With Las Vegas frequented by many international and local tourists, car accidents have become common. Most car accidents on the roads in Las Vegas result from negligence and reckless behavior. Fortunately. If you are a victim of a negligent car accident, you can recover compensation for your injuries by filing a car accident claim. Navigating a car accident lawsuit can be a daunting and intimidating experience, mainly when the accident results in serious injuries. Therefore, it would be wise to proceed with the guidance of a skilled car accident attorney.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we understand the emotional rollercoaster that battling with insurance adjusters and court processes could bring for you and your family. Our competent attorneys work hard to ensure that you recover the damages you deserve for your injuries. We serve clients seeking legal guidance and representation to pursue a car accident claim in Las Vegas, NV.
Overview of Car Accidents in Nevada
If you are involved in a negligent car accident in Nevada, the person liable for the accident will be responsible for compensating you for your injuries and losses. However, it is crucial to understand that the process of compensation is not straightforward. You must negotiate with insurance adjusters or battle it out in civil court to recover compensation.
A significant part of seeking compensation in a car accident claim is determining the fault party and linking your injuries to their negligent conduct. Liability in a car accident is often based on negligence. Since the state of Nevada operates on comparative negligence, you can recover compensation even when you were partially at fault for the accident. The elements of negligence that you must prove to establish liability for the accident include:
- There existed a legal duty. All drivers have a legal duty to follow all traffic rules and drive carefully to avoid creating dangerous situations for other road users.
- The legal duty was breached. A person breaches their duty towards you by acting in a manner that puts you at risk of severe injury or death. Some of the conduct is considered a breach of duty nicked drunk driving, distracted driving, and failure to obey traffic rules.
- The breach of duty resulted in the accident. Before recovering damages from a car accident claim, you must link the defendant’s conduct with the accident and your injuries.
- The accident caused your damages. The last step in establishing liability is proving the damages you suffered from the accident.
Types of Damages Available in a Car Accident Lawsuit
After a car accident in Las Vegas, you can either recover compensation by negotiating with the insurance company of the fault arty out of court or filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. Whichever route you choose to recover your rightful compensation, it is vital to have the insight of your car accident attorney.
It may not be easy to estimate your case’s worth before you sit down with the insurance company or take your case to court. Some of the factors that could affect the nature and amount you receive in damages:
- Value of your economic damages. The value of economic damages resulting from a car accident significantly impacts the value of your settlement. Economic damages are the actual financial losses that include the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and lost future earning capacity.
- The extent of non-economic damages. You will be compensated for economic and non-economic damages in a car accident claim. Non-economic damages, in this case, include pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and emotional distress.
- Each party’s fault in the accident. Some accidents involve multiple parties. Sometimes, you could be partially at fault for the accident. The level of fault for each person involved in the accident is a significant factor in determining the amount you can recover in damages.
- Availability of insurance coverage. Each driver on the road is required to have minimum vehicle insurance. However, you will not recover the amount you deserve if a driver hits you without insurance or insufficient insurance coverage.
The following are some damages you can recover after a car accident
Injuries resulting from a car accident in Nevada can be serious and life-changing. If a party is at fault for your accident and injuries, the court holds them responsible for your medical expenses. Additionally, if the fault party does not have insurance, you can claim compensation for the medical bills from your auto insurer.
In the initial stages following the accident, the insurer is like to deny liability for the damages. Since your safety is a key element after involvement in a car accident, you will need to cover your expenses before recovering compensation or settling your claim. You can cover the medical bills using:
- Your Nevada health insurance policy
- Med-pay auto insurance
If you do not have health insurance cover, you can seek treatment from a doctor who operates on a line basis. If a doctor accepts to be pain on a lien, payment for the medical expenses can be delayed until you receive a settlement in the car accident claim. However, you must pay them at their maximum billing rate. If your medical bills exceed the amount you receive as settlement, you will be responsible for covering the balance.
Therefore, unless you do not have government or private medical cover, it would not be wise to seek treatment on lien. If you have more than one insurance cover, you need to inform them about the accident, and one of them will cover the bills. Med-pay and health insurance are no-fault policies. Hence, they will cover the bills regardless of the fault in the accident.
Both private and government health insurers have a right to be reimbursed the amount they pay for your medical bills. However, this right will only apply when your claim is successful and you receive compensation from the party liable for the accident.
