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Passenger Problems: Automobile Injuries Aren’t Just for Drivers

Automobile accidents occur everyday.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to be harmed in an automobile accident.  However, while many automobile lawsuits center around the drivers in the accidents, it is just as dangerous to be a passenger in most vehicles.  The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) reported that in 2010 there were 160 driver fatalities, but also 49 passenger fatalities.  NDOT went on to say the standard passenger car was involved in more crashes than any other vehicle type in 2010.  Passenger cars took up 52.25% of the total vehicle accidents occurring in Nevada in 2010.


New Property Damage Only Reports

If you have been involved in an accident, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has set out a list of things you should do. Those include name exchanges, filing a report, and, importantly, calling 9-1-1 if you are in need of assistance. However, LVMPD requests for collisions incurring property damage only (PDO) that you contact 3-1-1.  Officers began responding to PDO accidents as of January 1, 2016. Also, the LVMPD states on its website that accidents resulting in injury will receive priority over PDO collisions.  Among the instances when LVMPD will respond to a collision are:


  1. Accidents with injuries;
  2. Accidents with fatalities;
  3. PDOs;
  4. Hit and runs; and
  5. Disabled vehicles as a result of a collision.


The addition of officer stops at PDO accidents are important for you as a passenger because it means, in some cases, there will be police reports. This is true even if the reports are only PDO report responses, as opposed to a NHP5 collision reports.  The difference between the reports is that a NHP5 report typically includes more details than a PDO report, and is usually only done when officers encounter injuries or fatalities at an accident.


If you are a passenger, you may not discover an injury until some time after an accident occurs.  At that time you will want the police report, but if there was no injury at the time you may need to get a PDO report if there is one.  Although the report does not contain as much detail as a NHP5 report, it will still be important for your claim.  Even as the driver you may want the report for your passengers.  An example comes from the Madison Record which reported minor plaintiffs were severely injured in an accident.  In this situation, although the driver (parent of the minors) may have a claim against the driver of the other vehicle, the claims the minors may have are different, but could be joined to their parent’s claim.  Kristina Lakey of North Las Vegas, NV may file a similar claim with her young child. KTVB 7 News reported an accident where Lakey and her son were involved, in which her son died.  Although she suffered injuries as well, she may be able to bring a claim on her son’s behalf.


Passenger in an Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident you may be able to bring a claim on behalf of your passengers, or you may bring a claim as a passenger.  The claim could be against the driver of another vehicle, or even the driver of the vehicle you were riding in at the time of the incident.  You may have multiple claims, but the only way to be successful is with the help of a licensed Nevada automobile accident attorney.

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