How Is Compensation Calculated in a Motor Vehicle Accident Case?
In Nevada, if someone else caused your accident, you are entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The amount of money you can pursue depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of your injuries and the losses you sustained as a result.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and want to know more about how your case will be handled, a Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help. Our team can answer all your questions so you feel confident about moving forward with your lawsuit or settlement negotiations.
Calculating Compensation in a Motor Vehicle Accident Case
In a motor vehicle accident case, how much compensation you can pursue depends on the type of accident, and the severity of your injuries. The more severe your injuries are, the more money you could get.
For example, if a drunk driver rear-ends your car at 70 miles per hour, causing extreme damage and traumatic injury, it could be a very serious case resulting in millions of dollars in compensation.
However, if you were involved in a minor fender-bender where no one was injured and there was minimal damage to your vehicle, it would likely not be considered an “extreme” injury case and therefore would not warrant high levels of compensation.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Car Accident?
In a motor vehicle accident case, the injured party can recover compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages come with a specific dollar amount and have documentation to prove it. These could include:
- Past and future medical expenses: Medical bills are an ordinary expense that most people pay in their lifetimes, but when a person has been injured in an accident, there are often unexpected medical expenses that come up. These include co-pays and deductibles on insurance policies, as well as prescriptions that need to be filled out-of-pocket due to high medicine prices.
- Lost income: If your injury prevents you from working for some time after the accident, you may be eligible for compensation for that lost income (not including any disability benefits received from Social Security).
Non-economic damages are harder to put a price tag on, as they are meant to compensate you for any physical or emotional toll the accident has caused, including:
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage that compensates an injured party for their mental anguish and emotional distress.
- Damages for Wrongful Death: In some cases, wrongful death claims may be made on behalf of family members who lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by another person’s negligent driving or defective product design. Damages for wrongful death include funeral expenses, lost wages for surviving spouses and children, loss of companionship and support, mental anguish, and punitive damages (if appropriate).
- Loss of Consortium: Loss of consortium is a legal term used to describe a loss that occurs when one spouse is unable to fulfill his or her marital obligations because the other spouse has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you accurately value your losses and determine a fair settlement amount to properly begin negotiating with insurers.
Punitive damages may be awarded in addition to compensatory damages (they’re not automatically included), but they are only reserved for extreme cases. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and serve as a deterrent against future wrongdoing. They are awarded in cases that involve gross negligence or misconduct.
In a personal injury case, punitive damages could be applied if:
- The defendant acted with malice or reckless disregard for safety
- The defendant’s actions caused harm that was either intentionally inflicted or deliberately reckless and dangerous to others
How Can I Get The Most Money For My Car Accident?
Compensation for vehicle accidents can be a complicated matter. If you have been injured in a car accident, a Las Vegas personal injury attorney from our firm can help.
The best way to maximize your compensation is to consult with a Nevada personal injury attorney with experience in these cases, who can assist you through each step of the process and explain every detail of what your case entails.
Every state has its own rules about how much compensation you are entitled to after being injured in a car accident. Your lawyer knows what those rules are and can help negotiate on your behalf so that you pursue the fairest possible settlement after suffering injuries due to someone else’s negligence.
How Do Car Insurance Policy Limits Affect My Claim?
Your insurance company’s policy limits are the most that they will pay you for damages in a motor vehicle accident.
The amount of insurance available to cover your damages is one of the most important factors in settling your case because it determines how much money you can expect to receive from your insurer for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible on claims, so they often start from an artificially low number — usually their policy’s minimum liability limit.
For example, if you’re injured in a car crash and your policy has $50,000 in coverage, but the other driver only has $20,000 in coverage (and has no assets), then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to recover more than $20,000 for your expenses.
Your attorney can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company so that you can pursue more money for your losses.
Who Pays the Settlement for Motor Vehicle Accident Cases?
In most cases, the insurance company of the at-fault party will pay for your injuries. If you are not satisfied with the amount offered by their insurance company, you can hire an attorney to help settle your case. In some cases, however, you may have to file a lawsuit against another driver to collect damages for your injuries.
