If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, a Reno car accident attorney from Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers will fight to ensure that you receive the money you deserve. Call (702) 384-1414 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
Those injured in a car accident in Reno are entitled to recover damages. Damages is a legal term that describes the different types of compensation available in a car accident settlement or court award. There are two types of damages: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages are meant to compensate a victim for their current and future losses. There are two categories of compensatory damages: economic or actual damages and non-economic or general damages.
The second type of damages available in some Reno car accident claims is punitive damages. This type of compensation is rarely awarded and is only recovered in cases involving an at-fault party who acted with malicious intent, oppression, or fraud. They are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar harmful acts by others in the future.
Most accidents are preventable and are a result of driver errors. However, there are many ways a collision can occur. Investigating the cause is a critical step in determining who is at fault and responsible for your damages. Here are the most common causes of car collisions:
Many people get distracted by various activities while driving, such as texting or talking on the phone, eating, drinking, listening to the radio, daydreaming, or simply reaching to find something in the backseat.
Failure to follow posted speed limits or to drive without regard for the safety of others increases the risk of an accident.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most recognizable causes of severe car accidents and fatalities. DUI and/or DWI is illegal in every state and poses a major threat to motorists.
If just one part of a car is defective or poorly installed, leading it to fail, the entire vehicle can be affected and result in a collision.
Dangerous weather conditions are a common determinant of car accidents. Heavy rain or fog can cause low visibility, making it harder for a driver to judge their speed or the speed of nearby vehicles. Rain, ice, or snow make roads slippery and more difficult to stop on.
Nevada is a “fault” state when it comes to liability for a car accident. This means that any individual or entity that causes a car accident can be held liable for a victim’s injuries and financial losses. The victim has the option to:
Proving another party is liable requires proof of negligence. Negligence is the legal principle that determines the percentage of each party’s fault for an accident. The elements that you must prove to establish negligence are the following:
You must show that the other party owed you a duty of care to act reasonably to prevent harm to themselves and others. (e.g., drivers owe a duty of care to other to drive safely and obey traffic laws)
It requires you to show how the other party failed to meet its duty of care by acting unreasonably. (e.g., texting and driving, drunk driving, speeding, etc.)
You must prove you suffered injuries as a direct result of the at-fault party’s breach of duty and that had it not been for the other party’s failure, the accident would not have occurred.
There must be evidence of financial losses, such as medical bills, lost income, etc., for which you are entitled to compensation.
An experienced Reno car accident lawyer can review the facts of your case to determine which parties are liable and gather the necessary evidence to prove it.
Reno car accident lawyers typically represent injury clients on a contingency fee basis. This is a type of agreement that involves an attorney advancing any costs related to preparing and prosecuting your claim, while you are only responsible for these costs and their fees if you receive a settlement or jury award. If you do not win, you do not owe any legal fees.
In a contingency fee agreement, an attorney generally takes 33 to 40 percent of your compensation as their fee. Some lawyers may reduce their percentage or raise it depending on how far your case goes, meaning whether it is settled quickly or must go to trial. Other attorneys work on a sliding scale fee depending on the amount of compensation you recover.
Before signing a contingency agreement, be sure to discuss the terms with your attorney.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact “formula” to determine how much your auto accident claim is worth. A car accident lawyer will have to evaluate the specifics of your case and consider multiple factors before giving you an estimate of its value. Those factors include:
Your percentage of fault has a significant impact on your case’s worth. Nevada follows a variation of the modified comparative negligence rule. Consequently, an injured party can only recover compensation if they are less than 51% to blame. In addition, any percentage of fault will reduce their payment. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 and found 30% at fault for your car accident, you will recover $7,000. If you are found 51% at fault, you won’t receive anything.
Washoe County has the second-highest rate of traffic accident fatalities in Nevada. No matter how careful you are behind the wheel, chances are fairly high that you’ll be involved in a car accident at some point in Reno.
If you have been injured in a car accident, discuss your case and legal options with our Reno car accident lawyer today. We offer free consultations, message us online or call (702) 384-1414.