Benson & Bingham

Reno Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury law encompasses many types of injuries that you may receive due to accidents or even intentional torts. When you sustain an injury, it is important that you retain an attorney who has experience litigating cases that involve similar injuries as yours. For example, if you’ve suffered a dog bite, you want an attorney with significant experience handling dog bite accident cases on your side. You should also consider an attorney’s negotiation skills and past results, which should indicate that the lawyer is skilled at both negotiation and trial work.

Why You Should Retain a Reno Personal Injury Lawyer

Many people believe that they can settle with insurance companies without the help of an attorney; while that is possible, research has shown that those who retain a personal injury attorney get up to three times more compensation than those who settle their own cases. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. When you file a claim, the insurance company retains an attorney, which cuts into its bottom line, and the amount the insurance company pays out also cuts into its bottom line. Thus, insurance companies generally strive to offer as little compensation as possible to close a claim.

A personal injury attorney will ensure that the settlement the insurance company offers is fair and reasonable and that it covers most, if not all, of your injury costs. If you and the attorney agree that the amount that the insurance company is offering is insufficient, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Damages in Personal Injury Cases

The law divides damages into three categories: (1) special, (3) general, and (3) punitive. Special damages, often referred to as economic damages, are for items with a set price, such as medical expenses. General damages are non-economic and are meant to compensate injured individuals for items that do not have a set price, such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages, which courts rarely award, are meant to serve as a punishment and deterrent when a defendant’s grossly negligent or intentionally reckless behavior causes injury.

Economic (Special) Damages

Economic damages may include compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs. A court may compensate you for any medical costs that you incurred for injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Future medical costs. This is compensation for any upcoming and ongoing medical costs that you will incur in the future for injuries sustained in the accident. These expenses may constitute both special and general damages. While there likely will be a set cost, that cost is unknown at the time of your claim. With your help, a personal injury lawyer will estimate the cost of future surgeries, therapy, and other doctors’ appointments.
  • Property damage. In any type of personal injury case, you may receive compensation for damage to personal property, such as your vehicle and other personal effects that were in your vehicle and damaged during the accident.
  • Lost wages. A court may award you compensation for your lost wages during the time that you are not able to work, if that time off is directly caused by injuries you suffered.
  • Future lost wages. Compensation for your future lost wages may constitute both general and special damages because the amount will be a specific number, but at the time of litigating it is unknown, and your attorney must estimate it. If you are suffering from long-term or permanent damage because of your accident, and you are not able to return to work or not able to return to your prior work, a court may award you compensation for future lost wages.

Non-Economic (General) Damages

It is difficult to calculate an exact price for general damages, though attorneys will attempt to estimate the price of such damages as accurately as possible. Non-economic damages are meant to make an injured individual whole again, by making it easier to get the care that they need following an accident. General damages may include compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering. A court may award you compensation for pain and suffering if you have long-term or permanent injuries that cause constant pain.
  • Loss of companionship. If your injuries prevent you from engaging in your usual chores and hobbies, such as housework and yard work, or spending quality time with your family fishing, hiking or even just walking around your neighborhood, a court may award you compensation for loss of companionship.
  • Loss of consortium. If you are unable to have a physical relationship with your spouse because of your injuries, a court may award you compensation for loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages

A court will only award punitive damages if a defendant’s grossly negligent or intentional actions caused the accident. For example, if a drunk driver causes an accident, a court may consider awarding punitive damages. If a trespasser causes injuries because of his or her purposeful trespassing and negligent behavior while trespassing, the injured party may seek punitive damages.

Judgments Earned by Benson & Bingham in Past Cases

Before retaining any personal injury attorney, you should always ask about the past judgments that he or she secured for injured clients. At Benson & Bingham, we’ve won more than $127,000,000 in damages for our clients, including:

  • $3.3 million in a products liability case where the plaintiff lost an eye
  • $3.3 million in a products liability case for a defective product that caused an auto injury
  • $2.65 million in a semi truck accident case
  • $2.63 million in a case where a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle
  • $2 million in a vehicle rear-end accident case
  • $1.1 million in a medical malpractice accident case against an ob-gyn
  • $1 million in a driving under the influence accident case
  • $550,000 in a casino construction accident case
  • $500,000 in an elevator accident case
  • $300,000 in a dog bite accident case
  • $300,000 in an animal attack accident case
  • $172,000 in a trip and fall accident where the carpet wasn’t tacked down properly
  • Many more cases worth millions of dollars.

When you attempt to settle with an insurance company on your own, you may miss out on general and/or punitive damages to which you may be entitled, such as compensation for pain and suffering or loss of companionship. The insurance company may offer to pay for your current medical costs and possibly lost wages, but likely nothing else, such as future medical expenses, future lost wages, or pain and suffering.

Contact Benson & Bingham

If you’ve sustained an injury in Reno in any type of accident, including vehicle, hotel and casino, workplace, slip and fall, pedestrian, bicycle, product liability, and dog bite accidents, or if one of your loved ones died in such an accident, contact Benson & Bingham today at (775) 600-6000 or via our online contact page for a free consultation.

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Benson and Bingham