Is a Las Vegas personal injury attorney absolutely necessary to settle my case?
No. But you also don’t absolutely have to have a mechanic to fix your car or a doctor to stitch a cut. Getting you the maximum settlement requires that you show insurance companies that you understand state and federal rules of procedure, Nevada limitations on legal actions, the law of negligence and contributory and comparative fault, damages, health insurance, subrogation, and medical liens, not to mention have a degree of skill and experience in negotiation, arbitration, and mediation. It is more simple and more effective to engage a law firm you can trust to handle your case with the aggression and attention it needs to get you the maximum settlement.
How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
Nevada personal injury law is well established for many cases, and some basics apply to practially every Las Vegas personal injury case. First, you must have suffered an injury to your person or property. Second, you have to evaluate whether or not your injury was someone else’s fault. An injury can mean lots of different things, including of course actual physical harm and injury. But it can also mean other things. In the case of an assault, you may only need to show that you suffered due to an anticipation or expectation of bodily harm. If you have any doubts as to whether or not you have a persoanl injury case, by all means take advantage of our free consultations and we can let you know if you have a personal injury case. Check out our blog entry on negligence to learn more about how your Las Vegas personal injury case is analyzed. Some other helpful resources can be found here.
What is negligence?
Negligence is a legal term that quite frankly is the key point of law in each and every Las Vegas personal injury case. A person has been negligent if he or she has failed to act the way a “reasonable person” would have acted in like circumstances. The “reasonable person” or “reasonable man” is a tort law concept that has been in existence for many years and made its way into the personal injury law of practically every state, Nevada included. If a person is negligent, and that negligence caused you damage, the negligent person is responsible for making you whole again. Proving negligence and causation is the essence of every personal injury case. Click here to learn more about negligence in our Nevada personal injury blog.
What if you were partially at fault for your accident?
Don’t let what you perceive to be a degree of fault for your own accident stop you from investigating whether or not you have a personal injury case. Nevada is a comparative fault personal injury state. Some states are what are called “contributory negligence states” where if you were responsible for the accident at all, you are barred from recovery. In comparative fault states like Nevada, your damages are offset by your percentage of contribution to your incident. So if you were 10% responsible for your car accident by going slighly over the speed limit, you can still recover for your personal injuries but the value of your case is reduced by 10%.
When should you hire a las vegas personal injury lawyer?
Immediately. Every single thing you do and every single thing you say after an accident affects your rights and ultimately your recovery. It follows then that the more time you wait, the more things that will be done wrong, and the more money you could lose. Be sure to reference our Nevada personal injury blog for information on how to hire a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer and why you should think hard before hiring a mass advertsing law firm.
But how can I afford a personal injury lawyer?
Unlike many other areas of the practice of law, Naimi, Dilbeck & Johnson, Chtd and most other Las Vegas personal injury attorneys charge for their services on a what is called a “contingency fee” basis. This means that our fees are contingent on us recovering money for you. If we recover money for you, we take an agreed-upon percentage as our fee. If we don’t, then we make nothing. At Naimi, Dilbeck & Johnson, Chtd, we don’t charge 40% personal injury fees from day one like some firms, and believe our fees should be commensurate with the amount of work we have performed. Accordingly, we offer a discounted introductory contingency fee of only 25%. We challenge you to find any other personal injury attorney who provides the same level of excellence at such a low rate.
You don’t have health insurance…how can you get treatment?
Naimi, Dilbeck & Johnson, Chtd has carefully development relationships with the very best medical providers in Las Vegas who will agree to treat you now and postpone payment for their services until after your personal injury case settles. These providers know they are not going to get paid until after you get a settlement, and are happy to do it. Additionally, these providers will often accept drastically reduced payments to put more money in your pocket. This means that just because you don’t have medical insurance you can’t get excellent medical care. Don’t let a lack of health insurance keep you from protecting your rights. Read here in our Las Vegas personal injury blog for more information on lien treatment. Call us today to get the treatment and compensation you deserve.
The other car driver is uninsured. Are you out of luck?
Not necessarily. But the answer to this one depends on whether or not you declined particular types of coverage on your own car insurance policy. In Nevada personal injury cases, Uninsured Motorist insurance and Underinsured Motorist insurance, which is insurance you purchase as part of your own liability policy, steps in and takes the place of the insurance the other car driver should have had. We have a UM/UIM blog entry discussing this topic in detail.
What should I bring with me for my meeting with a las vegas personal injury lawyer?
You should provide a lawyer with anything you believe to be relevant to your case. Police reports, medical bills, medical records, photographs, videos, property damage estimates, witness information, and insurance documents are items commonly available to bring to an attorney consultation. The more information you give to a personal injury attorney, the easier it will be to have your case evaluated accurately. Click here for our blog entry on proving your personal injury case and click here for advice on preserving evidence in an automobile accident.
What does it mean to “file suit”?
Filing suit refers to the act of actually bringing a legal claim against another person through a court of law. Many personal injury cases do not go this far, and are resolved by making a strong claim for damages directly to the person who harmed you, often through their liability carrier. If a case cannot be resolved in this way, a lawsuit is the next way to enforce your rights. If you win a lawsuit, you get judgment against he person who caused your personal injuries, which can be used to collect the money you are entitled to. The vast majority of las vegas personal injury cases do not proceed to a lawsuit.
