In 2014, over 1,200 people were injured and 291 died in Nevada car accidents, according to the Nevada Departments of Public Safety & Transportation (NDPST). Being involved in a serious car accident can stop life on a dime for the entire family. After the crash, getting to safety and seeking medical treatment is the first priority. Then, victims will also have to start to come to terms with short- and long-term ramifications of the accident, such as disability, missed time from work, emotional issues, and financial implications.
Next, car accident victims will need to look into their legal options for pursuing compensation for their losses. The first remedy is usually to file an auto insurance claim with the at-fault party’s provider. However, many complications can arise when filing a claim, so you need to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities before taking action. You do not want to inadvertently miss out on damages to which you are entitled.
What steps do I take after a car accident?
If you were completely at fault for the accident, you will need to call your insurer and file a claim with it. If you carry optional coverages such as MedPay and collision, you can recover your own damages up to your policy limits. Your liability coverage will pay for the other party’s damages.
If you were not at fault – or you were only partly at fault – you have two options: file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer or file a lawsuit against him or her. Your attorney can advise you on the best course of action. After you have dealt with your immediate medical issues, if at all possible, start collecting any evidence that pertains to your case and share it with your lawyer. This includes:
- police report
- The other driver’s info (name, phone, insurance details, etc.)
- Photos and videos of the accident scene and damage
- Eyewitness contact info
- Details about the location of the accident
You will also want to gather your medical records and injury-related bills and receipts so that you can be fully compensated.
After you have filed a claim and the insurer reviews your case, you will likely receive a settlement offer. Do not accept the first offer you receive. Insurers usually try to lowball claimants to improve their bottom-line; they are a business, after all. Your attorney can review the offer for fairness and accuracy and negotiate for more.
What types of damages might I be entitled to?
Car accident victims may be entitled to a wide range of damages. These include medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of income, and future expenses.
The more thorough you are when compiling a list of your expenses and detailing the ways the accident has affected your life, the more it helps you pursue a fair settlement. Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Becker Goodey can help create a comprehensive list of your damages and present evidence to substantiate your claim.
What if I cannot afford an attorney to help me with my car accident case?
Our attorneys at Becker Goodey work on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless and until we win your injury claim. Because you pay nothing up-front, there is zero risk in retaining us.