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Reno Personal Injury Attorney

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 a Reno personal injury 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

Reno Personal Injury AttorneysMany 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we’ve won more than $135,000,000 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.

 

Personal Injury Attorneys Benson and Bingham Located in Reno

Reno Personal Injury Lawyer FAQ

As you go about your daily life, you will find yourself in many different situations that can result in personal injury because of another party’s action or inaction. Perhaps you’ve been injured because of a motor vehicle accident, a defective product, or you slipped and fell at your local shopping mall. Suffering a severe injury has consequences that can seep into all aspects of your life. Not only must victims cope with the physical pain of injury, but they must also deal with the financial burden that often accompanies a severe injury. In addition to medical bills, if the injured person provided some or all of the household income, families suffer if he or she cannot work.

If you live in the Reno area and have suffered harm because of another party, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Below are some frequently asked questions about personal injury lawyers until you have the chance to schedule a consultation.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

Nevada law states, “Whenever any person shall suffer personal injury by wrongful act, neglect or default of another, the person causing the injury is liable to the person injured for damages; and where the person causing the injury is employed by another person or corporation responsible for the conduct of the person causing the injury, that other person or corporation so responsible is liable to the person injured for damages.”

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal process in which an injured person seeks to recover damages from the liable party through a claim filed in civil court. Those wishing to file a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada have two years from the date of the accident to do so.

How do you prove liability in a personal injury case?

Liability is defined as legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions, and it is the foundation on which a personal injury case is built. To obtain compensation from someone for injuries you sustained in an accident that was caused by their actions, you must show that they were legally liable.

Liability is proven by demonstrating:

  • The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care that was owed depends on the liable party’s role in the accident. For example, in a car accident case, the duty of care that one driver owes to another is to drive their vehicle safely and in accordance with the law.
  • There was a breach in this duty of care. The breach also depends on the accident and refers to the actions that caused the accident to take place. Using the car accident as an example, a breach in the duty of care one driver owes to another could involve distracted driving, speeding, alcohol impairment, or another risky driving practice.
  • This breach resulted in the accident, which caused the claimant to be injured and to suffer expenses and life impacts.

If the person who caused my accident was arrested, do I still have a case?

Yes. An arrest is an action taken in a criminal case, due to an individual breaking a state, municipal, or federal law. The case is investigated and tried by governmental agencies, and — upon conviction — results in criminal penalties such as incarceration and fines. This is a separate case from the civil lawsuit, which is tried by a personal injury attorney on behalf of a client seeking to recover specific damages caused by the defendant’s actions.

Is my settlement or award going to be taxed by the IRS?

According to the IRS, most settlements or awards obtained due to a personal injury to compensate a party for economic expenses such as medical costs, or non-economic expenses such as pain and suffering, are not taxable. In some cases, punitive damages — that is, damages imposed to punish the defendant for particularly reckless behavior — are subject to tax. Check with a certified public accountant before you file your return.

What Kinds of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?

Personal injury cases cover a wide range of accidents and injuries. At Benson & Bingham our practice areas include:

Should I Hire a Lawyer When I Was Injured?

Some accidents and injuries don’t require legal representation, even when they were caused by another party. Yet, if you have had to miss work, an insurance company is denying your claims, or you have suffered a serious injury that requires hospitalization, you should contact an attorney. If you’re in doubt, it’s always best to set up a free consultation. A qualified attorney can evaluate your case, determine your eligibility for compensation, and help you decide which course of action is best for your individual circumstances.

If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident or injury, Nevada law permits you to take legal action against allegedly liable parties depending on your relationship with the deceased. Once again, contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation to determine if you are eligible to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death suit against those who caused your loved one’s death.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Reno Personal Injury Law FirmWhen you have suffered injury because of another party, a personal injury attorney will advocate for you and help you seek justice against those who have caused you harm. Specific things your lawyer might do to build your case and advocate for you include:

  • Review the circumstances of your accident and/or injury to determine your eligibility to seek compensation in Nevada court.
  • Investigate the event that led to your injury and uncover relevant facts to support your case.
  • Collect relevant documents and information to support your case such as medical records, eyewitness statements, cell phone records, and anything else that might benefit you.
  • Assess the value of your injuries and losses based on similar cases and court precedents.
  • Call upon experts to help value your case and determine liability, such as life care planners, accident reconstruction specialists, and others.
  • Guide you through the insurance claims process and handle all communications to protect you from insurance company tricksters who are looking for a way to devalue your claim.
  • Handle all the paperwork to file a personal injury lawsuit when your losses go beyond insurance claims.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and the defense to get the best settlement possible.
  • Fight for you in the courtroom when settlement isn’t an option and litigation is necessary.

How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

The vast majority of personal injury law firms provide free case evaluations for potential clients. This allows you to ask questions and ensure the attorney with whom you speak is a good fit for your case. During your free consultation, the lawyer you meet with will go over the details of your case and determine your eligibility for compensation. If you have a viable lawsuit and you choose our firm to represent you in that suit, you do not have to pay a retainer. Instead, we collect fees from any compensation we secure for you in the form of a settlement or court-awarded damages. The exact amount varies from case to case, but your attorney can give you a better estimate when you have a free consultation.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

Personal injury claims that result in a settlement or verdict in the plaintiff’s favor can vary from 500 dollars to over five million dollars. Your lawyer, often with the help of experts, will value of your claim based on several factors. Some of the most important considerations for the value of your claim include the severity of your injury, the likelihood of a full recovery, your total medical expenses, and the amount of time you missed from work. Injuries that result in permanent disability and/or scars and those that were a result of gross negligence or intentional harm often have a higher value.

