Were you injured in an auto accident in Las Vegas? Do you have questions about whether you can seek compensation if the other driver insists you are partially at fault for the wreck?
Things can get complicated when two or more drivers share fault for a Las Vegas car accident. You still may have the right to seek compensation, even if you contributed to a car accident, depending on your degree of fault.
The experienced Las Vegas car accident attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP have recovered millions of dollars for crash victims like you. We can help you understand whether you have a right to pursue a claim against another driver, even if you were partially at fault. To discuss the specifics of your accident, contact our partial fault crash lawyers today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial consultation.
How Is Fault Determined in Las Vegas?
Drivers in Nevada are required to carry auto liability insurance. Auto liability policies pay for the costs of accidents in which the policyholder is at fault.
The assignment of fault determines who is financially liable for car accident injuries in Nevada. One driver may be 100 percent at fault. Two drivers may both have contributed to a crash and be partially at fault.
Adjusters with the insurance companies representing the drivers in a Las Vegas car accident will review the police report, evaluate accident photos and interview the people involved. The adjusters will assign fault. In many cases, more than one driver may share blame for a car accident.
The percentage of fault assigned matters under Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rules.
A driver who is found to be at least 50 percent at fault for an auto accident in Nevada may be held financially liable for injuries sustained by others.
However, if you are found partially at fault and you are assigned more than 50 percent of the blame for an accident, then you would be barred from recovering compensation from another driver.
If there is a dispute about the responsibility for a serious crash, you may need to go to court and prove the other driver was primarily at fault to seek compensation for your losses. The jury would hear the evidence, decide whether to award compensation and determine what share of fault each motorist bears for a collision.
Is Nevada a No-fault State?
No, Nevada is not a no-fault state.
Twelve states in the U.S. have no-fault insurance systems. Drivers in these states are required to carry no-fault auto insurance.
When a car accident occurs in a no-fault state, the drivers file claims against their own insurance to cover the costs of the accident. Policyholders seek to recoup the costs of the accident from their own insurance carriers regardless of fault.
However, Nevada does not rely on a no-fault insurance system. It matters who is at fault when an accident occurs in states such as Nevada that use a fault-based insurance system.
An experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney at Sam & Ash, LLP can review the details of your accident, evaluate whether the evidence suggests you are partially at fault, and discuss whether you may still seek compensation. We understand insurance company tactics and can push back when insurers attempt to shift the blame to avoid liability or minimize the amount the insurer must pay.
How Is Partial Fault in an Accident Determined?
An investigation is required to uncover relevant evidence and establish how the wreck occurred in most cases.
Common types of evidence insurance adjusters use to determine how an accident happened and who was at fault include:
- Police accident reports – Police officers who investigate a crash create official accident reports with useful information such as the names of the drivers involved, their insurance carriers, toxicology test results, and citations issued for traffic violations.
- Photos and video footage – Photos of the accident scene and footage from nearby cameras can show exactly how a crash happened.
- Physical evidence – Physical evidence such as damaged vehicles and skid marks at the accident scene can also be useful.
- Eyewitness statements – Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the crash occur can provide unbiased details of the surrounding circumstances.
- Expert witness testimony – Expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists can analyze the facts of a crash to develop professional insights about the causes of the accident.
- Medical records – Your medical records can document the injuries you sustained in the crash and how those injuries have affected your life.
- Financial documents – Copies of medical bills, pay stubs showing lost wages, and vehicle repair estimates can help you prove the extent of the financial losses you suffered due to the crash.
Types of Shared-fault Auto Accident Systems
When insurance companies look into shared-fault auto accidents, the fault for the crash is typically expressed as a percentage.
When a driver is assigned a certain percentage of fault for a crash, that percentage of fault can affect the amount of compensation they are entitled to receive.
The state of Nevada does not disqualify drivers from seeking compensation if they are partially at fault. Nevada uses a modified comparative negligence rule to determine fault. You are eligible to recover money from the other driver as long as you are no more than 50 percent responsible for an accident.
For example, if a Clark County jury awards $100,000 in damages for a car accident and finds that you are 25 percent partially at fault, then you would be entitled to $75,000 in compensation from the other driver’s insurance.
Common Types of Shared-fault Car Accidents
In some car accident cases, it’s obvious who was at fault. However, when the following types of accidents occur, an investigation is often needed to determine how shared fault will be assigned:
- Rear-end collisions – Many people assume the trailing driver is automatically at fault in a rear-end crash, but this isn’t always true. The following driver may be at fault if he or she was following too closely or speeding. The leading driver may share responsibility if they merged too closely in front of the other vehicle or stopped short for no reason.
- Sideswipe accidents – A sideswipe accident occurs when the side of one vehicle scrapes against the side of another. This type of wreck most commonly occurs when drivers accidentally drift into neighboring lanes, which may be the fault of either driver. Disputes regarding fault are common in sideswipe collisions.
- T-bone crashes – A T-bone crash occurs when the front end of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. These accidents occur frequently at intersections, where drivers disregard a traffic signal or get confused about who has the right of way. An investigation may be required to determine who had the right of way and who was at fault in a T-bone crash.
- Multi-car pile-ups – Pile-ups typically occur due to chain reaction collisions among vehicles in dense traffic. Because these accidents involve multiple cars and drivers, assigning fault is often particularly complicated.
What To Do After an Auto Accident Where You May Be Partially at Fault?
If you suspect you were partially at fault for a Nevada auto accident, you may be wondering how your liability could affect your claim.
Here are some simple steps you can take after a Las Vegas crash to protect your legal rights:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure any injuries have been diagnosed, treated, and added to your medical records.
- Follow your doctor’s care plan and attend all follow-up appointments to demonstrate to interested parties that you are taking your health seriously.
- Gather evidence from the accident, such as photos of the accident scene, information from the other driver, and statements from eyewitnesses.
- Keep track of medical bills, receipts from out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash, pay stubs, and other documentation of your accident-related medical expenses and financial losses.
- Watch what you say to others about the accident to insurance companies and do not give a recorded statement without consulting a personal injury attorney first.
- Avoid posting information about your injuries or the accident on social media while your accident claim is pending.
- Record daily observations about the pain you feel and the limitations you experience as a result of the crash.
- Contact a knowledgeable partial fault car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Can I Still Get Compensation if I Am Partially at Fault for an Accident?
You may still pursue compensation if you are partially at fault for an accident. Under Nevada’s modified comparative negligence doctrine, you can still receive compensation for an accident as long as you can prove you were no more than 50 percent at fault. With the help of a knowledgeable auto accident attorney, you could obtain money for losses such as:
- Crash-related medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs for incidental expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning potential
- Pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
- Vehicle and property damage costs
Contact a Las Vegas Partial-fault Auto Accident Attorney
It is important to understand your legal options after a shared fault car accident in Las Vegas. Contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP today to discuss the details of the accident in a free initial case review. You deserve What’s Right. Let our skilled legal team develop a plan of action for you.