Anyone who drives a vehicle in Nevada must have vehicle insurance. Nevada is an at “fault” state which means that if you are in a car accident, the person who causes the accident (or that person’s insurance company) has to pay for the damage. If you are in a car accident and are able to move around or talk, you should take certain steps immediately following the accident to help with the investigation into your case.
The one thing you shouldn’t do is to speak with any insurance company, even your own. You could inadvertently give it information that it may use to shift fault to you. Even if you do believe that you’re at fault for your accident, don’t discuss the accident with any insurance company; let your attorney handle all discussions with insurance companies. If you’ve sustained any injuries in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are able to move around safely following an accident, make sure to take note of the other involved individuals’ contact, registration, and license information, after you call first responders. You should also take pictures of both cars from every angle. If either vehicle left skid marks or marks where it might have gone off the road, take pictures of the marks. The pictures may help your attorney determine fault for purposes of a settlement or lawsuit. This is important because the police report may incorrectly assign fault to you, which you can use photos to dispute.
Always seek medical attention following an accident, even if you think and feel that you’re uninjured. Some injuries take hours or even days to show up. When you get checked out, make sure to keep all of your hospital bills. You will need to give copies of them to the other driver’s insurance company for reimbursement.
By retaining an attorney, you maximize your potential compensation. Oftentimes, an insurance company will increase its settlement offer immediately upon your retention of legal counsel. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and attempt to protect their bottom line regardless of how it affects the lives of injured individuals. The less an insurance company pays out, the more profit it makes. A car accident lawyer will make sure you get a fair and reasonable settlement or else file a personal injury lawsuit.
In the event that you are incapacitated because of an accident, you should have a loved one contact a car accident attorney for you. If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible regarding your eligibility to file a wrongful death claim. It is pertinent to start working on your case as soon as possible so that your attorney has adequate time to negotiate with insurance companies and prepare to file a lawsuit, if necessary.
Car accident injuries range from minor to catastrophic. Additionally, the accident itself may not cause you injury, but the airbags can cause injuries, including burns. Injuries that you could potentially suffer when you are in a car accident include:
Scrapes, cuts, abrasions, and bruises. These generally heal quickly unless open cuts are deep. Regardless of the size or depth, an open wound can become infected, which means it will take longer to heal and may need additional medical care.
Broken bones. You may suffer from fractures or compound fractures. A compound fracture involves a bone that breaks through the skin, creating an open wound. These wounds may get infected, in which case the injury will take longer to heal.
Catastrophic injuries. These types of injuries include head and brain injuries and neck and spine injuries. These can take months to heal and may even leave you disabled for the long-term or permanently. Catastrophic injuries may include head and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, internal bleeding, and damaged internal organs.
If you have sustained an injury in a car accident, you should seek economic, non-economic, and punitive damages in your personal injury claim, depending on the specific circumstances of your accident. Even if you were partially at fault, a court may still award you compensation for your injuries. Your potential damages award could include compensation for the following:
Medical costs. You may receive compensation for any medical costs that you’ve incurred due to injuries sustained during your accident. These are economic or special damages.
Future medical costs. These could be categorized as general or special damages. While future medical costs are unknown, they do eventually have a set amount. However, your attorney must first estimate future medical costs for the purposes of your personal injury claim; thus, it is important to keep him or her apprised of your medical condition, including diseases that might slow healing, such as diabetes or neurological issues.
Lost wages. A court may award you compensation for the money you’ve missed out on due to your inability to work because of the injuries you sustained in your accident. These are economic or special damages.
Future lost wages. These could also be categorized as general or special damages. While future lost wages are unknown because you may not know the amount of time it takes for you to heal, or because you are suffering from long-term or permanent damage, your attorney can estimate them and include them in your damages request.
Property damage. You’re eligible to seek compensation for the damage to your vehicle and any damaged personal property that was in the vehicle. These are economic or special damages.
Pain and suffering. A court may award you compensation for pain and suffering if your injuries cause extreme pain for the long term or permanently. Pain and suffering are general damages that are awarded if you have long-term or permanent back, spinal cord, or brain damage.
Loss of companionship. This is a general damage that is awarded if you are unable to enjoy life as you did prior to your accident. For example, if you are unable to do yard work or housework, or if you are unable to do the things with your family that you used to do, you may receive compensation for loss of companionship.
Loss of consortium. This is another general damage that courts award if you are not able to have a physical relationship with your spouse due to injuries sustained in your accident.
If you were in a car accident, or if you lost a loved one in a car accident, call Benson & Bingham at (775) 600-6000, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation with an experienced member of our legal team.
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