Ten Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
- I was injured in a car accident. Do I need a lawyer?
There are certainly cases in which hiring a lawyer is not needed or would not be beneficial, and it is important to make that determination sooner rather than later. That's one reason why our firm offers free initial consultations. We can assess your case at no cost to you and with no obligation.
- I have a lot of medical bills and other up-front costs. Can I afford to hire an attorney if I can't pay right away?
Personal injury cases are almost always taken on a contingency basis, and that is our policy as well. We only get paid if we are able to help you obtain compensation. Therefore, there is very little risk involved on your end.
- What exactly are damages? And what kinds of damages can I seek compensation for?
Damages are a type of award (usually financial) given as compensation for an injury or some other loss. In Nevada personal injury cases, you can usually collect economic damages for quantifiable losses (medical bills, lost work time, property repair, etc.). In most cases, you can also collect non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering.
- How much money should I expect if I win my case?
Each case is different, so it is not really possible to get an accurate estimate without discussing the details of your case with an attorney. The factors to be considered, however, will include the types of damages you are suing for and whether or not you shared any fault for the accident.
- I may have been partially at fault for the crash. Does that mean I don't have a case?
Nevada law recognizes a doctrine known as modified comparative fault. If you were deemed less than 50 percent at fault for the crash, you can collect damages. If you share some fault, however, your damage award will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
- My insurance company and the other driver's insurance company have asked me to sign certain documents and/or give a statement. What should I do?
Insurance companies are always trying to limit their own liability and minimize their payouts. It is how they make money. In general, you should avoid signing anything or giving any official statements until you have consulted with your lawyer. You don't want to sign or say anything that an insurer could try to use against you in court or settlement negotiations.
- If an insurance company or the other driver wants to settle with me, should I accept their offer, even if it seems unfair?
The offer you receive may be delivered in a tone that suggests it is non-negotiable (even if that is never actually stated). And if you aren't used to negotiating, you may be worried that rejecting the offer could leave you with nothing.
This is one reason why it is so helpful to have your own attorney. Your lawyer can advise you on whether the offer is fair and reasonable, and what other legal options you may have if you decide to decline.
- How much time do I have after the accident to file a lawsuit?
For personal injury lawsuits in Nevada, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the accident. Filing relatively soon (within the first six months to one year) might make it easier to preserve evidence and ensure that witnesses can be found when they are needed.
- Will any injuries that I have be apparent right after the crash?
Most injuries related to a car accident are immediate. However, some injuries may not present themselves for days or even weeks after the crash. This is especially true of soft-tissue injuries, which can be slow to develop, but may lead to prolonged, chronic pain.
If asked to give a statement soon after the accident, you should avoid phrases like "I'm fine" or "I wasn't injured." If you later develop pain, insurers may try to use these earlier statements against you.
- What kind of evidence might I need in order to strengthen my case?
Anything can be helpful, and it is important to gather as much evidence as you can, as soon as you can. In addition to photos, police reports, medical notes and other documented evidence, your attorney may try to obtain pictures and videos from traffic cameras, security cameras and statements from witnesses.
Have More Questions? Contact Us For Answers.
Dimopoulos Law Firm proudly serves clients in and around Las Vegas. For a free consultation, call us at 702-800-6000, or send us an email.