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Nine Factors That Determine How Much To Expect From a Car Accident Settlement in Las Vegas

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The great majority of car accident claims end in settlement, not trial. Even so, many claims settle out of court only after the victim files a lawsuit. It’s not enough to “win.” Rather, it’s how much you win that matters. But how much is enough? That’s something you need to figure out quickly.

Many considerations play a role in determining how much to expect from a car accident settlement. Typical car accident settlement amounts are impossible to calculate if you want a meaningful figure that applies to your particular case. 

Instead, it is better to understand the factors that go into calculating the amount of your car accident settlement. That way, you can calculate a ballpark figure on your own.

Factor #1: How Serious Are Your Injuries?

The more serious your injuries are, the more medical treatment you will need and the more time you will need to take off work. Medical expenses and lost earnings will begin to pile up, entitling you to greater compensation. 

Your lawyer will probably advise you to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before you file a lawsuit. MMI is the point where your doctor certifies that your condition has improved as much as it ever will. This could mean full recovery, or it could mean permanent disability. The reason you need to wait for MMI is that you need to finish accumulating medical bills and lost earnings so that you won’t need to estimate expenses that haven’t yet arisen.

Factor #2: How Much Pain and Suffering Did You Endure?

The extent of your pain and suffering is not the same as the overall seriousness of your injuries. Sometimes less serious injuries cause a lot of suffering, while more serious injuries cause less suffering. 

Regardless, it is important that you be able to prove the seriousness of your pain. You might need an expert witness to convince a court or even an insurance company of the seriousness of your suffering. If you can, however, your claim could be worth a lot.

Factor #3: Will You Suffer Permanent Vocational Disability?

Once you reach MMI, will you be able to return to your previous occupation at the same salary? If not, then you deserve compensation for your future losses. In an extreme case, your injury might be so severe that you have to retire early. In that case, your age is critical to the amount of your claim. If you have to retire at 35, you will miss at least 30 years of work. If you have to retire at 50, you will miss at least 15 years of work.

You definitely do not want to underestimate the value of your vocational disability. In a personal injury claim, you have one shot at claiming and proving all of the damages you deserve. If you underestimate them, you might run out of money years from now. By then, it will be too late to ask for more. Make sure your calculator is accurate, even if you have to hire an expert witness.

Factor #4: Were You Partly Responsible for Your Own Injuries?

Many (if not most) car accidents arise from the fault of more than one party. One motorist was driving too fast for the conditions, for example, while another was driving with one headlight out. How do you apportion damages when both drivers were at fault? 

Nevada does it by apportioning fault on a percentage basis. The state’s system is called “modified comparative negligence.” If you are assigned 51% or more fault for the accident, you won’t be able to recover damages. If your assigned percentage is less than that, your damages will be reduced accordingly. Sharing 25% of the blame, for instance, means you would lose 25% of your damages.

Factor #5: What Are the Limits of the Insurance Policy You Will Rely On?

Even if your damages are a billion dollars, you cannot force an insurance company to pay a dime more than their coverage limits. If they insured the at-fault driver for $50,000, then $50,000 is all you will get. Nevada requires all drivers to purchase at least the following liability insurance:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury per person;
  • $50,000 in bodily injury per accident; and
  • $20,000 in property damage per accident.

Despite this legal requirement, about 10% of Nevada drivers are uninsured. Some drivers carry more than the minimum insurance, however.

Factor #6: Did You Make Any Mistakes That Might Damage Your Claim?

There are many mistakes that you might make that could damage or even destroy your claim, including:

  • Talking about your case on social media;
  • Allowing an insurance company to record an interview with you outside the presence of your lawyer; and
  • Missing the statute of limitations deadline to file a lawsuit.

There are dozens of other common mistakes you could make. A lawyer can help you avoid them.

Factor #7: How Much of Your Own Money Did You Spend Due to the Accident?

One component of your compensation is out-of-pocket expenses. What reasonable expenses did you have to pay that you wouldn’t have needed except for the accident? If you normally take care of your children, you can claim any childcare expenses that arose. If you normally maintain the household, you can claim any house cleaning expenses that you had to pay while you were incapacitated. Other out-of-pocket expenses may arise as well.

Factor #8: Did Someone Die in the Accident?

If someone died in the accident, a personal injury claim becomes a wrongful death claim. The value of a wrongful death claim is likely to be high because of the value that the law places on human life. The defendant does not have to be guilty of a crime to bear liability for wrongful death.

Factor #9: How Skilled of a Negotiator Are You?  

If you hired a lawyer, a better question is, “How skilled of a negotiator is your lawyer?” If you try to negotiate your claim on your own, you will probably be facing a professional negotiator, likely an insurance adjuster. Fortunately, experienced personal injury lawyers are professional negotiators too.

An Experienced Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer Can Make All the Difference

No honest lawyer will offer you a guaranteed settlement amount. Realistically, however, hiring a lawyer might triple or quadruple the amount you win. A lawyer can help you in a hundred different ways. 

The three most important, however, are usually (i) calculating the value of your claim, (ii) advising you against common claim-damaging mistakes, and (iii) negotiating your claim with the opposing party. A lawyer is likely to prove useful in many other ways as well.

Contact Our Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyers at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in Las Vegas, NV, and need legal help contact our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation today.

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers – Las Vegas Office
1149 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV. 89104
(702) 222-9999
24 hours Open

De Castroverde Accident & Injury LawyersSummerlin Office
410 S Rampart Blvd, Ste 480 Las Vegas, NV. 89145
(702) 297-6373
24 hours Open

De Castroverde Accident & Injury LawyersHenderson Office
9555 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV. 89123
(702) 997-4264
24 hours Open

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury attorneys serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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