Motor vehicle collisions remain one of the top public safety issues in the United States. According to data from the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), more than four million people are hurt in automobile accidents nationwide each year. Even if you are a safe, cautious, and skilled driver, you could end up in an accident. You need to know how to protect your rights and your interests after a traffic collision—especially if your car is demolished in a crash.
In Nevada, fault determines who is liable for a car accident. In some cases, fault is clear and undisputed. In other cases, there is a serious disagreement as to how and why an accident happened. If you were involved in a serious crash in Nevada, you need to know what to do to dispute fault. In this blog post, our Las Vegas car accident lawyers provide a guide to disputing fault for a traffic collision in Nevada.
If you were involved in a car accident in Las Vegas, then liability for the crash will be determined based on fault. This is because car accident claims fall under state law and Nevada is a fault-based auto accident jurisdiction. Under Nevada law (NRS § 41.141), car accident claims are subject to a comparative negligence standard of liability. In effect, this means that the driver (or other party) that caused an accident through careless, reckless, or otherwise wrongful conduct can be held legally responsible for the resulting damages. As Nevada is a comparative liability state, every percentage point of fault matters.
As an example of how the system works, imagine that you were involved in a distracted driving car accident in Las Vegas. In the crash you sustained $25,000 in total damages. If the accident was solely caused by a driver who was texting, they can be held liable 100 percent of the crash—meaning they are at fault for all $25,000 of your damages. However, if you are found partially liable, perhaps because you failed to use a turn signal thereby contributing to the accident, your compensation will be reduced accordingly. If you are at fault for 25 percent of your own accident, you can be held liable for 25 percent of your own damages.
What exactly you need to do to challenge fault for a car accident depends on a number of different factors, including the specific point that you are at in the legal claims process. The sooner you take action to protect your rights and clear your good name from an unfair finding of liability, the better position you will be in. Here are five steps to dispute fault in a car accident case in Las Vegas:
All car accidents should be properly reported to the appropriate parties. First and foremost, a serious collision needs to be reported to law enforcement. Ideally, a state or local police officer will be dispatched to write an official report on the accident. Under Nevada law, NRS § 484E.070 and NRS § 484E.080, all motor vehicle collisions should be reported if there are any injuries and/or more than $750 in total property damage.
To successfully dispute fault for a car accident in Nevada, your “word” is not enough. While your personal testimony absolutely matters, you need comprehensive evidence that proves what happened and why it happened. Evidence that can be used to help prove fault in a car accident case includes the police report, photographs, videos, witness statements, the personal testimony of the parties, statements against interest by either driver, and expert analysis. If you are preparing to dispute fault, make sure that all of your evidence is well-organized.
Next, you must notify one or more insurance companies that you are disputing fault for the accident. Do not wait too long to notify an insurer that you are disputing their findings. If an insurance company assigns you blame for a car accident and you believe that they made the wrong decision, you have the right to challenge. One of the most important things to know about auto insurance claims in Nevada is that the insurance company is not the final arbiter on the matter. If the dispute cannot be worked out, there could even be a trial. While litigation is only necessary in a small number of car accident claims, it does happen.
Going up against a large insurance company all by yourself could be a very serious mistake. You have the right to professional representation. It is best to consult with an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a serious wreck. Your attorney will be able to review the specific circumstances of your crash, investigate the accident, gather evidence, build a case, and take action to prove that you were not the party who was at fault for the collision.
In Nevada, insurance companies are required to use fair, good faith settlement practices. They are supposed to handle claims in an impartial manner. However, the reality is that insurance companies are businesses that are driven to protect their own profits. What you need to understand about insurance companies is that they are simply not on your side. If there is a dispute over fault, you cannot necessarily rely on an insurance company to handle the matter in a fair, unbiased manner.
After a serious car crash in Nevada, it is best to work with insurers through an experienced Las Vegas auto accident lawyer. An attorney is especially valuable if there is a fierce dispute over exactly why the accident happened. A skilled Las Vegas, NV car accident lawyer will be able to help you build a strong and compelling case that demonstrates why you were not the person who was at fault for the crash. Doing so will help you get justice and full financial compensation.
If you were involved in a serious crash that was not your fault, you need to know how to navigate the claims process so that you can recover monetary compensation to pay your bills and support your family. In Nevada, injured victims can seek financial damages for both economic and non-economic losses. That being said, the big insurance companies do not make the claims process simple—especially if fault for the accident is in dispute. At Ladah Law Firm, our Las Vegas have the professional skills, legal knowledge, and proven experience to maximize your recovery. Depending on the specific circumstances of your crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation for:
Car accident claims are complicated—especially if there is a fierce dispute over who was at fault for the crash. At Ladah Law Firm, we have deep experience representing injured victims in disputed car accident injury cases. With a commitment to proactive representation, we are prepared to begin working on your claim today. Among other things, our Las Vegas car accident lawyers will:
Fault for a car crash is assigned on a case-by-case basis, with close attention to the specific circumstances surrounding the collision. Our Las Vegas, NV car accident lawyers always provide personalized guidance, advice, and representation to injured victims. With over $200 million secured for our clients, you can rely on our car accident lawyers for help in a disputed fault case.
At Ladah Law Firm, our Las Vegas auto accident attorneys possess the legal skills that you trust in a complicated personal injury case. If you have any questions or concerns about disputing fault for an automobile collision, we are more than ready to help. Contact us by calling 702-252-0055 or filling out our online contact form to set up your free case evaluation. From our legal office in Las Vegas, we provide legal representation in disputed car accident claims all over Clark County.