Like most people who meet with a car accident attorney, you’ll want to know how much compensation you could collect from the responsible party. Depending on what happened, you may have several expenses to claim as damages. Injury attorneys in Nevada help people identify all damages that apply to their claims. However, you also need to be informed about limitations on compensation. These come primarily in the form of damage caps imposed by state law and insurance policy limits.
Types of Nevada Car Accident Damages
A car accident produces compensatory damages. This term describes expenses and losses that you deserve compensation for. The law further divides compensatory damages into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages arise from any expense that you can clearly document. In other words, you have receipts for these expenses, which include:
- Medical care
- Medical equipment
- Lost income
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Cost of transportation to medical appointments
Medical expenses include a host of different charges for services like ambulance transport, hospitalization, or physical therapy. Nevada personal injury attorneys ask their clients for access to their medical records and bills, and employer records to track medical expenses and lost wages. In this way, they prepare claims that fully reflect economic damages.
On the other hand, non-economic damages describe losses you do not receive a bill for. This form of compensatory damages encompasses emotional distress, loss of consortium, or pain and suffering.
These issues can significantly impact your quality of life, which is why the law recognizes that accident victims deserve financial consideration for non-economic damages. If you appear to qualify for non-economic damages, your car accident attorney will use legally acceptable formulas to calculate these hard-to-quantify losses.
These types of damages punish the person or entity responsible for the accident. Most car accident cases do not result in punitive damages because this is a special category of compensation.
They are only awarded when inexcusable bad behavior or choices lead to your misery. A jury may choose to award punitive damages to send a message that such flagrant disregard for safety deserves punishment.
Injury attorneys in Nevada could pursue punitive damages when the responsible party showed a conscious disregard for the safety of others. The actions leading to the accident went beyond making a mistake. Someone knew that an action or inaction would expose others to harm but did not care enough to act appropriately. Essentially, the person knowingly ignored your rights, and this indefensible choice caused you serious hardship and pain.
Some car accident victims may face a complication when pursuing compensation for injuries. Under certain circumstances, state law limits what you can collect regardless of the extent of your losses.
Claims Against Government Employees
The law protects government agencies from paying high settlements when government employees cause harm while on the job. The most you can receive in this situation is $100,000, no matter how many expenses result from the accident. Punitive damages are not an option at all.
Although the law gives you a right to ask for all economic damages resulting from medical malpractice, damage caps apply to any awards for pain and suffering. No more than $350,000 is legally available to pay for pain and suffering due to medical errors.
Caps on Punitive Damages
Once again, state law places an upper limit on what you can receive in this category. Punitive damages may not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages. After your compensatory damages (both economic and non-economic) have been calculated, you will know the maximum that could be available as punitive damages.
Insurance Policy Limits
The bulk of the money to pay personal injury victims comes from insurers. As a result, the coverage limit specified in the insurance policy applicable to your case represents the most that the insurer will pay.
An insurance policy limit represents a separate issue from any damage caps established by the Nevada legislature. In a car accident, if the at-fault driver only has $50,000 in available coverage, but your losses totaled $75,000, the at-fault driver’s insurer will only pay $50,000.
You and your car accident lawyer in Nevada may be able to collect the difference by making a claim on your own policy if you have uninsured and underinsured coverage. There could also be the possibility of suing the at-fault party directly to access the driver’s personal resources. Success here depends on whether or not the person has anything of value to make a claim against.
Statutes of Limitations
You should also keep in mind that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car accident. Statutes of limitations give you only two years from the accident date to go to court if negotiations with the insurer break down. For this reason, Nevada personal injury attorneys encourage people to explore their legal options well before the two-year deadline approaches.
A Car Accident Lawyer in Nevada Who Fights for You
Darren J. Lach, founder of Lach Injury Law, knows how burdensome a car accident can be for you. You expect an insurer to pay your damages but need help navigating tasks like evidence collection, settlement negotiations, and perhaps filing a lawsuit. At Lach Injury Law, our case analysis will inform you about your options and what, if any, limitations may apply to your settlement.
To get a tough and savvy car accident attorney, contact us immediately and schedule a free consultation.