Benson & Bingham
Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer
Accidents happen every day. However, just because they’re called “accidents,” it doesn’t mean that no one is at fault. If you’ve been injured in an accident in Nevada due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be eligible to receive compensation either through a third-party insurance claim or via a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced Nevada personal injury lawyer can help you understand how these processes work.
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is an area of the law focused on helping the victims of accidents caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness to obtain compensation for their injuries and the financial and emotional impacts that those injuries have on their lives. Some of the common practice areas that fall within the realm of personal injury law include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles and rideshare vehicles, as well as those involving pedestrians and bicycles.
- Defective products or product liability.
- Premises liability, including slip and fall cases
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bite injuries
- Wrongful death
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Often, those injured in accidents choose to attempt to negotiate a settlement in their case without the benefit of an attorney. We strongly advise against this, as insurance companies—and their attorneys—are well versed in the law and in the techniques they use to avoid compensating accident victims. “Going it alone” typically results in a settlement that is too low to fairly compensate you for your injuries and may result in no settlement at all. However, personal injury lawyers provide a number of legal services for the benefit of their clients. Some of those services include:
- Providing information their clients need to understand their legal options and make informed decisions on how to proceed with an insurance claim and/or legal process
- Analyzing the details of the case in order to establish a monetary amount that fairly compensates their client based on the severity of their injuries and their current and future medical needs.
- Developing a common sense legal strategy in accordance with their client’s needs.
- Gathering evidence in the case, such as witness statements, photographs, medical records, and an accounting of injury-related expenses to prove negligence and damages.
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.
- Tracking and meeting the filing deadlines and other required court procedures for the case.
- Conducting witness depositions and evaluating the evidence that has been gathered by the defendant’s attorneys.
- Litigating the case in court.
- Helping to alleviate the burden of debt collectors while the client’s case is in process.
- Tending to the details of the settlement or award payout.
- Representing their client during the appeals process if either the client or the defendant wishes to appeal the court’s decision.
Nevada’s Personal Injury Laws
While filing a claim and seeking a settlement through the at-fault party’s insurance is generally the first step in recovering compensation for your injuries, Nevada also provides accident victims with the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Here are some of the state’s requirements for those filing a personal injury action through the courts:
- The statute of limitations on personal injury claims is generally two years. What this means is that you have two years from the date that the injuries occurred to file your claim in court. There are some exceptions to this rule, including suits filed against governmental agencies. Your attorney can provide more information on the filing deadlines in your case.
- Nevada follows a modified comparative fault rule, meaning that you may still be able to recover damages in your case even if you were partially to blame for the accident that caused your injuries, provided you were less than 50 percent to blame. However, your settlement or award will be deducted by your determined percentage of blame. For example, if you were 30 percent at fault for the accident, your damage award will be reduced by 30 percent.
- For most personal injury lawsuits, there is no cap on the amount of damages an accident victim is entitled to receive. The exceptions to this are a cap of $350,000 for non-economic, pain and suffering-type damages in medical malpractice cases, a $100,000 cap on damages recovered from a state government employee acting within the scope of their employment, and a $300,000 cap on punitive damages in some cases.
- In dog bite cases, the dog’s owner may be held liable for injuries caused by the dog if they knew or reasonably should have known that their dog would bite. This is known in legal circles as the “one bite rule,” meaning that if the dog has previously bitten someone, then the owner knows the dog is vicious and is legally liable if it bites again.
- In order to obtain compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada, the plaintiff must be able to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Negligence is established by showing: 1) The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. 2) There was a breach in the defendant’s duty of care. 3) The breach resulted in an accident that caused damages to the plaintiff.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover Through a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim can result in compensation for the following types of damages:
- Economic damages, including medical bills, property damage, the cost of short and long-term care, physical rehabilitation, diagnostic tests, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, scarring, inconvenience, loss of limb or the function of a body part, and loss of the enjoyment of life.
- In cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional, there may be the option to add punitive damages. Punitive damages cannot be more than three times the amount of compensatory (economic and non-economic) damages, or more than $300,000 if the compensatory damages are less than $100,000. There is no cap on punitive damages in cases involving defective products, hazardous materials, or bad faith insurance claims.
Call Our Nevada Personal Injury Attorneys Now
If you were injured in Nevada due to someone else’s negligence, we would like to meet with you and discuss your legal options. To schedule your free consultation and case review, contact us online or by calling (702) 382-9797.