After a car accident, it’s important to have an accident resource center that you can turn to for assistance. An attorney is a good resource for assisting you through the process. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it can be stressful and the legalities can be quite confusing. You may have many questions about your rights, the claims process, and how to get compensation for any injuries you’ve sustained. It’s essential to understand Nevada’s car accident laws and your legal rights as a victim.
Car Accident Laws in Nevada
If you’ve been in a car accident in Nevada that resulted in injury or vehicle damage, there are state laws that may affect your claim.
Comparative Negligence Rule
In Nevada, fault is determined based on who was primarily responsible for a collision that occurred during an accident. The state follows an at-fault system, which means that claims can be brought against the driver who was responsible for causing the accident.
In most situations, the driver who violated traffic laws leading to an accident will be held primarily responsible for the collision. For instance, if a driver runs a red light or speeds, he or she will likely be considered at fault.
If you are involved in a car accident in Nevada and make a claim for compensation, there is a possibility that you may be held partly responsible for the accident. In such a scenario, the verdict can impact the amount of compensation you can claim.
Nevada follows a modified comparative negligence system, which means that you can still receive damages in a car accident lawsuit. However, the amount of your award will be reduced in proportion to your share of negligence as long as your share of the fault is 50% or less. If your level of fault is greater than 50%, you will not be able to recover any damages under Nevada law.
For example, if the total value of your damages is $100,000 and the jury finds that you were 10% responsible for the accident, then your damages award will be reduced by 10%, or $10,000. Therefore, you will receive a total award of $90,000.
Nevada drivers are required by law to have liability insurance that provides coverage in the following amounts:
- $25,000 per person, for bodily injury or death
- $50,000 per accident, for bodily injury or death
- $20,000 per accident, for property damage
This mandatory auto insurance is meant to offer financial protection to drivers involved in car accidents. If another driver is deemed at fault for an accident that you were involved in, his or her liability insurance will cover your medical expenses, property damage, and other losses, up to the policy limits.
Uninsured drivers who are held at fault for an accident may be personally liable for any damages or injuries that result.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you may feel worried about your car, your health, and making sure that the incident is reported fairly. In the following days and weeks, you may be concerned about the bills that are piling up and how you’re going to manage with missed paychecks that can’t cover your expenses. It is crucial to take certain steps both at the scene of the accident and in the weeks that follow. What you say and do could impact your chances of receiving your fair compensation.
Seek Medical Attention for Injuries
If you have been injured in a car accident, your first priority should be to seek medical treatment. Car accidents can cause both visible and invisible injuries, so it’s important to get checked out, even if you only have a few bruises or scrapes. What may seem like mild injuries could actually be a sign of something more serious, such as internal damage.
Seeing a doctor as soon as possible is not only crucial for your health, but it’s also essential for legal reasons. Without medical documentation of your injuries, it may be difficult to prove your case in court.
Delaying medical care can also worsen your injuries. For instance, minor back pain could turn into a herniated disc without proper medical attention. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company could argue that your injuries were made worse by your delay, or that they weren’t related to the accident and deny your claim.
Getting medical attention immediately after an accident will document your injuries, their severity, and extent, and connect them to the accident. This will help ensure that you can receive your fair compensation.
Report the Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident in Nevada and no police officer is present at the scene, you are required to report the incident if it resulted in an injury or death of a person or property damage. You can report the accident immediately to the nearest office of the Nevada Highway Patrol or the police. A law enforcement officer may create an accident report, which contains important details regarding the accident.
Gather Necessary Information and Document the Accident Scene
If you are physically well enough to do so, be your own investigator after the crash.
- Take photos or video of the crash site, including any damage to both/all cars involved.
- Get shots of any tread marks on the pavement, damaged objects outside, or accident debris.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver, including driver’s license information, registration, and insurance details.
- Take down the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses who could provide testimony about the crash.
Err on the side of recording more information rather than less. This can serve as useful evidence for your personal injury claim later on.
Notify Insurance Companies
If you find yourself in an accident, most car insurance policies will require you to inform them and file an auto insurance claim. It’s best to report the accident as soon as possible and allow the insurance adjuster to handle it from there. If you fail to report the accident, it may affect your insurer’s obligations and your insurance coverage under your policy.
Hire an Experienced Car Accident Injury Attorney
A car accident can be a disorienting experience. It can be challenging to figure out how to seek compensation for the damages caused. A car accident lawyer can provide guidance on the process by doing the following: explaining your legal options in plain language, and determining whether to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. He or she can also identify the responsible party, collect evidence of the other party’s negligence and liability, negotiate with the insurance company for the best possible settlement on your behalf, and, if necessary, file a lawsuit.
Common Tactics Used by Insurance Companies
Offer a Quick Settlement
How long it takes to get a car accident settlement can vary. Insurance adjusters often contact you soon after you file an accident claim. Their main goal is to get you to agree to a small settlement before you can consult with a car accident lawyer who can help you determine the actual value of your claim.
Even if their initial offer seems generous, it is unlikely to cover all your losses. If you accept the settlement, you won’t be able to change your mind or seek a higher value later once you discover the actual damages and expenses involved.
An insurance adjuster might argue that you bear responsibility for an accident instead of their insured party, leading to a dispute over liability in an attempt to refuse your claim. They may also try to put a significant portion of the blame on you to lower the amount of compensation you receive. Your attorney can show you how to prove you are not at fault in a car accident.
Dispute Your Damages
When you file an insurance claim, the adjuster’s will review all the documents you submit, including medical bills and repair reports. He or she may try to dispute your damages by suggesting that you weren’t really hurt in the accident, you received unnecessary medical treatment, or your treatment lasted longer than necessary. Therefore, it’s essential to provide accurate and comprehensive documentation.
Recovering Compensation for Damages
If you have been in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation for any damages you have incurred. This compensation can cover both monetary losses, like medical bills and lost wages, and non-monetary losses, such as pain, suffering, and mental distress. The most common way to receive compensation is through an insurance claim. However, if you are unable to come to a satisfactory agreement with the insurance company, you can file a lawsuit against them or, in some cases, against the driver who caused the accident.