Each day hundreds of thousands of motorists take to the road—often without giving the matter a second thought. Most drivers operate under the assumption of safety and believe cautious driving is enough to prevent a collision. Unfortunately, this belief is only partially true, and motor vehicle collisions are far more common than drivers would like to believe.
The actions of another driver can override your safe driving and upend your life in mere minutes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spotlights exactly how common car accidents in the United States are with a few alarming statistics:
- Approximately 3 million people are injured in car accidents every year.
- The cost of medical care and productivity losses tied to car accident injuries and fatalities exceeded $75 billion in 2019.
- There are over 100 car accident fatalities a year in the U.S.
Bernstein & Poisson has been working to protect car accident victims since 1997. Call (702) 633-3333 for a free consultation with a member of our team. We will review your case, advise you on how to proceed, and connect you with a car accident attorney who will fight to protect you and your family.
What Lawyer Deals with Car Accidents?
For many, a car accident is the first time they have had to navigate legal terrain. First-time car accident victims tend to be under the mistaken belief that the process unfolds in a straightforward manner. They believe they will file a claim with the other driver’s insurance provider, the claim will be reviewed quickly, and they will receive the compensation they need to cover their expenses.
This ideal scenario is rarely the case.
Insurance companies are highly motivated to act quickly to settle a case in a manner that is favorable to their client. As a result, insurance adjusters often descend on victims almost immediately after a wreck. It is at this point when overwhelmed victims start to recognize that legal counsel may be beneficial.
Many drivers aren’t clear on what type of lawyer deals with car accidents and are unsure where to turn for help.
Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured as a direct result of your accident, a personal injury lawyer will consult with medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and your doctor to paint a clear picture of how the other driver’s actions resulted in injuries that have created undue hardship for you and your family. The scope of your injuries matters less than the fact that they could have been prevented, and a personal injury lawyer will fight to ensure you are fairly compensated.
Wrongful Death Lawyers
In the aftermath of a fatal accident, entire families can find themselves struggling to keep afloat emotionally while fielding calls from aggressive insurance adjusters looking to capitalize on emotional exhaustion to convince you to accept a low settlement offer. A wrongful death lawyer understands that compensation is not about alleviating emotional devastation; it is about financial peace of mind while you grieve your loss and rebuild your family. A wrongful death lawyer will fight to protect your loved one’s right to a proper burial and your family’s right to financial security.
Property Damage Lawyers
Vehicular damage is almost a given in car accidents. It’s rare for two or more cars to collide without causing significant damage. Contacting a property damage lawyer will ensure you have an expert on your side. Your attorney will catalog and quantify damages, handle all negotiations, and bring your case before a judge if a fair settlement cannot be reached out of court.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
Once you have identified the need for a car accident lawyer, you may wonder exactly what a car accident lawyer does. In the most general terms, a car accident lawyer handles every aspect of your car accident claim. From contacting insurance providers to beginning the claims process to compiling evidence and building a compelling case to litigating in court, a car accident lawyer acts as your voice from start to finish.
Insurance providers have teams of legal experts on hand to fight to keep settlement sums minimal. You deserve to come to the table with the same legal force behind you. A car accident lawyer will keep your needs and rights front of mind and intervene any time these are infringed upon.
Car Accident Lawyers Handle Your Case from Beginning to End
- Communicating with Insurers: Insurance adjusters are known for being aggressive in their attempts to settle quickly. A car accident lawyer with state-specific experience will be familiar with the strategies insurance companies use, well-versed in negotiating a fair settlement, and comfortable bringing a case to trial if need be.
- Gathering Evidence: Collecting enough evidence to paint a clear picture of how the accident happened and how the other driver was at fault is critical to securing a favorable outcome. A car accident lawyer will utilize video footage, photographic evidence, accident reports, medical records, and more to build your case.
- Negotiating for Full Compensation: If the other driver’s insurance company proposes an unfairly low settlement—or denies the claim entirely—a car accident lawyer will fight for a settlement that adequately covers your expenses and addresses the pain and suffering you are experiencing.
- Bringing Your Case to Court: If the other driver’s insurance company is unwilling to agree to a fair settlement or attempts to deny their client’s liability, you have the right to bring your case in front of a judge. A car accident lawyer will compile evidence, collect testimonies from medical and accident reconstruction experts, and litigate on your behalf.
The aftermath of a car accident is the time to remove things from your plate, not add things. You have suffered enough already. Allow a Las Vegas car accident lawyer at Bernstein & Poisson to handle the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on what really matters—your health, your recovery, and your family.
