Las Vegas DUI and Drunk Driving Attorney

Las Vegas, Nevada has one of the highest numbers of drunk driving accidents than any other city in the United States. About 1.5 million Americans get arrested for driving under the influence each year. 

Nevada laws allow those who have been injured in a drunk driving accident to seek compensation from the negligent party. Drunk driving accidents can lead to very severe and catastrophic injuries, often even fatalities. No person should have to endure such a traumatic experience. Contact our top-rated Las Vegas attorneys for assistance in getting the maximum compensation you deserve and holding the at-fault parties liable for their actions.

Las Vegas Drunk Driving Statistics

  • In the state of Nevada, there are around 6,000 car accidents caused by drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. From these accidents, around 3,000 involved car accidents in the city of Las Vegas.
  • There are around 15 DUI arrests in Las Vegas each day.
  • Las Vegas experiences around 2,000 arrests per 100,000 residents.
  • Las Vegas increased their DUI conviction punishment from $5,000 to $7,000.
  • Deadly crashes in Las Vegas increased 30% from the previous year. Drunk driving is the leading cause of deadly accidents in Las Vegas.

Other than criminal penalties imposed by the state government, there are also various ways that an injured party could seek compensation from their injuries. This requires filing a civil lawsuit against the party. Our attorneys handle civil lawsuits against at fault parties to make sure that you received the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, property damage, emotional distress, Etc.

Can I sue a drunk driver for an accident in Las Vegas?

Yes, if you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver who caused a car accident, you have the right to get compensated for your medical bills and lost wages. There are several other types of compensation you could also receive depending on the severity of your injuries. Nevada law allows victims to get compensated if the accident was caused by another party that was negligent. This is filed under a negligence lawsuit. 

Nevada Drunk Driving Laws 

In Nevada, it is considered a class B felony to be driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. If the drunk driver causes any type of substantial bodily injury to another or death to another, they may be punished with 2 to 20 years in prison, along with any monetary fees between $2,000 to $5,000. This is stated under the Nevada Revised Statute 484C.430.

It could get very tricky when determining whether your lawsuit falls under a criminal or a civil case. This is one of the most common questions we receive from victims who have been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Las Vegas. There are two types of cases that could follow from a drunk driving accident:

  • The first type of case is a criminal case. This is filed by the government against the drunk driver for violating criminal laws. If the drunk driver is found guilty, they could face fines and jail time.
  • The second type of case is a civil case. A civil case is a lawsuit filed by an individual against a drunk driver to get compensated for any damages that the drunk driver has caused.

What does “under the influence” mean in Nevada?

Under Nevada laws, when a motorist causes another person to die or sustain bodily harm while they are under the influence, they could be held liable for any compensation. This includes:

In Nevada, under the influence refers to when a driver’s physical and mental abilities are impaired, and they are not able to drive. One is considered to be under the influence if their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher.

Other than the blood alcohol level, if the driver’s senses are impaired from drugs, they could also be considered under the influence. Drivers under the age of 21 are considered to be under the influence if they have a blood alcohol level that is 0.02 or higher.

What type of damages could I receive if I’ve been hit by a drunk driver?

Victims who have been injured by a drunk driver in Las Vegas can sue the drunk driver and the drunk driver’s insurance company for their negligence.

  • Medical bills: such as physical rehabilitation, cost for hospital stays, prescription medication
  • Past lost wages: while the victim took off from work to heal from their injuries
  • Future lost income: drunk driving accidents could lead to very severe injuries, and sometimes victims may not be able to return back to their normal life and their regular jobs.
  • Pain and suffering: this involves all non-economic damages that the victim suffered such as emotional trauma, distress, and anxiety. This is probably one of the most important types of compensation that results from drunk driving, because a drunk driving accident could be very stressful to an accident victim.
  • Punitive damages: Usually, the fact that the driver was drunk or under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be an aggravating factor when seeking compensation for punitive damages. In several other car accident cases, punitive damages are usually not awarded. But, in drunk driving car accidents, punitive damages are most likely to be rewarded to the accident victim since the driver got behind the wheel after knowingly drinking or taking drugs.

What if I was also liable for the drunk driving incident?

Sometimes, the victim of a drunk driving accident could also be held negligent themselves when they fail to wear a seatbelt. Nevada has comparative negligence laws that state that when a victim is more at fault than the defendant, then the plaintiff will not be able to recover any compensation from the defendant. For example, the victim will only be entitled to damages if the defendant was at least 50% at fault.

What type of lawsuit do I file for my drunk driving accident in Nevada?

