It’s not unusual for personal injury victims to have questions after sustaining injuries in an accident. That’s because most people don’t think about how injury cases work until they need to bring a claim. Unfortunately, this may mean there are some misconceptions about injury cases.
These misconceptions may lead injury victims to make choices based on incorrect information that could hurt their chances for recovery. While it’s crucial to seek out the correct information regarding your case, the best course of action to get expert advice on the facts of your case is to work with a qualified personal injury lawyer. Here are answers to 23 of the most frequently asked questions in personal injury cases.
1. What is the Personal Injury Claim Process?
A personal injury case begins when you file a summons and complaint in the appropriate Nevada court. According to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4, you start a case by taking a summons and complaint to the court clerk of the court where you’re filing the case.
The clerk accepts the filing and returns your copies so that you can serve the defendant with their copy of the filing documents. Your complaint must include all of the grounds to bring your case and all of your demands for recovery.
2. What to do after a personal injury accident?
- Take photos of your injuries
- Visit a doctor if you haven’t already
- If you have visited a doctor, follow their care plan and attend all follow-up appointments
- Write down a narrative of what happened while it’s still fresh in your head
- Make a list of witnesses and their contact information if you know it
- Follow any additional instructions from your attorney
3. Will my Personal Injury Case go to Trial?
The vast majority of personal injury cases don’t go to trial. Most resolve by settlement before the trial date arrives. A case is most likely to go to trial when the facts are in dispute or when there’s a contested legal issue, and the court may rule either way.
The more carefully you build your case, the more likely it is that you and the other party can agree on the strength of your evidence and reach an appropriate settlement. If your case is in the minority of cases that go to trial, your attorney can help prepare you for what to expect.
4. How Much is my Personal Injury Case Worth?
There’s no way to precisely value your claim, but you can guess the approximate value. The value of your claim includes your economic damages like costs for medical treatment, lost wages, paying for help you need around the home, and physical therapy.
You total these losses and then apply a multiplier of 1-1.5 for moderate injuries and up to 5 for severe cases to account for pain and suffering. You should also evaluate the defendant’s resources and their ability to pay.
5. What Happens if I’m Partially at Fault for the Accident?
You may have played a role in causing your injury. If that’s the case, you may still be able to recover using Nevada law. As long as you’re not more to blame than the defendant, you can recover for a proportional share of what you would have recovered otherwise.
This system is called comparative negligence under Nevada law 41.141. The jury decides how to assign fault among the people involved in the case.
6. How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to get a Settlement?
The shortest cases resolve in only a few weeks and without any formal litigation. Sometimes, your attorney can work directly with the other party or the insurance company to reach a swift resolution.
In other cases, litigation can continue for a year or more. Most cases fall somewhere in the middle. The more complicated your case, the longer you can expect it to take. You have some control over the length of your case because it’s up to you to accept or reject settlement offers.
7. How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
A statute of limitations is the time limitation that you have to bring the case. For most personal injury cases, the period of limitation is two years. You’ve made it within the time limit if you get your case filed even one day before the period of limitation expires.
8. What can I expect during my Personal Injury Case?
Once you file the case, you serve the other side with a copy of the paperwork. You wait for them to file a reply. After that, you have time to build your case by contacting witnesses, gathering medical evidence, and even collecting evidence from the other party. You and the other side both have time to bring preliminary motions to the court.
Your attorney may approach the other side to try to resolve the case by settlement. You may participate in formal dispute resolution like mediation. If you resolve the case, you collect payment, and the case ends. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer presents your case and asks the jury for a fair outcome.
9. How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Most personal injury attorneys want to work with you so that you can get justice through the legal system. Many Las Vegas personal injury attorneys agree to work on your case with no money up front. If you succeed in your case, they take a small percentage of your recovery for their services.
They also deduct any costs that they paid up front so that you could proceed with the case. Your attorney should be happy to speak with you to make sure that you understand how they’re going to get paid. It’s important to ask any questions that you have so that you’re all on the same page.
10. How Can an Attorney Help?
Every case depends on the unique set of facts present in the case. An experienced injury attorney can give you more specific answers to these questions based on the actual circumstances of your case.
An attorney helps you handle each step in the case in a way that’s calculated to help you get the result that you’re looking for. Your lawyer will take the time to get to know you, your priorities, and the details of your case. They can then guide you through the process to get the maximum compensation possible.