Is It Worth Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer?
The decision about whether to hire a car accident lawyer is rarely unclear in catastrophic collisions with life-altering injuries and fatalities. Victims of minor accidents, however, are often tempted to avoid the costs associated with hiring an attorney. While the urge is understandable, it is rarely advisable.
Acting Alone Risks an Unfair Settlement
Insurance companies have large teams of lawyers at their disposal. Their client’s financial interests are their bottom line. Their legal teams will fight to avoid paying more than they have to. Hiring an attorney can help you calculate your losses accurately so you pursue fair compensation.
Mistakes Are Easy to Make But Hard to Undo
No one can be expected to think clearly in the aftermath of a traumatic collision. Unfortunately, it is during this chaotic period when victims are asked to make decisions that can have lasting consequences. When working on your own, you may fail to meet the statute of limitations when filing a personal injury lawsuit, for example.
Some mistakes include:
- Apologizing to the other driver or accepting fault prematurely
- Talking to the other driver’s insurance providers without an attorney
- Rushing into accepting settlements without a full understanding of what fair compensation would look like in your case
- Forgoing the pursuit of compensation because your injuries appear minor
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, the actions you take immediately after an accident can have a significant impact on the settlement you receive. Hiring an attorney acts as a safeguard against doing anything that could work against you.
The More Serious the Injuries, the More Negotiation Your Claim May Require
Serious injuries frequently necessitate extensive hospital stays, surgical procedures, and long-lasting rehabilitation services. Insurers looking to keep payouts minimal can be hesitant to readily agree to full compensation, and drawn-out negotiations can ensue.
If you have been in a catastrophic accident, a car accident attorney will work with your doctors, medical experts, and accident reconstruction specialists to prove your injuries were the result of the other driver’s actions, highlight the critical nature of the recommended medical services, and fight for full compensation.
Claims Rarely Proceed as Seamlessly as People Think
In some instances, claims can proceed without complication. These cases are instances where the fault is clearly established, the other driver accepts full responsibility, and their insurer readily accepts the responsibility for covering all related expenses.
Unfortunately for victims, these cases are the exception rather than the rule. Establishing liability typically requires extensive investigation and can implicate a number of parties, depending on the circumstances.
Possible At-Fault Parties Can Include:
- The Other Driver: Drivers can be held responsible if your injuries are the result of negligence. That includes driving under the influence, drowsy driving, distracted driving, recklessness, and more.
- The Town or Municipality: If road conditions, overgrown foliage, or malfunctioning traffic lights caused your accident, the town or municipality can be found to be liable.
- The Car or Car Part Manufacturer: In cases where a defective car part or dangerous car design caused a collision, the manufacturer or dealership can be found liable.
An attorney who handles car accident claims in your state will insist on a comprehensive investigation, turn over every stone to pinpoint the cause of your accident, and fight for a fair outcome for you and your family, even if it means bringing your case before a judge.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
For those lucky enough to walk away from a car accident with minimal injuries, it can be tempting to count your blessings and do whatever it takes to put the stress of the whole ordeal behind you as quickly as possible. Many imagine filing a claim will be straightforward, compensation will be quickly awarded, and an attorney is unnecessary.
Regardless of the degree to which you are injured, the other driver deserves to be held accountable for their actions. This involves proving fault, accurately assessing damages and injuries, cataloging the expenses you’ve accrued, and negotiating a fair settlement. Victims who opt to forgo legal representation are, by default, turning the fate of their case over to the other driver’s insurer.
A Las Vegas car accident attorney will familiarize themselves with the specifics of your case, review your financial needs, and act with your well-being as their bottom line.
Critical Decisions Are Made in the Days Following an Accident
What you do immediately after a collision can heavily influence the settlement you receive. There are a few steps every accident victim should take to protect themselves.
Important Steps to Take After an Accident:
- Exchange Information: You will need the other driver’s license and insurance information in order to proceed with a claim. Contact the driver to exchange information but take care not to apologize for the accident or admit to any degree of fault. These admissions can be made in haste and could be used against you later in the claims process.
- See a Doctor: Your body is hardwired to initiate a flight or fight response after trauma. This response floods the system with adrenaline that numbs the body to pain. All too often, debilitating pain surfaces days or weeks later. Insurers understand this and act fast to ensure settlement sums are agreed upon before injuries surface. Seeing a doctor immediately after an accident prevents you from agreeing to a settlement that will not adequately cover the cost of future treatment.
