What Should I Know About Filing Car Accident Claims In Vegas?

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If you were injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, we know that you likely have many questions about filing a claim for compensation. In the aftermath of a motor vehicle collision, it can be difficult to think about a lawsuit when you are dealing with the physical and emotional consequences of the crash. However, it is extremely important to know that you have rights. If another driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the collision that resulted in your injuries, you may be eligible to receive damages. A Las Vegas car accident attorney can discuss your options with you. In the meantime, the following are some commonly asked questions we receive about car accident claims in Nevada.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Under Nev. Rev. Stat. Section 11.190, car accident victims typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation. This is called the statute of limitations, and it governs the amount of time that can pass from the date of a person’s injury to the date by which she must file her lawsuit. It is extremely important to seek advice from an auto accident lawyer in Las Vegas as soon as possible if you have gotten hurt and may be eligible for compensation. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the two-year period, you may lose your right to be compensated for your losses.

What Kinds of Damages Can I Expect to Receive in a Las Vegas Auto Accident Lawsuit?

Generally speaking, car accident victims may be eligible to receive two different types of damage awards: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate a victim for her losses, and they fall into two different categories:

  •      Economic damages, or, damages for which there exists a precise dollar figure (such as hospital bills, surgery costs, prescription drug costs, and lost wages); and
  •      Non-economic damages, or damages for which there is no objective dollar figure (such as pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life).

Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages in that they are not designed to compensate a victim for her losses. Instead, punitive damages—although paid to the plaintiff—are designed to punish the defendant for especially reckless or harmful behavior.

What if I Am Partially Responsible for the Accident? Can I Still Recover Damages?

The Ladah Law Firm often has injury victims ask if they can recover even if they are partially to blame for the crash. In many cases, the answer is yes. Nevada follows what is known as a “modified comparative fault” rule. Under Nevada law, a plaintiff can recover as long as she is 50 percent or less at fault. In other words, once a jury determines that the plaintiff is 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, she cannot recover anything.

How does this work? If a plaintiff’s actions are considered to be partially to blame for the severity of her injuries—imagine that she did not wear a seatbelt but did not play a role in causing the crash—a jury might find that the plaintiff is, for example, 20 percent liable for her injuries. Now, under Nevada law, she can recover damages from the defendant, but that damages award will be reduced by the percentage by which she was determined to be at fault. So, if the total damage award is $50,000, then the plaintiff’s award will be reduced by the percentage of her fault (20 percent, or $10,000). As such, the plaintiff will recover $40,000.

When Should I Call a Lawyer?

It is important to reach out to an aggressive car accident attorney in Las Vegas as soon as possible. You do not want to delay filing your claim and seeking compensation for your losses. Contact the Ladah Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist you.