Car Accident Lawyers in Las Vegas, NV
Why Hire A Car Accident Attorney Right After An Accident?
Some injured in a car accident think they can handle their claims on their own and that they don’t need an attorney. The majority ultimately hire an attorney, often after getting nowhere with an insurance company.
Visiting a car accident attorney can preserve your rights and evidence if you decide you want to file a car accident lawsuit in the future. Car accident attorneys gather documentation about your accident, like medical records, witness information, car accident reports, videos, photos, and other evidence of the car accident. Some of the evidence may be lost if not promptly requested, such as videos and even the cars involved. Videos of accidents can come from dashcams and nearby buildings such as convenience stores and banks. These videos can be recorded over and permanently lost if not promptly saved.
All of these items will be used to prove who caused the accident, as well as the severity of your injuries and how the car accident caused those injuries. If you can prove damages, you might receive compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering in a car accident lawsuit. Our car accident lawyers in Las Vegas, NV, have decades of experience fighting for car accident victims' rights.
Hiring a car accident attorney right away can also help car accident victims with finding the right doctors and other medical professionals. Getting prompt medical treatment not only helps victims recover or deal with their injuries but medical professionals document symptoms and identify the cause of the symptoms. Medical documentation helps prove the extent and cause of a victim’s injuries, and car insurance companies often dispute these two things.
Unfortunately, some car accident victims may find that their regular doctor or primary care physician will not treat them for their car accident injuries. Some doctors fear getting involved with car accident cases and of being called to testify in a deposition or trial. Some car accident victims may not have health insurance and don’t know how to pay for the treatment they need. Experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys, like the attorneys at Carvalho & Associates, are familiar with the Las Vegas medical field and know who will treat or not treat a car accident victim.
Some car accident victims may find they need help getting their cars repaired after a car accident. Some may find that the at fault driver’s insurance company is refusing to pay for the repairs by disputing how the crash occurred or who caused it. Others may question whether the insurance company is properly evaluating all the accident-related car damages. As long-time Las Vegas residents, we know how important it is to have a car to get to work on time or to just get around. So we at Carvalho & Associates strive to help our clients’ cars get repaired promptly so they can try to get back to living their life.
In some cases, insurance companies may make early settlement offers, often before an injured victim has the benefit of a medical professional’s diagnosis and prognosis. Without a full medical work up or treatment, injured victims may not know how long it will take them to heal or whether their injuries are permanent. Remember, every human is unique. Some may heal faster than others, while some may never heal at all. By making early settlement offers, before the injured car accident victims know the full extent of their injuries, insurance companies avoid paying the full compensation to the injured victim.
Top Reasons to Hire A Car Accident Attorney Right After An Accident
- Preserve and/or gather evidence of the accident, such as videos that may be lost forever if not promptly located and saved
- Identify, interview and obtain statements from witnesses
- Help find the right doctors and other medical professionals
- Help car accident victims who don’t have health insurance and can’t afford the cost of the medical care they need
- Help car accident victims’ cars get promptly repaired or paid for
- Properly evaluate and advise car accident victims on their rights and options so that they do not accept an unfair settlement that does not adequately compensate the victim for their injuries and losses
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Immediately after a car accident, even if you aren’t injured, you should call the police and report the accident. You may call 911 to obtain help, particularly if there are injuries. You should remain at the scene if the 911 dispatcher says that police are on their way. Take photos and video of the accident scene and all cars involved from multiple angles, as well as the other driver’s license, license plate number, and proof of insurance. If you can’t take a photo, exchange information with the other driver(s), including their names, phone numbers, email addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. You should also look around and ask if anyone witnessed the accident. Take down the names of anyone who witnessed the accident.
If you feel any symptom or if you hit your head, seek prompt medical attention. Some car accident injuries take days to show symptoms, and the adrenaline of the crash could be masking pain or other symptoms. Immediately visiting a doctor will establish a timeline and record of injury if you decide to file a car accident lawsuit. If anyone was injured during the crash or property damage exceeds $750, you must report the crash to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days unless police were present at the scene. You can complete this Nevada DMV form to report the crash. They will file the report themselves. While you may notify and speak with your insurance company, you should not speak to the other driver’s insurance company, since their job is to protect their driver, not you. Contact an experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney to help you with getting your car repaired, obtaining a rental vehicle, seeing the right medical professionals, and advising you of your rights.
Top Things To Do Immediately After A Car Accident
- Call 9-1-1 if you or someone is injured
- Call the police so they can come to the accident scene and prepare a report
- Take photos of the accident scene (including any skid marks and debris from the cars involved) and the cars involved
- Take photos of the other party’s driver’s license and proof of insurance
- Look for anyone who witnessed the accident and ask for their contact information
- DO NOT speak to the other driver’s insurance company, as their job is protect their driver, not you
- Contact experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys
What Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
Common Causes of Automobile/Car Accidents
The most common causes of car accidents in Las Vegas, NV, are:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Going over the speed limit
- Driving while tired
- Running red lights at intersections
- Not adjusting speed due to inclement weather
- Not obeying warning signs
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Nevada?
Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Yes. You should hire a car accident attorney if you were injured in a car accident. While you can represent yourself if you file a car accident claim, you'll have a much higher chance of a successful outcome if you retain a car accident lawyer. Car accident attorneys can investigate your crash, gather evidence and documentation, talk to witnesses, negotiate with insurers, get proof of injuries from your medical providers, and fight for your rights in court.
Some may be hesitant to hire an attorney after a car accident. Some may think they can’t afford an attorney or their think they can handle their car accident claim themselves. Others may be looking at all the billboards of personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas and wondering whether an accident attorney will really care about you and your case.
Regardless of the concerns you may have about hiring an attorney, it is usually best to consult with an attorney before settling your car accident case. You may discover it’s not about whether you need an attorney but whether you can find the right accident lawyer for you and your case. You may also discover that the at fault party’s insurance company is only protecting their own or their driver’s interests and not yours.
Remember, everyone can afford an attorney for their car accident case, since car accident attorneys work on contingency fees. What that means is that the car accident attorney gets paid from the monies recovered from a case, and if there is no recovery, you don’t owe the attorney. Also, you can speak to experienced car accident attorneys at Carvalho & Associates for free. We offer free consultation, so you can learn more about us and how we can help you.
Top Reasons to Hire An Attorney
- Attorneys gather and preserve evidence (i.e., videos, photos, and “black box” data from vehicles) before these evidence are lost
- Attorneys interview witnesses and obtain their statements
- Experienced car accident attorneys can help clients find the right medical professionals to ensure their maximum recovery from their injuries
- Experienced car accident attorneys like those at Carvalho & Associates have extensive specialized knowledge of what you are entitled to under Nevada law and what needs to be done to prove and win your case
- Car accident attorneys, particularly those with a history of successfully litigating cases, increase the chances of recovering full compensation
- You can afford to hire the experienced car accident attorneys at Carvalho & Associates on a contingency fee basis. This means, the attorneys get paid out of any settlement or award, and not out of your own pocket.
What Types of Car Accident Cases Does Your Firm Handle?
We handle personal injury cases, including accidents involving cars, trucks, semi-trucks, motorcycles, buses, bicycles, pedestrians and drunk driver or impaired drivers. The attorneys at Carvalho & Associates have over 20 years of experience handling a variety of motor vehicle accident cases and have obtained millions of dollars for their clients through both trials and settlements. We’re also knowledgeable and have a wealth of success dealing with many different types of injuries – from traumatic brain injuries to spine injuries and soft tissue injuries, just to name a few. A small sample of our verdicts and settlements can be found here.
What Types of Compensation Are Available to Car Accident Victims In Las Vegas, NV?
You can claim two types of damages in a Nevada car accident lawsuit: non-economic and economic damages. Non-economic damages are hard to calculate because they are intangible. They might include pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. “Lost enjoyment of life” refers to the things an injured person can no longer do or can only do with difficulty because of their injuries from an accident. Imagine a grandparent who can longer play with their young grandchildren because of their injuries, or a young athlete who can’t compete in their favorite sport or hobby. These types of losses can be incalculable and are often left to a jury to decide. Experienced trial attorneys have learned how juries generally value these losses and use such knowledge to obtain full compensation, sometimes without a trial.
Economic damages are tangible damages that can be proven and easily assigned a monetary value, including medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Economic damages include not just past medical bills and lost wages, but also future medical bills and lost income for those injured victims who suffer permanent debilitating injuries.
In rare cases, a third type of damages – punitive damages -- may be available. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are not intended to compensate an injured victim. Instead, punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are intended to punish the wrongdoer. Because its intent is punishment, punitive damages are available only in those instances where a wrongdoer acted intentionally, maliciously, or with reckless indifference. Punitive damages may be recoverable if someone was injured by a drunk or impaired driver.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff if the amount of compensatory damages is $100,000 or more; or at $300,000 if the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff is less than $100,000.
How Is Fault Determined in A Car Accident?
Nevada is an at-fault state, which means that you need to prove that the car accident was not your fault or not wholly your fault. Nevada has adopted “comparative negligence,” which means that an injured victim need only show that the other party is 51% or more at fault. If the victim is 50% or less at fault, the victim’s recovery is reduced by the percentage of their fault.
To prove fault, a car accident victim must show that the other driver was negligent or, worse, reckless or acted intentionally. Negligence means the failure to act with care. For car accidents, negligence usually means a driver’s failure to follow Nevada’s traffic laws or Rules of the Road.
