Cars and trucks are the primary mode of transportation for most people in the United States, and residents of Nevada are no different. But along with the convenience of driving comes the inherent risk of getting into an auto accident. It’s important, for the protection of yourself and your loved ones, to be sure that you are protected both before and after an accident. Expenses of property damage and personal injury caused by the accident can get extremely expensive very quickly.
Nevada Auto Accident Statistics
The fatality rate for auto accidents nationwide is 10.7 per 100,000 residents while Nevada fatality rate is 9.5. The accident rate per 100 million vehicle miles has dropped substantially in the past few years. Even so, there were still 51,664 crashes in 2010 in Nevada. A total of 32,754 of them caused damage to property and 18,675 caused at least one injury.
Accidents are also extremely unpredictable for the victims. About 9% of crashes involved distracted driving while 33% involved alcohol. While being an attentive, non-aggressive driver will do a lot to keep you safe, you may still get into an auto accident that is not your fault. This is where the knowledge of what to do next is helpful in order to protect yourself.
Protecting Yourself from Personal Injury Expenses
States’ laws differ in many important ways when it comes to accidents. Nevada is a contributory negligence state. All of the fault can be attributed to a single driver or partial fault can be given to both/all drivers involved in an accident. For example, if you are not at fault for the accident and two other vehicles caused the collision, you can recover 100% of your damages from either or both at-fault parties. However, if you are at fault for the collision, and you are more than fifty-one (51%) at fault, then you are limited in your recovery and cannot recover from the lesser negligent drivers.
An important first line of protection from the expenses related to an auto accident is getting properly insured. In Nevada, the minimum insurance coverage is $15,000 for a single person in a single accident, $30,000 for multiple people in a single accident, and $10,000 for injury or destruction of property of others in an accident. This coverage is rarely enough if the event of serious injuries.
It is recommended you seek attorney representation to assist you with your automobile collision, especially if there are serious injuries. However, if you are handling the case on your own and you feel unhappy with the compensation you receive from your insurance or another driver’s insurance, you can take some steps to resolve the issue. You can try to speak to your adjuster’s supervisor and see if that resolves the low settlement offer. If the supervisor fails to give you a better offer, speak with the claims manager. Make sure that you document all of your communications and remain calm whenever speaking with them. This will help you get better service, or at the very least have more leverage if you are unable to receive a better settlement.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Unfortunately, you many still feel like you didn’t get the compensation you deserve. This could occur for a variety of reasons, including if the other person refused to take as much fault as he or she deserved, the insurance companies are giving you a hard time, or the person who caused your accident is uninsured. If this happens, there is a second recourse; you can file a personal injury lawsuit and bring the matter to court. Since there are numerous requirements and rules to follow when filing a lawsuit, it is best to have an attorney represent you. This is another reason why having an attorney from the beginning of the claim is best.
Nonetheless, if you are handling the matter on your own, make sure you promptly file for the lawsuit, as the statute of limitations for a personal injury as a result of an auto collision in Nevada is generally two years. As mentioned earlier, fault can be given to one side in full, or fault could be divided by the modified comparative fault rule. Under this rule, you can still be awarded money even if you are found by a jury to be partially at fault, as long as your fault is 50% or less. For example, if your total damages resulted in $20,000 dollars and you were found to be 10% at fault, you would be awarded 90%, or $18,000. Again, this assumes that you are less than 51% at fault.
The point is that you have options. You don’t have to just settle for what the insurance companies give you. Do not let them push you into settling for a lesser amount than you deserve. Call us today at 702-474-0404 for a consultation.