Nevada personal injury law is designed to hold negligent parties responsible for the financial damages of accident victims. For this reason, all drivers must have automobile insurance due to the possibility of making a mistake behind the wheel and hurting others.
Prepare Yourself for an Adversarial Process
Under this system, you seek damages from the insurer of the driver or other party that caused you to crash and suffer injuries. Because fault equals liability, insurers are highly motivated to devalue or deny your claim.
To protect your interests, you need to know your options before taking action. Thousands of dollars and your financial security may be at stake, which is why many people discuss their insurance claims with an injury lawyer in Nevada.
What to Do and Not Do at the Accident Scene
You can start protecting your interests and building a solid insurance claim at the accident scene.
Unless you are incapacitated by injury, you should:
- Move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, if possible
- Call 911 for medical help and report the accident to the police
- Take pictures of the vehicles and their license plates
- Exchange license and insurance information
- Ask witnesses for their contact information
Additionally, you should:
- Get a medical exam as soon as possible after the accident
- Never admit fault to anyone
- Never say that you are uninjured
You also need to report the accident to your insurer, usually within 24 hours. At this early stage, supply only basic facts about where and when the accident occurred and the other parties involved. Do not make statements about fault because fault determines how Nevada personal injury claims move forward.
File a Claim on the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
If the other driver supplied auto insurance information at the accident scene, you would likely file a claim for damages on that policy. You must be careful when communicating with the third-party insurer because that company will be keen to avoid paying you. Statements that seem innocent may be interpreted in ways that shift fault in your direction.
You can ask an injury lawyer in Nevada to manage your insurance claim. A lawyer will know how to avoid pitfalls that can complicate or undermine your ability to collect compensation.
It is also possible that the other driver may view you as the cause of the accident and will file a claim against your insurance. This situation creates a dispute about who is at fault. Then your insurer and the other driver’s insurer will both investigate the accident. Legal assistance becomes more urgent under these conditions.
Nevada personal injury cases operate under the principle of modified comparative negligence because it is possible for both drivers to each be partially at fault. However, if you are found to be more than 51% at fault, you cannot receive a settlement for your damages.
File a Claim on Another Third-Party’s Insurance
At times, the actual cause of the accidents lies not with the drivers but with an external problem. Defective vehicle parts cause accidents or mistakes made with signage, or road maintenance places liability on a municipality or transportation department. When this is the case, you will file a claim against a manufacturer or government agency.
The services of a professional accident investigator are often necessary to identify sources of fault like these. A car accident lawyer in Nevada can contact specialists of this nature to investigate your crash.
Keep in mind that more than one party can be responsible for your collision. Then, you may end up filing claims against more than one insurer.
As of 2022, estimates placed the rate of uninsured drivers in Nevada at 10.4%. For this reason, you hopefully bought uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with your personal auto policy. If you are hit and hurt by a driver without insurance, you can make a claim on your policy under this type of coverage.
Similarly, you could experience an accident with a driver with minimal insurance. Nevada state law only requires people to buy auto liability policies that pay victims for at least $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $20,000 in property damage.
Medical bills and losses over $50,000 are pretty common. In this situation, you could seek compensation from your own insurance if you have underinsured driver coverage.
File a Claim on Your Own Insurance
Depending on the auto coverage you bought, you may have other ways to claim on your own insurance. If you have collision coverage, you could seek compensation for vehicle damage, no matter who was at fault. If you included Medpay coverage, then money for your injuries or your passenger’s injuries could be available. An injury lawyer in Nevada could help you prepare these claims or coordinate claims with your insurer and a third-party insurer.
File a Lawsuit
Most accident claims are resolved through negotiations with one or more insurance companies. Various reasons, such as disputes about fault or ongoing medical needs, could stall negotiations or result in a denial. When this happens, you have the option of suing the responsible party, and then the issue will be decided in court. Due to a two-year statute of limitations on most car accident injuries, you need to exercise this option before the second anniversary of your collision.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Nevada
Pursuing compensation after a car accident can place heavy demands on your time and patience. This can happen at a time when you are distracted by pain and financial concerns. The services of a car accident lawyer in Nevada, like Darren J. Lach, could alleviate the pressure and strain on you. His law firm can unburden you from high-stakes negotiations and fight for the settlement that you need. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.