Nevada recently joined several other states in enacting laws preventing many aspects of cell phone usage while operating an automobile. This reform was in response to the large number of Nevada car accidents that were resulting from the inattention caused by cell phone use. There are many aspects of cell phone usage that a Las Vegas personal injury attorney must be familiar with. This article will give the reader some insight on how cell phone use and regulation might affect a Nevada personal injury case, including some insight on how this new law can get you more money for your personal injury settlement!
Nevada’s New Law
It has now been codified under NRS 484B that it is against the law to physically handle a cell phone or other electronic device (such as a tablet) while operating an automobile in Nevada. Note that it is legal to drive while speaking on a cell phone via a “hands-free” instrument such as a Bluetooth earpiece or headphones. If you use your phone as a GPS device, your should program the destination into the device prior to taking the wheel. Likewise, if you use your phone as a music device, having it in your hand in order to play music is technically illegal. Police has been advised to assume that anyone holding a cell phone while operating an automobile in Nevada is violating NRS 484B.
Cell Phone Use in Car Accidents
It is no secret that a driver operating a cell phone or other electronic device while operating a vehicle is not paying full attention to the road. The lack of attention causes many automobile accidents and results in Las Vegas personal injury cases. If a driver is cited for not paying full attention to the road due to cell phone usage, a major hurdle has been overcome in proving your Nevada personal injury case. As we have written about elsewhere in our personal injury blog, an injured person has to prove another person breached a legally recognized duty. People driving a car have a duty to pay attention to the road. If the person was cited for not paying attention due to cell phone usage, this aspect of your personal injury case practically already proven. When liability is conclusively established, it is much harder for insurance companies to dispute fault and therefore are forced to pay you more for your personal injury case. Your Las Vegas personal injury attorney must know how to take advantage of this aspect of Nevada personal injury law.
Negligence and Nevada’s New Cell Phone Law
We have blogged previously about the concept of negligence in Nevada personal injury cases and one type of negligence in particular has just been created. “Negligence per se” is a type of negligence recognized under Nevada personal injury law that essentially says that if a law is broken, and breaking that law caused an incident or accident, and that law was created to prevent such accidents, then the person breaking the law is “per se Negligent”…that means there is really no question as to their negligence. Previously, Nevada only had a general duty to pay attention to the road. Now, there is a specific law on point for when someone isn’t paying attention due to cell phone use. So when a Las Vegas automobile accident occurs due to cell phone usage and that person is cited for that violation, negligence is established almost automatically.
Employees Using Cell Phones
Employers are generally responsible for the negligence of their employees under Nevada personal injury law. The requirement is that the employee must have been on a work related task and a work related call. It is critical for a Nevada personal injury attorney to identify the employee function of the negligent person. It is generally much more preferable to make a personal injury case against an employer as such an entity will have better insurance or more money of their own. You may have heard this referred to as “deeper pockets”, a term of art most Las Vegas personal injury attorneys have used on more than one occasion. Establishing that a negligent person was working in the scope of their employment at the time of the accident will increase your personal injury settlement.
If you have been injured and believe you need a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to sort out any of these kinds of issues and maximize your settlement, please call us for a free consultation.