A car accident can change your entire life in a moment. One moment, you are driving to work or to pick up your kids from school, and in the next moment, you are trapped inside your contorted car, in pain with severe injuries. Many accident victims require extensive medical care and have to miss work for weeks or months. During this time, they accumulate expenses and are unable to earn money. However, the law is by your side. If your accident was caused by another car driver or truck driver, you need to get in touch with an experienced Las Vegas automobile accident attorney at the Nettles Morris Law Firm.
We have the dedication and experience to help injury victims and their families recover the financial compensation they deserve from the responsible parties. For nearly 20 years, we have been assisting car accident victims file personal injury claims or even take big insurance companies to court and win their personal injury lawsuits. Our attorneys know exactly how plaintiffs and their insurance carriers are trying to get your claim dismissed or to minimize the compensation amount you should get – and we have the evidence and legal arguments to fight them.
Being Partly at Fault Does Not Invalidate Your Claim
One of the tactics that insurance adjusters use in trying to dissuade motor vehicle accident victims from filing a claim is telling them that they do not have a case, because they are partly at fault for the accident. The fact that an accident victim may have somehow contributed to creating the circumstances for the accident to happen is true. No car crash is a cut and dry case, with only one person 100% at fault. Maybe you were eating a sandwich and failed to avoid a speeding driver or a drunk driver.
However, this does not mean that you do not have the right to seek financial compensation for your hospital bills, lost wages, and other economic and non-economic damages. The state of Nevada applies the comparative negligence doctrine to personal injury cases. The Nevada Revised Statutes specify that the plaintiff’s negligence must be “not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.” In other words, you must be less than 50% at fault for the accident, something that a Las Vegas personal injury attorney can prove in court.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Nevada
Insurance companies are always looking for ways to deny car accident claims. And, in some instances, accident victims make several mistakes that are used against them when an attorney starts negotiating their personal injury claim.
In order to maximize your chances of winning a fair compensation amount, here is what you need to do starting with the first moments after the car crash:
1. Call 9-1-1
Your safety comes first. So call 9-1-1, and ask for an ambulance and a law enforcement team to investigate the accident. The accident report they will prepare at the accident scene will be a very useful piece of evidence that will help your lawyer prove how the accident happened and who bears the greater proportion of fault for it. Also, Nevada law requires you to report any traffic accident with injuries and damages over $750.
If the EMT team tells you to go to the hospital, accept the ambulance ride and do all the tests recommended by doctors. Failure to do so may make your injuries worse. Some car accident injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may take hours or days until they show any symptoms. Also, an insurance adjuster may argue that you were not seriously injured if you refused medical care and that you got injured at a later date, in a different incident.
2. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Although you are not obliged by law to report an accident to your insurer, it may be one of the clauses in your liability insurance policy. Thus, you should also call your insurance carrier and report the incident. Otherwise, your insurance company may cancel your policy.
3. Collect Evidence at the Accident Scene
You should not rely only on the police to document every relevant aspect of the accident scene. If your condition allows it and you are not in too much pain, use your mobile phone camera to take photos and videos of:
- Your injuries
- The damage to your car
- The position of both cars after the accident (including the license plate of the other car)
- Any important element that may have caused the accident (potholes, debris on the road, ice sheet on the road, etc.).
At the same time, look around for any eyewitnesses to the car accident and ask for their contact details. Your Las Vegas car accident attorney will interview them and use their testimony to prove your case.
4. Do Not Negotiate with an Insurance Adjuster
An insurance adjuster representing the other driver’s car insurance company will contact you very soon after your accident – possibly, while you are still in the hospital. Their goal is to take advantage of your vulnerable state to convince you to accept a quick settlement. They will also record the conversation and try to make you say something that will later hurt your case – even simple words such as “I’m doing better” can be twisted and interpreted as an admission that you are not really injured.
5. Stay Away from the Social Media
At the present, almost everyone has an account on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And we are prone to share every important event and incident in our lives with our friends. If you are pursuing a personal injury claim after a car accident, you should not post anything about it.
Your social media accounts, your family’s accounts, and your friends’ accounts are most certainly monitored by the insurance company. Any post, photo, or video that may imply that you are doing fine, making a speedy recovery, etc. can and will be used against you during settlement negotiations or in a personal injury lawsuit. This is not against the law, because social media platforms are deemed to be public forums.
6. Hire a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible
Either you or a loved one should contact an experienced car accident attorney to evaluate your case and explain what your legal options are. Once you hire an attorney, they become your authorized representative and can:
- Obtain medical records and police records
- Interview witnesses
- Fill in and submit various legal forms.
At the same time, the attorney will start negotiating your claim with the insurance company. If the insurer is not willing to reach an out-of-court agreement, the personal injury lawyer will instruct you to file a lawsuit. In most cases, insurance adjusters will try to delay the procedures until the statute of limitations of 2 years after the date of the accident runs out. This is usually the case if you try to negotiate your own claim. A skilled attorney will not let this happen and will instruct you to take legal action in due time.
Hire a Las Vegas Personal Injury Firm that Gets Results!
We founded Nettles Morris Law Firm in 2003 with one mission: to help any injured person get justice after suffering economic damages, physical pain, and emotional trauma due to another person’s negligence.
We offer an initial risk-free consultation and we will listen to you carefully and tell you how much your case is worth. We always seek maximum compensation on behalf of our clients and have a proven track record of getting the expected results.
Call us now at 702-410-6329 for a free case review with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney!