Secrets to Settling Your Car Accident Injury Claim

by Gina Corena

posted in Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney on April 26, 2022

Secrets to Settling Your Car Accident Injury Claim

If you are injured in a car accident in Nevada, you may be eligible for financial compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage. Nevada is an at fault state for personal injury, meaning if other parties are at fault, they – or their insurance companies – are responsible for paying out the damages incurred by the accident.  Nevada also follows a comparative negligence system, meaning that if there are multiple parties at fault, they can be found responsible for a percentage of the damages incurred in the accident –  even if the victim is found partially at fault, they are eligible for compensation from other parties.

It is good to know that after a car accident, the victim is not legally responsible for their costs caused by other parties. But there are a number of important steps that must be taken before settling a car accident injury claim. These are some of the secrets to settling your car accident injury claim successfully.

  • Seek Medical Attention

After a car accident, it is essential for victims to seek professional medical attention. If there are emergency medical technicians at the scene of the accident, the victim should be evaluated for injuries, or go to the emergency room or urgent care. Even if a victim thinks their injuries are minor, it is important to let the medical staff know that they have been in a car accident and need to be examined accordingly. Some injuries, such as a whiplash, may not be evident right away and symptoms might only develop later. Seeking medical attention immediately after a car accident is not only important for safety and wellbeing, but important for making a case to an insurance company that the injuries have been confirmed by a doctor as a direct result of the car accident.

  • Gather Evidence

If the victim’s injuries are not too serious, they should begin to gather evidence about the accident at the scene. This is the first step in establishing a case for a settlement. Property damage should be recorded; not only the damage to the vehicles, but any guardrails, signs, fences, or poles. Skid marks also reveal a lot about how an accident occurred. If there is any footage from a dashcam, it can be strong evidence, otherwise, detailed photos of the scene after the accident can be a close second. The drivers should exchange details including their names, addresses and insurance companies. If there are any witnesses, the victim should get their details and a statement about what they saw. When the police come to the scene, they will file a report, and a copy should be obtained.

  •  Keep Detailed Records

In making a case for a car accident injury claim, it is essential to keep records of developments as they occur. Treatment for injuries can be ongoing, and can actually worsen over time. Keeping a recovery journal can provide evidence for the length of time it takes for injuries to heal, and pain that can prevent returning to work or enjoyment of daily activities. The victim should document medical appointments (and their results), any surgeries, hospital visits, and physical therapy sessions. Stress or trauma from the accident may require counseling or psychotherapy, and these should be documented as well.

Records of expenses are also important.  A good accounting system will make a big difference later on – even if it’s as simple as a spreadsheet and a file with scanned receipts. Medical bills make up a significant portion of a car accident injury claim. Any expenses that are paid out of pocket should be recorded along with receipts – follow-up appointments, prescription medications, and assistive devices like crutches or a wheelchair. Other costs may not be as obvious, such as towing and rental car expenses, mileage or taxi fare for transport to appointments, or meals and accommodation costs associated with any treatments.

Lost earnings are also a major source of damages, and careful records should be kept of how many days of work are missed or other professional opportunities due to injuries.

  • Don’t Take a Low Offer From an Insurance Company 

Insurance adjusters work on behalf of their employers, and are not necessarily looking out for a car accident victim’s best interests. They may use strategies to convince the claimant to agree to a settlement before they are ready, and pressure them to sign an agreement. If a claimant does that, they will not be able to file a claim in the future. They may present a much lower offer than the claimant is entitled to; hoping that they will be ignorant of the damages they can claim as a result of the accident.

The insurance company may try to stall the claimant in an effort to frustrate them and agree to a low offer just to get the process over with.  This is one of the many reasons working with an attorney can help a car accident victim get the best result for their claim.

  • File Your Car Accident Injury Claim Within the Statute of Limitations

Since damages incurred from a car accident can accumulate over time, it makes sense to get the full picture before filing a personal injury claim. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the state of Nevada has a statute of limitations of two years from the first date of injury. If an accident victim waits too long to file a claim, it may be denied. There is an exception called the discovery rule. It’s possible for an accident victim not to know that they have an injury, and may be able to have an extension to file a car accident injury claim.

  • Consult With an Experienced Attorney

One of the most important secrets to settling a car accident injury claim is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are just doing their job when they seek to pay out as little as possible for your claim. An expert legal team has the know-how and resources to negotiate aggressively with insurance companies to get all of the compensation you are entitled to. If you have been injured in a car accident and want the best results for your claim, contact us today for a free consultation.

 

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