How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
This is an important question in Nevada personal injury cases. The answer is that it depends on your case. Every state, including Nevada, has set time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” which govern the amount of time that you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you may lose your right to recover damages for your injury. The statute of limitations for some cases in Nevada is as little as one year. Consequently, it is important to contact a las vegas personal injury attorney as soon as you suffer or discovery an injury. Time is of the essence.
Will my personal injury case be a public record?
Almost never. Only if a lawsuit is filed would your case be a public record, and even then someone would have to know how to find the case and then specifically search for it. Typically, our clients wish to avoid the courtroom and we do our very best to respect that wish while also maximizing your recovery. Only a very small percentage of personal injury cases even result in a lawsuit, let alone an actual trip to a court room.
Will the person who caused my personal injury be punished?
Not in the traditional sense of the word. Defendants in civil actions for personal injury do not receive jail terms or criminal fines as punishment. Those types of punishemnts are for criminal acts, and personal injury cases are civil actions, not criminal. However, in some personal injury cases the Court can award what are called “punitive damages”, which are designed not to compensate the plaintiff for their personal injuries, bu tto punish the defendant who has behaved recklessly or malisciously.
What if a person who is injured passes away before they can bring their personal injury case?
If a person injured in an accident subsequently passes away because of those injuries, their claims actually survive their death and can be brought by an heir (typically a spouse or children) the same way the deceased person could have if they had lived. Additionally, that person’s heirs may recover money damages through use of a wrongful death cause of action.
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
A Las Vegas automobile accident attorney can work to prove your case even if you are unable to collect evidence at the scene. However, if possible, in no particular order:
- Call authorities. This will ensure that the proper personnel arrive on the scene to protect the health of you and the public as well as ensure the integrity of the accident scene for property investigation.
- Seek medical care treatment. If you are injured, focus on getting the proper treatment. Even if you are upset and angry, or even already contemplating how to force the negligent party fix your car and compensate you, protecting your health is much more important.
- Protect others. Even if your accident is over, the resulting carnage can be a danger to other drivers or pedestrians. Turn on your lights, turn on your flashers, raise your hood, set out cones if you have them.
- Exchange information with everyone involved. Don’t be shy. Get any and all available personal and insurance information, including of course names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information.
- Take photos. Take photographs of all the vehicles involved and their occupants. Even take pictures of other driver’s drivers licenses and insurance cards. Take photos of the accident scene. Once the scene is cleaned up and vehicle towed away, your memory may be the only lasting evidence of what happened if there are no photographs.
- Identify any witnesses, and take down their information just as you did for those directly involved in your accident.
What should I do after a slip and fall accident?
In no particular order:
- Report the incident. Locate the property owner or a person in charge of the premises.
- If you are injured, get medical treatment. Protecting your health should be your top concerns. This means getting immediate treatment for your personal injuries.
- Identify the cause. If it was a liquid or foreign substance, try to locate its source. If possible, try to determine how long the substance had been there.
- Identify any witnesses, and take down their information. Unlike a car accident where the vehicles and wreckage cause a large scene which can be used to establish the chain of events, slip and falls often happen without witnesses, and property owners and occupiers will try to use this against you.
- Take photos. Once that substance has been cleaned up, your word might be the only thing documenting there was anything in the floor in the first place.
- Stay away from insurance adjusters or investigators, and whatever you do don’t speak with them or give them a statement without speaking to a personal injury attorney first.
A lawyer on TV says you don’t have to wait for your personal injury settlement…is that true?
If you want to borrow money against your settlement at exorbitant interest rates, then yes that is true. There is no such thing as a settlement before a settlement. Don’t throw away your money. Maximize your settlement with a personal injury attorney who will handle your case the right way, not sell you on a money-losing predatory loan. Check out this blog entry for more information about Las Vegas personal injury lawyers who advertise heavily.
Television personal injury lawyers must be really good to afford all that advertising, right?
In all likelihood, no. Huge personal injury firms work on a margin, whereby they rely on a heavy volume of personal injury cases generated by mass advertising, which they then settle as quickly as possible, even for less than full value and to the detriment of their clients. If a personal injury firm can bring in heavy volumes of clients, they can make millions of dollars not by fighting with insurance companies, but by running a mass-production personal injury mill. You deserve better.
Is it true that you only have one-year to make a medical malpractice claim?
Yes. Nevada is one of several states who have enacted tort reform measures. These measures are great for insurance companies and the wealthy, but terrible for regular people. Nevada changed its long-standing law back in 2004, and reduced the amount of time that an injured person has to file a medical malpractice case to only 1 year. This is a terrible law, but it is the law. Time is of the essence in medical malpractice cases.
Where can you find more information about Las Vegas personal injury?
Right here on our website. We don’t believe that informaiton about Nevada personal injury should be proprietary. Accordingly, we have developed this website to be not only a way for clients to find our firm, but a place where anyone can go and become exceptionally informed about the prosection of Las Vegas personal injury casea and applicable Nevada personal injury law. Please check our our Las Vegas personal injury blog and our Las Vegas personal injury resources page.