It’s easy to understand why you may have questions if you’ve recently been involved in an accident in Nevada. Personal injury cases can be complicated, and it can be tough to know where to start or what your rights may be.
If you have additional questions or want to learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our law office, conveniently located in Las Vegas, NV, to set up a time for a free consultation or call us at (702) 570-9000.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
You may have a personal injury case if you were recently injured in an accident through little to no fault of your own.
In Nevada, you can file a civil claim or a lawsuit if someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions caused you to get hurt.
Personal injury cases can arise as a result of:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Negligent security
- Defective products
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death, and other incidents.
The vast majority of personal injury cases in the state of Nevada are based on negligence.
What’s Negligence and How Do I Prove it?
Negligence, generally speaking, means that someone acted unreasonably under the circumstances and caused another person to get hurt.
To prove negligence in a court of law, victims must establish four separate elements.
- Duty: The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. Ultimately, it’s a requirement to act reasonably and in a way that doesn’t put others at an increased risk of harm.
- Breach of duty: The defendant breached the duty of care through some action or omission. For instance, a driver breaches a duty of care when they speed, text and drive, operate a vehicle while drunk, or engage in other unsafe behaviors.
- Causation: The defendant’s conduct was the direct and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, if the defendant hadn’t acted irresponsibly, the plaintiff would not have gotten hurt.
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered identifiable damages, such as medical bills, a sudden loss of income, or emotional distress.
Nevada law requires that each of these elements be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Ultimately, the plaintiff’s argument must simply be more likely true than not.
How Do My Medical Bills Get Paid After an Accident?
Since Nevada is a fault state, the at-fault party’s insurance company will be primarily responsible for paying your medical bills. However, it can take time to establish liability and get money to cover your medical costs.
In the short term, your own health insurance may be the primary payment for your medical bills. Your health insurance company may file a lien against your personal injury claim and seek reimbursement for payments made on your behalf.
What Happens If I’m Getting Blamed For an Accident?
You could lose the right to recover all or some of your compensation. Nevada is one of several states to have adopted a modified comparative negligence rule with a 51% bar. Fault is shared by anyone who contributes to an accident – including victims. The more fault you share, the more your financial award will be impacted.
Damages are reduced in direct proportion to your degree of fault – up to 51%. Once your share of the blame exceeds half, you forfeit the opportunity to recover damages in a lawsuit.
If you’re assigned 50% or less of the blame, your financial recovery will be reduced. If you are 20% at fault, your financial award will be reduced by 20%.
Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Submit a Claim to Insurance?
You don’t have to hire an attorney to submit an insurance claim, but it’s certainly in your best interest to do so.
Insurance companies in Nevada handle thousands of claims every day. They hire skilled insurance adjusters and have teams of experienced defense attorneys ready to pick your claim apart and find a reason to deny it. I
f they can’t find a reason to deny it in good faith, they have strategies designed to minimize your payout and get you to accept way less money than you deserve.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the insurance claims process on your own. Hiring an attorney puts an advocate in your corner and levels the playing field. When a lawyer represents you, insurance companies know that they can’t rely on their same old playbooks and will be forced to deal with you in good faith and offer a fair settlement.
Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
That’s up to you. Most personal injury cases do not go to trial. About 95 to 96% are settled privately before a claim reaches that stage of the process. However, the decision is ultimately yours.
If you are not offered a fair settlement deal, or if an insurance company refuses to take your claim seriously, you may decide that it’s best to push forward to trial for a potentially better result.
How Long Will it Take to Reach a Settlement?
It can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to settle a personal injury lawsuit. In particularly complicated or contested matters, it could take over a year.
What factors affect the length of settlement negotiations?
- Is liability clear-cut or still contested?
- How serious are your injuries, and when will you reach maximum medical improvement?
- How willing are both parties to negotiate a fair settlement?
- Are you willing to take the time it may require to maximize your financial recovery?
If you want cash now, you can reach a settlement rather quickly. However, if you truly want to recover all of the compensation you are owed under Nevada state law, it may take more time. An experienced personal injury attorney will offer advice and counsel you throughout the negotiation process.
If your lawyer believes that you can achieve a better result by pushing for a better deal, they may advise you to wait.
Keep in mind that once you accept a settlement, you waive the right to future compensation. So, it’s often best to wait until you fully appreciate the extent and impact of your accident and injuries. You don’t want to accept $30,000 in a settlement today only to find out that between future medical bills, disability, and reduced quality of life, your case is really worth well over $100,000.
When Will I Get My Settlement Check?
Once you and the defendant agree to a settlement, you will sign an agreement. Nevada law gives insurance companies 30 working days to issue payment once this agreement is signed.
Once the funds are transferred, they’ll go to your attorney, who will hold them in trust. Your attorney will hold the funds and pay off any debts or liens associated with your case. This can include administrative expenses, case-related costs, medical liens, and attorney fees.
This process can take a few days. Once all of these expenses have been deducted, your attorney will send you a check or transfer the remaining funds to you.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
There is no standard value for personal injury cases in Nevada. Every victim is unique, and the circumstances of every accident and injury are, too.
However, many factors will be relevant when calculating how much money your personal injury case is worth, such as:
- What types of injuries have you suffered?
- Do your doctors expect you to make a full physical recovery?
- How long will it take you to reach maximum medical improvement?
- Does your injury prevent you from working? If so, when do you expect to be able to get back to work?
- How have you been affected emotionally and psychologically by being in an accident?
- How old were you at the time of your accident?
- Do you share responsibility for your accident?
- How has your injury affected your quality of life?
The more your life changes after an accident, and the more severe your injuries, the more money you can generally expect to recover in a lawsuit.
When Should I Call a Lawyer If I’m in an Accident in Nevada?
Call an attorney as soon as you can. Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations that applies to the vast majority of personal injury cases. This means that the second anniversary of your accident will serve as the deadline for filing a claim for damages.
There are certain exceptions to this rule. However, those are few and far between and are typically reserved for situations involving medical practice, product liability, and situations where government negligence is involved.
Once the statute of limitations expires, you lose the ability to assert your legal rights and demand compensation from liable parties.
The best thing you can do is contact an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer immediately after you are in an accident or discover an injury.
Battle Born Injury Lawyers is ready to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our award-winning litigators have 85+ years of combined experience and have won over $100 million for Nevada injury victims just like you.
Give us a call to arrange a time for a free consultation and discover why we are the advocates you want in your corner for this fight.