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Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer

Protect Your Rights After a Las Vegas Vehicle Accident  |  Zentz &  Zentz

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Las Vegas auto Accident Lawyer

Car accidents happen every day in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. When these incidents occur, it’s essential for anyone injured to know their rights and the value of reliable legal counsel as they work toward obtaining compensation for their damages. A car accident victim may have multiple options for recovery, but the immediate aftermath of a car accident can make it difficult for them to determine the best approach to seeking compensation for their losses.

Zentz & Zentz can provide the guidance and support you need after a negligent driver has injured you in Las Vegas. Our team has years of experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases on behalf of our clients in the Las Vegas area, and we are prepared to apply the full scope of our professional skills, resources, and practical experience with car accident claims in your case.

Why Do I Need a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer?

Car accidents are one of the most commonly reported causes of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the United States, and each state has unique laws pertaining to auto insurance, fault for accidents, and the recovery options available to victims. The recent car accident you experienced likely affected your life in several ways, and it can be difficult to determine the best approach to your recovery. Insurance is typically the first phase of any car accident victim’s recovery process, but dealing with insurance companies is rarely pleasant or easy. Even when insurance pays out the maximum coverage possible for an accident, the victim may still not receive enough to fully cover their losses.

A Las Vegas car accident attorney can provide peace of mind and reassurance when you need it most. You should not attempt to file a civil claim of any kind unassisted, especially when you are struggling with a painful recovery process from your injuries. Instead of making an already difficult situation even more stressful on yourself by trying to handle everything alone, have an experienced Las Vegas auto accident attorney represent you. Your legal team can assist you with your initial insurance claim as well as a subsequent personal injury case against the driver who hit you.

When you choose Zentz & Zentz to represent you in a Las Vegas auto accident case, we will thoroughly explore every potential avenue of recovery available to you. Our firm has extensive experience handling difficult personal injury cases, and we know that every client faces unique needs and challenges as they work toward recovering from their accidents. We can represent you before insurance companies who may be unwilling to compensate you appropriately and provide the personal injury representation you need when further legal action is necessary for your situation.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and every year, the city plays host to millions of visitors. Many of these visitors rent cars to drive during their stay, and they are likely to be unfamiliar with the roads and traffic patterns in the area. Driving in unfamiliar territory is always risky, and unfortunately, the attractions of Las Vegas align with the modern party scene. Drunk and drugged driving are problems in the area, and drivers in Las Vegas face many risks every time they operate their vehicles.

Some of the most commonly reported causes of car accidents in Las Vegas that lead to civil lawsuits include:

  • Distracted driving. This is the most cited cause of all vehicle accidents throughout the United States each year.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Intoxicated driving is extremely dangerous for the impaired driver and everyone else around them. DUI drivers who cause accidents and injure others face criminal charges in addition to liability for victims’ civil damages.
  • Speeding. It is dangerous for drivers to exceed posted speed limits. A speeding driver has less time and space to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions.
  • Moving violations. Las Vegas often has heavy traffic congestion, and this, unfortunately, compels some drivers to make illegal turns, run red lights, and commit other moving violations that often result in accidents.

Car accidents can happen in many ways, and when they cause injuries and substantial economic losses, victims are likely to wonder about the full scope of their legal options for recovering these damages.

If you believe another driver is responsible for causing your recent accident, there are four main elements of negligence you will need to establish to hold them accountable:

  1. Duty of care. The plaintiff in a car accident case must identify the defendant and prove they owed the plaintiff a duty of care in the situation in question. Every driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle responsibly and to refrain from driving after consuming drugs or alcohol. Drivers are also expected to be attentive while driving and to use good judgment in difficult traffic situations.
  2. Breach of duty. The plaintiff must then prove how the defendant breached the duty of care that applied to the situation in question. This could be a direct action, such as operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or speeding, or it may be inaction when a reasonable action was necessary, such as fixing broken headlights.
  3. Damage. A plaintiff only has grounds for a personal injury suit if they sustained actual harm from the defendant’s actions. The plaintiff must provide clear evidence of the damages sustained from the accident in question.
  4. Causation. The plaintiff must then prove their claimed damages directly resulted from the defendant’s breached duty of care and not some other issue.

A Las Vegas car accident attorney can be instrumental in helping a client establish these elements of negligence. If you are unsure whether another driver is responsible for your recent accident or do not know how to prove the scope of your damages, it’s vital that you consult an experienced legal team as soon as possible after your accident.