Drunk driving lawsuits could be filed under a variety of several different legal claims. This depends on the circumstances of the accident. To determine what specific legal claim applies to your case, contact our attorneys today. The various different legal claims are:

  • Negligence: in order to prove negligence, the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit) needs to show that the defendant (drunk driver) had a duty to the plaintiff to act in a reasonably safe manner, the defendant failed to act in a reasonably safe manner, because the defendant breached that duty the plaintiff was injured, and now the plaintiff has damages for their injuries.
  • Negligence per se: this is a legal claim used when the driver violates some type of traffic law. For example, since Nevada makes it unlawful for a driver to be under the influence, the violation automatically creates the presumption of negligence.
  • Wrongful deaththis is a legal claim pursued if the victim of the drunk driving accident died. The decedent’s family could file a claim against the at fault party for damages such as funeral expenses, burial expenses, loss of consortium, loss of society, loss of companionship, etcetera.
  • Negligent entrustment: this occurs when a third party entrusts the drunk driver with their vehicle.
  • Product liability claim: product liability holds the product manufacturers strictly liable for any defects found in the products. For example, if the drunk driver was unable to come to a stop because the brakes were faulty, or the victim’s airbags word effectively failed to deploy, the victim may have a claim against the product manufacturer.

Who can I sue if I was injured by a drunk driver?

There are several different parties you could hold liable for a drunk driving incident. This depends on the circumstances of the accident. Examples of potential defendants in a drunk-driving accident in Nevada include:

  • The driver (usually the case)
  • The car manufacturer
  • The third party who provided the driver with a car
  • Restaurant or bar that served alcohol to the drunk driver 
  • Other drivers on the road 
  • Poor road conditions

When can I file my lawsuit for a DUI accident in Nevada?

Each state has a specific time limit imposed as to when a plaintiff could file a claim for injuries they have sustained in an accident. In Nevada, you must file your claim for injuries in a DUI accident within two years after the accident. To learn more about the statute of limitations that applies in your case, contact our attorneys today.

What type of evidence will I need for a drunk driving accident claim in Nevada?

The best way to prove that the driver was drunk or high is by showing the police report. Usually, the police report that has been created by the Nevada Police Department will be used to prove that the driver was drunk. Other examples of evidence used to prove that the driver was drunk include:

  • Results from the defendant’s breath test
  • Eyewitnesses who saw the accident
  • The defendant’s confessions
  • Any surveillance footage of the defendant drinking alcohol prior to driving
  • Expert testimony describing how the accident happened or the medical injuries suffered
  • Medical records 
  • Photographs of the accident scene 

What are potential defenses a drunk driver could raise in a DUI claim?

It is very important that you hire an experienced Las Vegas drunk driving accident attorney to prepare for any future defense raised by the at fault party. This includes:

  • The breathalyzer was defective
  • The police officer was negligent in taking the breath test
  • The defendant was mentally incompetent rather than intoxicated
  • The defendant was not guilty of a drunk-driving charge in criminal court

What to Expect After a DUI Charge

Almost always, a DUI charge starts when officers pull you over while driving. They may ask if you’ve been drinking, or they might ask you to perform a field sobriety test.

They might even have you breathe into a breathalyzer device.

Either way, you end up in the back of a police cruiser. You’ll get taken to the station, fingerprinted, and booked. Then, you’ll get left in a jail cell until a judge sets your bail.

If you’re lucky, then you’ll be able to make bail within a few days. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait in jail until your court date.

Could I hold a restaurant or bar responsible for my drunk driving accident?

Nevada has a set of laws, referred to as dram shop laws that hold the business responsible for serving alcohol to customers that are already appearing drunk. In certain circumstances, you could hold the restaurant or bar responsible for serving alcohol to the drunk driver that caused you to suffer injuries. In order to prove that the business is responsible, you must show:

  • The business sold or served alcohol to the driver 
  • The driver was visibly intoxicated at the time the business sold or served the alcohol
  • The driver’s intoxication or underage drinking was a proximate cause of the accident and the resulting injuries or damages

The Consequences of a DUI in Las Vegas

Remember, you’re innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That means you won’t face any legal consequences unless you get convicted.

A conviction can wreak havoc on your life, though. You could face the following penalties if convicted in Las Vegas:

  • Jail time (six months)
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Probation period
  • A suspension of your driver’s license

The penalties above represent the consequences of a first-time DUI conviction. If you already have a DUI conviction on your record, then the penalties increase.

If it’s your first conviction, then you might have an opportunity to avoid these penalties. You could have the option of going through substance abuse treatment instead.

Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?

Clearly, the consequences of a DUI conviction vary from person to person. One individual may end up incarcerated, while another gets sent to rehab.

Why do the legal outcomes differ despite having the exact same charge?

It’s all about presenting yourself the right way in court. That’s why the lawyer you hire makes such a huge impact on your case. A lawyer could mean the difference between jail or rehab.

Good lawyers know which defense strategies are successful. They’ll look for any signs of police misconduct or faulty breathalyzers.

Hire the Best Las Vegas Drunk Driving Attorney Now

It’s no secret that Las Vegas loves its alcohol. The state ranks the fourth-highest for alcohol consumption per person!

Despite that, getting a DUI in Las Vegas is intimidating. If you don’t know what to expect, then your stint in jail will be full of anxiety and fear. You also might feel like no one has your best interests at heart.

Are you ready to hire a drunk driving attorney to defend you and your injuries suffered in court? Our knowledgeable attorneys are ready to take on your case. Reach out to us on our online contact form now to get started.

Heidari Law Group Las Vegas Practice Areas