Accidents happen every day. However, just because they’re called “accidents,” it doesn’t mean that no one is at fault. If you’ve been injured in an accident in Nevada due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be eligible to receive compensation either through a third-party insurance claim or via a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced Nevada personal injury lawyer can help you understand how these processes work.
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is an area of the law focused on helping the victims of accidents caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness to obtain compensation for their injuries and the financial and emotional impacts that those injuries have on their lives. Some of the common practice areas that fall within the realm of personal injury law include:
Often, those injured in accidents choose to attempt to negotiate a settlement in their case without the benefit of an attorney. We strongly advise against this, as insurance companies—and their attorneys—are well versed in the law and in the techniques they use to avoid compensating accident victims. “Going it alone” typically results in a settlement that is too low to fairly compensate you for your injuries and may result in no settlement at all. However, personal injury lawyers provide a number of legal services for the benefit of their clients. Some of those services include:
Providing information their clients need to understand their legal options and make informed decisions on how to proceed with an insurance claim and/or legal process
Analyzing the details of the case in order to establish a monetary amount that fairly compensates their client based on the severity of their injuries and their current and future medical needs.
Developing a common sense legal strategy in accordance with their client’s needs.
Gathering evidence in the case, such as witness statements, photographs, medical records, and an accounting of injury-related expenses to prove negligence and damages.
Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.
Tracking and meeting the filing deadlines and other required court procedures for the case.
Conducting witness depositions and evaluating the evidence that has been gathered by the defendant’s attorneys.
Litigating the case in court.
Helping to alleviate the burden of debt collectors while the client’s case is in process.
Tending to the details of the settlement or award payout.
Representing their client during the appeals process if either the client or the defendant wishes to appeal the court’s decision.
Nevada’s Personal Injury Laws
While filing a claim and seeking a settlement through the at-fault party’s insurance is generally the first step in recovering compensation for your injuries, Nevada also provides accident victims with the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Here are some of the state’s requirements for those filing a personal injury action through the courts:
The statute of limitations on personal injury claims is generally two years. What this means is that you have two years from the date that the injuries occurred to file your claim in court. There are some exceptions to this rule, including suits filed against governmental agencies. Your attorney can provide more information on the filing deadlines in your case.
Nevada follows a modified comparative fault rule, meaning that you may still be able to recover damages in your case even if you were partially to blame for the accident that caused your injuries, provided you were less than 50 percent to blame. However, your settlement or award will be deducted by your determined percentage of blame. For example, if you were 30 percent at fault for the accident, your damage award will be reduced by 30 percent.
For most personal injury lawsuits, there is no cap on the amount of damages an accident victim is entitled to receive. The exceptions to this are a cap of $350,000 for non-economic, pain and suffering-type damages in medical malpractice cases, a $100,000 cap on damages recovered from a state government employee acting within the scope of their employment, and a $300,000 cap on punitive damages in some cases.
In dog bite cases, the dog’s owner may be held liable for injuries caused by the dog if they knew or reasonably should have known that their dog would bite. This is known in legal circles as the “one bite rule,” meaning that if the dog has previously bitten someone, then the owner knows the dog is vicious and is legally liable if it bites again.
In order to obtain compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada, the plaintiff must be able to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Negligence is established by showing: 1) The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. 2) There was a breach in the defendant’s duty of care. 3) The breach resulted in an accident that caused damages to the plaintiff.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover Through a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim can result in compensation for the following types of damages:
Economic damages, including medical bills, property damage, the cost of short and long-term care, physical rehabilitation, diagnostic tests, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, scarring, inconvenience, loss of limb or the function of a body part, and loss of the enjoyment of life.
In cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional, there may be the option to add punitive damages. Punitive damages cannot be more than three times the amount of compensatory (economic and non-economic) damages, or more than $300,000 if the compensatory damages are less than $100,000. There is no cap on punitive damages in cases involving defective products, hazardous materials, or bad faith insurance claims.
Personal Injury Lawyer FAQ
Suffering an injury from the negligence of another person is a frustrating experience, to say the least. No matter what caused your injury, you are suffering and you deserve to hold the negligent party accountable.
Your best chance of doing this is to speak with a trusted Nevada personal injury lawyer. Working with a compassionate but aggressive personal injury attorney is what you need to help you get better.
Who Is at Fault for My Injuries?
This depends on the cause of your injury. Common types of injuries are:
Slip and fall
If you’re injured on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will help. But what many people don’t realize is that workers’ compensation probably won’t cover all of your medical expenses. Therefore it’s so important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help guide you through the complex process ahead.
What Compensation Can I Get?
This also depends on the type of injuries you suffered. General damages we’ll fight for include:
Loss of companionship
The last one trips up most clients. It’s easy to know your total existing medical costs – the bills are probably sitting on your kitchen table, causing worry and stress. What’s harder to estimate is your future costs.
This is where the value of an experienced Nevada personal injury lawyer helps. We know how to calculate your future expenses and work hard to help you cover those costs so you don’t end up paying a dime out of your own pocket for injuries you did not cause.