Commonly Cited Injuries From Car Accidents

Even a seemingly mild car accident can cause serious injuries. Bone fractures, soft tissue damage, and traumatic brain injuries are just some of the most commonly reported injuries from car accidents in the Las Vegas, NV, area. Serious accidents may also cause crushing injuries, spinal cord damage, internal organ damage, and facial injuries that cause permanent disfigurement. Car accident victims also often sustain multiple minor injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and bruises.

If you are severely injured in a car accident someone else caused, you may have no other option aside from waiting for first responders to arrive and administer medical care. If you are able to move around after a crash, do so carefully and report the accident to the police if no one else has already done so. You should take the time while you wait for first responders to take photos of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and the positions of the vehicles involved in the crash. These photos could be invaluable in a subsequent auto insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Dealing With Auto Insurance Claims

One of the most unpleasant aspects of resolving a car accident in Las Vegas is filing a claim for insurance coverage against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Nevada state law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance that meets a few basic coverage requirements:

  • Auto insurance policies must include at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person injured in an accident caused by the policyholder.
  • Policies must also provide at least $50,000 in total accident bodily injury liability coverage for all persons injured in an accident caused by the policyholder.
  • Policies must provide at least $20,000 in property damage liability coverage.

The fault rule in Nevada dictates that an injured driver has the right to file a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance policy. While not strictly required by law, it is also strongly recommended that drivers purchase underinsured/uninsured driver coverage that comes into play when a driver who does not have insurance or adequate insurance causes an accident with them. This coverage allows them to file a claim against their own auto insurance policy for some immediate economic relief while they determine their best next steps toward recovery.

While insurance carriers in the U.S. have a legal duty to handle all claims for coverage in good faith, not all insurance companies meet this obligation. Generally, insurance companies look for any reasons they can find to reduce claim payouts or deny claims for coverage. However, if you have an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer help you with your insurance claim, you are far less likely to experience any unfair pushback from an insurance company. Once they notice you have legal counsel advising you, they are likely to be more cooperative, and you’ll have a better chance to secure fair compensation from the at-fault driver’s policy.

It’s important to remember that even if you have no trouble in filing your insurance claim and securing a settlement from the insurance company, the payout you receive may not fully cover your total damages. In this situation, you would need to proceed with a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to secure compensation for your remaining losses insurance can’t cover.

How to Prove Fault for a Car Accident

Liability for a car accident isn’t always immediately clear, and it is possible for fault to fall to more than one party. Your Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help you determine the defendants you must include in your claim and assist you with the preliminary stages of filing your personal injury action. To succeed with your case, you must accurately identify the party or parties responsible for causing your accident and prove the full scope of your claimable damages. You must also prove that those damages were the direct results of the at-fault party’s negligence and not some other cause.

Your legal team can assist you in gathering the evidence you need to prove fault for your accident. Depending on how the accident happened, this evidence may include traffic camera footage, dashcam recordings, cell phone records, and vehicle computer data. Your attorney will also want to interview eyewitnesses to the accident and obtain their statements. The initial police report from the officers who responded to the crash can also be a vital component of your case and includes the responding officer’s initial findings from the scene of the crash.

Nevada upholds a modified comparative negligence law that applies in any personal injury claim in which the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their claimed damages. Some car accidents occur due to the fault of multiple parties. When the court investigates a car accident claim, they assess whether the plaintiff bears any comparative fault for the incident. If comparative fault is discovered, the plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault for causing the accident. For example, if the claim is worth $200,000 and the plaintiff is 10% at fault, they lose $20,000 or 10% of the total case award to reflect their comparative fault.

Damages and Compensation for a Car Accident Claim in Las Vegas, NV

After you exhaust your recovery options through insurance claims, your Las Vegas car accident attorney can help you compile a personal injury claim against the party or parties responsible for causing your car accident. Nevada’s personal injury laws allow a plaintiff to seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses. This includes medical expenses incurred immediately after the accident when a victim needs emergency medical care, as well as long-term medical treatment costs for severe injuries.
  • Lost income. A car accident can leave a victim unable to work until they recover, and the defendant is liable for their lost wages during this time. If the plaintiff cannot return to work at all due to a permanent disability, the plaintiff can seek compensation for their lost earning capacity.
  • Property damage. The at-fault driver’s insurance may cover some vehicle repair costs, but any outstanding property losses can be included in a personal injury action.