Recovering compensation for medical expenses involves submitting copies of your diagnosis, test results, procedures you undergo, and your bills. After an accident, it is always crucial to seek medical attention even when you do not have physical injuries. Especially when you are a serious accident victim, you could have severe internal injuries. Your doctor will detect the injuries and treat them before they worsen by seeking medical care.
It is wise to disclose any injury regardless of its severity to your doctor. Additionally, you can ask the doctor for a detailed report of all your injuries and the treatment you undergo. Your medical reports are vital evidence when you seek compensation in a car accident claim in Nevada.
Sometimes, the fault parties insurance will request to review your medical bills dating back five years. This is done to ensure that the injuries for which you claim compensation stem from the specific accident. Some of the factors that could help you speed up compensation for medical expenses include:
- Names and contacts of all individuals who witnessed the accident
- The police report on the accident
- Videos and photographs of the accident scene
- Photos of the injuries, if they are visible
If you had a pre-existing injury before the car accident, you might still be entitled to compensation. However, you must prove that the accident worsened your injuries. In most cases, the fault party’s insurance company will offer a lower settlement than what you incur as medical bills. You should never accept the first settlement offer, and if you are not satisfied with their offer, you can take the matter to court and allow the judge to decide on the amount you deserve.
Injuries resulting from a car accident could leave you in a hospital bed for several days or even weeks. When you nurse your injuries, it may be challenging to go to work and earn a decent living. Lost wages are the amount of money you lose when you fail to go to work after an accident. In an out-of-court insurance settlement or a civil lawsuit, you can be compensated for the lost wages.
However, a claim for lost wages must be accompanied by documentation to prove the amount you lost and how the defendant’s conduct resulted in these losses. Some of the sources of lost wages recognized in Nevada include regular wages, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, and income from self-employment. If you have a regular job, you can prove your lost wages by obtaining a letter from your employer. The letter you present must indicate:
- The nature of your job
- The date you were hired and confirmation that you were an employee in the place at the time of your injury
- The number of hours you work in a week and the amount of pay you receive per hour
- The amount of time you missed from work owing to the accident injuries
- The amount you were expected to earn on the days you missed work
If your employer does not want to provide you with the letter to indicate your lost wages, you must find other means to prove the damages, including the use of past pay stubs and your income tax.
If you are self-employed and unable to return to your work after the accident, you may have a basis for seeking damages for lost wages. Some of the documentation that could help you prove the income you lost from self-employment include:
- Your income tax returns of the previous year
- Billing statements for months before the accident if your business operates seasonally
- The testimony of a forensic accountant if your income is complicated or inconsistent
You can claim compensation for those days if you have used up your sick days, vacation time, or personal days due to a car accident injury. Additionally, if you would have received commissions, overtime pay, or bonuses during the days you missed work, you can claim the lost income as lost wages. However, you will need to prove that you would have:
- Made money in terms of commissions
- Worked overtime
- Earned a bonus
- Received an allowance
If you live off unemployment benefits from the state of Nevada, you will not be entitled to compensation unless under these circumstances:
- You are mentally or physically incapable of working
- You are available to accept work in your usual occupation
You have up to two years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for lost wages from the time of the accident and injury. When claiming lost wages compensation, it is vital to have legal guidance by your side.
Lost Earning Capacity
In Nevada, you have a chance to recover compensation for lost earning capacity resulting from a car accident. Lost earning capacity is the loss of income you would have earned in the future if you did not suffer injuries from the accident. In most cases, lost future earning capacity is associated with serious injuries that take a while to heal or cause permanent disability.
In a successful lawsuit, you can recover lost wages and lost earning capacity. The difference between these two damages is that lost wages are the actual earnings and a loss that has already occurred, while lost future earning capacity is an anticipated loss based on the nature and severity of the car accident injuries. Lost wages can be proven with a high degree of assertion.
While lost earning capacity is associated with long-term injuries, there is no specific amount of time you must have been injured to recover the damages. However, compensation for lost wages is often awarded when your injuries have not recovered and settled your claim. Some injuries like spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries make it impossible to lead the life you had before the accident, including working. Alternatively, you may have to do less work which can lower your ability to earn. Lost earning capacity damages allow you to recover the amount you could lose for not working in the future.
When calculating the amount you deserve as damages for lost future earning capacity, the following factors are considered:
- The duration of your injuries is likely to last. Some car accident injuries could take years to heal, while others never recover fully. More serious injuries are likely to fetch a higher amount in lost earning capacity.