Many insurance companies will prey on your uncertainty in this area and offer you a quick settlement offer. They’re expecting that you’re only thinking about those medical bills on your kitchen table. Their low ball offer likely won’t include enough funds to cover any of your future expenses. Besides that, if you take the low ball offer, you’ll also waive your right to bring a claim against the insurance company in the future, forever missing out on the necessary funds to help you cover your bills.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
This is the most frequently asked question we get. Unfortunately, the answer is not easy and never quick. The value of your claim depends on your injuries, the amount of work you’ve missed, and countless other factors.
When you work with us, we’ll help you determine the full value of your claim. We’ll then aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to get you the full value of your claim. If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, we’re fully prepared to take your case to trial to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
What Is It Like to Work With Benson & Bingham?
Our clients place a great deal of trust in us. Whether someone injured them in a car accident, workplace accident, slip and fall, or any other type of personal injury, they count on us to be their advocate so they can focus on their recovery.
Our goal is to take the legal stress off your plate so you can focus completely on getting better. Having the peace of mind that your personal injury lawyer is competently handling your case can help relieve that stress and let you focus on what really matters. Our clients trust us with a great deal of responsibility and we do not take that lightly.
How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve?
The length of time it takes to resolve your personal injury claim depends on many factors:
The severity of your injuries
The amount of time you’re out of work
Any loss of enjoyment of your life as a result of the injuries
The type of injuries you suffered
Some personal injury claims are more complex than others but all require the keen eye of an experienced injury lawyer. Commercial trucking accidents usually involve many different parties whereas regular car accidents may only involve two drivers and two insurance companies. Both types of accidents are equally complex.
This complexity determines how long your claim will take to resolve. The level of complexity can only be determined after you’ve spoken with a personal injury lawyer who has completed a full case evaluation. But don’t delay. You are under a time limit for how long you have after your accident to bring a claim.
What if I Don’t Want to Go to Court?
We understand. No one likes to go to court. In most cases, you won’t have to. We work diligently to resolve your case long before we have to see the inside of a courtroom.
However, it doesn’t always work out that way. Even if we do end up having to go to litigation, we’ll be right by your side, guiding you every step of the way. Don’t let this be a concern for you, though, as only a small number of personal injury claims end up inside a courtroom.
Do I have a case?
Answer: Each case depends on the facts. Let an accident attorney give you a professional opinion on your case. In Nevada, a victim must not be more than 51% at fault to recover. Citations from police officers do not always reflect who may be at fault. Testimony from all witnesses must be ascertained to prove up a case.
What should I do with my wrecked car?
Answer: An insurance adjuster will come estimate the damage to the vehicle. It is important not to fix the car, or give authorization to a body shop until the car is evaluated. If the car is at a home, body shop, tow yard, or impound, the adjuster may need permission to examine the car. Call Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC for specific questions.
Can I get a rental car?
Answer: A rental car should be provided to the victim. A similar car is owed from the day of the accident until the car is fixed or deemed to be totaled. Once the finance company (lien holder) is paid off, the rental coverage is terminated. Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC has rental cars at their disposal to rent to clients who need to get to doctor’s appointments.
Who pays my medical expenses?
Answer: Because medical expenses are personal to the patient, ultimately the patient is responsible for the treatment. Legally, another party may have to pay for those expenses for their acts of negligence. Health Insurance, Automobile Medical Payments Coverage, and Medical Liens are the most common ways to pay for medical treatment when victims are injured.
Will my insurance rates go UP?
Answer: Under Nevada law, it is illegal for an insurance company to raise an insured’s rates for an accident that is not their fault. It is very important, whether at fault or not, to report the accident to your insurance company as a failure to report may result in a denial of insurance coverage.
If I do not have medical insurance, can I still receive medical care after an accident?
Answer: Yes. Depending on the medical provider and the liability issues involved with a particular case, certain doctors and hospitals will treat on a lien basis (credit). Call Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC accident attorneys today for a list of doctors near you that will work on a lien basis.
When I went to the hospital, they told me not to bill my health insurance because the case was an accident related matter and they will not receive payment? Is it true?
Answer: No. This is False information. A contracted provider must treat you for the accident injuries, and they must bill the health insurance if you tell them to. The health insurance may have a right of repayment from the adverse party (called the right of subrogation), however, the benefit of using your health insurance is the contracted discount price a patient/victim receives.
How long do I have before my time expires on my claim?
Answer: It depends. You should speak with an attorney before making this decision as different tort cases have different time limits. These limits are called the statute of limitations. The limitations period for a regular negligence case is two (2) years in Nevada; however, there are legal reasons why the time may be extended. Medical Mal-practice cases are one (1) year in Nevada, and there are also reasons why this time may be extended. Do not rely on this information in deciding your time period. Contact an injury attorney as soon as possible or you may lose your rights.
My accident happened in Nevada, can my attorney in my home state represent me?
Answer: No. Typically, an attorney must be licensed in the jurisdiction of the case to file a lawsuit. Determining the jurisdiction of a case is complicated, but a lawsuit may be filed where the defendant resides or the cause of action arose—here, where the car accident or injury accident happened; an attorney may represent you in another jurisdiction, but they may be violating rules of conduct as they may not know the specifics of Nevada Law.
