Any Las Vegas car accident lawyer knows that no traffic crash is simple and straightforward. In many cases, injured parties may have been slightly negligent and played a minor role in creating the conditions of the accident. For this reason, some injured parties do not even schedule an initial consultation with an attorney or file an insurance claim. They believe that being partly at fault for their crash bars them from seeking compensation for their economic and non-economic damages.
As we will show in this article, this belief is wrong and is partly due to the aggressive attitude of insurance companies in denying claims. At Christian Morris Trial Attorneys law firm, you will always receive legal advice you can trust, so do not be afraid to seek help from our personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas as soon as possible after your crash.
What Nevada Law Says on the Issue of Fault
First of all, it is important to understand how fault factors in personal injury cases in Nevada. Our state relies on the comparative negligence principle. This principle states that a personal injury victim is eligible to file a claim for compensation if their negligence is “not greater than the negligence or gross negligence” of the other parties (Nevada Revised Statutes 41.141).
Thus, in the large majority of cases, there is one party who is more than 50% at fault for a car crash. By consequence, the other party is less than 50% at fault and has the right to file a car accident claim against the other driver’s insurance company. Enlisting the help of an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer will ensure that you win the maximum compensation you are entitled to collect.
The Effect of Partial Fault on Your Compensation Amount
Of course, being partly at fault for your car crash has some consequences on your accident claim. The comparative negligence principle dictates that your total damages must be reduced by your percentage of fault.
However, this still means that you will recover a substantial part of your damages. As our personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas will explain to you, being 20% at fault in a car crash resulting in $100,000 in damages means that you will collect $80.000. This will cover most of your medical bills and lost wages, as well as represent compensation for your pain and suffering.
Why Do You Need an Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer?
At this point, you may wonder: “can’t I just admit to my part of the fault and file my claim on my own?” The problem is that as soon as you admit fault, an insurance attorney will seize it as a gold nugget and decide that you bear more than 50% of the fault for your accident, thus dismissing your claim.
No matter what, you must never admit to being at fault. It is the job of an experienced attorney or a jury in a personal injury lawsuit to determine that. Personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas know how to evaluate your role in the crash correctly, in a manner that allows you to collect the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to claim.
To this end, your Las Vegas car accident lawyer will:
Investigate the Circumstances of Your Accident
An experienced attorney will not be satisfied with your statement and the accident report, but perform independent investigations of the crash. This may involve:
1. Hiring Accident Reconstruction Experts
Based on the evidence available, including photos and videos taken at the crash scene, reconstruction experts can digitally recreate the manner in which a car accident happened. Their reconstruction is admissible evidence in court and, in many cases, represents the key aspect which determines a jury to award damages to a plaintiff.
2. Obtaining Statements from Eyewitnesses
Most people are willing to assist an accident victim with a truthful description of what they saw and heard. With the assistance of an attorney, they will put together a coherent statement, which cannot be refuted either by an insurance adjuster or by an opposing counsel during a personal injury lawsuit.
3. Seeking Additional Evidence
You may be surprised what types of evidence helped our personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas win cases for our clients. A sandwich wrapper dropped on the road next to the defendant’s car can prove that they were eating while driving, thus, they were distracted at the moment of the crash.
Cell phone records indicate whether the driver was texting and driving. Also, inquiries made at Nevada State Police Highway Patrol can show that the defendant has a history of traffic violations, such as speeding or reckless driving.
Calculate Your Total Damages
A diligent Las Vegas car accident lawyer will calculate all your current and future economic damages, as well as the non-economic damages you should receive for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.
The severity of your injuries is not always obvious during the first hours or days after the accident. For this reason, your attorney will be in constant contact with your doctors, getting updates on your condition and the potential disabilities/impairments you may be left with. All these will be translated into cost with care, loss of earning capacity and other eligible economic damages.
Negotiate with the Insurance Adjuster
Negotiations represent the most difficult part of an accident claim. An insurance adjuster will always try to increase your proportion of fault in order to reduce the actual amount of damages you will actually receive. However, an experienced attorney knows how to build and present your case in order to win the maximum compensation you are eligible to receive.
Even if the insurance company refuses to settle, you can count on your Las Vegas car accident lawyer to win your case in court. In this case, if you can prove that the other driver acted with gross negligence or malice in causing your accident, you may also collect punitive damages. These damages are capped at $300,000 if the compensatory damages are less than $100,000 or three times the compensatory damages if these damages exceed $100,000.
Our Car Accident Law Firm Is Ready to Win Your Case!
Christian Morris Trial Attorneys law firm was founded on the principle of helping all personal accident victims seek justice and win the fair compensation they deserve. We are not afraid to take big insurance companies to court and hold them liable based on the policies they issued.
You do not have to worry about paying us advance fees, because we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that our personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas collect their fees out of the settlement amounts they negotiate for us. Thus, we encourage you to schedule a free case review with us as soon as possible after your car accident: (702) 434-8282!