After getting out of the hospital or visiting your doctor, you may begin to feel better and consider the circumstances of the car accident in which you were involved. Perhaps you are considering contacting a Las Vegas car accident attorney to help you evaluate your options and how much your potential car accident case is worth.
There Are Several Considerations Involved
While it may sound like this should be a manageable number to calculate, it is not. There are several considerations, laws, limitations, and particulars that govern the potential award amount that you could stand to receive. And these circumstances are all under the premise that you have a viable claim with evidence that corroborates your claims.
The Most Direct Way to Estimate Your Case’s Potential Value
However, it is possible to determine a ballpark figure when discussing your case with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer. He or she can take in the details of your case, existing evidence, Nevada statutes, the severity of your injuries, current damages, and expected future medical care and vocational needs to establish a number for your initial petition to the court.
If you were injured or experienced the loss of a family member after a car accident, you could discuss your legal options with an experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Gina Corena, PLLC. We can help you determine if you have an actionable claim and what to expect in the future.
Factors that Determine the Potential Value of Your Las Vegas Car Accident Claim
Here are a few methodologies and considerations that legal professionals use to determine the potential value of a car accident claim. Keep in mind that the information below is purely referential, and specific questions should be directed to your attorney.
However, the guidelines below can help you get your creative juices flowing when it comes to what types of compensation dollars are available to car accident victims with successfully proven claims in court or through other formal settlement processes.
1. The Level of Negligence Involved
Nevada civil laws operate on a legal doctrine known as modified comparative negligence. This term means that your degree of oversight, typically assigned a percentage by a judge or jury, cannot exceed 51 percent.
In short, this concept means that you do not have to pay for an accident that is not your fault, but you are also unable to prevail if your negligence exceeds that of the defendant.
For example, if you were involved in a car accident where you had the right of way but were driving without your lights on, in a dark vehicle, without the use of your blinker in a pitch-black area, someone might determine that if you had taken the proper safety precautions and were following the rules according to the terms and conditions of your Nevada Driver’s License, the accident might not have occurred in the first place.
While they were still at fault for hitting you, it’s possible that a judge or jury might assign you 60 percent responsibility or blame. Again, if you are considered to be ‘more negligent’ than the totality of the defendants involved, you are unable to recuperate any financial award amounts.
2. The Types of Expenses and Damages You Have Incurred
There are two types of compensation for which you can pursue in the Nevada civil court system: compensatory, non-compensatory, and punitive damages. The legal profession refers to financial compensation awarded to parties in court as damages.
Each form of expense carries certain guidelines and limitations of which you should be aware:
Compensatory damages are the financial losses that the courts can measure, prove, and evaluate. You can generally call something compensatory if you can provide a document, invoice, estimation, or calculation that can measure the financial loss involved. They include expenses like:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages and benefits
- Prosthetics, prescriptions, and devices
- Modifications to your home or car
- Physical and psychological therapy expenses
- Future lost wages and benefits
- Vocational and occupational rehabilitation
In short, they are your current, out-of-pocket expenses as of the filing of your lawsuit. Your attorney’s firm can help you include the additional costs throughout your case so that those are accounted for, as well. This action is part of the ordinary course of managing your case.
Non-compensatory damages are financial damages that are more difficult to measure. They are more subjective and abstract in nature and focuses on the qualitative aspects of awarding lawsuit amounts. Non-compensatory damages include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of life and wrongful death
Again, these elements are more challenging to measure. Courts typically assign a multiplier to your compensatory damages to your case, depending upon the degree of severity and negligence involved.
Under Nevada law, the state permits courts to award punitive damages in particularly egregious cases that exhibit signs of gross negligence. This type of damage is meant to send a message by punishing the parties involved in addition to the compensatory and non-compensatory amounts they already owe you.
Punitive damages must not go above $300,000 and do not apply to cases when a defendant was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Courts rarely, if ever, award punitive damages to a plaintiff.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer to Help You Negotiate a Settlement
There are many considerations involved during the settlement or lawsuit award amount calculation process. While there isn’t a straight line formula that you can use to nail down a definitive number before a decision is made, you can certainly work with an attorney to help you understand the particulars of your case and come up with a figure that you can use as a jumping-off point.
If you were injured in a car accident, speaking with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer can help you focus on your health care while they provide you legal care. Contact one of our team members at Gina Corena & Associates today for a free case evaluation. You can call our office at (702) 680-1111 or send us a message via our contact form.