- Consult an Attorney: A lawyer with state-specific experience will ensure you meet the legal deadlines for your claim’s paperwork, gather expert testimony and evidence to prove your right to compensation, and negotiate or litigate on your behalf.
Insurance companies do not hesitate to bring legal force to the table. Neither should you. Demonstrate your readiness to fight for fair compensation by partnering with Bernstein & Poisson.
Our legal team has been fighting for the rights of car accident victims since 1997, and we are ready to fight for you.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Victims are often astounded by how quickly expenses start to add up after a car accident. From medical expenses to car repair costs, the financial consequences of a collision can leave victims overwhelmed, panicked, and desperate for financial relief.
In many instances, the at-fault driver’s insurer proposes a settlement offer quickly. Without prior experience with the claims process, victims have no way of determining the fairness of the proposed sum and often look for benchmarks upon which they can compare the proposed settlement sum.
While car accident settlement averages do exist, they are not meant to provide more than a rough blueprint for what might be possible and offer no concrete formulas for evaluating specific settlement offers. Every car accident claim is unique, and a car accident lawyer can assess the details of your specific case, compare the case against similar claims, and offer a realistic estimation of what you can expect as a settlement sum.
The Scope of Your Damages Directly Impacts Settlement Determinations
Under Las Vegas law, at-fault drivers are legally responsible for compensating victims for medical expenses, future loss of earning capacity, past and future pain and suffering, mental anguish, and property damage. The expenses associated with minor accidents are naturally less extensive than those of catastrophic accidents. Therefore, the settlement sums awarded in these claims are also often less.
On the other hand, catastrophic accidents almost invariably result in devastating injuries that can be life-altering and exorbitantly expensive. Damage to victim’s vehicles is often irreparable and necessitates vehicle replacement. Emotional devastation can require years of counseling to work through.
The combined expenses can be astronomical, and payout settlements should reflect this. A car accident lawyer will catalog all economic and non-economic damages to generate a baseline for your compensation claim.
The Impact Car Accident Attorneys Have on an Outcome Is Undeniable
Assuming the existence of a prescribed formula for settlement determinations makes sense. In reality, each case is a highly subjective process that is largely dependent on how skillfully the claim is negotiated.
Insurance adjusters rarely simply deny claims. More frequently, an unfairly low settlement is proposed, and victims have a choice between negotiating directly with the insurer or bringing the case before a judge. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Negotiating with insurers generally results in a faster resolution of the claim and can cost less than litigation. It also leaves victims vulnerable to unfairly low settlement resolutions. Litigation, on the other hand, is more expensive upfront but can result in settlement sums that are robust enough to offset the cost of legal fees.
What Damages Can I Collect for a Car Accident?
It is not uncommon for car accident victims to be unfamiliar with state-specific legal statutes. Victims are often overwhelmed and unclear about what their rights are and exactly which expenses can be claimed.
Generally speaking, car accident victims are entitled to compensation that covers any expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident. A lawyer familiar with the specifics of your case will explain your legal rights, review the evidence, and develop a legal strategy designed to secure the most favorable outcome possible.
The most obvious expense after a car accident is medical care. Almost any accident necessitates some degree of treatment, and the costs of even minor emergency room procedures can quickly add up.
Depending on the specifics of your case, compensation for medical expenses can include:
- Emergency room visits and hospital stays
- Doctor visits and specialist consultations
- Medication expenses
- Surgical procedures and rehabilitation services
- Transportation to and from appointments
You deserve the ability to focus your physical strength on your recovery. The attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson will fight tirelessly for a settlement that allows you to do exactly that.
Pain and Suffering and Mental Anguish
Car accident claims consist of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include tangible expenses like doctor visits, property damages, lost income, and more. Non-economic damages include past and future pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Labeling car accidents as traumatic is an understatement, at best. For victims who are lucky enough to survive, the emotional injuries can be just as devastating as the physical ones. These injuries can include post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic anxiety, clinical depression, and more.
A lawyer will fight for compensation that covers counseling services, psychiatric medication, an inability to work, and any additional services required to facilitate your emotional recovery.
Diminished Earning Capacity
The loss of the ability to return to work in the capacity as prior to an accident often serves to add insult to injury for victims struggling to stay on top of expenses that are quickly adding up.
A lawyer will explain the other party’s legal obligations, guide you in securing the required proof of lost income or loss of future earning capacity, and fight for your right to a fair settlement. If you are able to return to work but have missed out on opportunities for career advancement, a lawyer will understand what is needed to prove your case and compel insurers to properly compensate you for your losses.
