If you’ve been severely injured in a car accident, your first concern will be to seek medical treatment. But as medical expenses pile up and vehicle repair bills become due in the weeks after the accident, you may wonder who is financially responsible for helping you pay the costs of the crash.
Determining who is at fault plays a critical role in the aftermath of a car accident. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses you’ve incurred. An experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney can investigate the accident that injured you and determine who has financial liability.
If another driver caused your injuries, you may demand compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and more. The Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP have helped crash victims recover more than $400 million in compensation. We are ready to stand up and fight for What’s Right for you.
We want to help you seek fair compensation for your injuries after an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Legal Obligations When a Driver Files a Car Accident Claim
Nevada law requires drivers to take specific steps after an accident. According to the Nevada Driver Handbook, you should take the following steps:
- Move your vehicle to the side of the road, if it’s safe to do so, so you don’t block traffic.
- If anyone appears to be injured, call 911 and provide medical assistance.
- If there appears to be more than $750 in property damage, you’ll need to report the accident to the police, so they can file an accident report.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Get their name, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, insurance and registration information, and the make and model of their vehicle. You’ll also need to provide them with the same information.
- If you hit an unoccupied vehicle, you must leave your insurance information and contact information in a place where the vehicle’s owner can find it.
- Report the accident to your insurance company in a timely manner. Not reporting the accident in a timely manner could make it more difficult for you later on when you file a claim.
We recommend you take a few additional steps to protect your rights, such as:
- Looking for anyone who might have witnessed the crash. If you locate any eyewitnesses, get their names and contact information.
- See a doctor as soon as possible. If you aren’t taken to a hospital from the scene of the accident, schedule an appointment with your own doctor right away and get a medical evaluation.
- When you report the accident to your insurance company, keep the report brief and describe the basic facts of the crash.
- Contact a Las Vegas car accident lawyer as soon as possible to review the accident details and discuss your legal options.
The Role of Police Officers in a Car Accident
In Nevada, police generally investigate any accident in which someone is injured or killed. This means police play a key role in determining fault for an accident, though they do not have the final say when it comes to liability in civil lawsuits.
A police officer’s job when investigating an accident is to determine the basic sequence of events, as well as who may be to blame for the crash. They’ll examine the vehicles involved, look at the area surrounding the crash site, talk to any drivers involved, and question witnesses.
Police may also look for other evidence that indicates who is at fault for the accident, such as any skid marks left by the vehicles, nearby surveillance cameras, and any indications that one of the drivers may have been impaired.
Once the officer has completed the investigation, the officer will file an accident report with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. The police may charge a driver with a traffic infraction. You can request this report to support your claim, or your attorney can request the report on your behalf.
It’s important to remember that police can only issue citations for criminal offenses. While a police report can be supporting evidence in a personal injury lawsuit, it’s not up to the police to determine liability in civil cases. The insurance companies will determine who is liable for the accident unless the case goes to trial. If the case goes to court, a judge or jury will decide who is responsible for the crash.
Is Nevada an At-fault State?
Nevada is not among the states that use a no-fault insurance system for car accidents.
In Nevada, fault is used to determine financial liability for a car accident. Accident victims have a right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was at fault for a car accident. Proving fault requires evidence to support your claim.
Working with an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer gives you the best chance of building a strong case for compensation after a crash.
What Is Shared Fault in Nevada?
There are some car accidents where multiple drivers may share the blame for the accident. If multiple parties share fault for an accident in Nevada, insurance companies use a concept known as comparative negligence to assign each driver’s degree of fault and determine who will receive any compensation.
If you are found to be partly responsible for an accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you’re found to be 15 percent responsible for an accident, your compensation will be reduced by 15 percent.
In Nevada, you can still recover compensation for your injuries if you are partly at fault as long as you bear 50 percent or less of the fault for a car accident. If your degree of fault is 51 percent or more, you will be ineligible to receive compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to minimize your degree of fault and seek as much compensation as possible.
Factors That Determine Who Is at Fault
The factors that help determine who is found at fault for an accident include:
- The speed of the vehicles involved – Speeding makes it harder for drivers to see what is happening around them and respond safely to hazards on the road. Therefore, a speeding driver is more likely to be found at fault for an accident.
- Road and weather conditions – Bad weather and poor road conditions make accidents more likely. Drivers should take extra precautions in poor road or weather conditions. A driver’s failure to slow down in adverse weather and drive at a safe speed for the conditions may mean that a driver is liable for a crash.
- Signs, signals, and the rules of the road at the crash site – Traffic signs and signals play a key role in keeping drivers safe on the road. If a driver ignored a stop sign, ran a red light, or ignored other traffic laws, the driver is more likely to be held responsible for an accident.
- Police reports – Police are required to investigate accidents with injuries or deaths. Their findings often play a significant role in determining fault for an accident.
- Eyewitness accounts – Eyewitness testimony can play a role in determining fault for an accident, especially if an eyewitness sees a driver behaving negligently.
- Any admission of fault after the accident – Any statement you make or apology after an accident could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Be careful what you say to the police, insurance companies, and the other driver after a crash.
What Options Are Available for Car Accident Victims?
You have three main options to recover compensation after a car accident in Nevada:
- Filing a claim for property damage and health care costs with your insurance company
- Filing a third-party claim against the other driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your losses
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver
You should speak with a knowledgeable Las Vegas car accident lawyer to discuss which option is best in your situation.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive?
The amount of compensation you can seek after a serious car accident depends on your degree of fault, the available evidence to support your claim, and the insurance policies available to provide compensation. With help from our car accident lawyers at Sam & Ash, LLP, you may have a right to claim compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earning potential
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Damaged personal property
Call Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
The Las Vegas car accident lawyers at Sam & Ash, LLP are committed to providing dependable legal guidance to those injured in accidents in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get compensation for your injuries. You deserve What’s Right. Call us for a free consultation to discuss how we can help.