Damages can take many forms. When you are injured in a car accident, you are left with a lot of pain, suffering, and mounting hospital bills. Many accident victims suffer severe injuries, requiring hospitalization, surgery, and specialized treatments. In addition to medical care costs, the injured party stops receiving their paycheck while they are recovering. For this reason, they contact a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas to help them file a personal injury claim successfully.
However, in many cases, people are not aware of what type of damages they are entitled to recover. The problem is that you cannot try, see that you were wrong, and then try again. You have only one opportunity to file for compensation against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once you have accepted a settlement, you have no other legal recourse.
On the other hand, if your demands are unrealistic, the claim will be rejected and, if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant will definitely make reference to your high demand in their defense. For this reason, you need to let a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas evaluate your eligible damages and calculate your fair compensation.
How to Know that You Have a Valid Personal Injury Case in Nevada
The state of Nevada applies the modified comparative negligence principle in personal injury matters. This means that the injured party’s own fault in the accident must be “no greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought”.
Thus, provided that you are less than 50% responsible for causing the car crash that resulted in your bodily injury and property damage, you have the legal right to recover damages from the fault party. However, the actual amount you may collect will be reduced from the total value of your losses by the percentage of your fault.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Comparative negligence is not applicable in cases of:
- Intentional tort: assault, battery, attempted murder
- Acting in concert with another person to injure the victim
- Product liability cases (the car accident was caused by a defective vehicle).
In these circumstances, you have the right to collect the full amount of your eligible damages, irrespective of your proportion of fault.
The Main Types of Damages You Can Recover After a Car Accident
Your injury attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada will explain to you that damages are structured in two main categories:
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages.
In their turn, compensatory damages include economic damages and non-economic damages. Let us now discuss each of them in detail.
What Are Compensatory Damages and How Can You Estimate Them?
A car accident attorney in Las Vegas knows that the outcome of a crash is not only physical pain and property damage, but also emotional trauma. Personal injury law also recognizes the mental and emotional impact of this type of event on a person’s life. This is why accident victims can be compensated not only for their financial losses but also for their emotional distress and pain.
Here is a breakdown of the compensatory damages you may include in a personal injury claim in Las Vegas:
The economic damages represent the present and future financial losses caused by the car accident you were involved in. The losses an injury lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada will include in your claim are:
- Ambulance ride costs
- Hospital bills
- Medical care costs
- Property damage (cost to fix or replace your damaged car)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity (if you are left with permanent injury preventing you from working)
- Physical therapy, rehabilitation, and counseling costs
- Costs with nursing care or assistance with activities of daily living
- Costs with assistive devices (wheelchair, walking frame)
- Modifications to the home to accommodate assistive devices.
In order to make an exact and precise evaluation, the lawyer will wait until the doctors pronounce that you reached the point of maximum medical improvement – the moment beyond which no further improvement of your condition is expected.
Non-economic damages are not easy to estimate. You have to put a dollar value on your physical pain, on the scars disfiguring you, and the recurring nightmares you suffer from. It is never easy to make this estimation, but an experienced car accident lawyer in Las Vegas can do it.
The problem is that, although there are no caps or limits on non-economic restitution in Nevada (with the exception of medical malpractice cases), the amount must be perceived as reasonable by an insurance adjuster or a jury (if your case turns into a personal injury lawsuit).
What Are Punitive Damages and When Are You Eligible to Receive Them?
Punitive damages are also called exemplary damages. They may be awarded by a jury at the end of a personal injury lawsuit. As your injury lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada will explain to you, these payments are not a form of compensation for you, but a form of punishment for the at-fault party.
Punitive damages are granted in circumstances when it is found that the responsible party acted with “oppression, fraud, or malice” in causing your injuries. The value of the punitive damages is determined as follows:
- Three times the value of compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages) if their amount is $100,000 or more;
- $300,000 if the value of compensatory damages is less than $100,000.
There is an exception to this cap. If your car accident was caused by a defective product (brakes, tires, etc.) and you are suing the producer or distributor of this product, the jury is free to determine whatever amount for the punitive damages they consider fair.
Our Car Accident Law Firm in Las Vegas Can Maximize Your Actual Settlement
Although you may be aware of your rights as the injured party in a traffic accident, it does not mean that it is easy to win the full compensation you deserve. The fault party’s insurance company will send an experienced insurance adjuster to discuss with you. They may appear friendly and helpful at first, but their ultimate goal is to reduce your settlement amount as much as possible or to find grounds to dismiss your claim.
An experienced car accident attorney at Nettles Morris will use their own experience and knowledge of the law to counteract the adjuster’s argument and persuade them that, should they refuse an amicable settlement, they would lose the case in court.
Bring your case to us and we will ensure that you get the maximum settlement you are entitled to receive. Call us at 702-410-6329!