How Long Will My Personal Injury Claim Take?

You claim can take anywhere from weeks to years to settle or go to court depending on the circumstances of the event that led to your injury. As a general rule of thumb, cases with only one defendant and cases where liability is clear settle much quicker and often don’t need so much time to litigate. If the circumstances of your injury include multiple parties and shared liability plays a factor, you can expect insurance companies and legal defense teams will not settle easily. These cases often need require more lengthy litigation. Catastrophic injuries that make it difficult for parties to come to an agreement about damages for future medical expenses and lost wages might delay a claim as well.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

Nevada law states, “Whenever any person shall suffer personal injury by wrongful act, neglect or default of another, the person causing the injury is liable to the person injured for damages; and where the person causing the injury is employed by another person or corporation responsible for the conduct of the person causing the injury, that other person or corporation so responsible is liable to the person injured for damages.”

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal process in which an injured person seeks to recover damages from the liable party through a claim filed in civil court. Those wishing to file a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada have two years from the date of the accident to do so.

What type of accident may prompt a personal injury claim?

Nearly any type of accident in which one person causes injuries to another can be the subject of a personal injury claim.

Some common types of accidents that give rise to personal injury lawsuits include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, including accidents that involve cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, buses, taxis, rideshares, scooters, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
  • Hotel and casino injuries and other premises liability accidents, including slips and falls
  • Defective products, including foods, medications, parts for vehicles, appliances, and more
  • Medical malpractice, including birth injuries, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, and inadequate follow-up

How do you prove liability in a personal injury case?

Liability is defined as legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions, and it is the foundation on which a personal injury case is built. To obtain compensation from someone for injuries you sustained in an accident that was caused by their actions, you must show that they were legally liable.

Liability is proven by demonstrating:

  • The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care that was owed depends on the liable party’s role in the accident. For example, in a car accident case, the duty of care that one driver owes to another is to drive their vehicle safely and in accordance with the law.
  • There was a breach in this duty of care. The breach also depends on the accident and refers to the actions that caused the accident to take place. Using the car accident as an example, a breach in the duty of care one driver owes to another could involve distracted driving, speeding, alcohol impairment, or another risky driving practice.
  • This breach resulted in the accident, which caused the claimant to be injured and to suffer expenses and life impacts.

What damages can I recover through a personal injury claim?

The damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages, if you are too injured to work or must miss work to attend injury-related appointments
  • Loss of future earning capacity, if your injuries result in a permanent disability that renders you unable to work or to maintain the same position and same pay as you had before the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Punitive damages, in some cases, which arise from extraordinarily egregious behavior on the part of the defendant.

If the person who caused my accident was arrested, do I still have a case?

Yes. An arrest is an action taken in a criminal case, due to an individual breaking a state, municipal, or federal law. The case is investigated and tried by governmental agencies, and—upon conviction—results in criminal penalties such as incarceration and fines. This is a separate case from the civil lawsuit, which is tried by a personal injury attorney on behalf of a client seeking to recover specific damages caused by the defendant’s actions.

If I file a personal injury lawsuit, will I have to go to court?

As noted by the American Bar Association, very few civil cases go to trial. Most of these cases are settled by mutual agreement between the parties. These agreements can occur at any stage of the case—either before the lawsuit is filed or after. If your lawyer doesn’t feel that an insurance company is offering an adequate settlement, however, he or she may advise you to go to trial to get the compensation you deserve.

Is the IRS going to tax my settlement or award?

Most settlements or awards obtained due to a personal injury to compensate someone for economic expenses such as medical costs, or non-economic expenses such as pain and suffering, are not taxable. In some cases, punitive damages—that is, damages imposed to punish the defendant for particularly reckless behavior—are subject to taxes. You’ll want to consult an accountant.

Do I need a lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit?

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial.

Your attorney can provide you with guidance about the legal process of recovering damages and provide other valuable services, including:

  • Determination of all liable parties and insurance resources in your case
  • Establishment of value to your case, based on the expenses you have incurred and the impacts your injuries have had on your life, as well as anticipated expenses and impacts in the future.
  • Skilled negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance provider in an attempt to obtain a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
  • Collection of evidence and witness depositions necessary to bolster your case.
  • The timely filing of a personal injury lawsuit in the proper jurisdiction.
  • Thoughtful guidance as you decide whether to accept an offered settlement.
  • Representation at all court proceedings, including pre-trial hearings, court, and any appeal proceedings.
  • Collection of your settlement or award.

Contact Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC

If you’ve sustained an injury in Reno in any type of accident, including vehicle, hotel and casino, bus, 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC today at (775) 600-6000 or via our online contact page for a free consultation. We also serve clients in Lake Tahoe, Sparks, and Carson City.

Benson & Bingham (Reno Office)
1320 E Plumb Lane Ste A
Reno, NV 89502
Phone:775-600-6000

Benson and Bingham