Insurance Claims: When to Settle and When to Sue

las vegas insurance claims

In the experience of any Las Vegas injury attorney, most insurance claims are settled out of court. Indeed, around 95% of all civil cases nationwide do not reach the trial phase. The parties reach an out of court settlement, which has the benefit of limiting the time and money spent on legal procedures. Yet, this does not mean that the liable party – an insurance company in most cases – is always ready to settle.

In fact, many insurers who are faced with paying damages will try to call your bluff. They will try to delay making a decision or will offer you lowball settlement amounts, because they believe you won’t file a lawsuit. Going to court is a lot of hassle and someone who is already recovering from various injuries won’t trouble themselves with this legal procedure. In fact, with the assistance of experienced personal injury lawyers in Nevada at the Nettles Morris law firm, an accident victim can and should pursue justice in court and win their fair compensation. The question is – when is it the case to file a personal injury lawsuit?

Experienced Lawyers in Las Vegas Know Which Cases Are Likely to End Up in Court

Any Las Vegas injury attorney at our law firm has one firm goal in sight: to help the injured party recover all their economic damages and also non-economic damages to compensate them for their pain and suffering. We know that many personal injury victims are left with life changing injuries, requiring them:

  • Train for a new job
  • File for disability aid
  • Use assistive devices
  • Hire life care service providers.

All these translate into costs of care and reduced earning capacity – in other words, financial burdens for the injured person and their family. Insurance companies will always try to downplay the effect of permanent injuries on your life – and your family budget. In others, the maximum coverage available is not enough to compensate you.

Thus, personal injury lawyers in Nevada will sometimes advise their clients to file a lawsuit. These are some of the circumstances when this is likely to happen:

1. You Suffered Severe, Life Changing Injuries

As we stated above, some accidents result in catastrophic injuries which will negatively impact the victim for the rest of their lives. A Las Vegas injury attorney knows that traumatic brain injury, spine injuries and loss of limb will require the victim to change their lifestyle, depend on others for assistance with activities of daily living and even be unable to perform any kind of work.

In these cases, the current and future economic damages included in the insurance claim are very high. Not surprisingly, insurance adjusters will refuse to accept this amount and look for ways to devalue the claim. Once they realize that no amiable settlement can be reached, an experienced attorney will advise you to take the case to court. There is always the risk of running out of time and exceeding the statute of limitations with fruitless negotiations.

2. The Ability to Take the Emotional Toll of a Trial

Nevada personal injury lawyers are good at reading people. They will realize if you are in a frail emotional state and may not be able to cope with the idea of taking the stand and telling what happened to you. Even with careful preparation, some accident victims are unable to persuade a jury of their plight.

The opposing counsel will definitely exploit this vulnerability, trying to ruin the plaintiff’s credibility. Thus, the attorney will consider whether settling is favorable to taking the risk of filing a lawsuit. However, in many cases, insurance companies will agree to settle when faced with the perspective of litigation.

3. The Available Coverage Is Not Sufficient

This is a frequent issue in car accidents where the liable party carries only the minimum coverage amount required by law. In many cases, this amount is not sufficient to cover your economic damages. If you were injured in a car crash with an underinsured driver, your injury attorney in Las Vegas may recommend you to sue the negligent driver for the remaining amount.

However, it is possible to be unable to collect the award amount. Experienced personal injury lawyers in Nevada know that uninsured or underinsured drivers usually do not afford to purchase more coverage. They do not own valuable assets and work on the minimum wage, so it would be very difficult to pursue them and collect your compensatory amount.

4. The Length of a Trial

Sometimes, courts are very crowded and there is a long waiting list of cases to be heard. A skilled Las Vegas injury attorney knows about these issues and will take this into account when preparing your case and negotiating with the insurance company. Some clients are willing to wait for months until their case is heard. Others desperately need financial relief.

 

Thus, the lawyer will strive to win the highest possible settlement amount, even if they believe that the client could have recovered more in court.

5. The Possibility of Claiming Punitive Damages

Most personal injury incidents are the result of a person’s simple negligence. However, in some cases, the liable party acted with recklessness, malice, fraud and gross negligence in causing the victim’s injuries and economic damages. In this case, the law in Nevada allows the victim to seek punitive or exemplary damages.

However, this type of damages cannot be included in an insurance claim. Only a jury can decide whether you are entitled to receive punitive damages. This is actually not a form of compensation, but a supplementary punishment for the defendant. Since this type of compensation is substantial – $300,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages if these damages are less than $100,000 – your lawyer may recommend you to file a lawsuit.

6. The Possibility to Join a Class Lawsuit

Class lawsuits are filed by one plaintiff on behalf of several others. They usually involve cases of personal injury provoked by defective products (including drugs and medical devices).

A class lawsuit will give you better chances to win the maximum compensatory amount you are entitled to. Your Las Vegas injury attorney will identify any class lawsuits you are eligible to join and give you all the explanations and legal assistance you need during this process.

Settle or Litigate? Let an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm Decide!

We founded the Nettles Morris law firm with the goal of helping personal injury victims succeed in obtaining the financial compensation they deserve for their economic losses, pain and suffering. We have over 30 years of combined experience working for insurance companies, so we know when we can win a settlement and when to advise our clients to file a lawsuit.

Please remember that you only have 2 (two) years from the date of the accident – the statute of limitations – to take your case to court, so schedule an initial consultation with us as soon as possible: 702-410-6239!

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