Not too long after a bad car accident, the bills will start pouring in. If you’re unable to work, the loss of income raises the pressure. If someone else is at fault for your crash, you understand you have a right to collect money for your damages. An insurer may even be quick to offer a settlement, but you should consult a car accident lawyer in Nevada before accepting anything.
You may not know what damages you can ask for without independent legal advice. You run the risk of missing out on compensation unless you find out what expenses Nevada law authorizes for victims of negligence.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Personal injury law divides accident damages into economic and non-economic damages. An injury lawyer in Nevada who evaluates your case can explain which ones you may qualify for.
Economic damages come with receipts. They have a clear dollar figure attached to them, like a medical bill or accounting of your lost income. Anyone hurt in an accident who succeeds with an insurance claim or lawsuit will receive economic damages. This is why a car accident lawyer in Nevada will advise you to keep all receipts and records related to your accident. An insurer will demand to see this documentation before paying you.
Economic damages include:
- Ambulance and hospital bills
- Doctor appointments
- Medical devices
- In-home nursing care
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Counseling and therapy for anxiety or PTSD
- Babysitting costs incurred because of the accident
- Housekeeping costs incurred because of the accident
- Home alterations to accommodate a permanent or temporary disability
- Rental car
- Transportation costs to medical appointments
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Lost income, including benefits, bonuses, or commissions
- Lost future earning capacity
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may or may not be part of your claim. These accident-related costs are hard to quantify, like your physical suffering or emotional harm. No one writes a receipt for anguish or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but a Nevada injury lawyer will argue that you deserve compensation for non-economic damages whenever feasible.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of affection/companionship
- Permanent disability
- Punitive damages
To put a dollar figure on non-economic damages, the legal system usually uses a system known as the multiplier method.
A multiplier is a number applied to your total economic damages to assign a value to non-economic damages. The multiplier could be anywhere from 1.5 to five. For example, if it is 3, and your economic damages are $500,000, your non-economic damages would be $1.5 million ($500,000 x 3).
Choosing the multiplier will be subject to negotiation between a car accident lawyer in Nevada and the insurer. If your case goes to trial, then the jury makes the decision when calculating the jury award.
In the pursuit of a higher multiplier, your Nevada injury lawyer will highlight the extent of your suffering and how the accident has devastated your personal life or prospects for health and happiness.
As for punitive damages, they become possible only in accidents caused by exceptionally bad behavior or disregard for safety. Punitive damages are unrelated to your actual economic costs because the law uses them to punish the party who hurt you. For this reason, they are also known as exemplary damages because they are meant to make an example out of those who acted intentionally or were shockingly negligent.
Limits on Damages
Sometimes there is a limited amount of money available to compensate you. A driver carrying only the state-mandated minimum coverage will only have these amounts available from an insurer:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death for one person per accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death for more than one person per accident
- $20,000 for property damage
If your auto policy includes uninsured/underinsured coverage, a car accident lawyer in Nevada can pursue a claim for additional amounts when the other insurance comes up short.
Nevada law sets some other limitations. For example, your pet may be priceless to you, but you can only recover a maximum of $5,000 for accident injuries to your pet.
State law also has restrictions on punitive damages. Someone receiving less than $100,000 can only collect up to $300,000 in punitive damages should they apply to the case. For higher settlements of $100,000 and above, the law caps punitive damages at three times the compensatory damages.
A car accident that places fault on the state also presents a limitation on some damages. For the most part, the state will only pay $150,000, and there is no possibility of imposing punitive damages on the government.
Speak With an Injury Lawyer in Nevada
For decades, Darren J. Lach has excelled in his representation of personal injury clients. He and his team at Lach Injury Law have the creativity and resources to manage complex injury cases.
We can supply answers about insurance coverage and negotiate strenuously for every dollar you deserve. To get a legal opinion about your motor vehicle accident, schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Nevada. Contact us right away.
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