Las Vegas state law protects victims’ rights to hold at-fault drivers responsible for full compensation of both economic and non-economic damages. A car accident lawyer will work to craft a strategy that aims at securing a fair settlement sum.
Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Car Accident?
Victims looking to secure the most comprehensive settlement sum possible often wonder if negotiating with insurance companies is the most effective strategy. For many victims, bringing a lawsuit against the other driver feels like a more aggressive strategy that increases the chances of a fair outcome.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, there is no question about your legal rights. Bringing a lawsuit against any driver whose negligent or reckless actions caused harm is fully within your legal rights. A car accident attorney will be able to advise you on whether bringing a lawsuit against another driver is in your best interest.
Determining the Best Course of Action Starts with Asking the Right Questions
There are a number of reasons why negotiating with insurers is most victims’ first step. Insurance companies are well-versed in what they do. They understand legal statutes, have walked hundreds of clients through the claims process, and have a vested interest in settling a claim quickly. In many ways, working directly with an insurance provider appears to make logical sense.
Doing so without asking the right questions first, however, can backfire.
Questions to Ask Before Suing Another Driver:
- Does the Proposed Settlement Cover My Expenses: Nevada state law requires at-fault drivers to compensate victims for any related expenses. If the settlement proposed by the at-fault party’s insurer fails to adequately cover your expenses, bringing a lawsuit against the other driver may be the best route to securing the compensation you need and deserve.
- Does Enough Evidence Exist to Create a Compelling Case: The outcome of bringing a case in front of a judge depends heavily on the amount of evidence you and your attorney are able to compile. If an investigation clearly establishes the other driver as the at-fault party, the chances of a fair outcome increase dramatically, and the settlement sum you are awarded by a judge may be higher than outcomes proposed by insurers.
- Has Fault Been Established: According to the Nevada Revised Code (NRS §41:141), the degree to which a driver is responsible for compensating an accident victim is directly proportional to the degree to which their actions caused the collision. If the other driver’s actions clearly caused your collision – and evidence exists to support this claim – suing the other driver can result in more favorable outcomes than negotiating out of court.
- Is the Insurance Company Willing to Negotiate: In some instances, insurance companies propose settlements and are unwilling to negotiate. In these cases, suing the driver is your legal recourse and serves to prevent you from feeling forced to accept an offer that doesn’t cover your expenses.
Victims looking to bring a lawsuit against another driver can call (702) 633-3333 to speak with a member of the Bernstein & Poisson team. The initial consultation is free, and our team will review the details of your case, assess available evidence, and counsel you on how to proceed.
Will My Car Accident Lawyer Deal with the Insurance Companies for Me?
Las Vegas car accident lawyers understand how overwhelming communicating with insurers can be and work to alleviate this stress by dealing with insurance companies. An attorney will file your claim, handle negotiations, oversee investigations, and litigate on your behalf if necessary. Most importantly, a car accident attorney will ensure you’re given the space you need to focus on healing and recovery.
An Attorney Acts as Your Voice from Start to Finish
Protecting your legal rights can be more complicated than you may think. Hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your claim is backed by experience.
The details of the claims process can vary from case to case, but, in general, an attorney will take ownership of three aspects of the process. These include:
- Starting the Claims Process and Handling all Communication: An attorney will likely advise you to avoid speaking with the at-fault driver’s insurance company entirely. Instead, your attorney will file a claim, start a dialogue, and handle communication until the claim is resolved.
- Establishing Cause and Liability: Your case revolves around establishing fault. An attorney will initiate and oversee a thorough investigation, compile evidence, and present their findings to the other party’s insurer. This evidence can include videos, photos, eyewitness accounts, and more.
- Negotiate a Fair Settlement: Once the scope of damages has been established, an attorney will present their claim to the other party’s insurance provider. From there, negotiations will begin. If both parties are able to come to an agreement without bringing the case to court, a resolution is reached, and compensation will be awarded. If not, your lawyer will bring the case before a judge to litigate for what you deserve.
For many car accident victims, dealing with insurance companies means dealing with a world of stress and frustration. Thankfully, there is no need. Car accident attorneys successfully negotiate with insurance providers every day. Focus on your recovery and turn the rest over to an expert.
How Long Does a Car Accident Claim Take to Settle?
The first questions victims have about the claims process almost always centers around how long the process will take. Facing weeks or months out of work while trying to stay on top of mounting bills and a full schedule of doctor visits is enough to overwhelm anyone. Financial compensation is desperately needed in many cases.
The length of the claims process can range from a couple of weeks to a few years and is determined largely by a number of factors.