In all motor vehicle accident cases, it is important that you take care of yourself first and foremost after being injured in an accident. Make sure that you see a doctor right away so they can assess your injuries and determine whether they need medical treatment immediately.
You should keep copies of bills and receipts for any expenses related to medical care, and document any income lost while recovering from those injuries as these costs may be reimbursed by your settlement award.
Can I Negotiate Compensation in a Car Accident Claim?
There are a few things to keep in mind when negotiating with an insurance company. First, you want to start by asking for a higher settlement than you think you will be able to get. Insurance companies often lowball the initial offer, so it is important that you start with a number that is significantly more than what they offer.
You should also ask for a lump sum rather than monthly payments because this will give you more control over your money and prevent the insurance company from taking monthly deductions from your settlement amount.
What Do I Do if the Insurance Company Won’t Budge On Their Low Offer?
If you’ve been in a car accident and the insurance company offers you a low settlement, you have a few options.
One is to accept it and move on. Another is to fight the low offer by going to court. A third is to try mediation or arbitration, which can result in much higher payouts than would be possible with litigation.
If you’re wondering what to do if the insurance company offers you a low settlement after an accident, here are some things to consider.
Accepting the offer will put an end to the entire process of fighting for compensation. You won’t have to go through any more negotiations, endure any more claims denials or deal with any more headaches from dealing with your insurance company. This can be tempting after months or years of dealing with an accident that left you physically or emotionally damaged.
But there’s no guarantee that accepting a low offer will be enough money for your needs. If your injuries are serious and long-lasting, accepting a low offer could leave you without sufficient funds to pay medical bills and other expenses related to your recovery. And if it turns out that your injuries were worse than they seemed initially — which happens often — then accepting a low offer might end up costing you more in the long run. The lawyers at our firm are experienced negotiators, know how to handle insurance companies, and can take your case to trial if necessary.
How Long Does It Take To Get Compensated For A Motor Vehicle Accident?
Many factors affect how long it takes to get compensated. For example, how soon after your injury did you seek medical care? Are there witnesses who saw what happened? Does the insurance company deny liability and claim that it was your fault?
However, the two most important factors that influence the timeline are:
- The complexity of your case
- The amount of insurance coverage available to pay your claim
If your case is complex, with complicated injuries and damages, it will take longer to resolve. For example, if you have suffered a serious accident, resulting in a permanently disabling injury, it will take longer for the insurance company to assess the total value of your claim than if you only suffered minor injuries and some property damage.
Another factor that could determine how long it takes to get compensation for a car accident claim is whether there is enough insurance coverage in place at the time of your accident to pay out on all claims. It will take longer for everyone involved if the accident occurred with uninsured or underinsured motorists (UM/UIM).
An attorney who knows how to maximize the value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance companies could also be a factor regarding the timeframe of your case. Your lawyer can fight for your compensation and attempt to convince the insurance company to settle quickly without having to go through litigation proceedings.
Do I Need To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a Las Vegas personal injury attorney can do a lot to help if you were injured in an accident. Lawyers are trained to deal with insurance companies and know how to pursue the best possible compensation for their client’s injuries. They also know what types of settlements are realistic and can work on your behalf while you heal from your injuries.
You may be tempted to try handling your own claim, but this is not recommended for several reasons:
- Most people don’t have enough knowledge about how these cases work as going to court is not something that happens every day
- The laws surrounding these cases are complex and it’s easy to make mistakes that could hurt your case or cost you valuable money down the line
- Insurance companies can be hard to negotiate with if you don’t have experience with their tactics or know how to convince them your case is worth more
Contact a Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer Today
It is important to understand how compensation is calculated in a motor vehicle accident case.
The amount of damages that you can recover depends on many factors, including what type of injuries you sustained, the other driver’s insurance policy limits, and the extent of your losses like medical bills and lost income.
If you need help with your claim or want more information, contact our Las Vegas car accident attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve by working directly with the insurers. Contact our firm today to get started on your case.