Are you being blamed for contributing to the cause of an accident? If so, do not settle the accident claim until you talk with our personal injury lawyers. Insurance companies often blame accident victims for contributing to the cause of accidents to avoid paying the full value of an accident claim.
Why Does the Insurance Company Try to Shift Some Blame to Accident Victims?
Nevada has a modified contributory fault law. The insurance company tries to use this law in two ways.
If the insurance company can convince a jury that your level of fault for the cause of your injury is 51% or more, you cannot recover any money for your damages. Nevada Revised Statute §41.141 bars recovery for a plaintiff whose negligence is greater than the negligence of the at-fault party or parties.
Suppose a jury decided you were 55% at fault for a red light accident and the other driver was 45% at fault. You could not recover any money for your damages.
Let’s suppose that the jury found you were 45% at fault for the cause of the accident. In that case, your compensation is reduced by your fault. In other words, you would receive 55% of the amount of your damages instead of the entire jury award.
In either case, the insurance company saves money if it can shift some of the blame for the accident to you. Even if it cannot get out of paying you any money for your claim, it can reduce the amount it must pay by claiming your actions contributed to the cause of the accident.
Contributory negligence applies to all types of personal injury cases, including premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, and product liability claims.
How Does the Insurance Company Shift Blame to You for an Accident?
An insurance adjuster assigned to your claim investigates the cause of the accident. In cases that could result in substantial damages, the insurance company might assign a team of investigators to work on the case. The goal is to limit the insurance company’s liability for the claim.
The insurance adjuster interviews the accident victim. First, they ask how the accident occurred. Then, if possible, the adjuster tries to get the person to admit there could be a possibility that they did something that could have caused the accident.
If the adjuster cannot get the accident victim to admit liability, the investigators try to uncover evidence that can be used to prove fault. When that does not work, the insurance company might intentionally misinterpret a person’s statements to allege liability for an accident.
For example, the adjuster might engage in casual conversation with an accident victim. They might ask the person about their job and their family. Then, the adjuster might ask the person about the day of the accident.
Throughout the conversation, the adjuster leads the person into telling them details about the day. Any small detail could lead to allegations of contributory fault.
For example, you tell the adjuster you were taking your dog to the vet, and he was unhappy about it. The adjuster asks if the dog was in a carrier, and you respond no. That comment results in allegations that the dog distracted you and prevented you from avoiding the collision.
The best way to handle an insurance company is to refer the adjuster to your personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies record most telephone calls. Therefore, anything you say could be twisted to imply you contributed to the cause of the accident.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me if I Am Blamed for Causing an Accident?
Our Las Vegas personal injury law firm has the resources to investigate accident claims. We perform an independent investigation to identify all parties who contributed to the cause of the accident. We determine how your injury occurred and gather evidence to prove causation and fault.
Evidence that can be used to prove liability for an accident include, but is not limited to:
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Videos of the actual accident, including traffic camera video and surveillance video
- Police reports, accident reports, and incident reports
- Statements made by the parties after the accident or injury
- Eyewitness statements and testimony
- Data gathered from vehicle recording devices
Accident reconstructionists, engineers, and other forensic experts can provide expert opinions and analyses that help prove fault and liability. They use the facts of the case to reconstruct how the accident occurred to identify the factors that contributed to the cause of the accident and which parties are responsible for those factors.
Our legal team also helps you avoid actions that could hurt your claim, such as providing a written or recorded statement for an insurance company. We ensure that you are not taken by surprise or manipulated into admitting something that is not true. Even apologizing or saying you are sorry an accident occurred could be seen as admitting fault.
We also help you by ensuring that all damages are included in your claim and that the correct value is assigned. Even if you are partially to blame for the cause of the accident, you could still receive some compensation for your claim. However, the insurance company may undervalue damages to further reduce the amount it must pay you for your insurance claim.
Therefore, we carefully document your damages and calculate the maximum value for the damages. Therefore, even though you might not receive full compensation, we maximize the amount you can receive based on your level of fault.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Right to Fair Compensation After an Accident
Steps that help you protect your rights after an accident or other personal injury include:
- Report the accident immediately to the appropriate authorities or parties
- Insist on a written accident report
- Never admit fault or apologize for the accident
- Gather evidence at the accident scene, including making videos, taking photographs, and asking witnesses for contact information
- Seek prompt medical treatment for injuries
- Do not provide a written or recorded statement
- Hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible
- Refer insurance companies to your personal injury lawyer
The insurance adjuster does not work for you and will not advocate for your best interest. Our legal team is ready to fight on your behalf to recover compensation for injuries and damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer
Don’t let an insurance company unjustly blame you for an accident to reduce the compensation you deserve for a personal injury claim. Instead, call our law firm at (702) 570-9000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers.