If you have been injured in an accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is important to be aware of personal injury facts regarding your legal rights and options for compensation. Consulting with an attorney may help ensure you have the necessary knowledge and guidance to pursue your compensation.
10 Key Personal Injury Facts
If you or a loved one were harmed due to someone’s negligence, here are important facts to know before taking legal action.
1. There Is a Time Limit
In personal injury cases, there is a time frame within which you must file your lawsuit. In Nevada, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury. However, if the victim has passed away, and you wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the two-year countdown begins from the date of death, not the date of injury. It is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence as soon as possible.
2. Victims Shouldn’t Immediately Accept an Offer From the Insurance Company
Insurance companies prioritize profits, often leading them to use a standardized approach when evaluating auto accident claims. This approach doesn’t always consider the unique details of each claim. Additionally, insurers aim to minimize their financial losses by limiting the amount paid for medical expenses and other damages. While it may be tempting to accept the initial settlement offer, doing so quickly could mean receiving less compensation. Undervaluing your claim could result in significant financial challenges, particularly if you cannot work temporarily due to your injuries.
3. You Can Claim Various Forms of Compensation, Including Emotional Injuries
While it is difficult to determine the average payout in a personal injury claim, as it varies depending on the circumstances, you can claim damages for losses as well as wrongful death.
If an injury results in a wrongful death, compensation can be given for costs such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support and benefits
- Related medical expenses before death
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Economic losses include medical costs, loss of earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering. Accident and injury victims may also suffer from psychological injuries, ranging from mild mental anguish to severe acute stress disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Personal injury damages can cover both physical and mental injuries, although proving and quantifying mental injuries can be difficult. Your lawyer may help you understand how much compensation you could receive, as it varies depending on individual circumstances.
4. Proving Negligence Is not Easy and Requires Ample Evidence
When proving someone else is responsible for causing your injury, legal representation is crucial. Plaintiffs typically argue that the defendant’s negligence caused their injuries. Defendants may try to minimize the degree of injury or shift the blame to others. To determine the extent of your injuries, you must provide medical documentation such as physician visits, prescriptions, surgeries, and any other necessary medical treatments mentioned in the complaint. Evidence is essential, and it’s vital to gather and share all relevant information with your personal injury attorney in a timely manner. Even seemingly insignificant details can make a significant difference in the outcome of a case.
5. You Can Recover Compensation Even if You Were Partly at Fault
Nevada operates under a modified comparative negligence system, in which a person cannot claim compensation if he or she is more than 50% at fault for the accident. However, if you are at fault for the accident, but not more than 50%, you are still entitled to compensation, but the amount will be decreased based on the degree of your responsibility. For instance, if your fault is 30%, you can still obtain damages, but your financial recovery will be decreased by 30%.
6. Your Case May Take Time
It’s difficult to determine the exact duration of a personal injury lawsuit, as there is no standard timeframe. You should be mentally and emotionally prepared for a lengthy process. Simple personal injury lawsuits can be resolved within one to two years, but more complicated ones such as class action lawsuits, medical malpractice lawsuits, and product liability lawsuits may take longer to resolve.
7. Your Case Will Either Be Settled or Go to Trial
Typically, personal injury cases are resolved outside of court via discussions with the insurance company’s legal team or a mediation process. However, if an agreement on compensation cannot be reached, taking legal action and filing a lawsuit may be necessary. The decision on whether to pursue trial will depend on the details of your case. Many claims are resolved outside of court, so a trial may not be required.
8. Claims Can Be Made on Another’s Behalf
For certain injuries, such as brain injury claims, injured individuals may lack mental capacity. Consequently, they may need someone else to file the claim and make important decisions on their behalf. Similarly, if the injured person has passed away, a family member can file a claim on his or her behalf.
9. Every Case Is Unique
Although personal injury legal actions follow fundamental steps, each case is unique. Different types of injuries, causes, and other factors can affect the claims. Moreover, the duration of personal injury cases can vary, as some may go to trial while others can be settled out of court.
10. Claimants Benefit From Working With an Attorney
If you suffer a severe injury, you may be burdened with medical bills that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, you may not be able to go back to work or require long-term rehabilitation. One option to recover fair compensation is filing a personal injury claim with a lawyer who understands the process, can gather evidence, and will negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf. By working with an attorney, you may avoid common mistakes in a personal injury case and maximize your compensation.
Personal Injury Statistics in Nevada
Statistics show that in Nevada, 3.5 out of every 100 workers experience nonfatal personal injuries while on the job. In 2019, Nevada had a higher rate of occupational injuries compared to the national average, with 40 fatal work injuries reported.
The main causes of workplace injuries in Nevada include:
- Transportation incidents comprised 45% of incidents, compared to the U.S. average of 40%
- Slip and fall accidents totaled 23% of injury causes, compared to 17% across the U.S.
- Violence or injuries by persons or animals was 15%, compared to 16% in the U.S.
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments caused 13% of injuries.
In 2019, there were 490 firearm-related deaths in Nevada, with a mortality rate of 15.3 per 100,000 people. However, there has been a decrease in homicide rates over the last four years. In total, there were 166 deaths due to homicide in 2019. Nevada also ranks in the top ten most dangerous places to drive in America.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury law encompasses a wide range of cases that involve a preventable injury. Some of the most common categories of personal injury cases include:
Car accidents are among the most common causes of personal injury claims. They can be caused by factors such as distracted driving, reckless behavior, speeding, or impaired driving. Injuries can range from minor to severe, and compensation may be sought for medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents happen when someone slips, trips, or falls because of hazardous conditions on someone else’s property. These types of accidents usually occur when the floor is wet, the walkway is uneven, or there are other hazards present. It is the responsibility of property owners or occupants to ensure their premises are safe. If they fail to do so and someone is injured, the victim can seek compensation for their injuries.
Medical malpractice claims occur when healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals, provide inadequate care, resulting in injuries or complications. Examples of such malpractice include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, and birth injuries. These cases typically involve complicated medical evidence, are costly, and are subject to numerous legal obstacles that may discourage victims from pursuing them.
Product liability claims can arise when unsafe or faulty products harm individuals. These defects may stem from design, manufacturing, or labeling errors and can involve consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or vehicles. Understanding the personal injury facts associated with these types of claims may help you determine if you have a case worth pursuing.
Wrongful death claims occur when someone’s death is the result of another party’s negligence or wrongful actions. Such cases are filed on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and surviving family members, and aim to recover compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress caused by the death of a loved one in Las Vegas.