As any Henderson car accident attorney knows, the roads in Nevada are not in the best condition. This is obvious when we look at statistical data and at the number of car accidents in Henderson caused by poor road conditions. As a responsible taxpayer, you are obviously frustrated. You pay your taxes on time and in full. In exchange, you expect the local authorities to offer you quality services in terms of security, schools, and public transportation. And properly maintained roads, as well.
So, who is at fault if your car accident in Henderson was caused by a pothole or other type of road damage? Depending on the road where the accident happened, the responsible party is a city, county, or state authority in charge of maintaining public roads. This is why you will need an experienced Henderson car accident attorney to identify the liable party and file a claim according to specific rules.
How Do You File a Personal Injury Claim Against Nevada Authorities?
All types of personal injury claims filed against a state or local authority fall under tort law and must follow the rules set forth in Nevada Annotated Code 41.100. These rules are in place because, traditionally, government authorities enjoyed a so-called sovereign immunity. This legal principle originated in England, at a time when the king was deemed to be above the law because “the king can do no wrong.”
Of course, right now no one is above the law, especially when negligence caused injuries and economic damages to a person. But, in order to protect authorities from frivolous lawsuits, special rules exist when it comes to filing a claim, including for a car accident in Henderson.
Your lawyer will help you fill in the official claim form and submit all the other required documents within their respective deadlines.
Challenges in Filing a Claim for a Car Accident in Henderson Caused by Poor Road Conditions
The fact that clear rules exist to help you recover damages in a car accident caused by a pothole or other kind of road damage does not make it easier for you to win the fair compensation you deserve.
Just like with any other personal injury case, you will need the assistance of an experienced Henderson car accident attorney from the Christian Morris Trial Attorneys law firm. You will face specific challenges, which would be extremely difficult to overcome on your own.
1. Proving Fault
Before you can claim any damages, you must prove that the authorities in charge of road maintenance were negligent. Despite the fact that a recent report indicates that 33% of major roads in Nevada are in poor condition, you cannot simply make the local or state authority liable for your injuries, property damages, and economic damages.
Thus, you must be extremely careful in documenting the accident scene. You should focus on the specific road condition that caused the accident – be it a pothole, debris, or other types of road defects. Make sure that you get a full shot of the scene showing both the pothole and your damaged car.
2. Submitting to Independent Medical Evaluation and Appraisal
Once you file a claim against a government authority for your car accident in Henderson, the respective authority has the right to verify your claim. As your Henderson car accident attorney will explain to you, this means:
- Submitting to an independent medical evaluation
- Letting an independent appraiser evaluate the damages to your car.
If you fail to submit to any of these evaluations, your claim will most definitely be denied. Your lawyer will explain to you in detail what you should expect from the independent evaluation. You will receive instructions so that you do not do or say anything that may hurt your case.
3. Including Specific Information in Your Claim
When you file a claim against Nevada authorities, you must include specific information. Your claim letter must contain:
- A detailed description of how the injuries occurred
- An explanation of why you believe the state/county/city authority is responsible for your injuries
- The compensation amount you seek
- Copies from all medical reports and your physician’s contact details.
If any of these data is missing, your claim letter will be returned or rejected. However, a Henderson car accident lawyer will make sure that your claim meets all the requirements.
4. Understanding the Limits to Recovery
Another specific challenge when it comes to suing the authorities for your car accident in Henderson is how much money you can recover. When you sue an individual or a business, an experienced lawyer can win economic and non-economic damages in excess of $1 million, if the case warrants them.
However, tort law rules for claims against authorities cap the total amount of damages to $100,000. This may not be fair to you, but it is the law and, until it changes, you have to abide by it. Also, if you end up filing a personal injury lawsuit, you cannot claim punitive damages for an accident caused by the negligence of authorities.
5. Submitting Your Claim Within the Deadline
Any claim for damages filed against a local or state authority must be filed with the Nevada Attorney General’s office within 2 years after your accident. This works just like the statute of limitations for other personal injury cases – if you exceed this period of time, your claim will be rejected.
If you suffered serious injuries, you may have to spend a lot of time in the hospital and physical therapy for rehabilitation. Thus, you will not be able to handle all the legal procedures required in order to file a claim successfully. However, once you hire a Henderson car accident attorney to represent you, they are authorized to file documents and negotiate on your behalf.
Let an Experienced Henderson Car Accident Attorney Win Your Claim!
At Christian Morris Trial Attorneys, you will benefit from our many years of combined experience in personal injury law and proven track record of success around Nevada, including Henderson, Las Vegas, and beyond. The fact that you need to file a claim against government authorities for your car accident in Henderson makes things more challenging, but not impossible for us.
Once we evaluate your case and determine that you have the right to seek compensation, we will fight to obtain it, irrespective of the negligent party. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we will not charge you any advance fees. We will get our fees after we win your compensation.