What laws are in place against vehicular homicide from DUI in Las Vegas Nevada?

Feb 26, 2020 3:05 AM ET

Vehicular homicide is a crime that involves the death of a person other than the driver, as a result of either criminally negligent or murderous operation of a motor vehicle. In cases of criminal negligence, the defendant is commonly charged with unintentional vehicular manslaughter and can result in wrongful death actions for victims who may be passengers or pedestrians that are hit by vehicles. Drunk driving is often a culprit in cases of vehicular homicide.

 

Nevada traffic-related deaths.

Traffic accidents in Nevada are often caused by human error including distracted driving, drinking and driving, speeding, failure to stop at red lights or traffic stops, improper lane changes, or any other range of mistakes people make behind the wheel, some of them resulting in criminal charges. Nevada traffic deaths increased to 331 people in 2018 due to speed, impairment behind the wheel and not yielding the right of way.  Pedestrian deaths in Las Vegas for 2019 were spread out across the valley and not all of the pedestrian deaths in 2019 were caused by drunk drivers.  Trucks, buses and cars were all identified as causes for deaths of pedestrians, cyclists and people in wheelchairs.   

 

Felony or misdemeanor.

A first or second time DUI offender in Nevada may get away with a misdemeanor charge where a third time offender will most often be charged with a felony and can: 1) be sentenced up to 6 years in prison; 2) be fined up to $5,000, 3) have a license suspended for up to 3 years after jail time is served, and 5) pay administrative fees to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Typical costs associated with driving under the influence are about $10,000 including fees, fines and increased insurance premiums. Penalties for drunk driving depend on factors including blood alcohol level, age, and repeat offender status, to name a few.  The outcome involves costly fines, driver’s license revocation, and jail time when warranted. 

Modified comparative fault.

Proportional recovery is undertaken when a party is less than 50% responsible for an accident.  An experienced attorney will review police reports, speak to witnesses, and review the facts of the case to estimate the role a decedent played to prove the driver was at least 51% at fault for the crash or more.

 

Wrongful death action and damages.

Wrongful death actions can be filed by heirs of the decedent and personal representatives of an estate. Damages will be based on the value of support and services a deceased person provided; loss of companionship; guidance and protection provided; mental and emotional pain and suffering of survivors ; and medical, or funeral expenses the family member or estate has paid regarding the deceased person. 

 

NRS 42.010

When a drunk driver causes property damage, physical injury, or death in Las Vegas Nevada, a victim’s rights include full compensation for losses, including medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. In accordance with Nevada Law NRS 42:010 you also have the right to seek punitive damages.  

Seek legal counsel

Hiring an attorney at Southwest Injury Lawyers, who has experience with distracted driving, reckless driving, personal injury actions, DUI laws and criminal charges related to vehicular homicide, or wrongful death situations is a prudent decision. 

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