Occasionally, attorneys will associate with firms in Nevada to litigate matters in Nevada. An attorney may be sponsored by a local attorney—this term is called pro hac vice. Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC will take cases on at any point so call them today.
My Air Bag did not go off, can I sue the manufacturer?
Answer: Yes & No. If you are involved in an accident involving enough speed and velocity to trigger an air bag deployment, and it fails to blow up and protect the occupants there may be a claim. First, one must consider whether the air bag would have prevented an upper body injury. If you break your foot from pressing the brake pedal attempting to stop from hitting someone and you collide with another car, it is a bad argument to state the air bag did not go off and protect my foot. Second, if you sustained facial injuries from a steering wheel, is it worth going after the manufacturer instead of the at fault party in the car wreck?
Quick answer: If there are not enough funds from the at fault party insurance policy, it may be worth pursuing a “products liability” lawsuit against the manufacturer, e.g. Ford, Chevrolet, GM, Mercedes, etc. Normally, the at fault party’s insurance coverage is sufficient to cover the bodily injury damages. The problems with air bag failures is the cost of bringing such an expensive lawsuit due to the expenses of hiring experts to prove the air bag mal-functioned. In addition, the vehicle the subject air bag assembly must be stored for future examination which can also be costly. Call Benson and Bingham today if your air bag failed to deploy.
I’m injured and I need a loan to survive, can Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC give me a loan or money advance?
Answer: No. The State Bar of Nevada will not permit Attorneys to give moneys to non-attorneys in the form of referral fees or loans to their own clients. Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC may only pay for expenses that relate to litigation and fees relating to the case. Recently, the Supreme court of Nevada allowed attorneys to “facilitate loans” which means we may help you find a lender. Typically, these lenders charge high interest rates, and the eventual amounts owed can be shocking. Injured parties often suffer from physical trauma and are forced to not work per doctor’s orders. These hardships create financial issues for victims of personal injury matters, sometimes forcing clients to get terminated. We do work with fair lenders should you need an advance. Call the injury specialists at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC today for a loan against your case.
I was the victim of a crime, can I sue the criminal who hurt me?
Answer: Yes, but it will likely result in a zero recovery. Criminals who shoot, kill, stab, and injure persons are tortfeasors and can be sued. The problem is that you may win your lawsuit, but have trouble collecting. For example, OJ Simpson was sued for the murder of his ex-wife and companion, Ron Goldman. The Goldman family got a $33 million dollar award. The problem is they never collected much, and OJ actually had money and assets! Other criminals are usually not financially well off and thus, the recoveries are usually zero—they usually go to jail and can’t repay the judgment. You can’t get blood from a stone, but you can certainly try. If you were a victim of crime, call the Clark County Victims of Crime Unit for an application for benefits. The criminal may have to pay court ordered restitution.
I’m disabled and I need financial help, who should I call?
Answer: Call or visit Social Security Disability at 800-772-1213 . Call Victims of Crime 702-786-2546 Call Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services at 775-684-0500 Call Nevada Division of (un)employment 702-486-0350
How long will my accident case take?
Answer: Accident cases take many months to complete. An accident attorney cannot settle your case prematurely; therefore, you must finish your medical treatment before a case may be negotiated. If your case is extensive it may take years to complete. Call an injury Attorney today at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC where your accident will be processed efficiently and expeditiously.
What is the attorney’s fee for an accident case?
Answer: A contingency fee agreement is customarily used in accident injury cases. This works for many reasons. First, it gives incentive for your attorney to maximize the amount recovered because the law firm has an interest in the case too. Second, most people could not afford an hourly fee arrangement, so accident attorneys will work on a percentage basis. The percentage varies up to 40% in certain cases, but be advised that you usually get what you pay for.
A discount law firm likely handles volumes of cases and does not give each case the effort it deserves. Cases and values depend on small details so it is important your attorney knows your particular facts especially well. Don’t settle for less, as nothing is more important than your health and your case. Call Benson & Bingham for the internet special contingency fee agreement.
How much do the costs add up to on a personal injury case?
Answer: It depends. Costs vary on the type of case. The more complex injury cases are more expensive. An average cost may be as low as $375.00; Complex injury cases can accrue costs of over $200,000.00+. Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC will put up the costs for your personal injury matter.
What if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
You can. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means we only get paid when you win. You pay nothing upfront. You pay nothing to meet with us. You pay nothing to have us aggressively represent your best interests. You only pay if you win.
While most personal injury claims settle out of court, we’ll only settle your case if it’s right for you. So if your case requires a trial, we are fully prepared to represent your best interests in court. We know you want to put this behind you and we know you need the funds to help you pay your medical bills.
But we also don’t want to see you in a worse financial position simply because of this accident. You deserve to have your recovery paid for and the best way for you to do that is to work with a trusted personal injury lawyer.
Call Our Nevada Personal Injury Attorneys
If you were injured in Nevada due to someone else’s negligence, we would like to meet with you and discuss your legal options. To schedule your free consultation and case review, contact us online or by calling (702) 382-9797.