In addition to economic damages, plaintiffs in personal injury claims also have the right to seek compensation for physical pain and emotional distress inflicted by the defendant. “Pain and suffering” may be an abstract concept, and some plaintiffs may not know how to fairly calculate appropriate pain and suffering compensation to include in their claim.

Your Las Vegas car accident lawyer can assess the severity of your injuries and whether you face long-term medical complications to determine an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to include in your claim. A common method many attorneys use is to multiply their client’s claimed economic damages by a factor of one to five to reflect the severity of their circumstances. In many cases, pain and suffering compensation forms the bulk of the plaintiff’s total recovery.

Important Things to Remember After a Car Accident

A car accident can be a terrifying experience, and many people who experience these events due to the actions of other drivers make critical errors in the early stages of the aftermath that jeopardize their ability to recover compensation. The first thing you should do, if possible, immediately after an accident is to check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Once you do, check on the occupants of the other vehicles involved in the collision. Call 911 to report the crash if no one else has already done so. Nevada state law requires drivers to report any accident resulting in significant property damage, injuries, or deaths. Failure to report an accident as required can result in criminal prosecution.

If you are hurt, it is best to wait for first responders to arrive so you do not unintentionally make your injuries worse by moving around. If you can do so safely, take photos of the scene, including your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and where the vehicles came to rest on the road. You can also take photos of nearby landmarks and the surrounding area. These photos can help with an insurance claim and a personal injury case, assisting you in establishing exactly how and why the accident happened.

When the police interview you regarding the accident, do not admit fault in any way, even if you believe you are partially responsible for the crash. The police can easily misconstrue certain statements as admissions of guilt, and these issues can interfere with your ability to secure an insurance claim payout or hold an at-fault driver accountable with a personal injury claim. Answer their questions honestly and concisely until they allow you to leave.

Once you’re free to go, seek medical treatment immediately, even if you think you only suffered minor injuries. It’s relatively common for car accident victims to walk away from accidents apparently unscathed and then be in so much pain the next day that they cannot get out of bed. Seeking a prompt medical examination creates a record showing that you sought immediate care, and it can also help you determine whether you sustained injuries that have not yet caused noticeable symptoms.

After addressing your medical needs and obtaining a copy of the police report from the accident, you should consult an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you file your insurance claim against the at-fault driver and explore further legal action if necessary for a fuller recovery.

FAQs

Q: Can I Sue for a Car Accident in Las Vegas?

A: It’s possible to resolve a car accident by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. However, if they do not have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate your damages, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for any damages that insurance can’t cover. If you’re unsure whether you have grounds for a car accident lawsuit, contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Q: When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

A: Many drivers are able to resolve minor accidents and fender-benders with the other drivers involved privately without resorting to civil actions. However, if you sustained any serious injuries, or if the at-fault driver does not have insurance, it’s best to work with an attorney in seeking compensation for your damages. Legal representation is a valuable asset in this situation that can enable you to secure the fullest recovery possible under Nevada state law.

Q: How Long Can It Take to Resolve My Car Accident Case?

A: Many people who file personal injury claims for car accidents can resolve these matters within a matter of weeks to a few months. However, some cases can take much longer to resolve, such as those pertaining to catastrophic damages, unclear liability between multiple possible defendants, and cases involving comparative negligence that generates complex litigation.

Q: Can I Resolve My Car Accident Case Privately?

A: The vast majority of personal injury claims filed in Nevada end in private settlement negotiations. If a defendant accepts responsibility for the plaintiff’s damages, a swift settlement negotiation suits the best interests of both parties. However, if the defendant contests their liability for the plaintiff’s damages or disagrees with the amount of compensation sought by the plaintiff, the case may need to be settled by a judge in court.

It’s common to experience acute stress and anxiety in the aftermath of a car accident. Any accident has the potential to be a life-changing event, and a victim may not know the full scope of the legal options available to them that may help them recover their losses. Zentz & Zentz has the experience necessary to handle the most challenging car accident cases on behalf of Las Vegas, NV clients. If you are struggling with the effects of a car accident someone else caused and are ready to explore your options for legal recourse, contact Zentz & Zentz today to schedule your consultation with a Las Vegas car accident attorney.

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