Factors that Impact the Duration of the Claims Process
In a perfect world, a claim would involve an admission of guilt and an immediate willingness to compensate you for your losses. Since that is the exception rather than the rule, claims can draw out over a period of time depending on a few factors.
The severity of your injuries and property damages has a direct impact on how long the claims process will take. The more extensive the injuries, the less likely insurers are to quickly agree to a settlement sum that fairly compensates you for all your expenses. In these instances, a lawyer will open an investigation and present evidence to the other party’s insurance provider.
If a resolution is still elusive, the case may need to be litigated in court – which delays resolution. The faster you and your attorney are able to prove fault, the faster the claims process will proceed. If evidence clearly implicates the other party as being at-fault, it becomes a matter of quantifying your losses and filing a claim.
If proving fault is more challenging, further investigations can take weeks or months to complete. This will, inevitably, result in your case taking longer to resolve. Finally, the degree to which the other party’s insurance provider is willing to negotiate can mean the difference between a claims process that takes a few weeks and one that takes a few years.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney May Expedite the Process
Car accident lawyers understand that your goal is to resolve your case as quickly as possible and will work tirelessly to expedite the process. Whether negotiation is conducted in or out of court, a lawyer’s expertise prevents victims from stumbling over roadblocks, getting bogged down or derailed by common mistakes, and settling for an unfairly low settlement sum.
Do You Have to Go to Court for a Car Accident?
Not necessarily. In fact, most car accident cases are settled before they reach trial, per the American Bar Association (ABA). This is because car accident claimants tend to reach settlement agreements with the liable insurers without needing to file a lawsuit.
However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to discussing car accident cases. Certain details of your situation may make a lawsuit necessary to recover compensation. For instance, you may be interested in filing a car accident lawsuit if:
- The insurance company refuses to extend a fair settlement offer.
- The insurance company refuses to accept liability for your damages.
- The at-fault party denies that they primarily caused the accident.
- The insurance company employs “bad faith” insurance practices to derail the progression of your personal injury claim.
Statute of Limitations
Keep in mind that Nevada’s statute of limitations only gives you two years from the date of the accident to file a car accident lawsuit, per NRS §11.190(4)(e). If you fail to file your case within the parameters set by this deadline, you could jeopardize your right to pursue compensation.
What Happens if the At-Fault Party Does Not Have Car Insurance?
If the at-fault party does not have car insurance, then you basically have two options. The first option is that you may have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance plan. Through this coverage, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses if the other party did not have insurance.
All insurers are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, but you are not required to purchase it. This is explained in more detail under NRS §687B.145. If you do not have this coverage, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Your lawyer can share more information about this when you contact Bernstein & Poisson. If the at-fault party does not have the funds to reimburse you for your accident-related expenses, you may be able to secure compensation from them via other avenues. This could include payment plans over a prolonged period.
They may need to liquidate their assets to pay you back. Either way, if the at-fault party does not have insurance coverage, you have financial recovery options.
Who Can Be Sued in a Car Accident Case?
Who can be sued in a car accident case will largely depend on how your accident happened and who was involved. As noted, most car accident cases do not go to court. However, you may be able to hold the following parties financially accountable for your losses through a lawsuit:
- The other driver. If the other driver failed to uphold their duty of care, causing your accident, you could sue them. The basis of your lawsuit will be centered on the idea that because the other party did not drive their vehicle with care, you were injured.
- The other driver’s employer. If you were struck by a commercial vehicle, you could hold the at-fault driver’s employer responsible for your damages. You could argue that because the driver’s employer hired them, you were injured in an accident caused by their negligence.
- A government municipality. If you were injured in a car accident caused by hazardous roadway conditions, you could hold the overseeing government agency responsible. Some hazards that could make a roadway unsafe include potholes, unevenly paved roads, and debris in the street.
You may be able to sue other parties than those listed here.
What Should I Do in the Days Following a Car Accident?
In the days following a car accident, you should consider taking the following steps to promote your chances of securing compensation:
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel as though you were injured in the accident, you should still see a doctor. Some impairments, like whiplash and spinal cord damage, take several days to present symptoms. When visiting your doctor, be sure to hold onto all documents that they give you.
Your lab test results, imaging scans, medications, and appointment dates could help you prove to the insurance company that you were hurt.
Stay Off Social Media
For some people, going on social media is the same as breathing air. However, posting to social media in the days following a car accident may not ultimately serve your legal interests. For instance, if you post a picture of yourself smiling at a sporting event, the claims adjuster could see it.
