A new law regarding hit-and-run accidents has taken effect in Nevada. This law is meant to discourage drivers from leaving the scene of an accident by imposing stricter penalties for this crime.
The new law addresses a problem in Nevada’s laws that experts believe has led to an increasing number of hit-and-runs in recent years, namely that the penalties for the crime were much less than for DUI. Therefore, when a drunk driver caused an accident, he or she was much more likely to flee the crime scene and sober up. Even if the driver was caught later, it could be nearly impossible to prove that he or she was drunk at the time of the crash, and the driver might get off with a much lighter sentence.
Senate Bill 245 now imposes the same penalties for those who leave a scene of an accident with substantial bodily harm as that of a driver under the influence. The maximum sentence for both of these charges is 20 years.
DUI and Personal Injury: Criminal vs. Civil Penalties
It is important that those who are injured by a drunk driver understand the difference between a civil lawsuit and a criminal case. Civil suits are filed by the victims of accidents in order to recover compensation for their injuries. They are based on liability on the part of the driver, who was negligent in some way. Because of this negligence, the victims are entitled to have their medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses compensated.
Criminal cases, on the other hand, are pursued by the state and do not offer compensation to the victims. Instead, they punish a wrongdoer for actions against individuals and society. Criminal cases also have a different and much more stringent standard of proof than civil cases. No matter what the outcome of a criminal case, the victims of criminal action still have the right to pursue a civil claim.
If you have been the victim of a drunk driver or have been injured in any type of car accident, the personal injury attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson are here to help you recover compensation. We will work with you to determine the best course of action for your case and will offer you our professional advice and support to ensure that you have the best possible chance of receiving payment for your expenses.