dimopoulos

Overview of Valet Liability

Even visitors to this city have probably noticed that, as a prominent city in the world of entertainment and hospitality, Las Vegas has a lot of opportunities for valet parking. Normally, the valets are honest people and good drivers, and their service is very helpful.

However, such is not always the case. There are some who use their position of power to steal valuable cars at the right opportunity since, after all, they already have the keys and the trust of the car’s owner. Other times, the valet’s conduct might not be intentional, but it may be that the driver messed up and had a car accident.

Even though they may only involve damage to one’s property, these sorts of accidents can be a serious financial hit on a person, especially if the car is new and an expensive or luxury make or model. One may also feel the financial burden if a valet damages a leased vehicle.

Usually, the contracted valet company or, if the valet was hired by a hotel or restaurant directly, the business establishment carries insurance to cover any sort of damage a valet driver causes while performing his or her job.

However, it can be difficult to prove that these companies are at fault for damage to a car. While the person who was driving at the time of an accident is, generally speaking, the one responsible for it, valets only a drive a vehicle for a very short time.

Except in the most flagrant of cases, it can be very easy for a valet company to deny liability simply because there is no way of knowing whether one of their employees caused damage to a vehicle or if someone else, including the vehicle’s owner, is actually responsible for the damage.

While car accidents involving valets have their own challenges which might necessitate the help of an experienced Las Vegas accident attorney, Nevada residents should remember that it is often worth to pursue these types of claims.

Key Factors in Your Pedestrian Vehicle Accident

Pedestrians who are involved in vehicle accidents can encounter extensive physical and financial losses. In such cases, a personal injury claim may be helpful.

In order to receive the settlement that a victim needs to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, it is important to fully understand what a claim entails. There are a few key factors to be aware of concerning pedestrian vehicle accidents.

Duty of care

Nevada traffic laws clearly denote the duties for pedestrians and drivers, as well as passengers. For pedestrians, some of the main duties include:

  • Using crosswalks
  • Not disrupting the flow of traffic
  • Obeying all “walk” signs and signals

These are a few of the set duties, and in pedestrian auto accident claims, claimants must be able to show that they exercised the necessary duty of care, but the drivers did not.

Negligence

Because a pedestrian accident is a type of personal injury case, the claimant must prove negligence. In order to do this, there are four key points that the pedestrian must successfully argue:

  1. The driver had a duty of care.
  2. The driver did not fulfill that duty.
  3. The lack of care caused the accident.
  4. The pedestrian sustained injuries or harm due to the accident.

The first point is a given by virtue of Nevada law. In order to argue the other points, claimants must collect and present the proper evidence.

Proof

Having the right proof may not only help to prove a case, but may also aid in determining the amount of compensation that the courts will award. It is protocol for parties involved in an accident to exchange information. If there are any witnesses, it is a good practice to obtain their information as well, and a written testimony, if possible. Photos of the scene of the accident and any injuries may also be beneficial during the claim process.

By considering these factors, individuals may be able to develop strong cases. It may also be beneficial to seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney to determine the best course of action.

Three Pedestrians Die, Others Injured, Crossing Las Vegas Street

A recent afternoon pedestrian accident in Las Vegas left 3 people dead and 7 people with injuries, 2 of which police describes as “critical” in nature. While police have identified one driver who struck the pedestrians, they also say there were other vehicles involved in this tragic accident as well.

Police say that the driver of the vehicle who hit the pedestrians may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, the driver’s boss claims that in fact, the driver was epileptic and may have had a seizure right before the accident.

The boss said that, right before the accident, he had seen driver at a construction site where they both worked. The boss also added that the driver’s doctor had told the man he was okay to drive despite his tendency to experience seizures.

The accident happened at an intersection, and police gave no indication that the pedestrians had been improperly crossing the street. Still, police continue to investigate this sad case.

While a wait and see approach may be best for the time being, at some point, the victims or the deceased victims’ families are going to have to decide what they want to do as a result of this accident. In the aftermath of this tragedy, the victims and families will no doubt have to deal with financial expenses like the cost of medical bills, funeral expenses and possibly the loss of a reliable stream of income. Additionally, they will to deal with non-economic injuries like pain, distress and grief.

These victims may be able to get compensation for their losses, or for the loss of their loved ones, via a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Before suing or even filing a claim with the appropriate insurance company, however, injured parties should strongly consider speaking with an attorney experienced with handling car accidents and similar claims.

Source: CBS 8 Las Vegas, “3 pedestrians hit, killed in crash near Flamingo and Eastern,” Shakala Alvaranga, Dec. 13, 2017.

Contractor Status of Uber Drivers Could Affect Crash Victims

By now, many people in the Las Vegas area have probably had the opportunity to use Uber or Lyft at least once. When using Uber, a driver, who may be just an average citizen with a car and some spare time, picks up and drops off passengers in his or her personal vehicle.