They could argue that you are not as hurt as you claim––even if the picture itself was taken months ago. You do not want to cast any doubt on the validity of your claim by posting to social media.
Refer the Claims Adjuster to Your Lawyer
An insurance representative may contact you shortly after the accident, acting as though they truly care about your circumstances. At the end of the day, they care about their employer’s circumstances, not yours. If an insurance representative contacts you, tell them to call your lawyer.
They can protect you against any unfair tactics that could hurt your case. When you call Bernstein & Poisson, we can explain what else you should do in the days following a car accident.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Car Accident?
At the scene of a car accident, the first thing to keep in mind is to remain calm. While it may be easy to give in to your emotions and let them get the best of you, keep in mind that the steps you take at the beginning of your claim could affect its outcome.
If you are able, you should consider:
You will need to report the accident to law enforcement if the collision resulted in any injuries, deaths, or property damage exceeding a certain amount. Share what happened before, during, and after the collision with the attending police officer. While the police officer takes down your statement, do not admit fault for the accident––even if you partially contributed to it. Admitting fault could complicate your legal matters down the line.
Accepting Aid from the Paramedics
You may be hesitant to accept medical care from the paramedics. However, by accepting medical aid, you take the first step toward linking your injuries to the accident. If they suggest that you should go to the hospital, do so. You will want to establish that your injuries were a direct result of the crash and did not come from something else.
Taking Photos to Document the Accident Scene and Your Injuries
You will want to start the evidence collection process as soon as you can. By taking photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damage to your vehicle, you can start documenting your losses.
What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you should consider working with a lawyer. They can provide more clarity into what you can do to protect your rights after a car accident.
They may suggest that you:
Refrain from Giving a Recorded Statement
Some insurance companies ask injured claimants to give recorded statements. They may ask you questions about how the accident happened and who was involved. By giving a recorded statement, you give the insurance company the opportunity to edit your words into something you did not mean. You are under no obligation to give a recorded statement, regardless of what the claims adjuster tells you.
Keep Your Accident-Related Documents in a Safe Place
The strength of your car accident case will depend on the evidence that supports it. By keeping your medical bills, employment records, pay stubs, and property damage receipts in a safe place, you can keep important information from getting lost.
Follow Through with Your Doctor’s Orders
You may be tempted to skip out on follow-up appointments and physical therapy sessions if you do not feel hurt. However, this could ultimately work to your disadvantage. If your condition unexpectedly worsens, the other party may argue that they are not responsible because you did not take care of yourself.
You can call Bernstein & Poisson to learn more about how you can protect your rights after a car accident.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
It may cost you nothing out of pocket to hire a car accident lawyer. This is because Bernstein & Poisson offers legal services on a contingency-fee-basis.
In this type of agreement, clients do not pay anything out of pocket or upfront for legal aid. They only have to compensate their lawyer for their time if their case is successful. This allows our team to:
- Choose cases based on merit rather than clients’ financial resources
- Demonstrate our commitment to your case’s success and progression
- Assure our clients that we have their best interests in mind
Some lawyers work on an hourly basis. Others require upfront retainers. We do not require any of those things.
We take payment for our help out of the insurance settlement or court award we secure for you. If your case is unsuccessful, then you do not need to pay our attorney’s fees. You can get in touch with our Nevada law firm today to learn more.
How Much Should You Settle for After a Car Accident?
Without reviewing the details of your situation, there is no telling how much you should settle for after a car accident. There are many different factors that will play into what would constitute a fair settlement offer.
When determining an accurate settlement value for your case, your lawyer will consider:
The Severity of Your Injuries
Do your injuries require ongoing care? Are you able to live your life the way you once could? The answers to both of these questions could give your lawyer important pieces of information regarding the cost of your medical-related expenses.
The Cost of Your Economic Damages
As a result of your car accident, you may have incurred property damage expenses, lost wages, and healthcare bills. The cost of these items will determine what counts as a fair settlement offer. Your lawyer will also take into account costs that have not happened yet.
Whether Anybody Passed Away
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, this fact will be taken into account when calculating the cost of your damages. You could pursue compensation for loss of consortium, loss of parental guidance, and loss of income.
There is no average settlement amount for car accident cases. How much you should settle for after a car accident will largely depend on the facts of your situation.
Should I Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident Even if I Am Not Hurt?
Yes, you should go to the hospital after a car accident even if you are not hurt. Without being examined by a medical professional, there is no way to truly tell if you are injured. A doctor can check for whiplash, spinal cord trauma, and a traumatic brain injury, which are all conditions that can arise shortly after a collision.
