A car accident happens in Las Vegas. One car is going over the speed limit. The injured party is going 55 in a 45 zone, when another car makes a left hand turn in front of them. The left hand turn driver attempts to argue that if the injured party had been going the speed limit, then the parties would never have collided. This argument is not allowed pursuant to Nevada law.
The seminal case from the Supreme Court of Nevada is almost 100 years old and titled Bawden v. Kulinski, 48 Nev. 181 (1924). This case held excessive speed cannot be used in this manner. Courts have determined that when a driver has the right of way, and his speed does nothing but bring his vehicle to the same location as the other driver, his speed is irrelevant. Regardless of the injured party’s speed, the injured party had the right of way, and the right to assume that no one was going to invade it and cut him off.
Courts have held this way because, saying that a driver’s speed caused a collision, can be construed as an irrational argument. For example, this argument can also be used to say that the speeding driver would have cleared the point of impact by driving drastically higher than the speed limit, or much lower. So, if the injured party had been traveling slightly faster, the accident would not have taken place. To avoid these absurd arguments, courts consistently hold that the mere fact that someone’s excess speed brought the two vehicle together, is not allowable argument in a court of law.
Next time, we will discuss what costs are allowed in Las Vegas court cases.