\After a car accident, your vehicle will likely have some damage. However, Las Vegas vehicle damage liability may come into question. Whether it is a few scratches and dents or something that requires more in-depth repair, you may wonder who will be responsible for paying for the damage. Determining who will pay for your vehicle repairs depends on a few factors – and may require the assistance of a Las Vegas personal injury attorney, especially if you suffered from injuries.
Negligence in a Car Accident Case in Nevada
Liability is determined by negligence in an accident and this principle applies to your injuries as well as vehicle damage. If you can prove that the other driver was acting negligently (e.g., speeding, drunk driving, failing to yield, running a red light, etc.) and caused the accident, then you may be able to hold that person liable for any repairs your vehicle needs.
However, to establish negligence, you must show that these four elements exist in your case:
- Duty of care: The other party was obligated to exercise care and prudence on the road.
- Breach of duty:They didn’t fulfill this duty of care, thereby acting negligently.
- Causation: This breach caused your
- Damages: You incurred property damages and perhaps other losses.
This negligence framework doesn’t just apply to showing other drivers’ carelessness. Other parties may have caused or contributed to the accident, too. For example, a mechanic who worked on the other driver’s car might have failed to detect an issue with the brakes. As a result, the other driver couldn’t stop and ended up hitting you. In that case, we would hold the mechanic or the auto repair shop liable for your damages.
Evidence We Can Use to Support Your Vehicle Damage Claim
We must back up your negligence claims with evidence. Common forms of documentation we use are:
- Photos of the vehicle damage at different angles
- Photos of any injuries sustained
- Video footage of the accident
- The police report
- Eyewitness statements
The smallest piece of evidence can make a big difference in the validity of your case. If you come across anything that you think could help you, bring it up to your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.
Insurers Will Pay Up to Policy Limits Only
While it is true that you can file a claim against the other party’s auto insurer, you must realize that insurers are only required to pay up to policy limits. For example, let’s say you are in an accident and the other driver caused an estimated $10,000 in vehicle damage. They only have $5,000 of property damage coverage on their insurance policy. Therefore, the insurer will only pay $5,000 out of the $10,000 you need.
If the other party’s insurance cannot cover the total cost of repairs, who then assumes the responsibility for the Las Vegas vehicle damage liability? Your own insurance could cover the remaining portion based on your collision coverage.
When Repairs Exceed Car Values
It is not uncommon for repair costs to exceed the value of the vehicle. Insurance companies are only required by law to pay for vehicle damage up to the value of the vehicle, which means if the repairs exceed your car’s value, they will not pay more than that.
In these cases, insurers will typically rate your car as a total loss (totaled vehicle) and take the car. You will then be compensated the value of the vehicle to pay off any subsequent loans and replace the vehicle (though this value may not fully compensate or cover the cost of the vehicle due to depreciation).
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Your Damages
Sometimes, filing a personal injury lawsuit is the most appropriate route to compensation, especially if you were hurt in the accident. You can seek recovery for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, on top of vehicle repair or replacement costs this way. Note that you have limited time to act, though. Under NRS § 11.190(4)(e), you generally have two years to bring a lawsuit against the liable party.
If you start this process later than two years, you risk missing the deadline. In that case, the other party will no longer be on the hook for your damages.
How a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
If you have been in an accident and your vehicle was damaged and you also suffered from injuries, an attorney can help. Insurance companies will work hard to limit how much they pay out on your injury as well as reduce their Las Vegas vehicle damage liability.
The Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can help. We help our clients pursue the compensation they deserve for their injuries as well as property damage. Do not let insurance companies try to devalue your claim. To protect your rights, our lawyers can:
- Collect and analyze evidence
- Establish the negligent and liable parties
- Go back and forth with the insurance company on your behalf
- Quantify your damages
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster
- Take your case to trial, if necessary
Our team will help you on a contingency fee basis. This means we won’t ask for any upfront or out-of-pocket fees, as our payment will come from the compensation we secure for you at the end of the case.
Call De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers Today for a Free Case Review
If you were in a car accident and sustained injuries and vehicle damage, our Nevada personal injury lawyers can determine who covers the related costs and pursue compensation for them on your behalf.
Contact De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.