While being checked out by a doctor, be sure to keep all documentation relating to your medical care. Even the smallest piece of information can be a great help to your case. Be sure to also follow through with your doctor’s recommended course of treatment.
As noted earlier, you do not want the other party to doubt the severity of your condition. You may be hesitant to go to the hospital after a car accident because of the money involved. If you are injured and require ongoing treatment, you can be compensated for these expenses through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents in Las Vegas?
The main causes of car accidents in Las Vegas include impaired driving, speeding, and distracted driving. According to the Nevada Departments of Public Safety & Transportation, impaired driving is the leading cause of fatal accidents throughout the state. Impaired driving does not just involve alcohol use. It also pertains to driving under the influence of marijuana and certain medications.
Speeding is also an issue on Nevada’s roads. The Nevada Departments of Public Safety & Transportation issued a report stating that speeding accounted for one-third of all car accident-related deaths statewide.
Distracted driving is also becoming a growing issue that threatens the safety of all road users. While many people associate the term “distracted driving” with texting and driving, the practice constitutes any activity that takes a driver’s hands, eyes, or mind away from the road, according to the CDC. Although distracted driving is prohibited under NRS §484B.165, this does not stop many people from engaging in this dangerous behavior.
Even if you do not see the cause of your car accident listed above, you may have financial recovery options. To learn more about working with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer from Bernstein & Poisson, dial (702) 633-3333.
How Does a Car Accident Lawyer Calculate Pain and Suffering?
Each car accident lawyer calculates pain and suffering differently. There are primarily two methods that are used to calculate this type of loss.
The first method is the multiplier method. If your lawyer uses this method, they will take the cost of your economic damages (i.e. medical bills and lost income) and multiply that amount by a number between one and five.
So, for instance, if your medical bills and lost income totaled $20,000 and your lawyer multiplied that amount by two, you could receive $40,000 for pain and suffering.
The Per Diem Method
Alternatively, your lawyer may employ the per diem method. Per diem in Latin means “per day.”
In this calculation, your lawyer will assign a dollar amount to each day that you were injured. For instance, suppose you were injured for 60 days, and each day was worth $100. In this situation, you could recover $6,000 for pain and suffering.
Your lawyer may choose neither of these methods. They may even use a computer program to generate a number based on your circumstances. You can reach out to Bernstein & Poisson today to learn more.
Do You Always Get a Settlement from a Car Accident?
Not every car accident claim is successful. That makes it all the more important to carefully consider your options when seeking legal representation. There are many reasons why a case may not end with a settlement offer.
Two of those reasons include:
Not Having Enough Evidence
We mentioned earlier that evidence plays a crucial role in the outcome of your case. If there is no satisfactory evidence to prove that another party is responsible for your losses, the insurance company may deny your claim. The evidence you provide must show that because the other party breached their duty of care, they caused the collision in which you were injured.
If this allegation is not supported by evidence, proving your case may be difficult.
Filing Your Claim After the Mandated Deadline
Each insurance company has different deadlines in which claimants must file their cases. If you fail to meet this deadline, the insurance company may deny your claim. Even if you are unsure about moving forward with legal action, check with the insurance company to see how long you have to file a claim.
There are other factors that may impact your claim’s success. While not all car accident claims end in settlements, Bernstein & Poisson will do everything in their power to secure a fair settlement for you.
When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
First things first: you do not need a lawyer to manage your car accident claim. Securing legal representation is purely optional. If you choose to represent yourself (called pro se representation), you will be solely responsible for filing your claim, dealing with the insurance adjuster, calculating your damages, and negotiating for a settlement.
These obligations may not appeal to you. You can get a lawyer at any point during your case. However, the following considerations motivate some victims to seek legal aid:
- The other party claims that you caused the accident and should be held accountable for their damages.
- The insurance adjuster prolongs the progression of your claim by refusing to answer your emails, text messages, or phone calls.
- The insurance company denies your claim.
- The insurance company offers you a settlement that does not account for the full extent of your losses.
- You are unsure of how the legal process works.
No one can tell you when you should get a lawyer for a car accident. That decision is entirely up to you. However, when deciding to take legal action, consider how Bernstein & Poisson may be able to assist you.
How Do I Find a Good Car Accident Lawyer?
To find a good car accident lawyer, take a moment to reflect on your situation.
Ask yourself what you are looking for in a lawyer. Do you want a legal team with years of experience? Do you want a lawyer who has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in damages?
