No, you do not always get a settlement from a car accident. However, by working with a personal injury lawyer, you can take the first step toward protecting your right to compensation. When you work with a lawyer, they can file your claim, manage communications with the involved parties, and review your coverage options.
How the Claims Process Works
You can start pursuing compensation for your car accident-related losses by first submitting your claim to the liable insurance carrier.
If another party caused the accident, and you can prove fault, you may be able to have their insurance company cover your losses. However, if the driver does not have sufficient coverage, does not have any coverage, or some of the accident’s liability falls on you, a settlement award in your favor could be affected.
If you share some responsibility for the accident, your settlement amount would be reduced under Nevada’s comparative negligence law, which reduces a claimant’s award by the percentage of fault they hold in an accident. NRS §41.141 says an injured party can recover compensation if they are not more than 50% responsible for a crash.
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The Insurance Company Will Investigate Your Claim
One reason you do not always get a settlement from a car accident is an insurance company can investigate the accident, determine that its client is not at fault or liable for the crash, and deny your compensation claim. Insurance companies conduct investigations to determine who is at fault or liable for an accident. They also figure out what percentage of fault each involved party shares.
During this time, the insurance company can review the evidence you submit with your claim before it makes its decision. To determine whether you should get a settlement from a car accident, a claims adjustor from the insurance company can review the following:
- Official police reports
- Your medical records (if you approved this by signing a release)
- Your medical bills
- The testimony of other parties involved in the accident
- Statements from third-party field consultants
- Property damage receipts
The claims adjuster could also go on-site to where the accident occurred and make additional observations. They may also inspect your vehicle, take photos of the damage, and speak with your healthcare team regarding the medical care you received.
Be Wary of Unfair Settlement Offers
The car accident settlement process can be lengthy and uncertain. You may still be assessing your damages and determining how much your claim is worth, especially if you have ongoing medical bills and are missing work.
There is a possibility that an insurance company could contact you with a settlement offer as you sort things out. However, it may not be enough to cover your losses or fairly compensate you for your damages.
Some people accept an offer from the insurer after an accident, but this may not always work in their favor. Insurance companies can offer settlements that do not adequately cover claimants’ damages, and sometimes, people do not discover that until it is too late. Once you accept a settlement from an insurance company, you cannot seek more money from them.
Hire a Lawyer to Help with Your Car Accident Case
As noted, you can hire an attorney before communicating with the insurance company about your accident or accepting any settlement offers from them. A lawyer can work with an insurer on your behalf and represent your interests during the negotiation process.
As the American Bar Association (ABA) notes, most civil cases do not make it to the trial phase, so a lawyer handling negotiations with an insurance company could lead to a favorable settlement for you.
Working with a lawyer does not guarantee that you will always get a settlement offer from a car accident, but it could help you feel more confident in regard to your case. It could bring you peace of mind to have someone looking out for you as you seek financial recovery.
If you are pursuing a settlement, you may want to hire a personal injury lawyer who could:
- Review your injuries and damages to assess the value of your claim
- Determine how much to ask for from the insurance company
- Advise you on when a settlement is fair or needs to be negotiated
- File a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you are due (if necessary)
- Track the developments in your case and help you meet important deadlines for filing your lawsuit
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Statute of Limitations
In Nevada, per NRS §11.190 (4)(e), you generally have two years from the accident date to file your lawsuit in court. A lawyer could also advise you on whether you should sign a release of your medical records for a claims adjuster to review. The information in these documents could affect the outcome of your settlement request.
Call Today for a Free Case Review
Car accident settlements are attainable, but they are not guaranteed. Still, you can hire an attorney to help you pursue the financial awards that you believe you are due, even if you share some fault for an accident.
Bernstein & Poisson has helped many clients rebuild their lives after car accidents. We proudly serve as an advocate for our clients, and we want to help you. Call (702) 633-3333 today for a free consultation.