A car crash can happen when you least expect it. According to auto insurance industry data cited by Forbes, the average person gets into around four collisions over the course of their lifetime. Of course, you could be one of the unlucky ones. Many safe drivers get into more accidents than that through no fault of our own. No matter how skilled or careful you are as a driver, there is always the risk that you could end up involved in someone’s accident.
The car accident claims process can be confusing and complicated. It can be especially frustrating for people who did nothing to cause the accident and simply want compensation to move forward with their life. You may be wondering: Should you hire a car accident lawyer when it’s clearly not your fault? The short answer is ‘yes’—at least assuming you were injured in the crash. Here, you will find a list of four key reasons why you should hire a lawyer for a crash that was not your fault.
Imagine that you are driving your vehicle down Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas. Without warning, another car blows through a red light and smashes directly into the side of your vehicle. There is no question who was to blame for the accident. You figure the claims process should be smooth. After all, you did nothing wrong. And yet, there still might end up being a legal dispute over fault. The unfortunate reality is that fault is rarely clear-cut in a serious car accident case. Other drivers can lie, they can change or retract their stories, or they may simply have good faith but different views of the crash.
Even when fault for an accident is seemingly clear and obvious—meaning it is so straightforward that you think no sane person could possibly dispute it—there can still be sharp legal conflicts. When money is at stake, parties, including large insurance companies, do not always act in an honest or fair manner. Do not be so sure that you are not going to end up in a dispute over fault even when you know that the accident was absolutely caused by the other party’s negligence. When you suffer an injury in a crash, fault for an accident is going to be determined later on in the claims process—not at the scene of the collision. Even if the police report explicitly assigned blame to the other driver, there could still end up being a dispute over fault.
Summary: Do not assume that everyone is going to agree that you are not at fault. It is not uncommon for disputes to arise, even when the cause of the accident is seemingly obvious. You still need to be prepared to build a comprehensive case that proves the other party’s liability even when fault is clear.
Car accident injury claims fall under state law. If you are hurt in a crash in Las Vegas, then your claim falls under Nevada’s car accident liability regulations. Any person (or company) who contributed to a car crash through carelessness or recklessness can face liability. Under Nevada law (NRS § 41.141), car accidents are subject to a comparative fault standard. Each party to an accident will be assigned a “share” of the blame. They will be held liable for the damages in direct proportion to their share of the fault.
Fault is not an “either/or” concept in Nevada. A driver could be deemed 100 percent at fault for an accident. Alternatively, they could be deemed just 20 percent at fault for a crash, or even 1 percent at fault for a crash. The accident percentage matters. If you are deemed 0 percent at fault for your accident, you can pursue compensation for 100 percent of your damages. However, if you are found to be at fault for 10 percent of the crash, then you are responsible for 10 percent of your own damages—meaning you can only recover for 90 percent of your total losses.
Insurance adjusters are well aware of these rules. They know exactly how the system works and they use a lot of different tricks and strategies to pressure people into admitting fault—even just partial fault. Unintentionally admitting partial fault will take money directly out of your pocket. You need to be extremely careful when dealing with insurance company representatives. It is best to work with them through an experienced car accident lawyer.
Summary: Insurance companies are going to look for a way to reduce culpability. An insurance adjuster may try to “corner” you into admitting a seemingly small amount of fault for an accident. Doing so could take thousands of dollars out of your settlement. Instead of speaking to the insurance company directly, work through a Nevada auto accident lawyer.
Assume that fault is genuinely not an issue in your case. The other driver already verbally acknowledged that they were responsible for the accident. The police report assigned them liability for the crash. In fact, the police report notes that the other driver was cited for a traffic ticket in relation to the collision. Furthermore, a representative of the other driver’s already called and left a voicemail indicating that they are accepting and will cover the damages for the crash. In this scenario, do you still need to hire a lawyer? If you suffered a serious injury in the crash, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
Liability is only one aspect of a car accident injury claim. To be sure, it is an incredibly important part of a case, but it is not enough to get you the full and fair compensation that you deserve. The insurance company still needs to figure out how much your case is actually worth. Big insurance carriers are aggressive: They will try to undervalue your losses, especially your pain and suffering and other intangible damages. You need a Las Vegas, NV car accident attorney who has the skills and experience to hold the insurance company accountable and help you obtain the full settlement offer that you rightfully deserve.
Summary: Liability is one part of a car accident claim. Damages are just as important. You need to make sure that your damages—vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.—are properly documented and accounted for so that you can get the full insurance settlement you are owed.
After a serious car accident, most people want to move forward with their life as quickly as possible. It is a natural human instinct: No one wants to dwell on a car accident. The legal claims process is confusing, stressful, and often overwhelming. The large insurance companies that handle most auto accident claims in Nevada are not known for making things easy on people or their families. It is not uncommon for delays or other issues to arise in the settlement process.
Ultimately, the insurance provider is a corporation driven to protect its own profit margins. The goal of any insurance company is to pay out as little compensation as possible—whether that means denying fault, pushing partial blame onto the victim, or undervaluing damages, they will use whatever strategy that they can find. Do not rely on an insurance company—even your own—for guidance with your claim. You need an experienced professional in your corner. A Las Vegas, NV car accident lawyer who knows how to hold insurers liable will help you get justice and full financial compensation.
Summary: Insurance companies are staffed by well-trained professionals who are given a simple task: Protect the financial interests of the company. Do not go through the claims process alone after a serious accident. An experienced Las Vegas car accident injury lawyer will help you navigate the legal system.
At Ladah Law Firm, our Las Vegas car accident lawyers are aggressive, experienced advocates for victims and their families. We helped people secure more than $200 million in personal injury compensation. With a long record of success handling some of the most complex auto accident cases, our firm knows the steps to take to hold insurance companies accountable.
If you were hurt in a crash that was not your fault, our attorneys will protect your rights and help you maximize your financial settlement or verdict. Give us a call at 702-252-0055 or connect with us online to set up your free, no strings attached consultation. With an office located in Las Vegas, we represent car crash victims in Clark County and throughout Nevada.