Battle Born Injury Lawyers | October 11, 2022 | Car Accidents
A car accident victim in Las Vegas can recover compensation for damages from the driver who caused the collision. There is no “average” amount for car accident settlements. The amount you receive for a car accident settlement depends on the facts of the case.
Nine factors that might impact how much you can expect to receive for your Las Vegas car accident settlement are:
1. Proving Liability for Damages
Under Nevada tort laws, you must prove that the other party caused your injury to recover compensation for damages. Most car accident claims are based on negligence.
Negligence requires that you prove:
- The other motorist owed you a legal duty of care
- The motorist breached the duty of care
- The breach of care by the other motorist was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the motorist’s breach of duty
All Nevada drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles according to traffic laws. They must drive with reasonable care to avoid causing a car accident. Therefore, when drivers violate traffic laws or drive recklessly, they breach their duty of care.
However, you also have the burden of proving that the breach of duty was the cause of the accident and resulted in damages. If you cannot prove each required element, you cannot hold the other driver liable for your damages. A Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove liability.
2. The Cost of Your Medical Bills
The cost of diagnosing and treating car accident injuries is often a significant component of damages in a car accident claim. An accident victim can receive reimbursement for the reasonable and necessary cost of medical care. Therefore, the value of your medical bills impacts your settlement.
The severity of your injuries impacts the amount of medical bills. Generally, the cost of medical care increases as the severity of the injury increases. The medical bills for a catastrophic injury are much higher than the cost of treating a minor injury.
3. Your Ability to Work After the Accident
Loss of income is also an economic damage that an accident victim can receive reimbursement for in a car accident case. When you cannot work because of your injury, the amount of your lost wages is added to your settlement. In addition to the loss of wages or salaries, you can also include amounts for loss of vacation days, sick time, retirement contributions, and other benefits.
4. Your Fault for the Cause of the Car Accident
The legal theory of contributory fault holds an accident victim liable for contributing to the cause of an accident. If you are partially to blame for the cause of your car accident, a judge can reduce your compensation for damages by your percentage of fault.
Suppose a jury finds you are 30% at fault for a rear-end accident. The jury awards you $200,000 for damages. However, the amount you receive is $140,000 because the judge deducts 30% for your fault for the cause of the crash.
Nevada’s modified comparative negligence law sets a 51% bar for contributory fault claims. Therefore, if you are 51% or more to blame for causing your car accident, you cannot recover any money for damages.
5. Whether You Sustained Permanent Impairments
Permanent impairments typically increase the value of a car accident settlement. In addition to receiving compensation for the physical disability, you can recover compensation for future damages.
Disabilities and impairments often require ongoing medical care. You may also require personal and/or nursing care.
You could also experience a substantial decrease in your earning capacity. If you cannot work, the future lost wages could total millions of dollars over your lifetime.
The amount a permanent impairment adds to the value of a car accident case depends on the type and severity of the impairment and the estimated amount of future economic losses.
6. Failure to Mitigate Damages
Accident victims have a duty to mitigate damages caused by a car accident. They must take reasonable steps to reduce the severity of their damages. For example, seeking prompt medical care and following your doctor’s treatment plan are examples of ways to mitigate damages.
Failing to mitigate damages can decrease the amount your personal injury claim is worth. The court could rule that you cannot recover compensation for any damages that could have been avoided had you taken reasonable steps to mitigate damages.
7. The Amount of Out-of-Pocket Expenses You’ve Incurred
Many accident victims do not realize they are entitled to compensation for their out-of-pocket expenses.
These economic losses include:
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- Cost of personal care
- Help with household chores
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- The cost of medical equipment and supplies, including crutches, bandages, wheelchairs, bedside toilets, etc.
You must have proof of the expense, and the expense must be reasonable and necessary to receive reimbursement for it.
8. The Impact on Your Life
Accident victims can recover compensation for non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages represent pain and suffering, including:
- Physical discomfort
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Decrease in quality of life
Severe and traumatic injuries often have a more significant impact on a person’s daily life. However, all accident victims are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced because of the negligent actions of another party.
9. The Availability of Car Insurance Coverage
Liability car insurance compensates accident victims for damages caused by an insured driver.
Nevada requires drivers to have auto liability insurance in the amount of:
- Bodily injury or death to one person – $25,000
- Bodily injury or death to more than one person – $50,000 per accident
- $20,000 for property damage claims
Most car accident cases settle through negotiations with the insurance company. However, if your damages exceed the maximum insurance limits, you might consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
A judgment holds the person liable for your damages. However, collecting on a judgment might be impossible if the person does not have the ability to pay it.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer for Help Maximizing Your Compensation After a Collision
A Las Vegas car accident attorney will consider all sources of compensation for a car accident claim to get you the most money possible for your damages. For example, there could be multiple parties liable for your damages. Also, you might be entitled to compensation from your insurance company if you have underinsured motorist coverage.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Las Vegas and you need legal assistance, contact our car accident attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.