Any accident resulting in physical injury and property damage caused by another person’s negligence represents a personal injury case. It may be a car accident, a workplace accident, a dog bite, or a slip and fall in a supermarket.
Nevada law is clear on the matter: a negligent person must compensate their victim for their economic damages, as well as for the emotional distress, pain and suffering the accident caused (non-economic damages). And it is understandable that one of the first questions a potential client asks personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada is: “how much will I receive for my damages?”
In this article, we will explain what exactly you are eligible to include in a personal injury claim, as well as the factors which will determine the actual compensation amount you will receive. However, the best way of knowing a fair and realistic value of your settlement, you need to share all the relevant information and evidence related to your accident with an experienced car accident lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada.
How Do Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada Estimate Compensation?
Experienced attorneys rely on similar cases that they have already handled, as well as Nevada law concerning compensation in personal injury cases. Car accidents usually result in significant economic damages, because the victim needs extensive medical care to recover, their car is in many cases totaled and they are no longer collecting wages during the period of hospitalization and rehabilitation.
All of these types of losses can be recovered from the liable party, either by negotiating your personal injury settlement amount or by winning a personal injury lawsuit. Thus, a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada will calculate the amount for the following types of damages:
1. Economic Damages
Economic damages represent current and future financial losses, costs and expenses that you incur as a result of the accident. The most frequent types of economic damages recoverable through a personal injury claim are:
- Cost of the ambulance ride to the hospital
- Cost to have your damaged car towed away
- Hospital bills
- Medical treatments and prescription medication
- Cost to repair or replace your car
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings (if you are left with a disability that prevents you from working).
Accident victims who are left with a permanent injury or impairment may also recover costs with assistive devices, nursing care, and rehabilitation.
2. Non-Economic Damages
There is no fair and accurate way of putting a dollar value on the physical pain, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life a person suffers after a car accident. It is even worse when you are left with a disability that drastically reduces your quality of life.
However, an experienced and compassionate car accident lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada will estimate a monetary value that the negligent driver should pay you as a form of compensation.
Factors that Determine the Actual Value of Your Compensation Amount
As we explained earlier in this article, certain factors influence the final settlement amount or the jury award that you will collect.
These factors are:
1. Caps on Damages
All US states impose caps (maximum limits) on the damages a party may collect in a personal injury case. Fortunately, Nevada only places caps on damages in two specific situations.
First, there is a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases – the maximum value is $350,000.
Secondly, there is a cap on punitive damages (or exemplary damages) which a jury may award at the end of a personal injury lawsuit. The maximum value of punitive damages can be:
- Three times the amount of economic and non-economic damages, if their value is $100,000 or more;
- $300,000 if the value of economic and non-economic damages, if their value is up to $100,000.
The exception to this rule is a case where a defective product caused the victim’s injuries. In this case, there is no cap on punitive damages. Thus, if the ultimate cause of your car accident is found to be a manufacturing defect in a car part, the jury may decide to award you any amount of punitive damages they consider fit.
2. The Effect of the Comparative Fault Doctrine in Nevada
Personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada know that in many cases, the accident victim may have been slightly negligent, and thus contributed to the accident. However, as long as your proportion of fault is no greater than 50%, you are entitled to recover damages from the other party (or parties).
The jury will be instructed to calculate the percentage of fault for all the participants in the car crash. In the end, if the plaintiff (the person who sues) is found less than 50% at fault, the value of their claim shall be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Thus, if the value of your damages is estimated at $100,000 but you are found to be 25% at fault, you will be entitled to recover $75,000.
3. The Other Driver’s Insurance Coverage
Damages in car accidents are paid by insurance companies out of the third-party liability coverage amount. In the state of Nevada, the minimum insurance coverage a driver must carry is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $50,000 for property damage
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for uninsured motorist coverage.
Thus, if the liable party was driving without having a valid insurance policy, your own uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your economic damages (there is no recovery for non-economic damages in this case).
In some cases, your damages may exceed the other driver’s insurance coverage. In this case, your car accident lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada will evaluate the case and advise you whether it is worthwhile suing the driver for the difference.
Rely on the Experience of a Top Rated Personal Injury Law Firm
Nettles Morris was founded by a team of attorneys with a combined experience of 30 years. Our motivation is to help all accident victims file personal injury claims successfully and recover their financial losses from the negligent party.
We believe that justice must prevail at all costs and we spare no efforts in fighting on our clients’ behalf. We also do not charge any upfront fees; instead, we retain our fees out of the compensatory amount we win for you.
Let us fight for your rights – schedule a free case review with our personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada by calling 702-410-6329!