- Your ability to return to reasonable employment. If you are not expected to obtain reasonable employment even after recovering from the injury, you could receive more compensation.
- Your age. Younger people have high energy and the capability to earn more. Therefore, they could recover more compared to their older counterparts.
- Your health before the accident. Before the accident, an individual with poor health may not recover much compensation for future lost earning capacity.
- The amount of time you have left to work
- Your long term job goals
- Whether or not your income was based on your performance
Calculation of lost earning capacity is not straightforward. Therefore, insight from a car accident attorney will be a step towards recovering the rightful compensation. Some of the ways through which your car accident attorney can establish your lost earning capacity include:
- Testimony from your employer. Your current employer can provide more information regarding your work history, earnings, and promotion prospects.
- Your doctor. In addition to providing records on your treatment, your doctor can recommend when your injuries are likely to recover.
- Friends and family. Individuals who have spent time with you before and after the accident can testify to how the accident has impacted your ability to perform tasks.
- An expert economist. With the help of a professional economist, your attorney can introduce evidence on salary trends in your field of work to determine what you would have earned in the future.
Pain and Suffering
In a Nevada car accident claim, you can recover compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering include both the physical pain you experience from the accident injuries and the emotional suffering and trauma you experience. Injuries resulting from a car accident could result in serious pain. However, it is vital to understand that a physical injury is not necessary to recover these damages.
While pain or suffering cannot be equated to a dollar value, there is no limit to the amount you can recover for non-economic damages in a Nevada car accident lawsuit. The amount you can recover for these damages may increase significantly under the following circumstances:
- Your medical bills are high. Having incurred high medical bills after an accident may indicate the severity of the injuries.
- You suffered permanent loss of function or disfigurement. An injury that leaves you permanently disabled can leave you with serious emotional scars. Therefore, compensation for pain and suffering in such a case will be higher.
- Your injuries can be verified through X-rays and other medical tests. At the same time, you can suffer emotionally even without physical scars. Having injuries that can be verified will increase your chances of recovering these damages.
- Recovery from your injuries is expected to take a while.
Wrongful Death Damages
You can prove the extent of your pain and suffering by presenting your medical records. This piece of evidence helps indicate your extent of injuries. Also, you can present photographs of any physical injury or disfigurement that resulted from the accident.
Losing a loved one can be an emotionally devastating experience, especially from another person’s negligence. Car accidents in Las Vegas range from minor rear-end collisions that cause whiplash to serious head-on collisions resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death. If you lose a loved one in a negligence accident in Nevada, you are entitled to compensation. By filing a wrongful death claim against the parties liable for the accident, you can cover the unforeseen and paralyzing financial complications resulting from the demise of your loved one.
Some of the damages available in a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical bills resulting from the victim’s injuries. Death from a car accident can occur immediately or after some time. If your loved one sustained serious injuries and later died, they must have undergone a series of treatments. In your wrongful death lawsuit, you can recover compensation for the medical bills left behind by your deceased loved one.
- Burial and funeral expenses. If your loved one dies in a car accident in Las Vegas, you do not have to shoulder the cost of their funeral and burial. In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, the judge will award you compensation for these costs.
- Loss of affection, companionship, and affection for the deceased. While affection and love cannot be equated to money, the deceased’s spouse can recover compensation for the lost companionship and affection they would have received from the deceased.
- Lost wages and benefits that the deceased could have earned. Depending on the age and employment status of the deceased, you can claim compensation for the wages and benefits and wages they would have earned if they survived the accident.
- Lost benefits for the heirs. The heirs of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for loss of benefits or inheritance they would have received from the deceased loved one.
Find a Skilled Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Involvement in a car accident can be a devastating and life-changing experience. Injuries resulting from the accident could leave you with serious physical, emotional, and psychological wounds. Additionally, you will be left to incur hefty medical bills to treat the injuries. Most accidents in Nevada result from negligence from a road user, and all victims of the accident may be eligible for compensation for their injuries and losses. However, you must deal with the insurance companies or battle a civil lawsuit in court.
The process of seeking compensation is long and complicated, especially when you have to nurse serious injuries. The back and forth with insurance adjusters could further drain you emotionally. Seeking legal guidance is one of the wisest decisions you can make if you want to seek damages after a car accident.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we will investigate your claim and guide you through the process of recovering compensation for your car accident claim in Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today at 702-576-0010 to discuss your claim.