Often times, police officers may give a traffic citation to a driver after a crash. While insurance companies usually use these citations to determine who is at fault, these citations are not determinative or binding in a car accident lawsuit. In fact, these traffic citations are generally not admissible as evidence in court. Experienced car accident attorneys with extensive trial success know how to evaluate who is at fault beyond just relying on the traffic citation. The attorneys at Carvalho & Associates, in fact, have successfully resolved car accident cases that other attorneys dropped solely because of a traffic citation. We are able to do that because we look at all the evidence, and not just the traffic citation.
How Do I File an Auto Insurance Claim in Las Vegas?
Your car accident law firm can file an auto insurance claim and negotiate with auto insurance companies on your behalf. Filing a claim can be as simple as notifying the involved insurance companies; successfully negotiating a fair settlement for a car accident claim is a more complex process.
Steps to Negotiating A Car Accident Claims
- Gather all evidence, such as videos, photos, property damage repair estimates or invoices, witness statements, scene diagrams, and medical records
- Review all medical records and highlight the objective evidence of the cause and severity of the injuries
- Speak with the client about how the accident and their injuries affected their life
- Prepare a demand letter to the insurance company that analyzes and provides a proper evaluation of liability (i.e., who is at fault), the extent of the harms and losses a car accident victim sustained, and the value of the case or likely jury award if the case were to proceed to litigation and trial
- Include all the evidence in the demand letter, highlighting the most important ones
- Anticipate the insurance company’s arguments and provide counterarguments
- The most important aspect of successfully negotiating a car accident claim is knowing, through experience, what could be obtained through a trial and whether the insurance company’s settlement offer makes avoiding litigation worth it
How Can I Prove the Other Driver Was Responsible for the Accident?
To prove fault for a car accident in Nevada, you have to show that the other driver was negligent, reckless, or acted intentionally. Negligence means failure to act with ordinary care; in other words, it means being careless. In Nevada, a car accident victim need only show that the other driver was 51% or more at fault. Also, in Nevada, a traffic citation is generally not admissible in court to prove who is at fault. So, attorneys have to gather evidence beyond just a traffic citation to show who is responsible for a car accident.
Proving fault in car accident cases involves understanding and showing violations of Nevada’s traffic laws and Rules of the Road. In more complex cases involving, for example, commercial drivers and semi-truck drivers, proving fault involves knowing the rules applicable to that industry and the policies and procedures of the employer.
Many times proving fault also requires reconstructing how the accident happened, since there could be dispute as to how it occurred and video of an accident is often not available. This can also happen when a car accident victim hires an attorney too late, and a video of the accident is not saved. For example, video recorded by cameras at a nearby building, such as a bank or convenience store, are re-recorded over if not promptly saved. Also, the owners of the buildings or businesses that recorded the accident may refuse to share the video without a subpoena. Attorneys have to file paperwork with the court and get court approval for a subpoena. When attorneys have to prove how the accidents happen, they can also hire accident reconstruction experts, who are often costly.
To reconstruct an accident, however, experts need evidence from the accident, such as the damages to the vehicles involved, the “black box” or data recorder in the car, and skidmarks and gouge marks from the accident scene. Evidence may also include witness statements, and witnesses’ recollection of an accident is clearer or fresher in their minds early on after an accident. Because evidence could be lost if not gathered early, it is important to hire a car accident attorney right away.
Protecting Your Rights After a Car Accident
What Is the Time Limit to File A Car Accident Claim In Las Vegas?
The statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit in Nevada is calculated based on the type of damage being claimed. The statute of limitations is two years for personal injury (i.e., bodily injuries) claims, three years for property damage claims, and two years for car accident lawsuits against the state. This means that someone injured in a car accident must settle their case or file a lawsuit by the second anniversary of the accident. Failure to do so means the injured person can no longer recover any compensation.
The auto insurance companies involved should be notified immediately of a car accident, but a demand for settlement of a car accident injury claim can be made anytime, so long as the case is settled or a lawsuit is filed within the two (2) year statute of limitations. It is usually best, however, to try to settle a car accident injury claim only after the full extent of a victim’s injuries are known. This is so because once a case is settled, the claim cannot be re-opened if the victim later learns that they are more injured than they initially thought.
Why Work with Carvalho & Associates After a Car Accident?
Our car accident attorneys are the best of the best. We have extensive experience in injury law and litigation and are committed to helping our clients received the compensation they deserve for all the injuries and losses sustained they suffered. As trial attorneys with over 20 years of experience, the lawyers at Carvalho & Associates know that in addition to skill and knowledge, preparation is a significant factor in successful resolutions of car accident claims. Preparation means gathering all the evidence, investigating to find all the evidence and all persons responsible, and knowing the ins-and-outs of a client’s case – from showing who’s at fault to how the accident affected their life. For example, sometimes there may be more than one person at fault or who contributed to a car accident. There are times when the design of a roadway contributed to the crash. A good car accident lawyer knows their first obligation is to their client and to perform the due diligence necessary to provide maximum recovery for their client.
When you contact us for representation in a car accident lawsuit, you can trust that we will spend every moment of our time fighting for your rights so you get the best possible outcome in or out of court.