Nevada operates as a fault state in regard to paying damages from motor vehicle accidents. The question of who was at fault in an accident must be answered before Nevada personal injury law requires payment. Payment to an accident victim is called a settlement when both sides make the agreement voluntarily.
Although most people hurt by negligent drivers use the phrase, “I’ll sue for damages,” most car accidents do not result in lawsuits decided in court, which is called litigation. You and your car accident lawyer in Nevada will likely negotiate with the opposing side to decide the dollar amount of the settlement. However, if you need to go to court, legal representation becomes even more important.
Settlements Can Be Negotiated
In some accidents, the fault is relatively straightforward. The at-fault driver’s insurer may recognize this fact and offer you a settlement. This first offer of compensation does not have to be the last word on the matter.
The insurer probably offered a modest payment in the hopes of resolving the case for as little money as possible. Should you accept the settlement, the matter is irrevocably closed. You cannot go back and ask for more money if your injuries persist or worsen. This is why you want to have an injury lawyer in Nevada on your side. Your lawyer can evaluate the offer, judge if it is reasonable, or open negotiations for a larger settlement.
Issues that influence how much compensation can be paid:
- The severity of injuries and the likelihood of lifetime disability
- Shared fault
- Insurance policy limits
- Presence of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Multiple victims
- Legal limits on punitive damages
A primary task of a car accident lawyer in Nevada is to engage with an insurance adjuster and highlight evidence that supports a higher payout for you. Your lawyer will investigate the accident and may be able to push back on claims that you were partially at fault. Insurers frequently hope to reduce settlements by shifting some or all blame onto injury victims.
The two sides may go back and forth with their discussions until they come to an agreement, or the matter could go to court. Because settlement negotiations can be quite contentious, most injured people benefit from legal representation.
The insurance adjuster handling your case will be a trained negotiator whose job is to limit payments to victims. An injury lawyer in Nevada will possess similar training and know how to prepare for these difficult conversations.
Legal representation is the best way to succeed against a tight-fisted insurer. By and large, lawyers secure reasonable settlements beyond what people can generally collect on their own. Successful settlement negotiations also get compensation in your hands faster than if you go to court. Litigation is time-consuming and expensive but sometimes worth the wait.
Making the Decision to Litigate
The statute of limitations in Nevada for car accidents is two years. If you file a lawsuit, you need to get the paperwork to the applicable court within that period.
If negotiations have failed to produce an acceptable settlement, even after appealing an insurer’s denial, litigation is your next step. A car accident lawyer in Nevada can help you understand the risks of going to court.
At a trial, the final decision is in a jury’s hands, and no one can 100% predict what jurors will decide. However, an injury lawyer in Nevada can assess the strength of your evidence and offer a recommendation about filing a lawsuit or not.
Negotiations After Filing a Lawsuit
Filing the lawsuit sets litigation in motion but does not eliminate the chance of negotiating a settlement. The court will order both sides to attempt negotiation again, often with the guidance of a mediator.
The reality of going to court could make the insurer more willing to make a new and higher settlement offer. Both sides exchange evidence and witness lists while preparing for trial. As each side studies the evidence, one side might choose not to risk taking the case to trial. On the other hand, some car accident lawsuits move forward to trial.
Jury Verdicts Decide Litigation
Both sides present their evidence at the trial and cross-examine each other’s witnesses. Your lawyer could bring in expert witnesses. Their testimony may support your case by explaining the nature of the accident, its causes, and the physical and mental damage you suffered.
Although most jurors naturally have sympathy for car accident victims, this is no guarantee that a jury will reach a verdict in your favor. If you do win your case, the jury will decide the amount of compensation that you deserve, and the court will then issue a judgment that requires the opposing side to pay your damages.
Learn More About Nevada Personal Injury Law
You will protect your interests by getting legal advice before you talk to an insurance adjuster. At Lach Injury Law, you can meet with a car accident lawyer in Nevada who is skilled at settlement negotiations and experienced with accident litigation. Take advantage of the compensation that you need and deserve. Talk to us during a free consultation today.
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