The driver has to provide his or her own gas and vehicle and pay for the vehicle’s upkeep, but the tradeoff is he or she can work flexible hours and as much or as little as he or she wants.

It is for this reason that Uber calls its drivers independent contractors, and not employees. Some state courts, however, have disagreed and instead held that Uber has enough rules imposed on, and controls over, the drivers such that they are indeed the drivers’ employer. The law in this area is in flux right now, but the outcome will have a profound impact on how Uber operates its business.

From the perspective of those who get hurt in commercial vehicle accidents involving an Uber driver, the distinction between independent contractor and employee is important as to how easy it would be to sue Uber itself after an accident. If an Uber driver is an employee, then Uber will be held responsible for the driver’s negligence if the driver was working at the time of an accident.

If, on the other hand, an Uber driver is an independent contractor, then, in order to sue Uber, a victim is going to have to show more than just that the driver worked for Uber. They will have to prove that Uber acted negligently when it hired, or supervised the work of, the driver involved.

Distracted Motorists Endanger Motorcyclists

Distracted driving is a growing epidemic that law enforcement agencies in Las Vegas and all across the country are trying to fight. Laws are in place making it illegal for motorists to operate their vehicles while distracted. But many people disregard them and continue to focus on anything but the road, endangering the lives of everyone around them, including motorcyclists.

In fact, many motorcycle accidents are caused by inattentive drivers. Motorists must keep their eyes on the roads and hands on their steering wheels. Their thoughts should be primarily on the task of driving. This includes actively checking their vehicles’ mirrors and the roads for other motorists, especially bikers, and extending proper road courtesies.

Driver distractions create additional dangers for bikers

Why are inattentive motorists such a huge problem for bikers? Even a driver paying attention may misjudge the distance and speed of a motorcycle because of its relatively small size. While a glance in a rearview mirror may reveal a passenger or commercial vehicle, a motorcycle may only be visible to someone doing a head check. When drivers are looking at their cellphones, adjusting the features in their vehicles or doing other things, it becomes even harder to keep track of motorcyclists.

Some people are not even aware of when bikers pull up beside or in front of them until it is too late. Motorists often fail to correctly assess traffic at intersections where head-on collisions with motorcyclists are likely to occur, as well.

Many drivers do not accept responsibility

Unfortunately, drivers rarely admit when they are in the wrong in car accidents, especially when it comes to distractions. Many of them assume that they can deny accountability because there is no evidence. However, there are other methods law enforcement, insurance companies and motorcyclists can use to prove that accidents are the result of distracted drivers, such as with eyewitness testimonies, police reports, traffic surveillance cameras, phone records and more.

Motorcycle accident victims have the same rights as car accident victims when it comes to seeking compensation. Because distracted driving car and motorcycle collision claims are not always easy for them to manage, many of them find it beneficial to speak with an attorney for guidance and support on the matter.

Driving While Too Tired is Similar to Driving Drunk

A previous post on this blog discussed how federal regulators have put in to place rules that limit how long truckers subject to their jurisdiction can stay on the road before pulling over for several hours so that they can rest and, hopefully, get some sleep. The reason behind these rules are to prevent truckers from driving while too fatigued to do so safely.

Preventing fatigued truck driving is a noble cause since that behavior is so dangerous. One organization, the National Sleep Foundation, even compares drowsy driving to drunken driving, since the effects of sleep deprivation on a driver can be confused with those of alcohol or other drugs.

In extreme cases of drowsy driving, a trucker may literally fall asleep while driving, at least for a short time. Even if he does not, however, the lack of sleep will slow the driver’s reaction times, blur his vision and hinder his ability to determine distances or make split decisions.

This is because a mind operating on low sleep works more slowly, meaning a person takes long to digest information and come to a judgment about the best course of action. Likewise, the lack of sleep can affect a person’s emotions, making a driver very sensitive to the behavior of other motorists and thus more likely to engage in aggressive or reckless driving behavior.

The effect being overly tired has on a truck driver is profound, and one can easily see how fatigue can lead to serious trucking accidents. This is why it is imperative that truck drivers, and the companies which hire them, make sure that they follow all rules concerning mandatory breaks and actually get appropriate sleep during those breaks. Drivers should also be on guard for the signs of any medical or other condition that might prevent them from getting a good night of sleep.

When drivers choose to travel on the roads of Las Vegas while too tired to do so, the end result can easily be a Nevada resident’s getting seriously hurt or killed. Should this happen, the victim or the victim’s family have legal options for pursuing compensation from both the negligent driver and his trucking firm.

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Ethics Disclosures: Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. You may have to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees and costs in the event of a loss. Our mission is to provide you with the highest settlement possible in the shortest time possible. We recover more than two million dollars per month on behalf of our clients. Super Bowl is a registered trademark of the National Football League (NFL).  Dimopoulos Law is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the NFL.702-605-7207