11. Is Nevada a Comparative Negligence State?
Yes, Nevada is a comparative negligence state. Because Nevada is a comparative negligence state, you may still win some compensation even if you’re partially to blame for the accident. The amount that you recover is reduced by the percent that you’re at fault. Unless the parties reach an agreement, it’s up to the jury to decide who is to blame for the accident.
12. What Happens in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim makes a demand for compensation called a complaint. The defense has time to file an answer. Both of the parties build their evidence in the case using things like depositions, interrogatories, and subpoenas. There may be preliminary rulings on gathering and presenting evidence. The parties have opportunities to reach an agreement in the case through mediation and informal settlement negotiations. If they’re unable to reach an agreement, the injury lawsuit goes to trial for a jury to decide.
13. What Is the Statute of Limitations in Nevada?
The statute of limitations in Nevada is two years for most accident cases. If your case is a products liability case, the statute of limitations is four years. There are other time limits for contracts cases, criminal cases, and cases about property damage.
14. What Is the Average Settlement for a Personal Injury Case?
The average settlement for a personal injury case is between $3,000 and $75,000. You may hear about some injury cases settling for millions of dollars. But the vast majority of injury cases settle for a much smaller amount. In states that have no-fault laws, there may not be many car accident lawsuits for small amounts. However, in at-fault states, you may bring a personal injury case to recover any amount, even a small amount.
15. How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Nevada?
An insurance company has 30 days to investigate a claim and issue a decision. However, you may contest their decision if you disagree with it. If you’re in negotiations with the insurance company, it’s important to remember that you have only a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim. The insurance company may try to delay negotiations in hopes that you miss the deadline to file a formal legal claim.
16. How Do I Maximize My Personal Injury Settlement?
You maximize your injury settlement by carefully building strong evidence in your case. It’s essential to understand all of the categories of damages that apply and build the evidence of each category of loss that you’re claiming. It’s also important to carefully prepare court filings that comply with the law in your state. When the other side files court motions, you must respond aggressively and appropriately to maximize your injury settlement.
17. Does Pain and Suffering Include Medical Bills?
No, pain and suffering doesn’t include medical bills. But you have a right to claim full compensation for all of your medical bills as part of your injury case. In fact, your pain and suffering compensation is on top of and in addition to your compensation for medical bills.
18. What Is Fair Compensation for Pain and Suffering?
Fair compensation for pain and suffering is proportional to your injuries. The more severe and permanent your injuries are from the accident, the higher your pain and suffering compensation must be to be fair. In a case with severe injuries and lifelong suffering, you may claim pain and suffering damages that are as much as five times your amount of financial losses. In minor injury cases, your pain and suffering may be slightly less or equal to the amount of your financial losses.
19. How Long Are Judgments Good for in Nevada?
A judgment is good for six years in Nevada. Nevada Revised Statutes 17.214 says that a judgment is good for six years unless its renewed. If your judgment is about to expire, you can take legal steps to renew the judgment so that you may continue to collect it.
20. What Is Considered a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is considered any injury that gives rise to legal liability of the responsible party. When one person gets hurt because another person or company acts negligently, the victim has a personal injury. A personal injury accident is a type of accident that is a legal fault. The victim may bring a claim for financial compensation against the wrongdoer. The lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought by the victim. The victim may receive financial compensation for their injury.
21. What Type of Case Is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is a civil case. It’s not a criminal case where someone can be convicted of a crime and go to jail. Instead, a civil lawsuit can result in a finding of responsibility that makes the responsible party pay money to the victim. There are lots of types of cases that are personal injury cases like car accidents, slip and falls, and defective product accidents.
22. What Is the Average Payout for Whiplash?
The average payout for whiplash is $2,500-$10,000. When a victim who suffers from whiplash also has other injuries like broken bones, the payout may be higher. The exact payout depends on the victim and the severity of their injuries. If you’re suffering from whiplash after an accident, it’s important to seek medical attention to document your injuries and keep a journal of your pain and symptoms to track your recovery.
23. Can I File a Civil Lawsuit Without an Attorney?
Yes, you can file a civil lawsuit without an attorney. However, if you bring your case on your own, you’re subject to the same standards as you would be if you had an attorney. You must follow the formalities for your case filing documents. The rules of discovery, admission of evidence, and civil procedure all apply to you. If you make a mistake, it may unravel your case even if you have a great case. While you can file a civil lawsuit without an attorney; usually, your best bet to recover the maximum amount possible is working with an experienced attorney.