What constitutes a “good car accident lawyer” to you may mean something entirely different to someone else. You can find a good car accident lawyer by:
Participating in a Free Consultation
Many personal injury law firms offer free initial consultations. While speaking to a representative, ask them about their law firm. Does the firm handle the type of case you are pursuing? What can you expect throughout the duration of your working relationship? Follow your instincts. If something about the conversation raises concerns, you may want to continue your search.
Read Online Testimonials
When considering a particular law firm, read their online reviews. Here, you can gain an inside look into how the firm operates. Read what former clients have to say about the service they received. This could give you important information that could aid in your search.
Read the Outcomes of the Law Firm’s Cases
You may be able to see on a law firm’s website how much money they have recovered for their clients. Sometimes, they include information regarding the specifics of a certain case. You may find that the law firm successfully handled a case very similar to yours. Their experience could ultimately work to your advantage.
Bernstein & Poisson offers free initial consultations, has client testimonials, and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars. You can start the process of finding a Las Vegas car accident lawyer by dialing (702) 633-3333.
What Happens When You Go to Court for a Car Accident?
When you go to court for a car accident, there are several procedures that take place.
The Filing of Your Lawsuit
You will file your lawsuit (also known as a complaint) against the defendant. You will need to outline the reason for your lawsuit, the types of damages you have incurred, and other information related to your case.
The plaintiff and defendant will exchange pieces of evidence. If a piece of evidence is not admissible, a lawyer may motion for its dismissal. Each side may interview witnesses under oath to learn more about the situation.
At this time, the judge will determine what pieces of evidence are valid and proceed with the trial. Each side will have the ability to present their side of the story, and witnesses may be brought in to testify. If a lawyer feels that a piece of information or evidence is not valid, they may object.
Both sides will give a final statement. In some cases, a jury decides the verdict. In other cases, there is no jury, only a judge.
Depending on the strength of your evidence and the skill of your legal counsel, you may be awarded compensation for your car accident-related damages.
When Will I Start Getting Paid from My Car Accident Settlement?
It depends. If you were able to reach an out-of-court settlement with the liable insurance company, they could send your check within a matter of weeks. However, if you filed a lawsuit against another driver and you won, this timeline may look a little different.
For instance, if the other party does not have the financial resources to pay for your damages, it may take longer for you to receive money. They may need to liquidate some of their possessions to compensate you. They may arrange to pay you in the form of a structured settlement, where you get payments over a period of time.
A lawyer from Bernstein & Poisson can provide more information regarding the timeliness of your settlement payments.
How Do I Get a Car Accident Report?
You can get a car accident report by requesting the document via the Nevada Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol (NHP). Upon accessing the website, you will need to indicate the location where the crash took place. Afterward, you will need to pay $10 for a copy of the report.
If you lost a loved one in a car accident and you want a report that indicates that, you will need to file your request with the regional offices. If you did not file a crash report at the accident scene and instead filed a report within ten days of the collision to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVNV), the document may contain the following:
- A brief description of the crash
- Whether your car was damaged
- A doctor’s statement of injury (if you or a loved one got hurt)
- The names of the involved parties
- The location of the incident
The police report can serve as a vital piece of evidence in your car accident claim. A lawyer from Bernstein & Poisson can obtain this piece of documentation for you when you work with our firm.
What Will My Car Accident Lawyer Look for in My Claim?
In your car accident claim, your lawyer will look for evidence to support the following:
- Duty of care. The other party had a responsibility to keep other road users safe while driving.
- Breach of duty of care. The other party, for whatever reason, posed a threat to other road users, effectively breaching their duty of care.
- Causation. The other party caused your accident.
- Financial losses. You incurred financial losses (e.g. medical bills and lost wages) as a result of the accident.
The evidence that could support these elements varies per case. However, photos of your injuries, your medical records, invoices and billing statements, and witness testimony could help prove your claim. Your lawyer not only acts as your advocate; they also act as an investigator.
They will need to conduct an investigation in your case to determine what pieces of information could help you receive compensation.
Get in Touch with Bernstein & Poisson
Few things are more upsetting than having your life upended by a negligent driver. Suddenly things you took for granted, like being able to perform on the job and pay your bills, are called into question. Overwhelmed and frantic for a solution, turning to a car accident attorney may offer you peace of mind when approaching the legal process.
Bernstein & Poisson has been fighting for the rights of car accident victims since 1997. An initial consultation with a member of our team is free, and clients who choose to partner with Bernstein & Poisson pay nothing until they win their case. Call (702) 633-3333 to speak with a team member and start the process today.